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Saturday, June 07, 2008


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Dan, thanks for posting this. I just did too. A friend sent me the link last week - and it was really tough to watch. You know (probably) that I supported her nomination - and I was disappointed to see it come to an end, but as she said yesterday - there are 18 million new cracks in all of the glass ceilings out there. I felt like I was in so many conversations where folks were complaining about something specific about her, and when I would say 'well, what if she had done this instead' - something almost opposite, and that would be wrong too. There was a much too familiar sense of 'lose-lose' about her entire campaign. (I also think that Obama and his campaign team simply out-campaigned her). But it was really hard to watch over the past 12-plus months.

Oh, a different note: Lou Reed! That was a treat. What did you think about her show?


I was going to write an entirely different post on this topic, but it's probably best to do it under this topic heading, for a number of reasons. Before I begin, I want to make two things clear: 1. I voted for Obama here in Tennessee (when things weren't so clear as to who the victor was going to be). I was, am, and will remain a strong supporter (and if he adds Jim Webb to the ticket, I'll be wearing t-shirts and waving banners for them). 2. This response is about my impresssions. I'm not going to offer evidence in the way of quotes from friends. I could be wrong here, and that's why this is better as an informal response rather than a post.

Here's my concern: while I of course think there are "sexist" reactions to Hillary (just as there are necessarily racist reasons to how one responds--both positively and negatively--to Obama), I'm more concerned about the tone I've heard from Obama supporters when they have talked about Hillary over the past several months. Let me be frank: The longer the primary season went on, the more often I have heard not just frustration (i.e., "Why hasn't she quit yet?"--that's one I've shouted) and not just disagreement (i.e., "Hillary is wrong about . . "), but palpable hatred toward Clinton. I mean it: I've read blog posts (not here but elsewhere), read facebook profiles, have heard watercooler conversations that really sound like there are Democrats who HATE her.

While there are all sorts of social reasons to be concerned about this, I'm mostly concerned about the pragmatic problems. No one walked away with this race; despite how much of a rock star Obama might be (and he undeniably is), he certainly didn't pull this thing off in a way that makes one say, "Wow, that was easy." As a result, we had two sets of supporters who understandably were a bit on edge.

Here's the thing: when we get emotionally involved in a close contest, we often don't think rationally about our decisions in a way that we should. For instance, I can empathize with a Clinton supporter who feels burned by the process and has a secret wish for Obama supporters to have to feel the taste of defeat as well. Now, that may not be a mature wish, and it may not be one that will ultimately change what this supporter does, but it is one that is understandable. Losing, for some, is HARD.

Ultimately, the hatred and disgust I've heard from some Obama supporters has done nothing to make it easier for this group of committed and thoughtful voters to come back into the bigger umbrella. If we want to represent a new type of politics, if we want to be the type of people we say that Obama helps us understand ourselves to be, it's not just "media sexism" we need to worry about, but rather it is our own tone; the way we make OTHER folks on the same side of the aisle feel--as partners in a bigger pictures, or as enemies.

It would be easy to claim that I'm wrong here, that I haven't been hearing disgust and hatred. And maybe it's the case that only a tiny percentage of Obama supporters have such an attitude (I am, I hope, one Obama supporter who never sounded this way). But I'm worried. Indeed, I am worried. Not just that this pragmatically works to turn away some voters, but that it is also prolematic in the larger sense that it is the beginning of politics of division, a politics that Obama himself shuns.


I've watched this very well-edited video that certainly makes the point it sets out to make, that this is the norm.

I can't help but notice that the majority of the clips are from shows like Hardball and The O'Reilly Factor.

Those programs are not news programs. They're commentary. They're biased depending on the issue du jour.

It's like a Democrat arguing how the media is anti-liberal and relying almost exclusively on clips from Rush Limbaugh. When you pile up evidence like that, it's not so hard to make a compelling case.

Why didn't this video show clips from the mainstream media's actual NEWS programs, rather than the television equivalent of the op-ed page?

How sexist were "legitimate" news broadcasts?

Incidentally, the "Tucker" clip in which he debates the feminist's suggestion that we should be ashamed at the lack of equal female representation in Congress makes it clear that at least in this case, Tucker did have the feminist view on the air. It's his choice, in an opinion-based show, to express his own. Again, that's not a news program.

Should Americans demand better? Sure. Always. But they need to begin with themselves and what they delude themselves into thinking "legitimate" news actually is.

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