Monday, June 30, 2008

Google disables anti-Obama blogs

Original Link: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0608/Google_disables_antiObama_blogs.html

By Ben Smith

Here's a bit of a cautionary tale on the under-rated power of those "report abuse" or "flag this blog" features that you see on websites (including this one) of all types.

Several anti-Obama, or pro-Clinton, blogs that run on Blogger -- Google's free blogging platform -- have been disabled after somebody complained -- falsely -- that they're spam.

It's a similar tactic to one that's been used on (also Google-owned) YouTube to make videos considered objectionable by various political wings harder to get at; and it's part of a broader, worrisome trend in which features designed to promote community control wind up permitting a form of censorship.

Google didn't respond to my email seeking comment, and I imagine that if the bloggers are persistent, the company will reactivate their accounts. But this would be a handy way to cripple an opponent's grassroots in the final days of a campaign, when a few hours lost can make a real difference, and while an Obama supporter seems to have used it this time, there's no reason others can't in the future.

There's no obvious solution -- community reporting of abuse is the best of imperfect systems. But it also lends itself to its own meta-abuse.

UPDATE: Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich suggests my longwinded free speech defense jumps to conclusions, and that the real culprit here was an errant spam filter. He emails:

We think blog spam is a serious problem and we have spam detection software to try to eliminate it. In this case, it appears that our anti-spam filters caused some Blogger accounts to be blocked from creating new posts.

While we are still investigating, we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the "Just Say No Deal" network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam. We have restored posting rights to the affected blogs, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression.

Google and the Anti-Obama Bloggers

Original Link: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/google-and-the-anti-obama-bloggers/

By Miguel Helft

Did Google use its network of online services to silence critics of Barack Obama? That was the question buzzing on a corner of the blogosphere over the last few days, after several anti-Obama bloggers were unable to update their sites, which are hosted on Google’s Blogger service.

The bloggers in question, most of them supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and all of them opposed to Senator Obama, received a notice from Google last week saying that their sites had been identified as potential “spam” blogs. “You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog,” the Google e-mail read.

Many of the bloggers were affiliated with JustSayNoDeal.com a Web site that opposes Senator Obama. They include http://bluelyon.blogspot.com, http://comealongway.blogspot.com, http://hillaryorbust.blogspot.com and http://mccaindemocrats.blogspot.com.

In an article that appeared on Bloggasm.com, the reporter Simon Owens spoke with some of the affected bloggers, who said they believed that Google had fallen prey to a campaign by activists supporting Senator Obama. According to the bloggers, the Obama supporters had clicked on a “flag” on the anti-Obama blogs alerting Google that they were spam.

If so, that would be an embarrassment for Google. On its Web page explaining the “flag” feature, Google says that “it can’t be manipulated by angry mobs. Political dissent? Incendiary opinions? Just plain crazy? Bring it on.”

On Monday, Google would not explicitly rebut the idea that it had been tricked but said that the cause of the temporary blockage appeared to be elsewhere. “It appears that our anti-spam filters caused some Blogger accounts to be blocked from creating new posts,” Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich said in a statement. “While we are still investigating, we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the ‘Just Say No Deal’ network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam. We have restored posting rights to the affected blogs, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression.”
Mr. Kovacevich would not give further details about Google’s spam monitoring techniques or their relationship to the Blogger service.

Some blocked bloggers have reported that their sites have suddenly become unblocked. Yet some have already moved their blogs to WordPress, a rival blogging service, and remain angry about what they call Google’s “guilty until proven innocent” policy.

“Without any notice, apology, or explanation, my posting privileges has been reinstated,” wrote the author of the blog Come a Long Way, who identifies herself as GeekLove. “Blogger’s ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach is appalling. As bloggers, it is a good thing we still have choices, and I have exercised my choice to leave Blogger and establish a new home at WordPress.”
Attempts to reach some of the anti-Obama bloggers were not immediately successful.
Carissa Snedeker, of Silver Springs, Nevada, whose Blue Lyon blog was affected by the temporary freeze, said she doesn’t buy Google’s answer and still believes that Obama supporters “flagged” her blog. Yet she is mostly upset at Google.

“What frustrated me was that Blogger didn’t give us the benefit of the doubt,” said Ms. Snedeker, adding that she has been publishing her blog for three years. “It would have taken a human five seconds to figure out we are not spam,” she said. Her blog is now hosted on WordPress

Why Are Life-Long Democrats Snubbing Obama?

Original Link: http://clintondems.com/2008/06/why-are-life-long-democrats-snubbing-obama/

By Roger Ryan

Why are life long Democrats and liberal leaning or middle of the road
American voters not going to vote for Senator Barack Obama in November,
should he become the Democratic Parties nominee? The DNC is selling that
Party unity is strong and there are no worries in November because the
Democratic Party will be completely united. The agenda driven media will
give this much more play then it deserves. We know Senator Obama has
already pulled the gender card out and told all these life long Democrats
“to just get over it” as if this entire group is only bitter women over the
age of 40. Just in case it is bigger then just women and does in fact
includes men and others peoples groups such as rural Americans, out comes
the tired ole race card yet once again as the only reason why these life
long Democrats do not want him as the Party nominee and why they will not
vote for him in November of course that would be no more true this time then
it has been any other time Obama has used his race card tactic.

The real whys have to do with the wrongs done by the DNC toward the
membership of their own Party and not all the inadequacies of Senator Obama
as a Presidential candidate or even fact that the Party is not putting
forward the one candidate that everyone since 2006 has agreed is the sure
winner to recapture the White House. All these horrible wrongs by the Party
leadership are the unifying force for all these groups of Democrats. These
same Party leaderships wrongs is the sustaining power to there PUMA style
movement’s commitment of defeating Obama and fixing there Party. It is also
what is making this movement a growing movement instead of shrinking
movement.

What the DNC and other Party elected leaders do not realize is that this is
not a just 2008 Presidential race issue but is in reality a much larger
issue and therefore a longer project and movement. The real issue is the
need for re alignment of direction within the Party leadership as a whole
that is once again a must, which most likely means a change in the Party
leadership personnel. The pushing forward of the no experience and not
ready yet Obama as the Democratic Parties Presidential nominee is just a
symptom of what is really wrong within the Party.

As these life long Democrats watched their Party leaders on May 31st 2008 in
the RBC meeting they felt they were witnessing Animal Farm come to life
before there very eyes within their own Party. While many setting in the
chairs at that meeting were in some way connected to or even part of the
struggle to make the Democratic Party a “we the people” Party. Those very
same people now as leaders have moved into the farm house and are behaving
like those they struggled against. Once again Party bosses rain like the
elite and cut deals in back rooms with indifference to we the people’s voice
so that once again not all members are given an equal voice.

Every Democratic Party leader or elected official should take note that all
these long time Democrats have found their voice and will not abandon their
Party, even those who have resigned will be back but only as united PUMA’s.
The Party must understand they will be back as Democratic Party PUMA’s with
a mission that is well thought out and action plans that are well defined to
be carried out until there Party has the corrected re alignment once again.

What this means is that the PUMA style movement will not be over even after
Senator Obama’s defeat in November. Other election years as well could be
in doubt for any candidate backed by the out of touch Party leadership. How
long and painful a process this will be is up to the current Democratic
Party leadership. The sooner they get out of the smoke filled back rooms
and remember their Party is to be the sentinels of the democratic process of
we the people the sooner these long time Democrats will let the PUMA loose
in the wild and the Democratic Party will once again capture the White House
and stay in control of congress.

Pandering to women, Barack Obama twists truth on equal pay

Original Link: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/06/24/2008-06-24_pandering_to_women_barack_obama_twists_t.html

By Carrie Lukas

For a "new" kind of politics, Barack Obama's rhetoric sounds awfully familiar. The senator from Illinois may decry his critics as practicing "old politics," yet he freely employs one of the most shopworn political tactics when pandering to women.

At an event this week in New Mexico, Obama repeated the misleading claim that "women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men," and dismissed the notion that factors other than discrimination explain the wage gap as "just totally wrong."

Yet even the organizations that champion the most aggressive government action in the name of equal pay acknowledge that most of the wage gap is a result of men and women's different choices related to work, not employment discrimination. A 2007 report from The American Association of University Women, for instance, found that most of the wage gap could be explained by factors such as employment, education and personal choices. Pay differential wasn't just the result of sexism in the workplace.

The statistic Obama repeats compares only the median wages of full-time working men with the median wages of full-time working women. It doesn't take into account different occupations by gender. Nor does it account for differences in total hours worked (Department of Labor data shows that even full-time working women spend less time in the office each day than men). Nor does it factor in years of experience (women take more time out of the workforce than men) or myriad other factors that impact compensation.

We all know from our own job searches that money isn't everything. At the event in New Mexico, Obama talked about the challenge of balancing his desire for family time with his political ambitions. Michelle Obama - who made more than a quarter of a million dollars working at Chicago hospitals in 2006, far exceeding her husband's Senate salary - has obviously had her own challenges balancing work and family. These are the kinds of choices and tradeoffs that all American families make regarding their career decisions.

No one claims that workplace sexism is nonexistent. But the flawed 77-cent statistic says nothing about discrimination's extent. What it does is encourage women to feel victimized and in need of government protection.

Obama tars those opposed to legislation called the "Fair Pay Restoration Act" as opponents of equal pay for women. That's a gross mischaracterization. Equal pay is already required by law; it has been since 1963. The Fair Pay Restoration Act would extend the time period during which an employee can bring suit against an employer for discrimination. Instead of having to take action within 180 days of a decision about compensation, employees could sue within 180 days after receiving a check related to such a decision. As a result, lawsuits could be filed decades after a compensation package was negotiated.

