Politics and the Media

Essay by MRC2CWOUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2008

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

The intent of this paper is to discuss the reporting of the 2008 Presidential Campaign with regard to the media, in all forms, seeming overwhelmingly to focus on racism and sexism as a central theme in the nomination of the next democratic presidential hopeful. The foundations of my response will be taken from a debate hosted by Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now! in a radio program held on January 14, 2008. The title was Race and Gender in Presidential Politics: A Debate Between Gloria Steinem and Melissa Harris-Lacewell. Feminism pioneer Gloria Steinem and Princeton University Professor of Politics and African American Studies Mellissa Harris-Lacewell presented their positions well, with valid uses of examples, but unfortunately, were quite clearly from radically opposing positions. This is an example of the unfortunate side of all the reporting of this political campaign by the media; instead of being objective, they focus on the sensationalizing of issues that are not representative of our societies concerns or views.

The DebateGloria Steinem wrote a piece in the New York Times in which she presented the case for Hillary Clinton as a victim to sexism and the status-quo for men in politics (2008). This editorial piece was made the initial focus by the host, Amy Goodman, and the debate never seemed to be able to move beyond a man versus woman, white versus black point, counter point. To her credit, Ms. Steinem attempted to deflect the criticism by stating that she was not endorsing any political candidate, but Ms. Harris-Lacewell was like a pit bull on a pork chop. She tended to demonstrate hostility at the concepts presented by Steinem which, to her point of view, was "asking us to ignore the ways in which gender and sex intersect" (Goodman, Harris-Lacewell & Steinem, 2008). The next...