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Washington Post and CNN Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch

Shut 'em both down now. Please. The stupid--it BURNS!!!!

Duncan Black:

Eschaton: Slutty Schoolgirl? Really? I thought the Newsweek cover was obviously a poor choice even if right wingers were getting a bit overwrought in their criticisms. But they also include a slutty Palin schoolgirl doll? What the fuck? Of the CNN piece Digby talks about, Wolf Blitzer twittered:

CNN Jessica Yellin did a very good report in SitRoom on Sarah Palin and her sexuality -- the fact that she's good looking. Did you see it?

Sweet Jeebus.

Julie Millican:

Newsweek should worry more about how to solve its problem with sexism: There are a lot of legitimate reasons to criticize Sarah Palin, her new book, and her policies, but... Newsweek's November 23 issue... on its cover a photo of Palin in short running shorts and a fitted top... this photograph may have been completely appropriate for the cover of the magazine for which the picture was apparently intended, Runners World. But Newsweek is... certainly not reporting on Palin's exercise habits. Like her or not, Palin is a former governor and vice presidential candidate. She deserves the same respect every single one of her male counterparts receives when they are featured on the cover of the magazine. I must have missed the cover of Vice President Joe Biden in short shorts or of Mitt Romney in a bathing suit.

Newsweek's sexist treatment of Palin doesn't get any better... illustrating Christopher Hitchens' piece on "Palin's base appeal"... Sarah Palin-as-a-slutty-schoolgirl doll.... What kind of message is the magazine trying to send here?

This is just the latest in a pattern of the media's sexist coverage of female politicians...


Hullabaloo: I'm honestly at a loss for words about [CNN]. How many ways can one short segment be offensive? First of all, it was very thoughtful of Yellin to agree that other female politicians "don't act like men" even though they have "played the old pantsuit rules" of the workplace and don't "embrace their femininity." (This means, evidently, that they keep their "femininity under wraps" by not showing off their "gams.")

However, Yellin might have considered that most professional women have enough problems getting people to listen to what they say rather than staring at their legs, so they don't find it all that useful to show them off. Even Palin, before she became a celebrity, said that she wore those glasses and put her hair in a bun so people wouldn't obsess over her looks. It's hard to believe that someone like Jessica Yellin would be so dismissive of women's difficulties... but then she's a television personality, not a serious professional, and for women in show business being sexy is paramount. I guess this makes sense for her.

But there's another dimension here. Most of the women she names as being frumpy, sexless and "unfeminine" are quite a bit older than Palin. They have ascended to the heights they have in middle age, after putting in many years working their way up the ladder. In their 50s and 60s most of these women are not going to don short shorts... they are selling their brains, experience, wisdom, hearts and commitment, which are really hard to market in a pair of Daisy Dukes.... Perhaps the gasbags and newsreaders in the infotainment complex find that distasteful or boring, but the women at least should probably think twice about perpetuating these stereotypes...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?