This longer period wouldn't discourage discriminatory behavior today - but would open the door for lawyers to unearth old grievances in pursuit of new legal fees.

Even a champion of equal pay must understand the need in employment law for balance - a middle ground between protecting the rights of employees to seek redress and the need for employers to be free from costly, frivolous litigation. It doesn't fit neatly in a campaign speech, but raising costs on employers can in fact hurt workers, including women. High employment costs reduce wages and job growth and drag down the economy.

It would be refreshing to hear a presidential candidate speak honestly about the progress women have made in America - rather than playing to false grievances. Unfortunately, Sen. Obama's "new politics" seems to be business as usual.

Barack Obama Pays Female Staffers Less

Original Link: http://clintondems.com/2008/06/barack-obama-pays-female-staffers-less/

While Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has vowed to make pay equity for women a top priority if elected president, an analysis of his Senate staff shows that women are outnumbered and out-paid by men.

That is in contrast to Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s Senate office, where women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men.

Obama spoke in Albuquerque, N.M. last week about his commitment to the issue and his support of a Senate bill to make it easier to sue an employer for pay discrimination.

“Mr. McCain is an honorable man, we respect his service. But when you look at our records and our plans on issues that matter to working women, the choice could not be clearer,” Obama told the audience in New Mexico, a voter-swing state. “It starts with equal pay. Sixty-two percent of working women in America earn half or more than of their family’s income. But women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2008. You’d think that Washington would be united it its determination to fight for equal pay.”

He continued, saying that he is proud to have supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would extend the limit on how long an employee can wait before suing an employer for pay discrimination.

The legislation was named after Lilly Ledbetter, who was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Ala. She sued for pay discrimination before retiring after 19 years because she had made $6,500 less per year than the lowest paid male supervisor.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out her case, saying she waited too long to file a complaint. The court said that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employee must sue within 180 days of a decision regarding pay if alleged discrimination is involved. The bill sought to change the law, but Democrats could not muster the needed 60 votes to override a Republican filibuster.

Obama voted for the equal pay litigation bill in April. McCain was campaigning that day and did not vote. But he has expressed opposition to the legislation, fearing it would open the door to too much litigation.

On average, women working in Obama’s Senate office were paid at least $6,000 below the average man working for the Illinois senator. That’s according to data calculated from the Report of the Secretary of the Senate, which covered the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007. Of the five people in Obama’s Senate office who were paid $100,000 or more on an annual basis, only one — Obama’s administrative manager — was a woman.

The average pay for the 33 men on Obama’s staff (who earned more than $23,000, the lowest annual salary paid for non-intern employees) was $59,207. The average pay for the 31 women on Obama’s staff who earned more than $23,000 per year was $48,729.91. (The average pay for all 36 male employees on Obama’s staff was $55,962; and the average pay for all 31 female employees was $48,729. The report indicated that Obama had only one paid intern during the period, who was a male.)

McCain, an Arizona senator, employed a total of 69 people during the reporting period ending in the fall of 2007, but 23 of them were interns. Of his non-intern employees, 30 were women and 16 were men. After excluding interns, the average pay for the 30 women on McCain’s staff was $59,104.51. The 16 non-intern males in McCain’s office, by comparison, were paid an average of $56,628.83.

In Campaign, One Man's Pragmatism Is Another's Flip-Flopping

Original Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/27/AR2008062703226.html

By Jonathan Weisman

Last February, in the heat of the Democratic primary campaign, Sen. Barack Obama proclaimed himself "proud to stand" with Sens. Christopher J. Dodd, Russell Feingold and "a grass-roots movement of Americans" in opposition to President Bush's demand to offer telecommunications companies legal amnesty for assisting in federal warrantless wiretapping.

This week, Dodd (D-Conn.), Feingold (D-Wis.) and those same grass roots were still manning the barricades when the Senate revisited legislation governing surveillance of terrorism suspects. But the senator from Illinois was not, instead backing a new compromise that offers some additional limitations on spying but effectively grants the legal protections to phone companies he opposed just four months ago.

The switch is not without precedent. On a variety of issues, including gun control and campaign finance regulation, the presumptive Democratic nominee has shown himself willing to settle for incremental changes in the face of political reality rather than to hold out for the sweeping and uncompromising positions he initially stakes out.

To Republicans, those shifts represent classic political flip-flops, and after this week's Supreme Court ruling overturning the District gun ban, Obama's decision to opt out of public financing for the general election and his backing of the wiretapping compromise, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain and his allies have come down hard.

"It does seem to reflect a willingness . . . to change on positions, to be more liberal in the primary, to moving more conservative in the general election," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). "I guess I should welcome that, but it looks like, to me, either inexperience or incredible flip-flopping."

Obama allies see his malleability as willingness to compromise in pursuit of longer-term goals, a contrast to the Arizona Republican's often quixotic opposition to measures that represent smaller steps toward a goal but don't meet his broader, often rigid, goals.

"Those who accomplish the most are those who don't make the perfect the enemy of the good," said former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle, a key Obama supporter. "Barack is a pragmatist. In that sense, he has a larger vision but oftentimes knows that we can't get there with one legislative effort. When these occasions arise, he is willing to accept progress, even marginal gain, as a step toward that vision."

But even some who should be his core constituents -- in the Democratic Party's progressive wing and the liberal blogosphere -- have taken his recent maneuvers as a wake-up call. They are warning the senator that in his quest to reach voters in the middle of the political spectrum, he risks depressing the enthusiasm of the voters who clinched the nomination for him.

"American voters tend to reward politicians who take clear stands," said David Sirota, a former Democratic aide on Capitol Hill and author of the new populist-themed book "The Uprising." "When Obama takes these mushy positions, it could speak to a character issue. Voters that don't pay a lot of attention look at one thing: 'Does the guy believe in something?' They may be saying the guy is afraid of his own shadow."

To be sure, McCain has been castigated for his own flip-flops, on President Bush's tax cuts, offshore oil drilling and terrorist detention and interrogation policies. Today, he will have to confront his own waffling when he addresses the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and has to explain whether he still supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants as part of a comprehensive immigration policy overhaul or his more recent stand that the citizenship issue can be addressed only after the U.S. border is sealed.

But Sirota says there is a difference between McCain's temporizing and Obama's. When McCain changes positions, he speaks of his new position firmly and resolutely, while Obama shifts with more nuance.

Last week, realizing that he had the potential to raise more money than any candidate in modern history, Obama set aside his career-long support of public financing of elections to become the first presidential candidate to opt out of taxpayer assistance for the general election since the funding system was put in place after Watergate. The move "reinforced every bad thing wrong with politics," Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a McCain ally, said on "Meet the Press."

During his primary battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Obama was unequivocal in his demands to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, but since wrapping up the nomination, he has sent signals to Wall Street downplaying his interest in reopening the trade deal, labor allies complain.

During a February debate, Obama passed up the chance to say the District of Columbia's handgun ban violated the Constitution, hinting that is could coexist with an individual's right to bear arms. But when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional on Thursday, he hailed the decision as "much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

Other recent legislative stands have provided a study in contrasts, as both men seek to claim the title of "reformer" in the White House race. Although McCain aides this week labeled Obama "Dr. No" for his stand against offshore oil drilling, it has been Obama who has gone with the crowd while McCain has been swept aside by overwhelming Senate majorities.

In June, by a vote of 80 to 14, the Senate overrode Bush's veto of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, a measure backed by Obama as a sensible step forward and denounced by McCain as a profligate continuation of farm policy in need of reform. Just 12 Republicans backed McCain's position.

Last November, by a vote of 79 to 14, the Senate trounced Bush's veto of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. Obama embraced the bill, not only for its funding of the Illinois Waterway System -- a crucial inland shipping channel for his state -- but also for long-sought environmental controls and outside reviews of Army Corps of Engineers navigation, flood-control and recreation projects. McCain condemned it as laden with pork.

In 2005, McCain was one of only six Republicans to oppose a GOP-authored energy bill that pumped $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks to oil and gas, "clean coal," ethanol, solar and wind power. Republicans hailed it as a boost to energy production, especially for the kind of offshore exploration that McCain now trumpets. But Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) denounced it as "a pork-laden, lobbyist-driven dream." Obama voted for it.

Obama has shown himself to be not so much a "post-partisan" politician as a "post-polarizing" politician, projecting moderation in an era of political warfare, said Ross Baker, a political scientist and congressional scholar at Rutgers University. McCain, on the other hand, is the party scold -- "sort of tilting at windmills" and putting a "guilt trip on the rest of us because we know he's right," said former Senate majority leader Trent Lott.

"You've had enough evidence that there's no doubt, at least as I view the two senators, who is the reformer," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who has often opposed McCain on key legislative votes. "McCain is an agent for change."

But after eight years of Bush's uncompromising approach to the issues, Obama aides say they believe he can turn his subtler approach to his advantage.

"It's a shoot-from-the hip proposition to me," House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) said of McCain's approach. "He starts out with the germ of an idea and doesn't follow through with any detail."

"After eight years of ideology driving decision making, is pragmatism reform? Yes, it is," said an Obama adviser in Chicago.

