Anyone who calls it out knows this: Sexism is the thing that shall not be named in 2016. I encountered that unspoken rule today.
After seeing an exchange between a CNN reporter and Donald Trump’s campaign manager about Hillary not doing a press conference, I tweeted the following:
The initial tweet met with instant criticism from a number of male reporters at prominent outlets, including the Washington Post, NY Times, Slate, Vox, and BuzzFeed, among others.
Apparently, identifying the double standard against Hillary as gender-based is frowned upon in the elite (male) press.
That’s not surprising. Institutional gender bias is an accepted way of doing business, a prism through which the establishment sees the world.
“Of course there’s no institutional gender bias against Hillary” say the denizens of an institution (the media) that has helped block a woman from the White House for 227 years.
I’m not accusing individual reporters of sexism or misogyny. Far from it. Many of them are my friends and they are well-meaning and hard-working people. I’m talking about the national media’s collective behavior, the mindset that allows for lopsided reporting like nothing we’ve ever seen.
And I’m not saying that asking Hillary to do a press conference is inherently gender-based. What I’m calling out is an unacceptable double standard: No other candidate gets the kind of obsessive, relentless, disdainful and disrespectful coverage than Hillary.
I’ve chronicled the national media’s mistreatment of Hillary in painful detail since the start of the campaign. My team at BNR did the research and found that Hillary’s emails have been covered, often multiple times a day in major outlets, every single day for the past year.
Meanwhile, just weeks after Trump called for Hillary’s assassination and labeled President Obama the “founder of ISIS,” those stories have faded into oblivion.
Which suggests we’re supposed to believe that Hillary doing a presser is more newsworthy, more deserving of media opprobrium, than Trump’s incitement to violence.
These are only three possible explanations for this egregious double standard:
- The media want to elect Trump
- The media want to undermine Hillary
- The female candidate is held to a different standard
Pick your poison.
To those who jumped down my throat for speaking the truth as I see it: Go ahead and suggest another explanation for Hillary not doing a press conference being worthy of more attention and greater disapproval than Trump’s utter lack of transparency. And instead of scoffing at what I said, offer a concrete rebuttal of my tweet. So far, no one has done so.
Look, there’s a reason no woman has ever achieved what Hillary Clinton is in the process of achieving: Women are treated differently. Unjustly.
Which is why I said this and will say it again:
And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.