Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Anti-feminist News of the Day

I've put on my bright-red two-piece suit with a very short skirt and I'm ready to be a media pundit. Imagine a big red mouth and very sharp white teeth, too.

Here we go: According to FAIR, the March for Women's Lives in 2004 wasn't worthy of the same coverage in the news as the Promisekeepers' March in 1997, despite the fact that the more recent march had many more participants:

A Nexis search of the week surrounding the women's march found a total of eight stories from the broadcast networks (not counting incidental mentions of the march): ABC, CBS, and NBC all ran two stories the day of the march; CBS also ran two stories the next morning. CNN, as a 24-hour cable news outlet, gave more extensive coverage to the event, running several reports on Sunday. But even CNN failed to treat the march as the historic occasion that it was, running just a small handful of brief march-related stories on Saturday and Monday.

Other cable news outlets focused not on the march itself but on abortion opponents, a few hundred of whom held a counter-protest at the march. Of three Fox News stories found on Nexis related to the march, two focused on anti-abortion activists (Special Report with Brit Hume, Hannity & Colmes, 4/22/04). Special Report examined anti-abortion opposition to the National Education Association's endorsement of the march-- a story that MSNBC also covered in that network's only march report found in the Nexis database. (Fox and MSNBC do not transcribe their news coverage as thoroughly as CNN does, so the amount of coverage on the three cable channels cannot be compared.)

To put the women's march coverage in perspective, FAIR conducted a similar Nexis search of the week surrounding the Promise Keepers march in 1997. The Promise Keepers, an evangelical men's organization that has been widely accused of promoting misogyny and homophobia, drew an estimated 480,000-750,000 demonstrators to Washington-- roughly three-quarters the size of the women's march. Despite its somewhat smaller size, the Promise Keepers received much more media attention: Stories began appearing on network news three days before the march and continued for two days afterward, with a total of 26 stories between the three broadcast networks-- more than three times the coverage the networks devoted to the women's march. Was the Promise Keepers march three times more newsworthy than the March for Women's Lives?

Was the Promise Keepers' march three times more newsworthy than the March for Women's Lives? But of course. What a silly question from FAIR. The Promise Keepers are for traditional values: the supremacy of men in the family, and traditional values are much more newsworthy (I initially wrote mewsworthy) than anything to do with those nasty dirty feminists. Who is it that owns the news networks, may I ask? Right, and this country is founded on ownership. Sheesh!

And in any case, according to Kathleen Parker all those women marching were so unladylike: why did they have to yell and scream when a suitably timed whisper in the right ear would have gotten better results and in a more traditional way? Sorry, Kathleen. We'll do better next time: the Ladies' Powder Puff and Whisper Convention next year, and Kathleen can lead us all. Now that'll guarantee us the necessary news coverage.

Elsewhere in the anti-feminist news, Spain is going to the dogs as we all well know. Not only are the Spaniards bowing to the terrorists and doing their bidding, but they're also quota queens! Think of this, half of the new cabinet consists of women, and the Prime Minister of Spain has vouched that his government will finally crack down on domestic abuse. Poor Kathleen Parker, will she get any sleep now?

Well, it's perfectly obvious what's going on in Spain: white Christian males are being oppressed, and nobody there lifts a finger. Domestic abuse is a private matter between consenting adults, and in any case families are sacred institutions and not to be tampered by outsiders. But then we all knew that this would follow after the Spaniards pulled out if Iraq.

I'm sure glad that I live in a country where truth still gets freely expressed. Like here in our very own anti-feminist news. And now a word from our sponsors: the Promise Keepers on how to get the checkbook away from the little wife...