Obama Is Fascism

Original Link: http://www.rense.com/general82/pbmm.htm

By Bruce Marshall

Recently the esteemed Paul Craig Roberts penned a rather atrocious display of political illiteracy and impotence when he came out supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama for President. After devoting half of the article to a decent analysis of Obama's obscene genuflections to the Israel and AIPAC, Roberts reverses his critique in midstream to devote the rest of the article to the promotion of Obama, who he feels represents an antidote to the Bush years and the Republicans. What is this all about?

The are a number of fallacies inherent in Robert's capitulation which reflect his lack of understanding of the true nature of the danger that we face as regards the Obama campaign and who is behind it. That Mr. Roberts joins what is a rather mutinous rabble is perhaps not surprising when one considers his resume as a well seated economist with numerous think tanks over the years including the Hoover Institute and other repositories of right wing, anti-American uber-capitalists such as the libertine Cato Institute. The most notable indication of Robert's pedigree is his roots with the Mont Pelerin Society. It is the Mont Pelerin Society, which is the headquarters of the Austrian School of Economics, repositories devoted to promoting the work of von Hayek and von Mises as post World War II apologist for the austerity policies of fascism. From the spawn of the Austrian school arouse the libertarian kook Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics. The Chicago School is in essence a Rockefeller operation which provides intellectual cover for Wall Street's looting practices sanctioned by a programmatic destruction of government as political policy.

It is Barak Obama who is now the anointed political representative of the Rockefeller/ Trilateralists and the whole Chicago School . This is most directly displayed through his political advisor Professor Austin Goolsbee, a member of Skull and Bones which figuratively characterizes the fruits of such policies which advocates free trade as the cover for anti-national piracy operations on the high seas of international finance. Along with Goolsbee who represents a modification of the radical 'free market' blather of the Chicago School through the adaptation of various new trends that treat people as animals, to be 'noodged' in a certain direction through the application of behaviorist principle applied to macro economics. This is now called "Noodgenomics". Of course we have to mention the sick George Soros as the hit man pouring millions into the Obama campaign. Soros the speculator and looter, it should be noted sold out other Jews with his father during World War II for the Nazis in a time that he considers the greatest years of his life. This resembles his heavy investment portfolio in Halliburton as he funded the 'moveon.org' Bush protection outfit for the subversion of Democratic Party opposition. Of course neither Repbulicans nor Democrats as a whole excoriate the despicable leach Soros for being the speculative pirate that he is. Rather he is sadly revered and allowed to wreck havoc on the world now through Obama.

As one who has done a commendable and exemplary job in critiquing the Bush Administration's imperialism as a former Reagan Administration official, Roberts sudden endorsement of Obama represents a profound strategic misunderstanding. This misunderstanding, which is endemic on the left and right, is a blindness to the fact that Obama represents the new face of imperialism of a strain for more dangerous than the overt neocons. The geopolitical matrix with which Obama resides and is the bait with which to envelope the world is that of his mentor and advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. The world according to Brzezinski, which matches that of his Rockefeller sponsors, is one that is not complete until the potentiality for powerful nation states, such as Russian and China are completely emasculated. This follows precisely script written by British geopolitics and the playing of the "Great Game' for colonialist exploitation of capital both human and mineral..

The destruction of national sovereignty including that of a strong United States has been the mission of the 'Free Traders" whose tradition is that of British imperialism, intellectually promulgated by such outlets as the Mount Pelerin Society and the Cato Institute for the advancement of feudalism. While Roberts and the left excoriate Bush, one must realize that the foreign policy of the lame duck Bush Administration has been taken over by the "Principals Committee" and is engaging in Brzezinski/Obama bombing campaigns against Pakistan. Thus we are seeing 'Obama-ism' in action already!

It was Obama in July of 2007 that called for the unilateral U.S. bombing of Pakistan , at a time when Bush, Hillary Clinton and McCain were against such insanity. Now the U.S. is bombing Pakistan . This is pure Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama's mentor and godfather advisor. Brzezinski is perfectly mad with millions of dead bodies on his resume. The true implications of this geopolitical 'grand chessboard' are betrayed by his track record and alliances with evil, ranging from the creation of Al Qaeda to deference to Pol Pot. Brzezinski is a master at burying his plans in his masterfully deceptive books which are accepted as benign by the left and anti-imperilists like Roberts. Brzezinski's deceptions though do not get past leaders like Vladimir Putin who see through the charade, as it was Putin who said he will resist all plans like those that come from the like of Brzezinski that would carve Russia into four different nations. The destruction of Russia is what has always been the aim of this Polish aristocrat, the rest of the world be damned.

This fits in with Brzezinski's motivation for bombing Pakistan as called for by Barack and now being carried out under the cover of the Bush Administration. Pakistan of course is a country larger than Iran and who has already has thermonuclear weapons. This is part of a general strategy of destabilization against allies of China which Pakistan is. Destabilization of Russia and China is required by the Wall Street and London because such nations represent the capability of a revival of the world wide economic system against the bankrupt hegemony of bankrupt speculative paper that is the fueling the hyperinflation of food and oil. Under Obama, talks with Iran can only mean a strategy of appeasement to thus employ Iran against Russia by exploiting old ethnic based grievances. Brzezinski's methods are those of inciting the conditions for irregular warfare to so breed endless strive.

Under Obama the new face of imperialism will engage in provocations that could well see the sending of U.S and coalition troops to Africa and elsewhere under the cover of humanitarianism and human rights. The prospect of Obama duly bringing the troops back from Iraq is highly dubious. Where has Obama's opposition to Bush been? He votes for the war's funding, calls for further adventurism and accepts the whole blowback thesis of left as regards 9/11 which fuels the continuation of this phony war on terror. Thankfully Paul Craig Roberts does not accept the whole blowback copout of the Bush protecting left.

What we might well see with Obama is the reinstitution of the draft to make up for his call for more troops. In reality he will not have to because his disastrous economic policies will continue to make the military the last social safety net for many lower class Americans. With Obama he will need more troops to promote imperialism, under the guise of humanitarianism. Look for American troops to go to Africa . This will be part of the drive for war against China , attack the Sudan and kick the Chinese out and replace them with American colonialists. It is Obama, of African decent, who becomes the perfect foil for the west to further loot Africa for the needs of 'primitive accumulation' for the capitalist sector, rather than economic development and progress.

Development and progress is what is needed to deal with the world wide economic collapse. Dirigist measures which create the environment for true economic investment in the physical economy based on the development and creativity of labor, as opposed to the present system that is a parasitic and has created the present speculative nightmare, is needed at this time, in concert with other nations devoted to promoting the general welfare of their populations. This is the American System of Economics based on the precepts of the Constitution Curiously enough John McCain's call for the building of 45 nuclear power plants in the Untied States thus for represents exactly the type of commitment towards investment in the future and the general welfare that is required to counter the economic collapse through such positive investment. That sets the real debate right there.

What Roberts has done, with his begrudging endorsement of Obama, is to fall prey to the strategy of the Obama campaign to use Bush as the target with which to mobilize the masses that are indeed hungry for change. The sadness inherent in Roberts's mistake is that it is precisely Obama and the Democrats who have been Bush's greatest allies, funding the war and opposing impeachment for political purposes, rather than acting from a position of principle and duty against the very tyranny against our Constitution. The Democrats are just as guilty and Mr. Roberts know it. Rather than fall into such a trap, Roberts should first recognize that Obama is not the presumptive nominee. It is not until August at the convention and the roll call vote if it is allowed that the nominee is officially chosen.

We must all know that in essence Obama can not win a general election without the help of scandal. Rest assured the Republican 527s are already fueled up with an arsenal of Obama scandals, which are breaking out already with the possibility of convincing the people of the Democratic Party to fight against this post modern coup being funded by Soros and maneuvered by Dean and Brazille in the Democratic Party and in the left faction of the mainstream media. While Obama's will lose a general election, the Democrats will gain in Congress and as such would be able to override McCain in a number of areas. I do not endorses McCain, but rather the emergence of true debate and leadership that is needed to deal with the world wide financial meltdown crisis of which the imperialism that Roberts has opposed under Bush is the in fact that very outcome of 'free market' oligarchic capitalism that groups like the Mont Pelerin Society promote.

Hopefully Mr. Roberts might recognize his folly and reevaluate the danger inherent in an Obama nomination. Lest reader's think that I am an advocate of McCain, realize that such a reaction is precisely the reaction mode that reflects the manipulated debate that cripples our nation at this time of crisis. Do not be fooled for Obama is the face of post modern fascism; Obama has a popular movement based on emotionalism that Bush never had. All Bush had was fear, fear and intimidation to put in place all the machinations of a police state. Do we want an Obama Presidency with all the powers of the Unitary Executive, etc. to thus have complete power with his own party in the majority in Congress? This would be very dangerous. Remember Hitler and Mussolini started out on the left and were financed into prominence by international banking interests as is Obama today.

The danger with Mr. Roberts' pronouncement is that many will swallow it whole, especially those on the left who have clutched onto Roberts criticism of the Bush because of the paucity of true opposition coming from the left. This sad reality is indicative of the left's obsession with an attack on Iran . The fact of the matter is that an attack on Iran is mainly a rhetorical show of bravado by the deposed neocons. Bush and the neocons are lame ducks, if an attack on Iran was to have happened it would have happened last September but was averted potentially by the Kennebunkport Warning and the subsequent prevention of the hijacking of the nuclear weapons laden "Rogue B-52". Sure Israel may try some sort of attack over the next coming weeks and I do not underestimate the crazyness of the neocons, but by all indications the Principals Committee which is cleaning ship in the military is in control, not Bush. The danger again is the hoopla of an attack on Iran by Bush helps the Obama campaign in its saying that McCain is the same as Bush. This of course is not true, but McCain who would face a Democratic majority in Congress is a lame duck President from day one.

