Thursday, January 10, 2008

They Were All Wrong!

Hillary Rodham Clinton won the New Hampshire primary! The media, the pundits, the pollsters.... all of them. They were all wrong. Now they are scrambling to cover their inability to read our minds and foretell the future; scrambling to cover their own arrogance for creating a story that wasn't there. They are continuing to attempt to make the news rather than report it.

I've been watching CNN and MSNBC and reading The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, etc. and I am completely baffled by the constant coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton's "breakdown" two days before the New Hampshire primary. Every news anchor and every pundit is talking about the "Hillary Moment." But was there even a "moment"?

First, if you have not seen the whole "moment," you can see it here.

The coverage of this "moment" as it is characterized in the media is nothing short of ridiculous.

  • MSNBC calls it "Hillary's Trail of Tears."
  • CNN claims, "Clinton Chokes Up, Is Applauded, At Campaign Stop."
  • CBS says Hillary is "Choking Up in New Hampshire."
  • Maureen Dowd asks,"Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back to the White House?"
  • Bill Kristol claims "She Pretended To Cry, The Women Felt Sorry For Her, And She Won."

I'm sorry, but I didn't see any of this. She did not cry. There were no tears on her face. During an informal Q & A on the campaign trail, someone asked her a personal question and she got a little choked up for a second and maybe she got a little glassy eyed. But, crying?? No. A breakdown?? Another no.

Look, I am not necessarily a Hillary fan, but I have to speak up about this stupid coverage. If you listen to nearly anyone on MSNBC or CNN, you'd think she actually broke down, lost it, was sobbing uncontrollably. Why is the media making these few seconds her whole campaign? Why is this such a big deal? I've seen John Edwards become emotional when he talks about his son. I've seen Joe Biden on the verge of angry tears. Bush got teary talking about "illiterate, impoverished Mexicans." Their "tears" and "moments" are merely blips, barely discernible to the naked eye. But, Hillary? Everything she does is completely blown out of proportion. When she is passionate and communicates strongly, she is shrill. When she is strong, she's too masculine. When she chokes up, her "cracks begin to show."

Hillary Rodham Clinton may not be your choice for a presidential candidate, but let's set the record straight and give credit where credit is due. She:

  • is the first first lady to have a postgraduate degree
  • is Wellsley's first valedictorian
  • is graduate of the Yale Law School
  • is an advocate for children and the poor, working with the Children's Defense Fund and organizing a group called Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
  • is a leader in her field, heading the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay
  • was twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America
  • has served 8 years in the United States Senate, serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee; the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; and the Senate Special Committee on Aging

She is as qualified as any candidate currently in the running, Democrat or Republican; more qualified than some.

Yet, the exploitation of her "moment" continues to permeate the political news. This bashing of her display of any emotion is nothing short sexism. These anchors, pundits and pollsters are no different from the two buffoons who heckled Hillary on Monday, by yelling "Iron My Shirt," more than suggesting that a woman is better equipped for running a household rather than running the country.

Hillary said it best, "Ah, the remnants of sexism _ alive and well."

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