Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fighting Dirty

Voters have been clear: we don't want a negative campaign; we want to talk about issues, not in-fighting. So the candidates are trying to rise above the fray, but that doesn't mean that there's no fray. Before there's a VP candidate to sic on the opponent, there are familial surrogates to do the dirty work. JFK had RFK, which allowed him to seem so golden. Hillary has Bill. And . . . Barack has Michelle:

"Our view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House."

Damn. In her defense, she was talking about how she and her husband put their children first, how even in the midst of all this campaigning, she's home every night to put them to bed, there every morning to get them off to school. She claims that she was only talking about her own family, and not taking a swipe at Clinton.

I hope that's so, because if it was a back-handed suggestion that because Clinton's husband committed adultery, she is not fit to be President, well, I think that's ugly on a number of levels.

When is the Fourth Estate going to respect what voters keep saying they want? If we want news, we have no choice but to continue consuming what they spew out, but this whole "attack" hype was generated by media clips of Michelle Obama's comment, divorced from its context, labeled as a probable swipe at Senator Clinton. Yes, it got my attention . . . but left me feeling disgusted by the cheap trick once I'd read the context.

Then again, while it's true that in context she was talking about her own family, in an election like this one, the obvious comparison is always implied.


Amanda said...

The media blows everything out of proportion like when Clinton supposedly cried. Her voice broke. Oh, no, call the media. She's blubbering like a baby. I agree. No dirty campaigns. No dirty media. Tells us what we need to know and don't sensationalize it.

Jenny said...

This is one of the reasons why I do not watch tv news. I got so sick of the sensationalism. I've been tv news free for 6 months now and have no intention of ever returning.

Sarahlynn said...

Amanda, the blatant sexism is pissing me off. Male politicians - including, yes, former President Clinton - tear up in public from time to time without the press questioning their fitness to govern. Pisses me off. Also, Newsweek and other news outlets use subtly sexist language when talking about the campaigns, for example: When Clinton's campaign staff complain about something another campaign is doing, they're said to be "shrieking" or "squawking" about it. Other candidates just "complain" or "charge."

Jenny, I only watch TV news in the event of an emergency situation (9/11, space shuttle Columbia disaster, the rampage here in Kirkwood, etc.). I agree with you completely!

Anonymous said...

I am so angry about this, too. And really, really tired of people saying that they are not voting for Clinton because of her husband. Do we not elect men because we don't like their wives? Ridiculous!

Sarahlynn said...

There was an interesting piece in Newsweek about why some feminist women are so anti-Clinton. Dress it up how you like, if you're not directly citing policy differences, it's pretty ugly, if subtle, sexism.