The issue now is to wake people up to the fact that we need a convention not a coronation in the once Democratic Party and a real debate on the issues of which the scandals around Obama, from murder and corruption to drug use, and militant racism as promulgated by his foundation funded partners such as the Ford Foundation funded Weather Underground terrorists and such dubious figures as Farrakhan, all must be examined in full as regards anyone who could have their finger on the thermonuclear trigger.

Press Think Obama's Flip-flops Make Him a Great Politician

Original Link: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2008/06/29/press-think-obamas-flip-flops-make-him-great-politician

By Noel Sheppard

For the second week in a row, CNN's Howard Kurtz, while hosting Sunday's "Reliable Sources," seemed absolutely befuddled by the media's lack of interest in reporting presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign flip-flops.

Last week, it was the junior senator's change of heart concerning public campaign finances. This Sunday, it was Obama's curious reversal on handguns.

After two weeks, Kurtz finally got his answer: the press think flip-flopping makes Obama a great politician. I kid you not:

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Let me move on to the Supreme Court decision this week knocking down as unconstitutional the D.C. handgun ban. Now, this is fascinating.

"The Chicago Tribune," last November, Obama aides said on this very issue that Obama believed that the D.C. gun ban was constitutional, was fine. The morning of the Supreme Court decision, an Obama press aide says, well, that was inartful, an inartful comment. Actually, Obama thinks that the District of Columbia went too far with this gun ban.

Why isn't the press all over him on this?

Why indeed? However, listen to some of these excuses:

CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": There's no video. I mean, that's the main reason.

If you had him in a debate saying, "I love the D.C. handgun ban," and then him saying on camera now, "Oh, actually, I'm OK with this decision," that would be everywhere, just like with the public financing issue. I mean, he said it multiple times, that he was (INAUDIBLE) John McCain and didn't. So, the fact that there's no video, this doesn't become as big of a story.

There's no video? Press members need video to report something?

Luckily, Kurtz wasn't buying it:

KURTZ: I'm sure that's a factor, but is there also an ideological factor? Conservative bloggers, as you would expect, have been all over Obama on this for flip-flopping. And liberal bloggers have largely been silent.

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORKER": They should be. And this isn't the first time he's changed his position on guns, or there's been an apparent contradiction.

He filled out a questionnaire in 1996 when he was first running for office saying that he wanted all guns to be banned. Now, the campaign has said he didn't see that questionnaire, a staffer filled it out. All right? So this is the second time that a staffer has sort of been blamed for explaining his gun position. And the danger is that this -- that the narrative changes about Obama.

We now have two very recent examples of him changing his mind on very important issues, one on campaign finance and one on guns. And the huge danger is that his brand, this sort of independent change -- you know, the guy who wants to change politics -- is -- that brand is getting diluted.

KURTZ: But if you look at some of the headlines a couple of days later, "The New York Times," "A Pragmatist Shift Towards the Center." "LA. Times," "Obama Shifting Toward the Center." "The Washington Post" did used the "FF" word, "One Man's Shift is Another's Flip- Flopping."

It doesn't seem to me that the press is doing what it usually does, which is to calling candidates out when they flip from a primary position to a general election position.

ROGER SIMON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, I think Obama has decided he wants to be a different kind of Democrat, one who actually wins. And he is selling I think somewhat artfully to the press the notion that America has been in trouble because we follow these dogmatic ideological positions rather than following some kind of reasonable pragmatism.
Yes, Roger, that's what he's selling. However, the question Kurtz has been asking for two weeks is why are you supposedly impartial members of the press not only buying it, but also abetting it?

Pay attention to Simon's reason:

SIMON: When he talks about Iraq, he says, look, we're in Iraq not because we had a pragmatic reason to invade, but because neocons in the Bush administration wanted to invade. I'm going to be the kind of kind of candidate who judges things based on their merits.

Has he flip-flopped? Yes, he has. What helps him a little bit is that John McCain has done similar flip-flops.
Wow. So, it's okay for Obama to flip-flop because we're at war in Iraq? Talk about your Bush Derangement Syndrome:

KURTZ: Some other stories, Christian, said McCain accuses Obama of flip-flopping, most recently on this gun ban. But then the journalists don't go the next step to help us sort it out -- well, is that true or not? Is there some evidence of that or not?

BELLANTONI: Well, and it's this back-and-forth talking point. I mean, but the problem with Obama is he also -- he'll say -- if you call him on this, he'll say it's a distraction that doesn't help the American people with an issue. But...

KURTZ: Since when does that deter reporters? And why aren't they calling him on it?

BELLANTONI: It shouldn't. It shouldn't.

KURTZ: You're saying he has a way of kind of waving it away?

BELLANTONI: Absolutely. And he also -- FISA is another example with the eavesdropping bill. I mean, he said one thing, said he would do one thing, and he didn't. And...
Wait for it, folks, because this next statement is nothing less than astounding:

LIZZA: Here's the test of a great politician. If you do something political, does the press call you on that and criticize you, or do they say, what a great political move that was? And with Obama right now, the press is calling him a great politician.
Well, folks, you've now been introduced to the new media meme that will allow Barack Obama to say whatever he wants whenever he wants with total impunity: flip-flopping makes him a great politician.

Any questions?

Is Obama turning out to be just another politician?

Original Link: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/42361.html

By Margaret Talev

WASHINGTON — From the beginning, Barack Obama's special appeal was his vow to remain an idealistic outsider, courageous and optimistic, and never to shift his positions for political expediency, or become captive of the Inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia, or kiss up to special interests and big money donors.

In recent weeks, though, Obama has done all those things.

He abandoned public campaign financing after years of championing it. Backed a compromise on wiretap legislation that gives telecom companies retroactive immunity for helping the government conduct spying without warrants. Dumped his controversial pastor of two decades — then his church — after saying he could no more abandon the pastor than abandon his own grandmother.

He said he wouldn't wear the U.S. flag pin because it had become a substitute for true patriotism, then started wearing it. Ramped up his courtship of unions. Shifted from a pledge to protect working-class families from tax increases to a far more expensive promise not to raise taxes on families that earn up to $250,000 a year. Turned to longtime D.C. Democratic wise men to run his vice-presidential search and staff his foreign-policy brain trust.

Presidential candidates often tack toward the center after securing their party's nominations. But all this tactical repositioning by Obama suggests that he's a more complex, pragmatic and arguably more opportunistic politician than the fresh face of "change we can believe in" that he presented during the primary season.

On Thursday the campaign of Republican John McCain, who's changed his own stances on tax cuts, immigration reform, offshore oil drilling and more, attacked Obama's recent shifts, suggesting that the Illinois Democrat looks especially hypocritical given his insistence that he's not like conventional politicians.

In New Hampshire, interviews this week with voters suggested that they aren't paying much attention. Even those who've taken notice generally said their enthusiasm for Obama isn't dampened.

"My support is still strong," said David Christie, 20. "And I don't think folks my age will turn on him if he keeps doing things like that. Folks my age are excited, and that's not going to die because of a couple of decisions."

Ellen Nielsen, a New Hampshire legislator, said, "Rejecting public financing does seem kind of cynical, but for someone who wants to be president, if you aspire to that job I guess you have to do it. I don't expect him to be a moral paragon. You don't get to where he is if you are."

In Illinois, fellow politicians and civic activists who watched Obama as a state lawmaker say he's a political realist who pivots when he needs to, but can be counted on to follow through on big promises.

"You have to run two different types of campaigns, one to attract the primary population, one to attract the general population," said state Sen. Terry Link, a Democrat. But Link said, "If they're trying to make him a Washingtonite, I would never believe he's going to be a Washingtonite."

Cynthia Canary, the executive director of Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a reform group, said: "We always should have been aware that there was a flip side to Sen. Obama being on such a tall pedestal. Sen. Obama has never been anything but human. In a way, we have done him a disservice by creating this rock and roll mythology around him."

Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe, while not acknowledging any flip-flops on Obama's part, said "we see no evidence" of frustration among voters. Polls show no impact from Obama's shifts.

Obama's aides dismiss criticism of his shifts as misunderstandings of his original positions, or merit-based decisions that Obama had never ruled out.

Indeed, Obama's positions are often nuanced.

He surprised some legal observers this week when he disagreed with the Supreme Court and said the death penalty should be applicable to child rapists — putting him on the side of conservative jurists led by Antonin Scalia and against the more liberal five-member court majority.

In the past, Obama's opposed the death penalty for gang offenses and pushed reforms in Illinois to protect against executing the innocent. But in his 2006 memoir "The Audacity of Hope," he said that some crimes such as "mass murder, the rape and murder of a child" are heinous enough to warrant "the ultimate punishment."

Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn.org, said that the liberal group's members disagree with Obama over giving retroactive immunity to telecoms as part of the wiretap reforms. Nevertheless, he said, they continue to support Obama because "fundamentally, he's still running a campaign that's based on both progressive and mainstream principles," from ending the war in Iraq to making health care coverage universal.

"Is he standing up for a progressive world view? Fighting for a new vision for foreign policy? As long as our members are feeling he is, we're happy to let other people argue about the flag pin," Pariser said.

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the publisher of the liberal blog Daily Kos, called the wiretap compromise a "really craven flip-flop" meant to immunize Obama against efforts to paint him as weak on national security.

