The Media vs Hillary

There’s a lot of talk about the sexism facing Hillary Clinton.  The role the media plays in it all is captured towards the end of this clip (at 1:40):

The transcript (sorry if its a bit off) goes like this:

Channel 5: But for Debra McKay, who walked in undecided between Clinton and John Edwards, it worked.  She had eliminated Barack Obama two nights ago after watching the debate:

Debra McKay: I felt a, more of a calculated vibe from him, and…
C5: You didn’t feel that this morning with uh, Senator Clinton?
DM:
I did not feel that this morning with Senator Clinton. ::Nods::
C5: And so you think you might
DM: I think I am voting for Hillary ::Nods Again::

Watching the clip you get a palpable sense of condescension.  At first it is incredulity that anyone might disagree with the steel reinforced media narrative that Hillary is calculating.  Then there is the tone and language of the phrase “think you might”: Channel 5 News is softly reinforcing the idea that women are indecisive.

I don’t agree with Hillary Clinton on all her points (in fact on more than a few you’ll find me a vocal opponent).  But Mrs. Clinton is anything but indecisive.  And that soft little hint thrown at viewers was meant to circle back to the subject of the clip, Hillary.  How that works is quite simple.  Set up Hillary’s display of emotion as an indication she is in some way not in control of herself.  Channel 5 framed her as vulnerable, and I didn’t get that impression at all.  But it feeds the narrative.  (Another transcription):

Now over the past few days, Clinton has been showing a little bit more emotion, a little bit more passion.  Something for which Obama gets high marks, But todays emotions from Clinton almost veered into sort of irritation with her opponents.  We’ll have more on that at 6:00.

Again, the idea that she somehow stepped outside the bounds of controlled, certainly expected behavior.  Notice the comparison to Obama.  When he shows emotion its a good thing, when Clinton shows some it is either calculating or out of control, with no middle ground.

The calculating part is the partially earned partially Republican painted lens the media sees Clinton through.  It is the digs at the emotion, control and judgment going on softly in the background and peeking through during the interview with Debra McKay that set a decidedly anti-women-in-power tone for the segment.

Expect to see a lot of this wink nudge approach to coverage as the primary season drags on, potentially into the general election and beyond.

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One Response

  1. hahah it’s a channel 5 conspiracy! they only emply self hating women. If I didnt know any better Id think this was some kind of parody article.

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