I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stop The Pile On

Shouldn't we want the media to be fair in reporting on candidates?And along those lines shouldn't the media provide substance over framing. It's time we exam why we are uncomfortable support women running for higher offices or positions of power. And before you pants get in a bunch...this isn't about supporting Hillary over Obama. But it is about the unacceptable phenomenon of media uniquely attacking women who seek a higher position and unfairly framing them... and if it should be acceptable in our society? Kathleen Hall Jamieson has some interesting insight and concepts regarding the media's role in undermining women running for office and a disheartening lack of a national discussion of that behavior. see it or read it

Let's say if Elizabeth Dole was this far along in the polls for the Republican nomination. Would she be subject to the same kinds of attacks? And I think the answer is no…..

These kinds of attacks have actually been deployed against women as they began to run for public office in the United States before….

When you look at the number of members who identify with the sites that post these sorts of things, they're actually fairly small. One question is: How much social disapproval of this actually is there? Another is, within these communities, where is the capacity to talk back and ask where the boundaries of appropriate discourse would be? That is, is there a way to engage productively in the disagreement they want to express and have some substantive content attached instead of simply, you know, ad hominem, in this case I guess ad feminem, name calling.

Is this level of media reporting acceptable? Has it only been recently? I think not. Kathleen comment about Geraldine Ferraro not having the same level of attack but I clearly remember that when the press interviewed both Mondale and Farraro…They would ask Mondale about important international issues.. then immediately ask Farraro about who was watching her children while she ran for office. That type of questioning does two things: implies she was a ‘bad mom’ for running for office and degrades her as being less than an intelligent man.

The bulk of our press has turned into a pulp paper mill that will spend hours discussing the most idiotic things like Britney Spears or candidate hair cuts but nothing of substantial news and issues. Polls even get more attention then the candidates! And sadly the media report more on unacceptable, unproven and distorted trash instead of telling us what we need to know to make an informed decision. The question is, are you going to settle for it.

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