But he defended Obama's withdrawal from public financing as legitimate because Republicans aren't committed to curbing independent attack ad spending.

Dumping Rev. Wright and the church was a flip-flop, he said, but an understandable one given the intense — and one-sided — media coverage of the flap.

Moulitsas admitted that he worries a lot about whether he can count on Obama to stay committed to quick troop withdrawals from Iraq. It's not that Obama has given him any cues to that effect, he said, but rather that, "He's a politician, and things change with politicians, at the end of the day."

Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, said that while Obama might be shaking the faith of some idealists with some of his shifts, politically "he's probably doing the smart thing."

This year's election is more likely to be decided on Iraq and the economy, Pitney said, adding: "This is the transition between a fantasy campaign and a real campaign. In a fantasy campaign you are in the clouds and never compromise. In a real campaign, you compromise."

Candidates have often done that, of course, but in earlier times "you didn't have YouTube," Pitney said. "The record of candidate statements is a lot more detailed and complete than it was 40 years ago."

(David Lightman contributed to this report from New Hampshire. Steven Thomma contributed from Washington.)

Obama Undercuts His Brand

Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/28/obama-undercuts-his-brand_n_109758.html

Sen. Barack Obama is risking his brand as a political reformer, according to reports today in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. In recent weeks, he has moderated or changed positions on a number of politically-charged issues, leading to criticism from demoralized Democratic activists and charges of "flip-flopping" from conservatives.

The Times reports:

In recent weeks, he toughened his stance on Iran and backed an expansion of the government's wiretapping powers. On Wednesday, he said states should be allowed to execute child rapists. When the Supreme Court the next day struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, he did not complain...

..."I've been struck by the speed and decisiveness of his move to the center," said Will Marshall, president of the centrist Progressive Policy Institute...

...And Obama endorsed a compromise wiretapping bill despite stiff opposition from liberal activists. MoveOn.org, the liberal online activist group, asked its members to flood Obama's campaign office with phone calls and e-mails urging him to support a filibuster of the bill.

The changes carry some risk that Obama will diminish the image he has sought to build as a new type of leader who will change how Washington conducts business. McCain and other Republicans have used his recent policy statements to argue that Obama is a traditional politician, unwilling to take clear stands on tough issues and abandoning his principles when he finds it advantageous.

The Post reports that those who should be his strongest supporters are taking this as a wake-up call:

The switch is not without precedent. On a variety of issues, including gun control and campaign finance regulation, the presumptive Democratic nominee has shown himself willing to settle for incremental changes in the face of political reality rather than to hold out for the sweeping and uncompromising positions he initially stakes out.

But even some who should be his core constituents -- in the Democratic Party's progressive wing and the liberal blogosphere -- have taken his recent maneuvers as a wake-up call. They are warning the senator that in his quest to reach voters in the middle of the political spectrum, he risks depressing the enthusiasm of the voters who clinched the nomination for him.

"American voters tend to reward politicians who take clear stands," said David Sirota, a former Democratic aide on Capitol Hill and author of the new populist-themed book "The Uprising." "When Obama takes these mushy positions, it could speak to a character issue. Voters that don't pay a lot of attention look at one thing: 'Does the guy believe in something?' They may be saying the guy is afraid of his own shadow."

Katie Couric: Sexist Media Hurt Hillary Clinton's Chances

Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/11/katie-couric-sexist-media_n_106595.html

Adding to her comments last night in Washington — "that Sen. Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I've ever seen" — Katie Couric has filmed a Keith Olbermann-style special commentary (called ner "Notebook") slamming the media for its sexist coverage of Hillary Clinton and claiming that the sexist coverage hurt her chances at becoming the Democratic party nominee. The Notebook will air tonight on CBS affiliates and on CBS radio, and will live on CBSNews.com.

"One of the great lessons of [Hillary Clinton's] campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media....It isn't just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season — it's all the people who crossed the line, and all the women and men who let them get away with it."

Couric's reference in the video to "mainstream pundits saying they instinctively cross their legs at the mention of her name" is specifically about Tucker Carlson, who often made such a claim while still on MSNBC during the campaign.

Last night, without naming names, Couric seemed to excoriate both MSNBC's Chris Matthews — who has come under fire for sexist remarks against Hillary Clinton — and NBC's Lee Cowan — who reportedly said he found it "hard to stay objective" covering Obama — saying, "That's your job...find another line of work." Matthews notoriously announced that he "felt [a] thrill going up [his] leg" while listening to Obama speak, and was forced to apologize for sexist remarks against Clinton in January.

Pantsuits and the Presidency

Original Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/opinion/22pubed.html?pagewanted=print

By CLARK HOYT

SOME supporters of Hillary Clinton believe that sexism colored news coverage of her presidential campaign. The Times reported in a front-page article on June 13 that many are proposing boycotts of cable news networks and that a “Media Hall of Shame” has been created by the National Organization for Women.

The Times itself, however, was barely mentioned, even though two of its Op-Ed columnists, Maureen Dowd and William Kristol, were named in the Hall of Shame.

Peggy Aulisio of South Dartmouth, Mass., said, “A real review of your own stories and columns is warranted.” I think so too. And I think a fair reading suggests that The Times did a reasonably good job in its news articles. But Dowd’s columns about Clinton’s campaign were so loaded with language painting her as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, Kristol, who made the Hall of Shame for a comment on Fox News, not for his Times work.

“I’ve been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,” Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. She often refers to Barack Obama as “Obambi” and has said he has a “feminine” management style. But the relentless nature of her gender-laden assault on Clinton — in 28 of 44 columns since Jan. 1 — left many readers with the strong feeling that an impermissible line had been crossed, even though, as Dowd noted, she is a columnist who is paid not to be objective.

Over the course of the campaign, I received complaints that Times coverage of Clinton included too much emphasis on her appearance, too many stereotypical words that appeared to put her down and dismiss a woman’s potential for leadership and too many snide references to her as cold or unlikable. When I pressed for details, the subject often boiled down to Dowd.

Andrew Rosenthal, the editor of the editorial page, said it was unfair to hold a columnist accountable for perceptions of bias in news coverage. A columnist is supposed to present strong opinions, he said, and “a thorough reading of Maureen’s work shows that she does that without regard to gender, partisanship or ideology.”

Some complaints about Times news coverage seem justified. A “Political Memo” last fall analyzed “the Clinton Cackle” — a laugh, it was suggested, that she used to fend off political attacks or tough media attention. Cackle? That’s what witches do in fairy tales. Times editors express regret about using the word, though they defend the examination of the laugh. The Times never did a similar dissection of the way Rudolph Giuliani burst into odd gales of laughter under tough questioning.

But other complaints seemed to reflect a shoot-the-messenger anger at The Times. A reader from San Francisco railed against a litany of offending words that she said the paper had used, but most of the slights were imagined. (I can assure you that the word “skank” was never printed in an article about Clinton.)

I asked my assistant, Michael McElroy, to run a database search for some key words that might indicate sexism in The Times — “shrill,” “strident,” “pantsuit” and “giggle,” among them. I also asked Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who has written on women and leadership and is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, to take a look at articles turned up by the search or that readers had complained about.

Jamieson found some things to criticize, but she said, “If one is creating a comparative continuum, The New York Times is not on the sexist, stereotypical high end.” She put the paper “on the careful end.” Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, said the group’s content studies showed that The Times was better than the media generally at balancing assertions that Clinton was not likable.

Jamieson noted the occasional “improbably blue pantsuit” or “no-nonsense pantsuit,” and said such terms would never be used to describe a man’s clothing. She pointed to one article that said Clinton “shouted” into a microphone — an example, she said, from a vocabulary of negative words applied to women speaking in public that are seldom if ever used to describe men.

She said that she was more concerned about references that, consciously or unconsciously, seemed to cast doubt on Clinton as a serious leader, like a sentence in an article last month that said Clinton “may not have passed the commander in chief test” with voters. Jamieson said that majorities of voters in The Times’s own polls thought Clinton could be an effective commander in chief. She suspected that a bias within The Times that Clinton could not be an effective leader of the military allowed the sentence to slip through. But Jodi Kantor, the reporter, said she was referring to the fact that, although neither Clinton nor Obama had military experience, far more voters doubted her ability to be commander in chief than his.

Richard Stevenson, the editor in charge of campaign coverage, said, “We should have parsed the polling on this a little more closely,” but he denied that newsroom sexism was involved. He said editors know that they are accused of having “embedded assumptions” and try to filter them out.

Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, said that as the highest-ranking woman in the newsroom, she thinks a lot about the potential for sexism in coverage and looks to eliminate gratuitous references to a woman’s appearance or voice without “being so politically correct that you interfere with a reporter’s descriptive voice.”

Politically correct is never a term one would apply to Dowd’s commentary. Her columns this year said Clinton’s “message is unapologetically emasculating,” and that she “needed to prove her masculinity” but in the end “had to fend off calamity by playing the female victim.” In one column Dowd wrote, “She may want to take a cue from the Miss America contest: make a graceful, magnanimous exit and wait in the wings.”

“From the time I began writing about politics,” Dowd said, “I have always played with gender stereotypes and mined them and twisted them to force the reader to be conscious of how differently we view the sexes.” Now, she said, “you are asking me to treat Hillary differently than I’ve treated the male candidates all these years, with kid gloves.”

Aulisio, the reader who wanted a review of Times coverage, asked if a man could have gotten away with writing what Dowd wrote. Rosenthal said that if the man had written everything Dowd had written over the years and established himself as a sardonic commentator on the sexes, “I’d say the answer is yes.”

