Skip to comments.Sarah Palin Is Right: The media has a double standard for covering female candidates
Posted on 05/20/2014 8:47:54 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In 2008, a conspiracy theory about Sarah Palinthen a candidate for vice presidentwas born. The theory: Palin was not in fact the mother of her then-infant son, Trigher daughter Bristol was. The blogger Andrew Sullivan fed into the theory, and it was resurrected in an academic paper by a Kentucky journalism professor in 2011. (Salon has since thoroughly debunked the Trig Palin conspiracy theory.)
Now, Hillary Clinton is on the receiving end of her own health-related cover-up conspiracy theoryand Palin is using the story to skewer the media and illustrate what she sees as a double standard for how Democratic and Republican female candidates get covered.
Some background: In December 2012, Clinton was treated for a blood clot in her brain after suffering a concussion. Clinton recovered and was given a clean bill of health, but Karl Rove remained skeptical.
"Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that," Rove allegedly said at a conference in Los Angeles.
After cries of "Sexism!" from media outlets, Rove walked back his statement, but he was not alone in his thinking. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, defended Rove's comments and said the health question is "fair game."
Like it or not, Clinton will have to deal with these kinds of questions for the next two years, at a minimum. And judging by Palin's response, the pain doesn't fade over time. In a highly sarcastic Facebook post Monday night, Palin pointed out media hypocrisy for defending Clinton against Rove's comments.
"Democrats are rightscouring records of a female candidate is just politics of personal destruction, and for the media to engage in it would be unfair, unethical, and absolutely UNPRECEDENTED. You can't probe a woman like that because, well, it's a war on women!" Palin wrote.
"America, you deserve fair and consistent coverage of relevant issues before deciding a Presidential/Vice Presidential ticket, so have faith the agenda-less media will refuse to push whispers and wildly inaccurate information about a partisan politician's body part," she continued.
It's less likely that Palin is defending Hillary Clinton against perceived sexist comments, and much more likely that she's just taking another potshot at the Lamestream Media. Of course, some political journalists did rebuke the Trig theorynamely BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, who was at Politico at the time, along with Salon's Justin Elliott.
But unlike with the Trig Theory, nearly every reporter covering the 2008 campaign bought into another narrativeone about Palin's mental faculties. Palin was portrayed, from Katie Couric to Saturday Night Live, as a clueless bimbo, and that image lives on in Julianne Moore's (excellent) portrayal of Palin in HBO's Game Change.
Was it fair to portray Palin as inexperienced and unfit for office? Yes. But that's far different from the image the media cultivated. Covering Palin as a bimbo was an unquestioned given. One is a valid point, the other is a caricature.
Of course, Hillary Clinton has suffered her fair share of sexist coverage. After Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky came to light, pundits speculated that Hillarythat frigid harpy!had driven her husband to infidelity. More recently, the idea that Chelsea Clinton became pregnant to boost her mother's favorability was almost laughably sexist. Palin and Clinton can sympathize on that point.
The question Rove raised was a seemingly innocent onedoes Hillary have the mental stamina to be president? Meanwhile, Sullivan's theory about Trig Palin's true parentage was more of a suggestion that Palin was willing to go to despicable lengths to maintain her public image as a wholesome folk leader. Rove was concern trolling; Sullivan was just plain trolling.
Now, in a daring feat of Narrative Reappropriation, Palin is calling Hillary Clinton dumb while admonishing the media for doing the same thing to her in 2008. "Apparently, Democrats demand their next chosen one's brain must be absent," she wrote in her Facebook post.
It's the type of quick-change political maneuvering that takes a healthy sense of irony to understand.
Sorry, Right-Wing Media: The "Knockout Game" Trend Is a Myth
Slate ^ | November 25, 2013 | Emma Roller
Wasn’t a question, was a statement of fact!
Treatment of Christine O’ Donnell versus Fauxcohontas comes to mind, and the media still wants that second one to be president.
Semi-to-partially maybe not guilty.
Governor Palin was introduced on a Friday morning, made the greatest speech by any American female in history to that point, and then we freepers watched as during the next 60 hours, through the weekend, there was a massive flow of attacks, conspiracies, accusations, fake photos, almost all the creation of permanent, and almost permanent falsehoods.
It was like being caught in a tornado of fire, it was incredible those next few days, we had never seen anything like it.
White hot hate, and the instant filling of the internet with anti-Palin links that dominated the internet for a very long time.
Was it fair to portray Palin as inexperienced and unfit for office? Yes. But that’s far different from the image the media cultivated. Covering Palin as a bimbo was an unquestioned given. One is a valid point, the other is a caricature. <<
Was it fair to portray Obama as inexperienced and unfit for office? We are suffering the consequences for that lie right now. Even that media cultivated image is collapsing of it’s own lack of foundation. Chicago corruption was clear and has continued throughout the presidency.
A community organizer and part-time state senator until a few years before versus a small business owner, city councilwoman, mayor, state energy chair and governor.
You know this time of the evening I could have been drinking an adult beverage, and you would have owed me a keyboard.
That is hilarious and I don’t recall ever seeing it.
Haven't they had this double standard for maybe more than 50 years? I just wonder if it will ever change?
or at least in a social psychology class for the survivors..........Think about it!
Look at how US magazine introduced her to the public, and everyone who walked through a supermarket checkout line.
Look at the date of this thread.