In an article entitled “The Time is Right,” Newsweek used an interview with long-time feminist activist Marie Wilson to hype a Hillary Clinton presidency as well as ABC’s new series about a female president, “Commander in Chief.” Newsweek set the piece up by referring to a possible Hillary-Condi matchup in 2008. However, Wilson is never asked what she thinks of the second female Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, which certainly would have been a natural question for a woman who is president of the White House Project, a non-profit organization designed to assist the advancement of women in the workplace and in politics. Instead, the only female politician discussed with Wilson was indeed the junior senator from New York.
As for ABC’s new series, Newsweek and Wilson made it very clear what the intention of this show is (Newsweek’s questions in bold):
What do you think of the show “Commander in Chief?”
I think it’s well written. It’s well cast. Geena [Davis] has good presence. The tone of it feels just right.
Can this show prepare voters [for] a woman president?
I feel like it will be a tipping point. The time is right. The country is ready, it really is. It’s also why we have this show now. It’s a measure of this country’s readiness. I cry every time I see this show and I’m not just a weeper. It’s more than about a woman; [it’s about] human rights and democracy. People are going to see a new way about the role of government. Their hearts are going to be moved. And it’s when people’s hearts are moved that we get real change. You can’t exhort people to change. You have to start where they are—and they’re in front of their televisions.
Will it be a step backwards if “Commander in Chief” doesn’t get good enough ratings to stay on the air?
This is already a big step. It will encourage other shows. It can still educate people.