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Mainstream media trying to deceive female voters (and male voters who support women)

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, August 28, 2008 0:43 EDT
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The handicapping of McCain’s campaign by the media is becoming brutally obvious during the DNCC. Between the lack of coverage for major speeches and puffing up the whole “PUMA” storyline to be a much bigger thing than it is, it’s becoming undeniable. Skimping on the Lily Ledbetter speech was especially irresponsible, because it was a great opportunity to educate the public about this under-covered story. Ledbetter, of course, is the woman who was openly discriminated against by her employer Goodyear, watching less qualified men get promoted and raises while she languished for years. What made her case especially terrible is that it shows that our hard right-leaning Supreme Court will basically lie and color outside of the lines in order to push an anti-woman agenda—because they knew they couldn’t outright claim that women aren’t covered by the “equal protection” clause in the Constitution (much less the Civil Rights Act), the court fudged with a bullshit story about filing deadlines. If the public knew more about this case, they’d revolt. If they knew that McCain refused to support the bill named after Ledbetter that made it harder to deny women equality with bullshit like this, many people would see McCain for the hard right winger he is, who openly refuses to support something as basic as equal pay for equal work, which is as popular as women’s suffrage.

But it gets worse. Let me just quote Media Matters.

During MSNBC’s August 26 coverage of the Democratic National Convention, NBC News chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell asserted that during the upcoming Republican National Convention, “[t]he Republicans … are going to use from Day One through Day Four to hammer [Sen.] Barack Obama” and asked MSNBC political analyst Mike Barnicle of the first night of the Democratic National Convention, “[W]hy not position a senator, like Claire McCaskill [D-MO], up there for five minutes and let her throw some red meat out to the crowd?” In fact, McCaskill did speak on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, and in that speech, McCaskill repeatedly criticized both Sen. John McCain and President Bush. However, MSNBC did not air the speech during its live coverage of the convention.

Unsurprisingly, McCaskill came out strong about what a threat McCain is to women’s interests specifically:

I know that this son of a single mom will stand up for the dreams of our daughters. And I know that John McCain won’t.

There is only one candidate in this race who has fought for equal pay for equal work by America’s women. That candidate is Barack Obama. There is only one candidate offering real tax relief for the middle class, health care that is affordable and accessible and protection of Social Security today, tomorrow and forever. That candidate is Barack Obama.

Now, I’m not saying that the media is in the tank for McCain exactly. I mean, I know they love him and suck his butt all day long. But even setting aside speculation about the corporate media and what rich pundits want a Republican to win, I think that what we’re seeing a bias towards “balanced” coverage, especially if it helps make this election a nail-biter that drives up ratings. The Republican convention is going to suck, let’s face it. Senators are avoiding it to keep the stink of suck off them. McCain is a boring person. So, to “balance” it, the media has to give the Democrats the shaft in coverage. Especially in the one area where Democrats have a lot of strength and can build more momentum, which is capturing more of the women’s vote.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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