Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sexist Press Attacks Working Women: Updated

Here’s my question to the journalists working the governor beat: When the governor says something that defies logic and reason for the sole purpose of deflecting legitimate inquiries into allegations of wrongdoing, why do you dignify such assaults on common sense by reporting them?

As you may know, BFS reader, it has come to light that the governor’s wife (a woman) earned a rather significant chunk of change on a real estate transaction with a person (another woman) who in turn conducts business with the state (a unit of a nation). Many people, especially those who are familiar with the state’s ethics test, think that this little arrangement at the very least gives the perception of impropriety and is not becoming a reformer's better half.

What did the governor think about people questioning his wife's dealings? Probably not much until his spin doctors came up with a counter punch that I’m sure they imagined would leave their detractors doubled over in shame.

The governor, again channeling Jackie Childs, said that anyone who would question the legitimacy of his wife's business transactions is a Neandrethal who probably thinks that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. You see, this story isn’t about selling government favor, it’s about the media’s dogged pursuit to keep women oppressed. Because we know that most reporters, even women reporters, would like nothing more than to see society return to an earlier time, circa Father Knows Best, when the fairer sex didn’t have to concern themselves with anything more serious than not burning the pot roast and getting Kitten off to school on time. So let’s just leave all of this confusing real estate business to the men, shall we.

Anyone even remotely conscious knows that this line of defense, to borrow a couple of his administration’s favorite words, is ridiculous and ludicrous. So why bother reporting it? And if you are going to cover it, make him first identify exactly who he is calling a Neandrethal and then provide evidence to backup his claim. Of course he wouldn’t answer because the team of scientists who prepare him for public appearances didn’t condition him to respond to those questions.

It could be said that by running with his comments, the media is allowing the governor to embarrass himself more publicly. And to the rational segment of the populace, he has. But there are some people, those who fell in love with the heroic man-of-the-people depicted in his political ads, who will think that his poor wife is under attack by the evil forces of the ultra-conservative media.

Let the governor spin yarns as much as he wants when he’s paying for media space, don’t let him do it for free.

To everyone who voted for Blagojevich in the Democratic primary four years ago, please note: His opponent in that election, Paul Vallas, was just named one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News and World Report. Vallas became the superintendent of Philadelphia public schools after you decided that Illinois would be better served by someone pretending to be a leader. Even though he is currently under fire from Philadelphia’s mayor for a school budget shortfall of around $80M, that fact that Vallas isn’t proposing to sell and lease back all of the city’s high schools is a good indication that Illinois would be in better shape today, and tomorrow, if you hadn’t fallen for that whole Elvis shtick. Hope you’re happy.

I do realize that if the press wants to question the governor on this issue, that they have to report his response, however stupid it may be. It's frustrating to me, however, how easily the governor and his people can use the media to distract voters from the real issue.

Here's another
take on this issue that a Monkey recommended.


monkey boy said...

Here is an article for you to post on the topic.


Anonymous said...

Dan, if the governor of your state (a unit of the nation) was a complete idiot, wouldn't you want to know about it?

If your governor resorts to Cheneyian ad hominem attacks when asked a legitimate question, wouldn't you want to know?

Isn't one of the functions of the media in a free society to expose corruption and incompetence in government and in its leaders?

Blago is hanging himself in a noose of his own tying. It just boggles my mind that a plurality of the electorate is going to loosen it for him.

How anyone could endorse his "performance" during the past four years by voting for him is beyond me.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Ab Pro (sounds like something Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkly would be shilling),

I do reallize that if the press is going to question the governor on an issue, that they have to report what his response was. And I agree that to a certain segment of the population, he greatly embarrassed himself with his nonsensical talk of sexism. What bothers me about the whole thing is that this wasn’t some off-the-cuff accusation, this was their strategic, damage-control message intended to distract the voters from the real issue. They obviously think that by crying Neanderthal, a certain segment of people will be sympathetic to their side. I don’t know how effective a strategy it will be, I would hope not very, but it does bug me how easy it is for them to paint a false picture in voters’ minds.

Thanks for commenting,

Anonymous said...

The attempt at damage control is what makes Blago an idiot here.

Maybe I'm being naive, but I'd like to think that someone sympathetic to the idea of chicks in the workforce would be smart enough to see the "Neanderthal" comment for what it is, which is bullcrap.

Of course, this is the same guy who still enjoys leads in the polls despite one corruption scandal after another.

Maybe I am being naive.

Anonymous said...

The job of the journalist, at its most basic level, is to report what the journalist observes. If the governor is observed to be feeding the press a line of BS, then the reporter should report that. But the problem I have is with the reporters who don't press harder, even en masse, to lift the lid off the BS and pressure the morons like Blagojevich to give a REAL answer.

miltongoldblatt said...

The press did a decent job and Blago looked like a fool.

Now look at the love fest between the suntimes and Obama.


Leland Milton Goldblatt