Quick -- which is Hillary Clinton's bigger liability as a candidate?:
A. She's an insufficiently ardent feminist; or B. Her personality is cold, calculating and unfeminine.
If you've been living on Planet Earth since 1992, surely your answer is 'B.' So when Elizabeth Edwards adds fuel to that fire, accusing Hillary of behaving like a man, that is very newsworthy stuff. Unless you're NBC or ABC, that is.
"Today" and "Good Morning America" ran segments this morning on Mrs. Edwards' recent interview with Salon.com in which she made comments critical of Hillary. The networks focused on Elizabeth's relatively innocuous line:
She's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is.
But both shows airbrushed out the more controversial comment that immediately preceded it:
I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.
And haunt it does in this piece designed to scare the bejeebers out of women who are considering leaving the workforce in order to stay at home with their children. MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu warns us that women who leave lucrative careers in order to change diapers and arrange playdates may receive a nasty surprise if and when they need to go back to work.
She includes anecdotes from women whose circumstances demanded that they go back to work, but were unable to simply pick up from where they left off, taking jobs they had to in order to make ends meet.
For professional backup, Tahmincioglu turns to Leslie Bennetts, author of the recent tome "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"
Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday wants abortion. In the movies, that is. In her July 15 piece Hornaday complains that two box office successes this summer, “Waitress” and “Knocked Up,” feature main characters that are pregnant. Both are unmarried and less than thrilled with their pregnancies. Both have their babies.
“It’s a setup that has some viewers, especially women who came of age in a post-Roe v. Wade America, wondering just what world these movies are living in.”
Well, Ann, they’re living in the modern day world where the number of out-of-wedlock births among 20- and 30-something women is dramatically up, according to a poll conducted by Pew Research. Just look at Brangelina, if you want to see what that looks like in real life.
With Bush giving a press conference about the war in Iraq, Thursday wasn't exactly a slow news day. Yet the New York Times found room on Friday's front page for Winnie Hu's story about American Indian lacrosse players, "American Indians Widen Old Outlet In Youth Lacrosse." Meanwhile, readers got to watch political correctness trump the paper's corporate-line feminism.
"While the teams do not wear native clothing or have tribal sideline chants, the players say they adhere to the spirit of the game played hundreds of years ago. For instance, the Onondaga Red Hawks and the Tonawanda Braves do not allow girls to play, and male players on some other teams forbid women to touch their sticks for fear such contact could cost them the protection of the Creator during games. If a stick has been touched by a woman or girl, some native lore says it must be put away for seven days, and some Tonawanda players have been known to discard or give away such sticks."
In the New York Times' version of the gossip pages (the Sunday Styles section), reporter Susan Saulny injects a novel Democratic talking point into the potential candidacy of Republican Fred Thompson -- one involving his wife, in "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?"
"As the election of 2008 approaches with its cast of contenders who bring unprecedented diversity to the quest for the White House, the voting public has been called on to ponder several questions: Is America ready for a woman to be president? What about a black man? A Mormon?
"Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?
Rebecca Traister at left-wing Salon.com (yes, endure the leftists' commercial) brings the feminist scolding to Katie Couric for granting a whiny, bitter interview to New York magazine, including the odd detail that she slaps male producers for using medical terms for lung mucus. Traister wants to see a "mofo" in action:
Suddenly, the woman who used to refuse to talk to reporters about her astronomical salary and hard-bargaining skills, who unapologetically drove the high rate of turnover among "Today" show producers, and who radiated a steely self-confidence, cannot shut up about everything that's gone wrong since she left NBC for CBS! Oh, girlfriend: Get a grip....
Slam a table; grow a pair; be the mean motherf---er we know you can be.
Katie Couric’s downward publicity spiral has gone from her typical poor-me-America’s-sexist pleading to tales of male beatings. A new profile in New York magazine by Joe Hagan recounts the Woody Allen-esque tale of Couric slapping a producer named Jerry Cipriano repeatedly on the arm in a fight over the word sputum. I kid you not. But not before she plays the diva and whines about all the people that fervently hate her and want her to go eat worms:
"I think that bugs people even more," she says, "that I’m not a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It’s probably disappointing to some people. Because in the arc of the story, that’s what they want to see."
Live Earth's TV ratings might have been dismal, and the extravaganza took heat for the liberal use of profanity by its performers. But at least the concert series served some purpose: providing comedic fodder for today's "Morning Joe." Host Joe Scarborough and sidekick John Ridley had considerable fun at the expense of Ann Curry, a host of NBC's coverage of the event (see related NB item), whose interview of Al Gore gave new meaning to "touchy-feely."
At about 6:45 A.M. EDT this morning, the MSNBC show rolled a clip from the Curry-Gore interview in which Curry repeatedly grabbed Gore's arm and ended with a manic hand-pump.
