Fiorina: Media belittle and demean Palin
ST. PAUL – Carly Fiorina and other women supporters of Sen. John McCain blasted “the media” for what they called sexist coverage of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and denied that the Republican party had inflicted its own sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton.
She singled out a column by The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd that referred to Republicans’ “tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West” as a glaring example of gender stereotyping.
When asked what was sexist about examining Palin’s experience or judgment, Fiorina said she objected to the media “trying to portray her as a show horse, not a work horse.”
She also denied that Hillary Clinton had been subjected to sexist attacks by Republicans, drawing a few sarcastic chuckles from the audience.
Fiorina said she had stepped up to defend Clinton by going on television to express her outrage over sexism.
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn thought the media was to blame for Republicans not doing more to support Clinton, arguing that, “Had we been more vocal, you all would have chosen not to report it.”
However, not everyone in the McCain camp appeared to be on the same page. When asked on Fox News whether there was any sexism in the reaction to Palin, Meg Whitman, McCain’s national campaign co-chair, said, “I wouldn’t say there really has.”
“I actually think it’s completely fair for the media to vet Sarah Palin, just as they did Barack Obama, and John McCain and everyone else who’s running for office,” she said. “I mean you are running for the second highest office in the land.”
– Photo credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking. Carly Fiorina speaks at a press briefing at the Republican National Convention, Sept. 3, 2008.