(Note to readers unfamiliar with the American electoral process: We are early into our state by state "primary" elections, by which we decide who will be the candidates for the Presidential election in November. Yesterday was New Hampshire's primary.)
Because I hardly ever watch television, I don't see television news, and I don't become inured to it. When I do watch, I'm always taken aback by how crass and insulting it is.
Last night we turned on the idiot box to catch some of the results and wrap-up from New Hampshire. I was floored, just floored, by the coverage of Hillary Clinton. Holy shit: it's still all about whether or not she's "shrill," or shows enough emotion, or whether her having shown emotion a couple days ago is something "women, particularly, can identify with and respond to..." and on and on and on in that vein. What. The. FUCK. Is this where we still are? Can we not let this kind of crap go? Yeah, I've been hearing radio talk show assholes snicker about the size of her behind, etc., but in my naivete I didn't think the mainstream television news was itself so little removed from that.
It's insulting, both to her and to all of us, women and men, as voters.
When these campaigns were just getting going, it grated on me that the Democratic candidates perceived to be front runners were discussed as "Hillary, Edwards and Obama." Never "Hillary, John and Barack," cause that would (rightly!) have sounded really weird. Why the double standard in the use of her first name? It struck me as disrespectful until I saw that her own website is bannered "Hillary for President." So, OK, I guess. Maybe she likes it, and/or she's using it to give her campaign a kind of down-home familiar glow. I still think that it's inappropriate from major broadcast media, unless we're going to start talking about Barack and John, too. It's inconsistent, which in news coverage, means it's flawed. That nobody significant cares doesn't mean it isn't wrong.
I'm a ways off from deciding for whom to vote in the Massachusetts primary on February 5, and I've never been a particular fan of Hillary Clinton's. However, after taking in just a tiny fraction of the complete and utter nonsense that passes for legitimate discussion of her candidacy, I do have new respect for her. Issues aside, however far she gets, it's in spite of a lot of very disheartening, still very backward thinking.