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A media guide: How to tell if your question to Sarah Palin is sexist

By Griffin · September 14th, 2008 · 1 Comment


There’s a lively discussion going on over at The Daily Dish about whether questions about Sarah Palin’s family are sexist.  Andrew Sullivan asks his readers:

It seems to me that if you are on record saying that your life is an open book, and you have a state-run web-page about your infant son, and your own children’s travel is paid for by the state, and you presented your infant son at a convention televised across the entire world, and you sent out a press release outing your own daughter’s current pregnancy, then it is not despicable, evil, vile or outrageous for the press to ask factual, answerable questions about Sarah Palin’s experiences as a pregnant and non-pregnant mother and about her marriage and about her parenting of her children. Palin herself just said so.

Please email me and tell me why I’m wrong about this.

It’s amazing to watch Sullivan and the rest of the media going through all this soul searching and self-examination.  Doesn’t everyone get it by now?  Any question that makes Sarah Palin look bad is sexist.  Any question that makes Sarah Palin look good is okay.  Here’s an example:

SEXIST: Governor, are you worried at all about the challenge of raising a special needs infant while serving as vice president?

NOT SEXIST: Governor, how did you find the courage and determination to give birth to a special needs child while still serving in office?

See the difference?  Both questions cover the exact same topic, but one will bring wailing and gnashing of teeth from the McCain campaign, the other is likely to appear on a campaign-approved Fox News documentary.

Here’s another example:

SEXIST: “…lipstick on a pig…” – Barack Obama

NOT SEXIST: “…lipstick on a pig…” – John McCain

Any questions?

The McCain campaign’s Palin Truth Squad (believe me, George Orwell is spinning in his grave) is nothing more than a group of female campaign aides whose job is to cry sexism every time something negative is said about Palin in order to scare the media, the opposing campaign, and the public off the trail.  The fact that Charlie Gibson prefaced a question about Palin’s family by asking– deferentially– if the line of questioning was sexist means this strategy is having the desired effect.

Asking questions about Palin’s family is no more sexist than asking questions about John Edwards’ sex life.  Asking whether she can handle raising a family is no more sexist than asking Larry Craig if he solicits men in airport bathrooms.  What does any of it have to do with the actual job?  Not much, but it all comes with the territory.  Welcome to politics in the Lower 48.

Tags: Media · Republicans · Sarah Palin


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