Of course, there is no such man, and I do not think another one could have used Dowd’s language. Even she, I think, by assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms in column after column, went over the top this election season.

Dowd "Went Over the Top" in Clinton Coverage

Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/23/nyt-public-editor-dowd-we_n_108630.html

In an article on media sexism in the Democratic primary, NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt singles out Maureen Dowd's columns as deserving more scrutiny:

Peggy Aulisio of South Dartmouth, Mass., said, "A real review of your own stories and columns is warranted." I think so too. And I think a fair reading suggests that The Times did a reasonably good job in its news articles. But Dowd's columns about Clinton's campaign were so loaded with language painting her as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, Kristol.

While arguing that many complaints about Times' coverage "reflect a shoot-the-messenger anger," Hoyt concludes that complaints about Dowd in particular were justified: "She, I think, by assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms in column after column, went over the top this election season."

Hey, Obama boys: Back off already!

Original Link: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/14/obama_supporters/

By Rebecca Traister

Dana Lossia, a 29-year-old labor lawyer in Brooklyn, describes herself as a "pretty big Obama supporter. " She worked for a year at Michelle Obama's Public Allies Chicago, where she met Barack a few times. She called him "the most inspiring, amazing person, a different kind of politician." Of Hillary Clinton, whom Lossia supported in her Senate runs, Lossia said, "I just think she's acted badly during this campaign."

And yet, as Lossia wrote in a recent e-mail, "I've been really bothered by what I perceive as sexism [among some male Obama supporters] and have spent hours defending [Clinton] ... A lot of guys just can't stand Hillary, and it's the intensity of their irritation with her that disturbs me more than their devotion to Obama."

This riveting Democratic primary campaign has provided us with its own stock characters: There are the young "Daily Show"-watching Obama-maniacs getting over their irony addiction by falling earnestly in love with the senator from Illinois. There are the pissed-off second-wave feminists, uptight and out of touch, howling as their dream of seeing a woman in the Oval Office fades. And then there are the young women caught between them.

According to the media script, these cool young customers have embodied their elders' worst nightmare of a generation that takes feminism's victories for granted by throwing over Hillary Clinton for her challenger faster than you can say "I've got a crush on Obama." These young women are way over feminism, we're told, and perceive gender bias to be an antiquated notion. They are embarrassed and annoyed by the public entreaties of warhorses like Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan. Pressure from their forebears only serves to alienate them from the second wave and drive them further into the disheveled embrace of the "Yes We Can!" dude down the block.

There is truth to this exaggerated electoral tableau. Young people are voting for Obama; Clinton is a troubling candidate for many women and men; and there is a sense that younger women feel more distant from second-wave feminist leaders than ever before.

Yet some female voters have begun to express nearly as much disenchantment with the Obama-mania of their peers as with their Clinton-promoting mothers. And even while they voice dismay over the retro tone of the pro-Clinton feminist whine, a growing number of young women are struggling to describe a gut conviction that there is something dark and funky, and probably not so female-friendly, running below the frantic fanaticism of their Obama-loving compatriots.

I began reporting this story in part because, as a 32-year-old woman who is more liberal than either candidate, and who was quite torn until Super Tuesday, I had found myself increasingly defensive of Clinton in the face of the Obama worship that rules the mostly white, liberal, well-educated circles in which I work and travel. I was confused by the saucer-eyed, unquestioning devotion shown by my formerly cynical cohorts, especially when it was accompanied, as it often was, by a sharp renunciation of Hillary Clinton, whose policies are so similar to her opponent's. I was horrified by the frequent proclamations that if Obama did not win the nomination, his supporters would abstain from voting in the general election, or even vote for John McCain. I was suspicious of the cultlike commitment to an undeniably brilliant and inspiring man –- but one whom even his wife calls "just a man."

I am a loud feminist and a longtime Clinton skeptic who was suddenly feeling that I needed to rationalize, apologize for, or even just stay quiet about my increasing unease with the way Clinton was being discussed. Meanwhile, I was getting e-mails from men I didn't know well who approached me as a go-to feminist to whom they could express their hatred of Hillary and their anger at her staying in the race -- an anger that seemed to build with every one of her victories. One of my closest girlfriends, an Obama voter, told me of a drink she'd had with a politically progressive man who made a series of legitimate complaints about Clinton's policies before adding that when he hears the senator's voice, he's overcome by an urge to punch her in the face.

A few weeks ago, my friend Becca O'Brien, a lawyer and policy advisor in New Orleans, visited me. She told me about her experience on the morning of the Louisiana primary. O'Brien had been openly torn between Obama and Clinton, and perhaps as a result, she received five phone calls from male friends around the country, urging her to vote for Obama. They were, she understood, just campaigning for their candidate; they didn't realize how many calls she was receiving, or that taken together, they were making her furious. As O'Brien saw it, "The presumption was that I was undecided because I was a young woman, and they could talk some sense into me if they were the last ones I spoke to before I went into the voting booth."

O'Brien told me she'd heard similar reports of irritation from female friends around the country. I asked her to send them my way, and I put out feelers on my own. Not since I wrote a story about the book "He's Just Not That Into You" have I received such a tremendous response.

The women who contacted me were almost exclusively well-educated and professional, a culturally and politically elite demographic, to be sure. But they all echoed each other in their complaints, complaints that complicate the dominant narrative about how young female voters are experiencing this presidential election.

I received e-mails and phone calls from women voicing various strains of frustration: They told me about the sexism they felt coming from their brothers and husbands and friends and boyfriends; some described the suspicion that their politically progressive partners were actually uncomfortable with powerful women. Others had to find ways to call me out of earshot of their Obama-loving boyfriends. Some women apologized for "sounding so feminist." Interviewees expressed vexation at not being able to put their finger on what it was about Obama-mania that creeped them out so badly, while maintaining a deep assuredness that something was not quite right. Perhaps most surprising was that the majority of the women I spoke to were not haters: They were Obama supporters, or at least Obama-appreciators.

Mia Bruch, 33, is a would-be Obama voter who was unable to cast a ballot on Super Tuesday due to a voting-roll snafu. A writer and editor who has a Ph.D. in American history, Bruch said that she's been politically progressive all her life but feels "a great distance" from her partisan peers, in part because of what she described as their "uncritical embrace of certain figures on the left," including Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, and now Obama. "You already see this idealistic longing projected on Obama," Bruch said. "People talk about him as a secular messiah who will bring us political salvation. There's no sense of what is plausible."

Or factual. Bruch points to healthcare as an area in which "Hillary's policy is the more politically progressive one, but this has somehow been ignored, and Obama was projected upon as the progressive redeemer. It's a political fantasy."

"If you're not taken with Obama, I suppose that the intensity of Obama supporters can be unnerving and hard to relate to," said Michelle Goldberg, the author of "Kingdom Coming" (and a former Salon staffer) and an ardent Obama supporter whom I contacted because she has written about the pressure that's been applied on young women by older feminists. "I certainly have become far more of a fanatic than I would have thought possible."

Goldberg continued, "To pass up a once-in-a-generation chance to elect a liberal intellectual who can do for the progressive movement what Reagan did for the conservative movement -– that is, to mainstream an ideology that was once considered marginal and vaguely disreputable -– would be criminal. But the intensity of that longing probably makes no sense to people who don't see the same possibility in this candidacy."

And for people who don't see the same possibility in Barack Obama, the intensity of that longing, especially when expressed by men, can sound downright suspect.

Maggie Merrill, a 31-year-old graduate student in urban studies at the University of New Orleans who works part time at New Orleans City Hall, is a Clinton supporter who told me that she will happily vote for Obama in the general election. But, she said, "There is this Obama-mania, where these young men get glassy eyes and start spitting out vague things about how Barack Obama is going to save humanity. Really, have you seen their eyes? It's this faraway look. It's scary."

I have seen that look and wondered if, in the minds of some of his adherents, the thing Barack Obama might be saving humanity from is Hillary Clinton.

There are many unpleasant realities about Clinton: She voted for the war; she has taken hawkish stances in defense of Israel; she voted to declare Iran's revolutionary guard "a terrorist organization"; she sponsored a flag-burning amendment; she has not run a great campaign, waiting until this week to fire Mark Penn; she is a Clinton. But while these are all qualities that might rightly inspire political dislike, or a withdrawal of support, they don't often incite the kind of hissing fury with which her primary run has been met. Were it her husband -– a man who has exhibited many of these same flaws (and more!) -– in the same place, he might or might not be trailing Obama, but it is hard to picture the kind of seething, violent animosity being flung at him.

When sexism is acknowledged in this primary campaign, it has been attributed to either Chris Matthews or the conservative, Rush Limbaugh, Iron My Shirt brigade. Little open recognition has been given to the possibility that there might be some gender discomfort behind the army of liberally minded Obama enthusiasts. But progressive politics has not always been female-friendly politics; '70s feminism was born partly in response to the inequities of the antiwar and civil rights movements. It's certainly possible that the youthful Obama movement has its own brand of female trouble.

O'Brien said, "With straight white male progressive friends, I feel something that makes me viscerally angry and afraid -- the viciousness of the rebuttals to the suggestion that [Obama's and Clinton's] policies are roughly equal or that Clinton's have some benefits to them, the outright dismissal of any support of her, the impossibility of having a nuanced conversation ... The whole 'Hillary Clinton is a monster' theme is so virulent."

