Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hillary's interview: racism, sexism

Joseph of Cannonfire alerted me to a WashPo interview with Hillary Clinton by Lois Romano. He zeroed in on two questions about racism and misogyny (full transcript of the interview at Editor&Publisher).

Lois Romano questions and Hillary Clinton answers:

Q. Do you think this has been a particularly racist campaign?

A. I do not. I think this has been a positive, civil campaign. I think that both gender and race have been obviously a part of it because of who we are and every poll I've seen show more people would be reluctant to vote for a woman [than] to vote for an African American, which rarely gets reported on either. The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable or at least more accepted. And I think there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when and if it ever raises its ugly head. But it does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by comments and reactions of people who are nothing but misogynists. [Emphasis added.]

That's Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, the cast of punditheads at NBC, MSNBC, CNN, the vain and vicious of news orgs across America and beyond to the cyber-rants of the Obamasphere.

Today Bob Somerby dissected Dana Milbank's wacky doodle attempt to downplay Clinton's charge of misogyny in media:

There’s no bigger hack than the Post’s Dana Milbank, which explains today’s consummate hackistry. Has Hillary Clinton encountered misogyny in this campaign? Duh! Whatever you think of the overall race, everyone knows that she has; denying that would be like denying the presence of ice in Alaska. But Milbank is paid by the cable “news” network which has been Ground Zero for the campaign’s gender-trashing. So watch a pure hack go to work! In today’s column, he pretends that the claim of misogyny only makes sense if you’ve drunk “the Clinton Kool-Aid.” Here’s one numb-nut example:

MILBANK (5/21/08): Supporters were just entering the ballroom when, at the stroke of 7 p.m., CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on the projection screen, forecast "a dramatic win for Hillary Clinton...perhaps by 30 points." The gathering Clinton crowd was still cheering when CNN's Gloria Borger, at 7:05, reminded everybody that "the prospects are not great" for Clinton, and Donna Brazile mused: "Will it be enough? . . . I don't believe so."


To which, Somerby explained:

See how it’s done? Milbank finds a pair of statements about Clinton’s chances which didn’t seem to be driven by misogyny. That means that he’s free to ridicule the whole foolish notion! But read his whole column if you want to see the way a pure hack “reasons.”

Milbank speaks of mythical Clinton Kool-Aid but what does he know? He's been mainlining the Standard Big Media narratives so long, he couldn't possibly recognize reality through the haze of his habitual stupor.

Paul Lukasiak at Corrente documented "Misogyny, Sexism, & the Gender Gap in the 2008 Election" in a series that details attitudes and stats disfavoring a female candidate, quantifiable data that a lazy Beltway hackster like Milbank didn't bother to investigate.

Next interview question posed to Hillary:

Q. Isn't that how it's always been though.

A. Oppression of women and discrimination against women is universal. You can go to places in the world where there are no racial distinctions except everyone is joined together in their oppression of women. The treatment of women is the single biggest problem we have politically and socially in the world. If you look at the extremism and the fundamentalism, it is all about controlling women, at it's base. The idea that we would have a presidential campaign in which so much of what has occurred that has been very sexist would be just shrugged off I think is a very unfortunate commentary about the lack of seriousness that should be applied to any kind of discrimination or prejudice. I have spent my entire life trying to stand up for civil rights and women's rights and human rights and I abhor wherever it is discrimination is present. [Emphasis added.]

I am tired tonight so in lieu of posting and re-posting the proof of the war on women, I gathered a partial list of references that I've made on The RealSpiel that contain plenty of evidence and links to other notable feminist bloggers. Click the links and the embedded links for the entire picture:

And that's just for starters here. Melissa McEwan has a running tally--up to 97 incidents as of today--in her Hillary Sexism Watch, a comprehensive resource. Check egalia at Tennessee Guerilla Women as well.

To wind up Romano's interview with Hillary, Joseph offered an observation worth examining:

On a few occasions, I've pointed out that Colin Powell could have won the presidency in 2000 just by pointing at the White House and saying "I'll take it." Not one reader has disagreed with that assessment, even though people love to disagree with everything else I say. Can you name a single woman in the history of this country who could have strolled into the oval office that easily?

Hardly. In fact, the press went all a-twitter when a Time/CNN poll in 1995 showed that Powell could potentially beat Bill Clinton by 10 points if he decided to run as a Republican. The article opened with this telling statement, "To be born poor and black and into an inner city neighborhood does not mean you can't achieve your highest ambitions."

And Geraldine Ferraro was right though Joseph expresses it succinctly, "Being a black male in this race is an advantage -- compared to being a woman of any heritage."

POSTSCRIPT: The audio interview, "Sen. Clinton Discusses 'Sexist' Treatment."