Women and enlightened men know misogyny is baked into the media’s coverage of presidential elections. While Trump’s 2016 win was the result of a combination of forces, one of those forces was media bias.
That isn’t merely the opinion of this writer; there is data proving Trump got preferential treatment, be it from the volume of newspaper articles and live streaming of his campaign events to giving him free passes when he incited hatred and violence or when he just told ordinary lies.
Norm Ornstein and Chris Cillizza studied media bias in the Trump Clinton race. They were struck by the overwhelming imbalance between the number of headlines for Trump compared to Clinton. In an interview with the Washington Post, they said:
Across the eight outlets, we found Trump’s name mentioned in a total of 14,924 article headlines from July 1, 2015, to Aug. 31, 2016. Clinton has been mentioned in less than half that amount.
Television news resembled an all-day advertisement for Trump – while Clinton was all but invisible to the viewing audience. According to Paul Farhi of the Washington Post, between January 1 and Labor Day 2016, Trump’s campaign got 822 minutes of screen time on the main networks, while Clinton got less than half: 386 minutes to be exact.
When Donald Trump entered the political arena in 2016, America was introduced to a level of dishonesty https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/aug/16/post-truth-election-comparing-2016-past-elections-/ unlike during any previous campaign. Yet, misogyny fed the electorate twice the volume of Donald Trump’s lies as it offered of Hillary Clinton’s truths.
One key sign that misogyny is alive and well in the media lies in the fact that not a single one of the women running for the Democratic nomination was invited to appear on the Sunday morning talk shows this week.
Seriously, it isn’t like every women running for the nomination is a replica of the others. Each candidate has her own story, a unique resume and platforms from the progressive wing to the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
Yet, we’re seeing a replay of 2016, where the white guys suck up the media attention to the point that that five women who are U.S. senators are seeking the nomination yet remain invisible.
And it isn’t much better in the mainstream media. Their coverage of the women running has admittedly advanced from commentary on their hair. However, coverage still equates women’s assertiveness with simply being angry or overly emotional, while similar behavior by men is still seen as strong leadership.
Of course, women proved capable of beating the odds and the misogyny in 2018. Maybe some egos are still smarting from the fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi wields leadership with expertise that her immediate predecessor and for that matter, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump can only imagine. And she does it in heels.
Maybe it’s Speaker Pelosi’s ability to unify a diverse caucus that has the misogynists in media determined to figuratively tell women their place is behind a wall of testosterone.
Whatever it is, the media is letting the electorate down. We deserve to know about all of the candidates, not just the center right white guy from Indiana, or the right wing white guy who used to sell coffee. We deserve more than the free passes for inconsistencies like Tim Ryan’s claim that he wants to unite people, but most of his history has been about failed insurgencies against Nancy Pelosi.
We deserve more than just a character smear of Joe Biden over behavior from years ago but only became taboo last week and only for him.
As Sarah Jones said, this is really about minimizing the impact of sexual assault. This approach has the added bonus of going after Joe Biden while Bernie Sanders gets a free pass. Sarah observed:
This has led the far left and right into a frenzy of PizzaGate accusations against Joe Biden, because you see, the people who support Bernie Sanders, even after he wrote about “typical” fantasies abused women and had a campaign full of sexual harassers and at least one assaulter, and people who support the p*ssy grabber in chief and many others are trying to co-opt the MeToo movement to propel their candidates ahead of the guy who is polling ahead of theirs, and he hasn’t even announced yet.
In other words, it’s about providing Donald Trump with the white guy opponent he prefers, which means he is not Joe Biden.
Donny’s boy is Bernie Sanders because Bernie is a self-described Democratic Socialist, which is conveniently conflated with communism the same way as invading personal space was conflated with sexual assault and even pedophilia. With fake news coming from both ideological extremes, the interests who are pushing this b.s. hope that people with actual lives will be overwhelmed and just vote maga.
It’s important to acknowledge there are some in the media who address the politics of today, as it is, rather than trying to recreate that magical maga era that never really existed. There are some people who know Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are serious, qualified candidates who have a wealth of experience in governing that some of the male candidates don’t have. There are people who know these strong, intelligent women have policy ideas that deserve attention over the excitement of pronouncing ‘Mayor Pete’s” surname.
But, they are also outliers in a sea of misogyny that high fives itself when showing its “feminism” by calling out Tucker Carlson. Guys, Tucker Carlson is the second easiest target of your faux “feminist” rage, surpassed only by the p*ssy grabber in chief.
It’s 2019 and several women have proved themselves worthy of a seat at the serious candidate table. Media outlets and journalists who wish to be taken seriously by a savvy but frustrated electorate should act accordingly. Let’s jump past the commentary on hair, make-up, the etiquette of eating fried chicken and do something radical – like talk about the policies that people care about.