Alex Seggerman, a 24-year-old art history Ph.D. student at Yale and an Obama voter, said, "I don't think anyone in my peer group, including my parents and my friends, would be comfortable saying, 'I'm not ready for a woman president.' They would be ostracized. Saying, 'She's had plastic surgery' or 'Her attitude is off-putting' are fine. But these are really expressions of some deeper issues with the fact that she's a woman."

"Hillary Clinton is not an attractive personality for a lot of people," said O'Brien, who noted that it's "very convenient that the same people who have a sense of discomfort with female authority they prefer not to examine" also object to her personality and record in specific terms, an antipathy they feel comfortable voicing. "What you get," said O'Brien, "is the energy of the first expressed in words of the second."

Perhaps it's because of the abundance of rational reasons to dislike Clinton -– perfect for disguising any unsightly misogynistic blemishes -– that many women described frustration at being unable to name specific instances of what they have felt as gender bias. Lossia, the Obama-supporting labor lawyer, explained that with her friends, "I've never heard them say anything where I could say, 'That's a sexist comment.' It's just that I can't understand why they hate her so much. I just have a feeling that they wouldn't be as bothered by her if she were a man. But that's very intuitive ... I think some of the guys just have some kind of visceral dislike for her." Lossia said she has asked why they despise Clinton. "People can always come up with reasons they don't like the candidate they're not supporting," she said. "But no one disliked Joe Biden or Chris Dodd as much as they dislike Hillary."

Jessica Valenti, the founder of Web site Feministing, has spent recent weeks touring colleges, including Georgetown, University of Mary Washington, University of Akron and University of Missouri. She said that before her travels, she'd been "expecting a lot more Obama craziness" on campuses. To her surprise, at almost every school she visited, young women told her, "My friends or boyfriend or father are progressive guys, but when they talk about Hillary, I feel like they're being sexist. But I can't put my finger on what it is."

Valenti continued, "Because their friends were not being specifically sexist, or saying something that was tangibly misogynistic, they were having a hard time talking about the sexism of it." Valenti confirmed that this "Feminine Mystique"-y problem that has no name was familiar to her. "I spoke to a guy friend who said, 'You're being ridiculous. I'm not not voting for her because she's a woman; I'm not voting for her because she's a bitch!' He could not see the connection between the two things at all." Valenti said he explained away his comment by declaring, "I mean 'a bitch' in the sense that she's not good on this or that issue."

Valenti has vacillated between Obama and Clinton and has not publicly revealed whom she's supporting. "But if I say something that's pro-Obama," she said, "someone will feel it's OK to say something to me that's anti-Hillary that I feel is coming from a place that's totally misogynist. The same thing happens if I say something that's pro-Hillary; someone will launch into an anti-Hillary diatribe that doesn't have anything to do with her as a politician. But because it's not explicit sexism, it makes it impossible to argue with people, because if you say something, then you're the wackadoo feminist."

Valenti continued, "I pinpoint sexism for a living. You'd think I'd be able to find an example. And I hate to rely on this hokey notion that there's some woman's way of knowing, and that I just fucking know. But I do. I just know." When it comes to feminism, she continued, so much proof is required to convince someone that sexism exists, "even when it's explicit and outrageous. So when it's subdued or subtle, you don't want to talk about it."

Not everyone feels that the chauvinism aimed at Clinton is subtle. Thirty-three-year-old actress Molly Ward said, "There is a frustration I feel professionally about how women who are ambitious are perceived as ruthless. We've made rules, we've set standards, we've put Virginia Woolf on the curriculum, and done things to make women feel it's OK to go after your dreams. But there is still this basic problem with women being criticized for ambition."

Kristen Phillips, 28, and a master's student at the University of New Orleans, said, "Sexism does not have to be 100 percent of what's going on. It might not even be 80 percent. But give me a break. It's there. Don't say that it's not there." She went on, "You would hope that people would at least realize that that's what they're saying, but they can't. It's like they don't have the vocabulary because they're so adamantly not acknowledging that that's going on. They're busy patting themselves on the back for supporting a black man: Aren't we cool?"

Perhaps it is thanks to the admitted cool factor that among educated liberal voters, the assumption is that you're for Obama, that he is the more "progressive" choice. Obama loyalty, like white masculinity itself, has become normative -– if you're not for him, you'd best be prepared to explain your deviation.

Ashley Johnson, 21, is a senior at Princeton who is undecided but leaning toward Obama. She told of a male acquaintance who questioned whether her hypothetical vote for Clinton would be "just because you are a woman and you want a woman in the White House." Said Johnson, "That doesn't give me enough credit and underestimates how much thought I've put into this."

It also prompts the question of when it became so wrong-headed to care whether a history of white male presidential privilege might be interrupted.

"If I did end up voting for Hillary, would part of me be very proud that I was voting for the first female candidate?" said Johnson. "Yes." As for her peers, Johnson continued, "I have not talked with any straight men on campus who are voting for Hillary. And a lot of the females I know are supporting Obama. I don't know if that's because they actually do support him, or if it's because they don't want to be attacked because they're female and they're leaning toward Hillary."

Eva Gruenberg, a 21-year-old senior history and political science major at the University of Pittsburgh, who is also leaning toward Obama, reported something similar on her campus, warming up for the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. She said that her fellow students are "more subtle" about their Clinton support. "I don't want to say 'quiet' about it," Gruenberg said. "I feel like the kids who are for Obama are much more into marketing and bragging about it. Hillary people are not so much into advertising it yet."

Perhaps the hesitation to throw a Hillary placard in your window is related to the fear that doing so will make you –- like Clinton herself –- a regular laughingstock.

Mia Bruch described a recent trip to Ricky's, a cosmetics shop in New York City. "The only political item was a huge stack of Hillary nutcrackers," she said. "Obviously, the play here is that she's a ball-buster. No one is making nutcracker icons of McCain or Obama." More important, no one would buy them. Ricky's cosmetic store is not selling Hillary nutcrackers for its health; it's selling them because there is a market. "People like making fun of Hillary Clinton," said Bruch simply.

"There have been nasty, dirty things said about Obama -– insinuations about his religion and coded references about his race," said Bruch. But she pointed out that to overtly mock Obama "is putting yourself at risk for being part of a long tradition of caricaturing black faces. It's a little easier to do that if you're caricaturing a woman."

Opening up the discussion of sexism inevitably leads to comparative observations about racism -- a tragic, reductive byproduct of two historical barriers having been broken in the same election year. Many young women expressed their annoyance that the competition conversation needs to take place at all. O'Brien explained that, at a certain point, she and her boyfriend, who is African-American, decided that the two experiences were simply not comparable in any useful way. Jessica Valenti lamented what she called "the Oppression Olympics," which she says make both sides look bad.

But the urge to make comparisons, and the speed with which they flame up when touched even gingerly -– consider Geraldine Ferraro's assertion that Obama was lucky to be a black man, Gloria Steinem's reference to blacks getting the vote before women, Jeremiah Wright's observation that Hillary "ain't never been called a 'nigger'" -– remind us that drives toward equality have often been pitted against each other and have also spelled the divisive end of social movements; a reluctance to make room for racial and sexual difference contributed to the unraveling of second-wave feminism.

But not before the feminist movement made tremendous strides. In today's United States, racism continues to have more damaging economic and social structural implications for African-Americans than sexism has for women. Especially white and well-educated women, who are catching up to their male counterparts, if not in terms of equal pay or domestic expectations or secure reproductive options, at least in their ability to pursue the education and vocation they desire. And that makes them a more threatening group to the population of white men who have enjoyed unchallenged power -- in the White House and other workplaces -- since the birth of the nation. Those who feel the army of tough ladies breathing down their necks, competing for jobs and salaries and refusing to drop out of the race, are the population of privileged white men from which the elite portion of the Democratic Party is built.

That does not mean that all privileged white male Democrats are sexist, anymore than it would be true to suggest that all working-class white Democrats (the segment of the party that is breaking for Clinton) are racist. But a lightly disguised uneasiness with female power, as well as the "we love women, just not that woman" rhetoric will be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to the reception of the feminist movement. It's the movement of which Clinton has become emblematic -– not because it was her bailiwick, but because she has been exactly the kind of woman that feminism made room for: ambitious, ball-busting, high-earning, untrained in the finer arts of hair care, and unwilling to play dumber (or nicer) than she is.

These women –- and the movement whence they sprang -– have never been the most popular girls in the Democratic Party, even if the party's male elders have grown up enough to know that they're not supposed to say so out loud anymore. At least not until they find themselves pinching Clinton's cheek like Chris Matthews, or accusing her of destroying the party by staying in a race in which she is still competitive. It's like how Democrats love women, just not those goddamned women with their single-issue reproductive rights obsession that sticks us with Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman.

In this case, the frustration with the feminist old guard's reaction to Hillary Clinton is not unmerited. The exhortations from Robin Morgan have not exactly been lyrical, or tuned to ears of women younger than 50. Assertions from Obama-maniacs that a woman who votes for Hillary must be doing so only because she is a woman may be bad, but it's just as bad for older feminists to instruct women that they have some kind of ovarian, fallopian responsibility to do the same.

Rebecca Wiegand, a 24-year-old development assistant at a film company, and an Obama supporter from the beginning, said, "Those editorials by Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan I was appalled by, and I felt completely alienated from second-wave feminism."

But instead of spelling the end of the movement, as Michelle Goldberg suggested in a recent Guardian piece, this generational break may signal a healthier divide. Because while these young women may not be changing their votes, and may not be hewing to the words of Robin Morgan, they're also not -– as many of the elder handwringers fear -– tossing their feminism out with the bathwater. In fact, it's possible to envision a way in which, rather than simply sealing the demise of the second-wave, this election might give birth to a new generation of young feminists awakened by the harsh treatment of Hillary -– on their own terms and without the voices of Steinems and Morgans to overshadow or boss them.