A story on the US News and World Report website reveals that the reason women are paid less in general may have something to do with what they study in college:
The April release of Behind the Pay Gap by the American Association of University Women Education Foundation reported that one year after college graduation, women working full time earn just 80 percent as much as their male counterparts. The report noted that one potential reason for this difference is that female students are clustered in college majors tied to careers that lead to smaller paychecks. Areas such as education, health, and psychology are dominated by women, while men make up the majority of engineering, physical science, and mathematics majors—occupations that typically pay more.
National Public Radio commentators can establish one reality very quickly: they won’t cross the feminists. "I am not dumb enough to castigate women en masse," said sports writer Frank Deford in a commentary on Wednesday’s Morning Edition as he blamed them for the popularity of celebrity gossip. But men? That’s easier. They’re diverted from serious news by the sports pages. Sure, Deford said, "there are an awful lot of feather-brained fans who could rattle off the entire roster of the Kansas City Royals before they could name their own congressman." But deny them their sports, and they won’t become C-SPAN fans. "Probably, in fact, their new devotion would be to something more base like pornography."
Things go wrong right from the start of the New York Times' obituary for Vilma Espin, "Cuba's unofficial first lady" -- and Cuban Communist Party leader by reporter Anthony DePalma (pictured at right).
"Vilma Espin, an idealistic socialite who fought alongside Fidel and Raul Castro in the mountains of Cuba and later, as Raul Castro’s wife, became a prominent advocate of women’s rightsand a powerful member of the Cuban Communist Party, died Monday in Havana." Aren't those mutually exclusive terms? How in the world can a Communist leader be a credible advocate for anyone's rights?
News people often hedge on the accuracy of the existence of God, but National Public Radio showed an ease in declaring they were in the presence of a "goddess" (no quote marks for her) on Thursday's All Things Considered newscast. The "feminine divine" in question was 9-year-old Sajani Shakya. Anchor Michele Norris proclaimed "she is a goddess, or Kumari, venerated as a deity in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal," who was visiting Washington as part of the Silverdocs film festival. NPR reporter Neda Ulaby began:
ULABY: The goddess is, frankly, a little jet-lagged. But adorned with golden saffron robes and a ceremonial third eye painted on her forehead, she's the most majestic 9-year-old this classroom of American kids has ever met.
Clay Waters of Times Watch alerted me to a new item in the Shameless Hillary Department: Ben Smith at Politico.com reports Mother Teresa's missionaries have protested Hillary's use of a photograph of her waving next to Mother Teresa in a Hillary campaign video, in which the announcer said: "Hillary in effect, was the face of America, in Africa, in India..." The picture was used as the words "in India" were narrated. Will the rest of the media follow up on this story?
The head of a politically conservative Catholic group, Fidelis, said he brought the video to the attention of Sister Nirmala, Teresa's successor at the Superior General of the India-based Missionaries of Charity. Fidelis president Joseph Cella called it "wholly inappropriate, disrespectful and disturbing that Hillary Clinton shamelessly exploited Mother’s image as a political tool."
Liberals in the media continue to eat their own. Katie Couric withstood another barrage of negative attacks against her from her predecessor in the CBS anchor chair yesterday when Dan Rather denounced her for taking a "dumb it down, tart it up" approach to the news.
Rather's former boss, CBS president Les Moonves shot back today calling the disgraced former anchorman's remarks "sexist" while defending Couric as his choice:
Moonves, asked about the remarks at an appearance in New York
sponsored by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at
Syracuse University, called the remarks ''sexist'' and said he was
surprised at the amount of negative coverage Couric was receiving.
Couric, the first solo female news anchor, has been struggling in the
Chicago Tribune “public editor” Timothy McNulty claimed on Friday that he has been sensitized to a gross indignity: stories referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton as merely “Hillary.” Prodded by feminists, he claimed that this indignity deserves exploring, even as he acknowledges that Hillary uses “Hillary!” as a first-person promotional tool in her own campaign. As Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post blew it off in his online chat today: “I used to have the same concern until HRC began running for office and promoting herself as "Hillary" on her Web site, in literature, etc. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.”
The prodding feminist McNulty quotes in the piece is online Tribune editor Jane Fritsch, formerly of The New York Times, who wrote McNulty in an e-mail that "The simple fact is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running in a field of men who are never referred to by their first names...The argument that we call her Hillary to avoid confusion is a weak one. There are easy alternatives. ... Certainly the problem created by the existence of two presidents named George Bush has been a difficult one, but we found ways to solve it without diminishing George W. Bush."
