Sexism and the Press

Quoting from Dana Milbanks' story, referenced above, concerning the announcement that Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant:

"Upward of 10,000 reporters in and around the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, idled by McCain's decision to truncate the Republican convention because of Gustav, suddenly discovered that their plans for the day had been knocked up."

This is offensive. And this: "the Juno of Juneau."

Locker room talk about the serious issue of teen pregnancy, and the deliberate fun being made of a teenager trying to deal with big problems, is uncalled for and should be off limits in the media, particularly in the Washington Post, which usually has some devotion to classic journalism.

But Milbanks and others have proven this year that they don't know how to cover female politicians without reverting to high school.

Talk about Palin's stands on birth control and sex education and abstinence all you want, but don't poke fun at the daughter by referring to a popular movie and don't use cute phrases like "knocked up," which imply that pregnancy is something done to a woman and not something she participates in.

I don't see this attitude as differing from the way Clinton was treated, with all the remarks about her thick ankles, "witch’s cackle" and "nutcracker" attitudes.

Stereotyping and denigration based on physical conditions or attributes may be part of political cartooning, but they should be off limits in news stories, and such tactics undermine any serious attempt to parse political events. Journalists–yes, even opinion writers–need to grow up and act like men and women, or your editors need to impose a time out.

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