"When the election started, I felt very postfeminist," said Wiegand. "I felt like, I'm a woman and I'd love to have a woman president, but I also have many other issues I care about and the Iraq war is a big one, and I'm not going to make my decision just because I'm a woman." But over the course of the campaign, Wiegand said, "there has been a lot of anger toward Hillary that's felt really intense and misogynistic. The gloating after Iowa was something to behold. And it's made me realize we are still dealing with the gender issue. I don't think we know what to make of women in power, or make of Hillary. I don't think the world is as postfeminist as I was feeling that it was."

Unmasking Sexism In Media Coverage Of Hillary Clinton

Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elaine-hopkins/unmasking-sexism-in-media_b_90916.html

By Elaine Hopkins

Deeply rooted sexism in the US as seen in the campaign coverage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "hurts us all," Bradley University professor emeritus Barbara Pendleton told the Peoria chapter of the National Organization for Women at a March 8 meeting to commemorate International Women's Day and Women's History Month.

Pendleton, an award winning professor, offered a hard hitting analysis of the sexism in the campaign coverage of Clinton. Her talk was called "Sexism and Politics in the Media."

Buzz up!on Yahoo!"The press has been brutal to Sen. Clinton. Consciously or not, many reporters, commentators and pundits appear to be unable to criticize her without dusting off their favorite sexist clich├ęs, stereotypes and insults. Together they create an environment of hostility toward all women, not just Sen. Clinton," she said.

Gender bias: discussion of how Clinton looks, laughs, wears, talks, behaves, "even how she claps."

"A man demonstrates roughness and strength. A woman who behaves similarly is called icy and rigid.

"His behavior shows compassion and warmth, her behavior shows emotions and weakness. He knows how to work the system, she is manipulative" and "calculating."

Discussion of ambition, motivation and drive: "Frequently Sen. Clinton has been charged with being willing to do or say anything to win. When she campaigns hard she is often described as strategizing, calculating or fake. But when men campaign hard it is refusing to cede an inch."

Discounting of qualifications and accomplishments: "Since her first run for the Senate she has been presumed to be where she is today because of her husband. They discredited her achievements and implied that she never could have made it on her own. There were no such implications that George W. Bush got a leg up because he was the son of a president and a member of a powerful, rich family."

Attacks on supporters: "There is the claim that women who voted for her are somehow irrational, and voting only on the basis of gender. They implied they were stupid or shallow."

Media Charged With Sexism in Clinton Coverage

Original Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/us/politics/13women.html

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and JULIE BOSMAN
Angered by what they consider sexist news coverage of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, many women and erstwhile Clinton supporters are proposing boycotts of the cable networks, putting up videos on a “Media Hall of Shame,” starting a national conversation about sexism and pushing Mrs. Clinton’s rival, Senator Barack Obama, to address the matter.

But many in the news media — with a few exceptions, including Katie Couric, the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” — see little need for reconsidering their coverage or changing their approach going forward. Rather, they say, as the Clinton campaign fell behind, it exploited a few glaring examples of sexist coverage to whip up a backlash and to try to create momentum for Mrs. Clinton.

Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News and the executive in charge of MSNBC, a particular target of criticism, said that although a few mistakes had been made, that they had been corrected quickly and that the network’s overall coverage was fair.

“I get it, that in this 24-hour media world, you’ve got to be on your game and there’s very little room for mistakes,” Mr. Griffin said. “But the Clinton campaign saw an opportunity to use it for their advantage. They were trying to rally a certain demographic, and women were behind it.”

His views were echoed by other news media figures. “She got some tough coverage at times, but she brought that on herself, whether it was the Bosnian snipers or not conceding on the night of the final primaries,” said Rem Rieder, editor of American Journalism Review. “She had a long track record in public life as a serious person and a tough politician, and she was covered that way.”

Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, said: “I have not had a lot of regretful conversations with high-ranking media types and political reporters about how unfair their coverage of the Hillary Clinton campaign was.”

Among journalists, he added, the coverage “does not register as a mistake that must not be allowed to happen again.”

Taking aim from the inside, though, was Ms. Couric, who herself has faced harsh criticism as the first woman to be the solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. Ms. Couric posted a video on the CBS Web site on Wednesday about the coverage of Mrs. Clinton.

“Like her or not, one of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued — and accepted — role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media,” Ms. Couric said.

She went on to lament the silence of those who did not speak up against it.

Candy Crowley, covering the campaign for CNN, said that for the most part, she did not see a drumbeat of sexism in the daily reporting, “but I certainly did see it in the commentary.” Still, Ms. Crowley said, “it was hard to know if these attacks were being made because she was a woman or because she was this woman or because, for a long time, she was the front-runner.”

The perception that sexism tainted coverage of the Clinton campaign — a view expressed on Internet postings and in conversations among women — appears to be gaining ground more in political circles than in the mainstream news media.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.

“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”

Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.

Mrs. Clinton may have begun that discussion in her concession speech on Saturday when she said that women deserve equal respect, along with equal pay, and that “there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country.” She was referring to what emerged as conventional wisdom during the campaign that racism is no longer tolerated in America, but sexism is.

Cable television has come under the most criticism. Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, called Mrs. Clinton a “she-devil” and said she had gotten as far as she had only because her husband had “messed around.”

Mike Barnicle, a panelist on MSNBC, said that Mrs. Clinton was “looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court.” Tucker Carlson, also on MSNBC, said, “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”

The establishment news media were faulted too. The New York Times wrote about Mrs. Clinton’s “cackle” and The Washington Post wrote about her cleavage.

Ken Rudin, an editor at National Public Radio, appeared on CNN, where he equated Mrs. Clinton with the actress Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” “She’s going to keep coming back, and they’re not going to stop her," Mr. Rudin said. He later apologized.

The cable networks do not reach as many viewers as the broadcast networks — 2.6 million per night for prime-time news programs on cable compared with 23 million for broadcast — but their coverage runs in a continuous loop, is amplified by the Internet and is seen by many people involved in politics.

“Largely, the problem was on cable and in the blogosphere and on the Internet, and that’s a relatively small audience,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “But while it was limited, it was limited to influential people.”

Still, many in the news media say that sexist episodes had little effect on the outcome of the primaries. Instead, they said, Mrs. Clinton’s problem was a flawed campaign.

Keith Olbermann, the host of “Countdown” on MSNBC, said that while there were “individual, sexist, mistakes,” there was no overall sexism.

Any suggestion that MSNBC “was somehow out to ‘get’ Senator Clinton is false and unfair,” Mr. Olbermann wrote in an e-mail message. “We became a whipping boy.”

He said that after Feb. 5, when Mrs. Clinton went on a losing streak, her campaign strategy was to blame the news media, which he said was “its only fuel.”

Still, he said, there was “constant reflection and analysis at MSNBC, and I must say there was constant good faith in trying to make certain Senator Clinton was not treated unfairly.”

Many in the news media say it is important to look at the coverage of Mrs. Clinton in the context of the coverage of Mr. Obama. While hers was frequently positive, his was even more so — even “euphoric,” said Mr. Rieder of American Journalism Review. That may have added to the impression that the Clinton coverage was negative, he said.

Starting in mid-December, 90 percent of comments about Mr. Obama on the three broadcast networks were positive, and 61 percent about Mrs. Clinton were positive, according to a study by Robert Lichter, a communications professor at George Mason University. But as Mr. Obama became the front-runner, things evened out. The study said that by the time Mrs. Clinton suspended her campaign on June 7, they were getting about the same amount of positive coverage, with Mr. Obama at 48 percent and Mrs. Clinton at 45 percent.

Jeff Greenfield, a political correspondent for CBS News, said that charges of sexism often came through a political prism. “Throughout this campaign, people’s perception of the press has been in line with what they wanted to happen politically,” Mr. Greenfield said. “If my person lost, the press did a bad job.”

For many of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, the anger over her treatment has not subsided and they are trying to take steps to minimize sexism in the future. “It’s volcanic,” said Allida M. Black, the director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers at George Washington University and a founder of WomenCount PAC, a group that ran full-page newspaper advertisements last month urging Mrs. Clinton to stay in the race.

“How do we deal with the media who many, many people feel compounded the missteps by the campaign and robbed her of any shot she might have had at the nomination?” Ms. Black said.

Some are calling for boycotts against MSNBC and CNN, and many are urging Mr. Obama, who addressed racism in a major speech, to address sexism, too.

In response, the Obama campaign directed a reporter to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, who supported Mrs. Clinton but who is now speaking for the Obama campaign. She said Mr. Obama had no specific plans for a speech on sexism, partly because he already incorporates themes of discrimination as a societal problem into his speeches.

Both the National Organization for Women and Emily’s List, which backs female candidates who support abortion rights, are generating e-mail campaigns to the cable channels when they see sexism. The networks have usually issued on-air apologies.

“We’re certainly not going to take this lying down,” said Ellen Malcolm, the president of Emily’s List. She said her hope was for a national discussion to focus on “what is fair in the new political world of Internet, cable and traditional news coverage.”

NOW is starting a campaign to highlight its “Media Hall of Shame,” an online project in which it points to examples of sexist language.

NOW’s president, Kim Gandy, said her members would remain alert: “We’re going to keep watching because we think Michelle Obama will be the recipient of the same kind of attacks that Hillary was.”