A tipster reports that the New York Daily News has a style guide on its internal computer system with a very typical liberal-media template for its reporters on how to handle abortion labeling:
Guidelines regarding stories and headlines on abortion:
1. Call those who oppose abortions abortion foes or abortion opponents or (in tight-count heads) abort foes. Avoid the phrases pro-life or pro-lifers, except in direct quotations.
2. Those who favor a woman's right to an abortion are abortion rights activists or pro-abortion rights or pro-choice. Avoid pro-abortion.
3. Also avoid the phrase "when the life of the mother is at stake." Make it "... life of the woman ..." Don't call the fetus an unborn child, and don't refer to the unborn in headlines.
4. You can use abortion clinic or abort clinic in tight-count headlines.
A common practice in the liberal mainstream media is the exaggeration of certain headlines in order to increase the "scandal factor" of a given politically correct story. This does not happen often at Fox News due to their "fair and balanced" approach. Unfortunately, it did happen in a recent headline from a non-story about one disgruntled female employee suing GE for discrimination.
Wow! 1,500 women are suing for this? Wait, look what we find out when we read deeper:
Schaefer's suit, which is seeking class-action status, seeks $500 million in damages for a class of about 1,500 to 1,700 GE women executives and lawyers, according her attorney, David Sanford of Sanford Wittels & Heisler LP.
Yes he leans left. But MSNBC host Chris Matthews was manifestly offended by the Mexican audience at the Miss Universe pageant that booed Miss USA. The Mexicans were adding insult to injury, since the lovely and gracious Rachel Smith of Tennessee had earlier slipped onto her derrière during the evening gown segment of the competititon.
Discussing the matter on this afternoon's Hardball with his panel of NBC political director Chuck Todd, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Tribune, Matthews unleashed on the Mexicans:
That's about the worst PR I can think of for this Mexican immigration bill which is mainly helping Mexicans become legal Americans. . . This young woman smiled right through it. That's class, but [the booing] wasn't very classy.
What is it about immigration though that bothers Mexicans? I mean there are 12 million here illegally. That's fairly benign, even if it is passive, policy. It's hardly predatory. What other country in the world let's 12 million come in there, live there illegally? How can you be mad at that?
The “Clueless” star and animal rights activist, Alicia Silverstone, was the guest directly following the Rosie/Elisabeth dust-up, and it looked like she snubbed Hasselbeck, or did she just make a mistake? When approaching from the token non-liberal’s side of the stage, Silverstone stepped up onto the platform with the couch to greet the hosts and instead of greeting the pregnant Republican in the brightly colored dress, the PETA activist walked right by Hasselbeck’s outstretched hands. The Republican host actually touched the actress’ arms to welcome her, but Silverstone moved past Hasselbeck and clearly greeted Behar, who was standing directly beside Hasselbeck. She then hugged all of the hosts except Hasselbeck (YouTube video here).
On the May 21 edition of "The View," co-host Rosie O’Donnell responded to the fall out from her moral equivalency rant on Thursday. Rosie claims some cable news outlets "twisted" her words, and then got personal with token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck, calling her critics the "crappy shows" that "Elisabeth watches."
"But I didn't say it. You know who said it? Those crappy cable shows said it. The ones Elisabeth watches. Those shows."
Hasselbeck harshly reacted to those comments and it prompted Rosie to personally attack her more.
HASSELBECK: I watch all cable news, number one. I watch all of the, because that's part of my job and as an American citizen I try to broaden as many concepts as possible by watching all those news programs, okay. I do, obviously, like, like certain shows. I'll throw them out if you want me to. Like "Hannity and Colmes," they're one of my favorites, because they hold debates [applause] They hold debates on that show and I think that is, that is like what we do here only, you know, we have four women. And I think it's special here. But to say that, you know, someone can't hold two thoughts at the same time just because I believe in terrorism when there are Democrats out there running for office who don’t want to believe in terrorism and they want to treat it like the boogeyman. How are they going to protect us from something--
In a failed attempt by the New York Times to provide some balance to its shoddy pro-prosecution coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" hoax, Sunday's Sports section featured sports reporter Pete Thamel's profile of the reinvigorated 2007 Duke lacrosse team, which that morning was on the verge of making it to lacrosse's "Final Four" (Duke advanced, winning the day's match against instate rival North Carolina).
Yet in "This Time, Spotlight Is Kinder to Duke," Thamel managed to locate ubiquitous popular culture commenter Robert Thompson to make the defensive suggestion that while the Duke players may have been innocent of rape, they may have been guilty of…being college students:
Outgoing "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell made racist and anti-Catholic slurs during her tenure on the show. On the May 18 edition, she can now add a sexist comment to her resume. In the context of a book about a male nanny, Barbara Walters asked the co-hosts if they would like a male nanny. Rosie responded likewise.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: No, I wouldn't.
WALTERS: Not even--You would not want a male nanny?
