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When Serial Harassers Attack

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Excellent Jill Filipovic column on the well-known misogynists in the press corps who helped put Trump in the White House:

Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Matt Lauer interviewed Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump in an official “commander-in-chief forum” for NBC. He notoriously peppered and interrupted Mrs. Clinton with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only to pitch softballs at Mr. Trump and treat him with gentle collegiality a half-hour later. Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose set much of the televised political discourse on the race, interviewing other pundits, opining themselves and obsessing over the electoral play-by-play. Mr. Rose, after the election, took a tone similar to Mr. Lauer’s with Mrs. Clinton — talking down to her, interrupting her, portraying her as untrustworthy. Mr. Halperin was a harsh critic of Mrs. Clinton, painting her as ruthless and corrupt, while going surprisingly easy on Mr. Trump. The reporter Glenn Thrush, currently on leave from The New York Times because of sexual harassment allegations, covered Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign when he was at Newsday and continued to write about her over the next eight years for Politico.

A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable. These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.

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A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable. These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.

And let’s again consider the “scandals” the media used to portray Clinton as being as or more dishonest and corrupt than Donald Trump:

EMAILS!, which dominated campaign coverage, involved trivial misconduct virtually nobody would care about if it involved anybody but Hillary Clinton. The Clinton Foundation entailed no misconduct by Clinton whatsoever, although this complete lack of corruption was generally revealed in stories that would spend 46 grafs strongly implying misconduct by Clinton before a 47th graf sheepishly conceding that there was not only no evidence Clinton did anything wrong, but not even a plausible story about what she could have done wrong. Both stories got more coverage that Trump bilking people out of tens of millions of dollars with a fake university and running a foundation that was a pure grift, and far more coverage than Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. Whatever drove this coverage, it wasn’t that Clinton’s behavior was worse by any reasonable standard. Sexism isn’t the only thing that drove this malpractice, but it’s certainly one of the things that drove this.

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