Clintons Put Crying in Politics, Press Eat it Up
In the 1992 blockbuster movie "A League of Their Own," coach Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks, marvelously shouted at one of his weeping female players, "There's no crying in baseball!"
And the press ate it up.
In fact, by Tuesday night, there were a total of 74 nationally televised media reports concerning Hillary's weepy moment (un-audited LexisNexis count), with CNN leading the way with 28, Fox News with fifteen, MSNBC and ABC News tied at eleven, NBC News with seven, and CBS News with two (all also un-audited).
Here's one of the first reports concerning the matter from the 3PM EST installment of "CNN Newsroom" Monday:
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We also heard from Senator Hillary Clinton earlier today, when she was asked a question at a rally, how does this affect her? How does she actually get through this? And here's how she responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening. We have to reverse it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
By Tuesday evening, after Hillary's surprising victory in New Hampshire, the press continued focusing on the junior senator's crying game, and pointed at it as an important moment in her campaign. Here's what the folks at CNN had to say during "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" Tuesday:
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think -- I think there might be.
I think, Lou, we cannot understate -- or overstate, I should say, what a huge, huge win this is for Hillary Clinton tonight. The polls had it wrong because voters changed, it seems to me, at the last minute. Hillary Clinton retooled her campaign a little bit, started getting out of the bubble, started actually talking to voters, answering all their questions, had an emotional moment, humanized herself.
Her performance, plus...
BORGER: I -- I don't know. We will see. All we know is that -- that -- that she did a lot better with women in New Hampshire than she did in Iowa.
With that in mind, are there a couple of truly disturbing double standards being employed by the media here concerning this issue, the first being whether a man crying at a campaign stop would be so universally accepted, and the second being whether a Republican woman showing such emotions would be similarly so?
Think about it. Imagine if when asked about the rigors of the campaign, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) got all choked up. Would this have been presented by media as a sign of strength, or of weakness?
On the flipside, if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in this race, and did a Clinton, would media have fawned over her crocodile tears?
After all, Hillary wasn't crying about a poverty-stricken home in New Hampshire she had visited, or a trip to a military hospital where she saw the horrors of war firsthand.
She was crying about herself, and how she was being treated by other candidates and the media, which is a far cry from showing emotion for somebody else's pain, torment, or loss.
In fact, if you really analyze what transpired in that New Hampshire diner Monday morning, Hillary was crying because she was suddenly losing.
Is that a demonstration of character or a lack thereof?
Sadly, most media members didn't consider this. As a result, this incident, and how the press reported it, has established conceivably a very disturbing precedent, for it is indeed now possible for there to be crying in politics, but maybe only for one gender and one party.
Isn't that special?