O’DONNELL: No question about it.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Maybe not for a daughter.
O’DONNELL: Nope. Not even for a son.
Her reasoning? Rosie applied the same argument proponents of racial profiling use noting, "the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are male." But the vast majority of men would never sexually abuse children.
For Mothers' Day, The Washington Post did the same thing it does most days: promote liberal causes. At the top of the Metro section is an article headlined "Pushing the Motherhood Cause: Group Works to Give Busy Women A Voice on Family Issues." It was also promoted on the front of Sunday's paper under the headline "Activist Mothers Unite." But a reader would have to go inside the Metro section to paragraph 11 to see the liberal cause revealed in the group, called MomsRising: "Co-founder Joan Blades also helped launch the liberal group MoveOn.org -- 'the great success story of Internet politics,' said Michael Cornfield, who wrote a book on the topic."
Reporter Donna St. George's story was surrounded with attractive color photos of mothers interacting with their toddlers, and began with the typical emphasis on the supposed nonpartisan activism that's all the rage:
Just like ads for 1-800 Flowers, you can expect stories about moms to crop up on the news just before Mother’s Day. The "CBS Evening News" -- anchored by arguably the highest-profile working mom in TV news -- weighed in with a story about the decline in the number of women in the workforce who have young children. Of course it wasn't reported as good news. (Emphasis mine throughout.)
Taking a page from the National Organization for Women (NOW), reporter Kelly Wallace included "experts" who said women had been "forced" to stay home because of the "conditions" of their jobs and stay-at-home moms “do not use (their) full talents and abilities.”
CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric is profiled in More magazine this month by Amy Wilentz in a piece called, “Katie’s Leap Year” highlighting the “challenge” of Couric’s gender in a male-dominated profession.
The challenge is so great, according to the author, that it leaves Couric, “walking a transgendered tightrope” and “It’s surprising that [Couric] doesn’t have a baritone voice or whiskers by now.”
The story begins with “significant role model” Couric speaking before a group of “hopeful young women” for National Women’s History Month, trumpets “black-and-white photographs of women who achieved milestones: Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride and Margaret Sanger”, and reveals Couric’s intention to be viewed, “as a relatively intelligent person who deserves to be at the helm” of the "Evening News." Yet by the end of the story, Wilentz reveals little more than three references to Couric’s legs including, "famously shapely legs", "legs crossed Indian-style" and Couric’s own, "I’m still getting my sea legs."
Outgoing "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell announced on the May 7 edition that she has "given up fighting" and that people already know her views. Co-host Joy Behar joked "that is such a lie. You know you’ll never give up." Rosie stated she does not want to yell at Elisabeth because she’s pregnant and that may not be healthy for her unborn child.
After Barbara alluded to her self-admitted "love letter" of Rosie O’Donnell in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, Rosie announced that she does not "really love to fight" and implied her fringe views speak for women.
"I don't really love to fight. I just -- you know, I think a woman's voice needed to be heard on network TV so I came and said my piece."
The other co-hosts seemed offended as Joy Behar joked: "What are we, transvestites?" Barbara Walters noted the nine seasons of "The View" and exclaimed: "We’ve had nine years on the air when women’s voices were heard."
ESPN's Chris Berman likes to say "no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills." He might add "or the Boston Globe." Its editorial of today, A telling admission, heaps of paeans of praise on Marilee Jones, who resigned her position as MIT Dean of Admissions after an investigation revealed that she earned none of the academic degrees she had claimed.
The Globe quickly gets out of the way its acknowledgement that "no doubt, Marilee Jones did the wrong thing." But you'd hardly know it from the rest of editorial:
"I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago," she said in a statement, "and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." Admitting to that lack of courage means being brave enough to be oneself, even if one is short on credentials but long on potential.
She deserves credit for her straightforward apology.
This forthright admission stands in contrast to others who have denied, delayed, or justified. Last year, David Edmondson, chief executive of RadioShack, said he planned to stay in his job even after it was revealed that he had not earned two college degrees listed on his resume. Days later he resigned.
Jones has had to face her own messy truth. She has done so in a commendable way.
The Globe comes close to excusing others who tell similar lies:
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
Update at bottom of post: A blogger picks apart the AP story.
Just as the ladies of "The View" discussed the previous day, "The Early Show" on April 24 harped on a study that allegedly demonstrates a pay gap between men and women. Hannah Storm kicked off the report noting "women’s rights groups have declared today equal pay day." Reporter Kelly Wallace uncritically reported a study conducting by the left leaning American Association of University Women, which supports abortion rights and affirmative action. Wallace fed this information to several unsuspecting New York University female students. Although Wallace briefly mentioned that women are more likely to enter professions with lower pay, she quickly refuted it with the liberal organization’s own study.