Wednesday, July 2, 2008

NBC/MSNBC Exec Responds to Criticism with Outrageously False Countercharge

Original Link:

In the NY Times this morning, Kate Seelye and Julie Bosman address the charges of sexism in the media’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And of course, a leading representative of the media’s good old boys’ network offers a countercharge that any semi-conscious human being would consider an abusive, sexist outrage.

Seelye and Bosman report:

“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.”’

Griffin failed to acknowledge that perpetrators of “those few mistakes,” including the likes of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, and Tucker Carlson, had to be backed into a corner by outraged citizens before they managed to spit out their tepid apologies.

Seelye and Bosman list several specific examples of the media’s most egregious sexist attacks on Clinton, but it took a feminist icon like Gloria Steinem to cut through the BS in her interview with CNN the other day and point out how the media en masse chose to undercut Hillary Clinton, even in the final moments of her campaign:

Steinem notes: “No candidate in history has been asked to step down by the media. She was.”

I’ll add that the media pounced on Hillary Clinton at every juncture of her campaign to pressure her to drop out of the race before millions of people had the opportunity to vote.

Steinem goes on to say that the average time it takes for a loser to endorse a winner in this situation is four months. “She did it in four days. And look how she was criticized for not doing it the very same night.”

(watch Steinem’s interview with CNN here.)

Driving Steinem’s second point home, this morning anti-war libertarian candidate Ron Paul officially dropped out of the Republican race, three months after Sen. John McCain became the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

For those of us who eventually became ashamed to admit that we were members of the Democratic Party and who have been forced to re-register as independents, it’s a little late for Howard Dean to show that his eyes have been opened.

Seelye and Bosman report:

“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.”

It’s about time, Howard.

In the meantime, as we’ve been trying to tell you and the other members of the DNC, many of us will still remember to vote present in November.

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