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November 18, 2009


Props to Media Matters for decrying sexism against a conservative.

I agree that Newsweek's cover picture was selected to boost readership, but that doesn't mean it wasn't also biased. A picture or cartoon of Hillary Clinton or Madeleine Albright in short shorts would also create buzz, but that would offend liberals, so we won't ever see it in Newsweek.

Furthermore, the text oon the cover displays liberal bias: She's bad news for the GOP - and for everytody else too is so banal. It would have been more provocative to write She's smarter than you think! or The most powerful woman in America.

The disgusting interior pictures that Brendan points out were not selected to boost sales. By the time a reader sees those pictures, he has already bought the magazine.

IMHO Newsweek's flagrant bias shows that they have given up on attracting conservative subscribers. They're seeking the largest possible share of liberal readers.

The Newsweek cover is not sexist. The fact that the original shoot was for Runner's World doesn't make the photo any less ridiculous, and shouldn't preclude Newsweek from holding it up to ridicule.

I don't consider the Newsweek cover sexist. Palin herself agreed to do the shoot in order to cultivate her image and she purposefully included elements of the Governor's office along with patriotic imagery for that reason. It's hardly racy or degrading. She didn't find it offensive when it graced the cover of Runner's World and it's no more offensive on the cover of any other magazine. (Contra David, you won't see similar pictures of Hillary Clinton or Madeleine Albright because they choose not to pose for those pictures.)

The interior photos are a different matter entirely. I doubt Palin orchestrated the shot of a young supporter taken from the vantage of her legs, or the schoolgirl doll picture.

Jinchi, there may not be pictures of Hillary in short shorts, but there have been plenty of pictures of her where she doesn't look Presidential. As First Lady, she was sometimes shown doing lady-like thinks, such as serving cookies. When Hillary was running for President, Newsweek didn't use a cover picture of her in an apron serving cookies. (Here's a cartoon with that image.)

BTW there is at least one picture of Hillary in a bathing suit, as well as a faked picture of Hillary in a bathing suit. It would have been outrageous if Newsweek had used a picture remotely like these on their cover during Hillary's Presidential campaign. IMHO they were similarly wrong to use Palin's runner picture.

BTW, Brendan more-or-less excused Newsweek's sexist picture because the magazine wanted to be provocative. Either of these Hillary pictures would have would have been even more provocative, if provocation was Newsweek's only goal.

David, you're missing my point. Hillary Clinton didn't pose for the photos you reference and she certainly didn't agree that they be used for the cover of any magazine.

Sarah Palin did.

The photo you and Brendan are offended by is a photo she happily participated in creating. It's purpose is to portray her as a powerful woman and an amateur athlete and to promote this image as a role model for others to follow. Brendan and others found it absurd at the time, but Palin didn't, nor did many of her admirers. In fact, Palin still doesn't find the image offensive, only it's use by Newsweek.

And the idea that Hillary Clinton has never been portrayed in a demeaning or sexist fashion is simply ridiculous.

First of all Sarah Palin did not agree to the use of a picture of her in running clothes on the cover of Newsweek. Furthermore, AFAIK she did not agree to the use of a picture of her in short shorts in any magazine. Her pictures in Runner's World showed her wearing pants that came below the knee.

Lots of politicians show themselves in some athletic situation, especially during campaigns. E.g. Obama played basketball.
Suppose some magazine used a picture of Obama playing basketball on a cover story about Obama's Asian trip. Suppose the point of the story was that Obama was unqualified to conduct a foreign trip. I think that using his basketball picture would be a sneaky and unfair way to imply a weakness on the serious policy side. The Palin cover picture was like that, but it was even worse because of the amount of skin it exposed.

BTW, there is at least one picture of Hillary in a bathing suit,

False equivalency #1. Unlike the Palin photo, Hillary didn't pose for this picture. The latter was snapped without Hillary's consent or knowledge by a paparazzi.

...as well as a faked picture of Hillary in a bathing suit.

False equivalency #2. The supposedly "sexist" Palin photo wasn't faked.

daniel, media often use pictures snapped by paparazzi. The very reason they take the pictures is to sell them to the media. If Newsweek wanted to use an inappropriate photo of Hillary, the fact that it had been taken by a paparazzo wouldn't prevent them from doing so.

Regarding the faked photo, Newsweek actually used a picture of a slutty Palin doll in their article. During the campaign a number of TV newscasts used Tina Fey material from Saturday Night Live. In both cases, representations of Palin were presented that were not actually Palin. Also, both types were derogatory.

AFAIK she did not agree to the use of a picture of her in short shorts in any magazine.

The picture you're objecting to is part of the photo shoot which was quite obviously choreographed with her consent. It's just flat out wrong to claim that she didn't agree to the use of the picture in any magazine. She did.

As for your Obama photo, that was used in a news article (you might have noticed the New York Times link) about his problems with the Reverend Wright.

It isn't offensive either, BTW.

I find it interesting that the only time most bloggers and media folk will pretend to give a crap about the blatant sexism in the media is when it is directed at a conservative.

The analogue of the slutty Palin doll may be the Hillary Clinton egg separator. When Newsweek uses this picture in an article about Hillary's biography, we'll know they're not left-leaning.

Parroting off Shinobi's post, it would be nice if conservatives would decry sexism when the target is a liberal and not just one of their ideological one (i.e., Glenn Beck calling Hilary Clinton "the stereotypical bitch," Bill O'Reilly saying that Helen Thomas's voice sounds like the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, MSNBC's David Shuster, in a bizarre metaphor, proclaiming that Hilary Clinton was "pimping out" her daughter, etc).

Actually daniel, lots of conservatives have criticized O'Reilly and even more of them have criticized Beck. As for David Shuster, who is he?

The analogue of cable TV right-wingers ought to be cable TV left-winger -- people like Olberman and Maddow, who are at least equally nutty. However, if right-wing cable TV is the analogue of Newsweek, then Newsweek must be left-wing.

In other words, we don't know whether right-wingers would object to sexism against the left in Newsweek, because there never is any. Ditto for racism. Insults toward Clarence Thomas are acceptible, although the same comment about a liberal African-American would be beyond the pale.

"Actually daniel, lots of conservatives have criticized O'Reilly and even more of them have criticized Beck."

Not for the sexist comments they made that I highlighted.

"As for David Shuster, who is he?"

Wikipeida and Google are your friends, David.

Wikipedia, not Wikipeida

daniel, I was trying to be cute. What I meant was that David Shuster is a nobody.

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