the anti-hillary spin

Posted on January 20, 2008

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It’s getting increasingly impossible to ignore the truth in Bill Clinton’s accusation of the US media’s coverage of his wife, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton — that it is biased against her.

No matter how well Clinton does or how much effort she puts in, the media just seems to find an unflattering or negative angle when it comes to writing about her.

Every time Clinton does well, the headlines would invariably be about some fluke (i.e., her near-tears in New Hampshire) or her victory is Pyrrhic and some kind of trouble will be awaiting her in the races ahead.

Observe CNN’s coverage.

Or Slate‘s snide report after she emerged victorious in Nevada.

Even our British friends at the Guardian seem miffed that Clinton has won.

No story by these media outlets on how she had overcome the odds stacked against her in Nevada, e.g., the Nevada Culinary Workers’ Union’s endorsement of her biggest rival Barack Obama, the attack ads in Spanish that were ran there; to record an impressive win in a closely-fought state, beating Obama 51 per cent to 45 per cent.

Instead of highlighting her strengths or potential power through her support by female, lower-income and Hispanic voters, CNN had chosen to paint the gloomy picture of her slipping among black voters. Be that as it may, Hispanic voters are the bigger force and stronger minority group in the Western states. Clinton’s ability to capture their support (two-thirds of Hispanic voters chose Clinton) should spell more trouble for Obama in the widening battle ahead.

When media outlets have chosen to highlight the strong support Clinton continues to enjoy among female voters, they seem to do so grudgingly, attributing her success with them not to her campaigning ability or striking a chord with them. They would rather paint women’s support of Clinton as a somewhat irrational compulsion, such as getting back at those who had wronged a “sister”. So even though women again favored the New York Senator over the Illinois Senator in Nevada, 51 to 38 per cent, the media has yet to put that down as an imposing asset in her corner and as something for other Democratic contenders, or even Republicans, to be worried about.

While Obama had not been the Second Coming that his supporters had painted him to be, the media had been slower in picking up his less-than-savory tactics. Consider the fact that Obama had not stopped his supporters from running an inflammatory Spanish-language ad in Nevada, which claims that Clinton did not respect Hispanics. This after the two had ostensibly called a truce during the Nevada debate and agreed not to use race as an issue.

Perhaps the media is much happier and more comfortable writing fluff pieces about presidential candidates’ wives, how much of an asset they are to their presidential-aspirant husbands and how they deny themselves by focusing on the familiy while their husbands went out and fulfilled their ambitions, than writing about a serious, ambitious female presidential contender.

The misogynistic tone that has been adopted by many male pundits, especially on television, goes on. Some might have been forced to back down, such as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, but the tone hasn’t changed. It must be an extremely horrifying prospect for these people to regard the fact that Clinton could very well be the next commander-in-chief and are taking as much potshots at her as possible, in the hopes of preventing her from getting to the White House.

But sorry guys. Just like Maya Angelou’s poem for Clinton says, she will bounce back and live to fight another day.

Here’s Angelou’s tribute to Clinton, which was first published in The Observer. Yes, rise Hillary, rise.

State Package for Hillary Clinton

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wits’ end, but she has always risen, always risen, don’t forget she has always risen, much to the dismay of her adversaries and the delight of her friends.

Hillary Clinton will not give up on you and all she asks of you is that you do not give up on her.

There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you’re born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies. Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to be what it can become.

She declares she wants to see more smiles in the family, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. She is the prayer of every woman and man who longs for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.

She means to rise.

Don’t give up on Hillary. In fact, if you help her to rise, you will rise with her and help her make this country the wonderful, wonderful place where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety and without crippling fear.

Rise, Hillary.

Rise.

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