Monday, January 14, 2008

Fear of Tears - Why the Media is so VerKlempt about Hillary Clinton's Emotions

Okay. I know this is controversial, but I just can't understand the mania surrounding the prospect of a woman President. The furor with which the media (mostly male) gushed and blushed over Barack Obama, his winning smile, his oratory, I thought they were reliving an unrequited crush from grade school. Leave it to the women in Media to give them a dose of reality.

Hey cavemen: wo-man-are-po-li-ti-cians-too. And they have to be scrutinized 2x as men. As a resurged internal Taliban nation (that's a later blog when I have a week to write), we must ensure that women dress like women (those pantsuits! the horror!), that if they cry, then it's a show of weakness that makes her--guess what--HUMAN? Hillary Clinton is Human. Oh My God, she's not a Pod, or an Alien from outer space. But can she be a politician? If she cries? How weak of her. We're a strong nation who doesn't cry (Not. We Tear up at Commercials!). But we make our enemies cry with our shock and awe.

Think Again and ask yourself: where was the outrage when these politicians sniffled, chocked back teaars, and even sobbed (I am not making fun of any of these youtube images below. I only make the point that there's a double standard here, and in "Taliban nation," we just don't comment about a man's weakness when he shows emotion, but we do highlight it as a flaw when a woman plays in a man's game.

Here's another show of tears by then Senator Dole at President Richard Nixon's funeral:

Senator Clinton warned us that she cried when she had to get up early in the morning.

Leave it to Rachel Maddox [who gets my snap back award] to set the record straight on the manic mania of the media men while appearing on Reliable Sources on CNN. As usual, she spoke some common sense to the multitude of the opposite gender media perplexed who wanted to know: was Hillary Clinton really crying and if so, is it good or bad?

KURTZ: Rachel Maddow, has there been something of a revolt against the male pundits and the way they kick Hillary around on this and other incidents?

MADDOW: Yes, absolutely. I think that it's -- this is politics, and so it is, you know, above board to question whether or not somebody's effecting show of emotion was put on, sure. That's above- board questions.

But the pile-on, the glee with which that -- with which that incident was taken apart by the pundits, by supposedly -- by people who are supposedly news anchors, I think was gross. And I think that people who saw the tape were personally affected by it.

It was an emotional moment. And then to see the kind of "blood dripping from the fangs" glee from mostly male pundits, I think made people feel like they wanted to rush to Clinton's defense in a way they wouldn't if there weren't that media pile-on.

She goes on to excoriate [I overuse this word, I know] the male media for their condescension toward these new candidates (a white woman and a black male)

KURTZ: Rachel, Chris Matthews has also taken some heat for saying on "Hardball" that Hillary Clinton would never have become a senator and, therefore, would never have become a presidential candidate, had she not been humiliated by her husband over the Monica Lewinsky affair. So -- which some people say is a factual statement.

But what did you make of that whole moment and the whole role of people like Matthews are playing?

MADDOW: I think it was hard to see Chris say that the morning after he had so emphatically stated that he was never going to underestimate Hillary Clinton again and to attribute her whole political career to something the person she's married to did.

I mean, I will say, there's something going on here, which is that, on the Democratic side, the two front-runners right now are an African-American man and a white woman. And we have never had that situation before in politics. And there's something going on with both the coverage of Obama and Clinton, which is pundits feel like, I feel, treat them in a way that is weirdly patronizing. Whether it's the metaphors, whether it's Chris Matthews actually reaching out and grabbing Hillary Clinton's cheek, whether -- I mean, even just today, while we have been discussing this, Michael, you described -- you used terms likes Barack Obama getting back in the kitchen or him being exotic.

I mean, there's stuff that is -- there's the language that is used, there are techniques that are used to describe and talk about these candidates that I think is -- looks uncomfortably like patronizing them. And it feels racist and gendered (ph) to me in a way that I think a lot of people, potential voters, react to.

[Just an aside -- Rachel Maddow spoke for at least 3 minutes and there was no name or affiliation at the bottom of the screen, then Michael Medved speaks, and his flashes. Again, men.... you'll never learn.... you can't use Taliban tactics to keep women down. We're too strong for that even if we do cry.

If you can't take the effect of too many onions, get outta da kitchen -- go work on a big rig somewhere; you're all so manly sitting at your desks (and your attempts at bravery by being with the embedded troops is absolutely dangerous, and you can't learn fighting on the job - Stay home where you're safe). Write your hearts out, you masculine men of media who use pens for javelins to poke fun at strong women who are strong enough to show emotions.

And Tim Russert: your time is over. You're no longer a media darling. I'm glad Clinton pinched your cheeks. She sees you as the cherub that you are -- who can easily be manipulated by your corporate owners. But I'll study you, later.

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