I write for HelloGiggles and for TheConversation, and I have been accused of bias in our political coverage plenty of times. Conservatives typically claim that most media coverage leans liberal, and liberals (like myself, obviously) love to attack the insanely offensive conservative news coverage, ie Fox News. It is an age old argument: you are not likely to enjoy reading what the other side has to say. Fact of life.
But there are times, and there are people, that seem to gather more interest for the opposing side. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Hillary Clinton was facing accusations of faking health issues to postpone her testimony concerning the Benghazi Trials. I was fired up while writing, but attempted to keep a cool head on my shoulders while discussing the situation. I do not name call, in real life, or in my writing. I, shockingly, do study what I believe the “other side,” in this case, the conservative Republican news sources, may be thinking or feeling in an attempt to not be entirely close-minded on issues that I already have an opinion.
But every great once in awhile, and it increasingly seems to involve Clinton, I cannot wrap my head around both sides.
Clinton has taken plenty of criticism since her heated testimony, but when I came across the New York Post’s headline, “No Wonder Bill’s Afraid,” I threw in my liberal towel and got angry on a whole new level.
The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, infamously conservative media conglomerate, so naturally, anything the Post prints is right-wing biased. As I mentioned previously, I understand speaking to your side, and everything you read should always be taken with a grain of salt. There will always be opposing sides.
The Benghazi Trials, however, are clearly a sensitive, heated situation; the fact that Clinton expressed herself in an “angry outburst” is not necessarily out-of-line. What is out-of-line, however, is the headline referencing her marriage to former President Bill Clinton, which literally has nothing to do with Clinton’s testimony, nor the Benghazi Trials themselves.
If Clinton was a man, and yeah, roll your eyes because everyone is always making this argument about Clinton, there would never, ever be a reference to her marriage in regards to a testimony on a Senate panel. If the media, liberal or conservative, is frustrated with Clinton, they should express their frustrations and potentially legitimate issues with her approach, her actions, her whatever-we-are-attacking-this-week with concrete evidence and arguments, and absolutely never with sexist terms like “nagging,” “shrill,” “rage,” and worst of all, accusing her husband of fearing the woman he spends his life with.
I of course do not know either Clinton personally, but I will go out on a limb and guess that President Clinton does not fear his wife simply because she is not afraid to represent herself as a strong feminist presence. He does not fear his wife because she has the gall to stand up to a SENATE PANEL and say something as powerful as, “what difference, at this point, does it make?” when speaking about American lives lost. If her tone turns passionate, it only makes Clinton a more significant presence than any of her male counterparts.
The verbiage around female political figures needs to stop, conservative or liberal media alike. We are embarrassing ourselves as reporters, as Americans, and as citizens of the year 2013.
Clinton, we have your back, ma’am.
Featured image via thinkprogress.org.