Friday, July 4, 2008

Couric: Clinton "Received Some of the Most Unfair, Hostile Coverage I've Ever Seen"

Original Link:

By Jake Tapper

Receiving an award named after feminist icon Alice Paul yesterday, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric said, according to Media Bistro's Patrick Gavin that "however you feel about her politics, I feel that Sen. Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I've ever seen" -- rooted in sexism, she charged, helping to lead to her defeat.

Couric recalled one "prominent member of the commentariat" saying he "found it hard to be objective when it came to Obama."

She said she remembers thinking, "that's your job" and that he should "find another line of work."

I don't disagree with the notion that Clinton received unfair and hostile coverage, some of which was rooted in sexism (though surely some of it, such as the Bosnia sniper fire episode, had nothing to do with her gender).

But did it contribute to her defeat? I tend to think that generally most reporters were fair, it was a small percentage that weren't. But enough to notice, for sure.

And one wonders how much one of those reporters now on the Clintons' proverbial enemies list may have actually impacted votes. In some ways their boorishness may have helped galvanize Clinton supporters, especially women, far more than it convinced anyone to vote against the senator.

None of which is to excuse it. But exit polls indicated that most of those for whom gender was an important voting issue went for Clinton. And most of those for whom race was an important voting issue went for Clinton, as well. That data would seem to indicate Clinton was helped far more than she was hurt by her gender. And Obama was hurt far more than he was helped by his race.

I wish I knew which "prominent member of the commentariat" who struggled to be objective Couric was talking about.

For journalism's sake I wish there weren't so many possibilities to choose from!

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