Friday, June 20, 2008

The introspective media (by Suzie)

       Many feminists, whether they supported Clinton or not, decried the media’s sexism during her campaign. But the New York Times reports that most journalists “see little need for reconsidering their coverage or changing their approach going forward.”
        Hold the presses! Journalists think they did a good job! 
        That’s why I was surprised and pleased to hear Katie Couric say,
"One of the great lessons of [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."
           (Watch the video here.)
           The alleged progressive Keith Olbermann named Couric the Worst Person in the World. I enjoyed Rachel Sklar's response. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair and others have reduced this issue to silly squabbling, ignoring Couric's main point. Others ignore the main point to leap to the defense of Lee Cowan, whom Couric criticized, without naming names, for his saying that it was hard for him to stay objective while covering Obama. I wish more journalists would admit that objectivity is impossible. Nevertheless, I side with Couric on this. A veteran journalist should be accustomed to throngs of excited supporters, whether attending a political event or a rock concert.
           In 2006, Susan Estrich wrote about someone saying America wasn't ready for its first "solo woman evening-news anchor."
           Now consider: if this is what Katie gets after three months, while she’s admittedly still finding her sea legs (if I can refer to them), just imagine, imagine what we’re in for with Hillary.
         If you don’t think her loss is your loss, think again.
              In other words, sexism hurts all women. (Once again, this doesn’t mean that you had to like or vote for Clinton. It means you need to avoid sexism when discussing her.)
              By the way, Couric made her recent comments at the Sewall-Belmont House, which I highly recommend visiting. This museum on Capitol Hill "is the headquarters of the historic National Woman's Party and was the Washington home of its founder and Equal Rights Amendment author Alice Paul." Couric received the 2008 Alice Award. Last month, Congress voted to award a gold medal to Paul posthumously.