Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is the Media Growing Up?!! Wapo and Huffpo Belatedly Get the Message

It’s too soon to tell whether or not the media is growing up, but recent occurrences offer hope that at least two prominent online news outlets may have begun to get the message that the usual sexism targeting Hillary Clinton and the reflexive attacks on both Bill and Hillary are inappropriate.

The first incident featured a beer summit spoof in which Wapo’s Dana Milbank suggested that Hillary Clinton drink Mad Bitch Beer. Howard Kurtz reports today:

Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli killed the satirical video series Wednesday after harsh criticism of a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, which prompted him to pull the latest episode from the paper's Web site Friday night. The Post staffers who appeared in the videos, Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza, agreed with the decision and apologized in separate interviews.

In the second incident, the Huffington Post was incapable of celebrating yesterday’s stunning achievement by the team of Clinton, Clinton, and Obama in securing the release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling without indulging in its trademark tabloid journalism style shown in the screen shot above. As I noted in yesterday’s post, it took Huffpo all day to catch on, but thousands of commenters eventually pressured the powerful blog to change the headline. Huffpo even published Taylor Marsh’s take on the incident that concluded with:

I also shouldn't have to tell you that running a headline blaring "BILL UPSTAGES HILLARY.... ONCE AGAIN" on a day two journalists lives were saved from doing twelve years hard labor in a North Korean prison camp made Huffington Post look silly. Petty. Small.

You screwed up.

The larger message from the above is that the public needs to keep saying NO to the media’s sexism and misogyny.

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