Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Double Standard

Double Standard? You bet! I’ve been watching the media frenzy of manufactured news in response to Senator McCain’s selection of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Crazy! First there was the “she’s an unknown” reporting, followed by the “is she really qualified” stories. Then there was the totally irresponsible, far-left blog speculation that Governor Palin’s youngest son was really her grandson and that Governor Palin had “faked” a pregnancy to cover for her 17-year-old daughter. Amazing! Particularly when the speculation had absolutely no basis in fact! But what really blows me away is the media-manufactured debate over whether Governor Palin is a good mother for exposing her children to the sensationalism and scrutiny that is par-for-the-course in today’s politics; or whether she could possibly balance the demands of motherhood with the demands of the Vice Presidency (or even God-forbid, the Presidency).

Why the debate over her choice to enter politics and still have a family? That’s her choice, based on her circumstances. It may not be the best decision for other women, in different circumstances; but it is her decision. So why isn’t it respected? Was there any debate over Senator Obama’s decision to enter the Presidential race when he has two small children and his wife has a career? No! Was Senator Pelosi’s motherhood questioned when she decided to seek and accept the position of Speaker of the House? No! So why the manufactured debate over Governor Palin’s ability to mother her children? Is it because she’s only the second woman to appear on a ticket for a national political office? Or is it because she appears on the Republican ticket. In my opinion, there is a double standard in how Senator Palin’s being treated and it shows just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality, and the media is making it worse with their manufactured news and debates.

UPDATE The Editors of the National Review Online have written a great article that makes my point better than I ever could! In it they talk about the mainstream media's feeding frenzy to end Governor Palin's candidacy. They describe how

The New York Time's webpate on Tuesday led with no fewer than three stories about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. CNN has tried to exploit Miss Palin as a laboratory specimen for a high-profile examination of sex-education. MSNBC and the Huffington Post are titillating viewers with exposes on Miss Palin's boyfriend. Slate, owned by the Washington Post, is running a "Name Bristol Palin's Baby" contest. US Weekly has "Babies, Lies, and Scandal" on its cover.

Crazy, isn't it? And chock full of double standards. As the National Review Online article notes

This shameful but predictable media performance stands in marked contrast to the rigorous "hands-off" privacy policy dutifully honored by the press throughout the Clinton years for the then-teenage daughter, Chelsea. Indeed earlier this year, though Miss Clinton was now well into her twenties and an impressively poised surrogate for her mother's campaign, NBC News suspended reporter David Shuster for asserting that Sen. Clinton's campaign was "pimping" her daughter -- a classless formulation, to be sure. But where's the hyper-sensitivity about a candidate's child now?

When Al Gore's son was arrested on narcotics and speeding charges in 2007, moreover, the national press was a model of sympathetic restraint. The muted coverage was devoid of calls for a national "teaching moment" on drug abuse or responsible driving. The message was plain and correct: No news here, move along.

Amazing, isn't it? This level of double standard should be readily apparent to everyone.


James said...

Women are expected to support the Democratic Party, just like blacks are, any that don't are attacked. So Sarah Palin is being attacked, even though her background is supposedly the sort of people the Democratic Party claims to represent and protect.

lela said...

James, I agree with you. Anyone who is supposed to come under thier demographic and doesn't "toe the party line" for the Democrats is somehow villified. Look what happened to Justice Thomas. He's been called an "Uncle Tom" and denigrated as "dumb" and "stupid" just because he doesn't meet that party's idea of how a black man should think or act. Crazy & a complete double standard! Now they're going after a strong, intelligent woman; just because she has different ideas than what they think she should have.