It’s Because She’s A Woman
As Senator Barack Obama continues to thorougly whoop Hillary Clinton's butt in the Democratic primaries, I have been reading and hearing about this so-called gender bias of which the media is guilty. To hear Hillarinas (those I call Hillary Clinton supporters) tell it, the media is piling on unfavorable news concerning their candidate because of the longstanding bias the media has against women in power. But for those who have been following these elections closely, they know, like I know, the real bias is being demonstrated towards a winner in Barack Obama. Even Hillary herself knows this.
Case in point: Back in November, before any caucuses or primaries were being held, Hillary was leading in polls, and just as most of us suspected, the other candidates began to attack her. Hillary, knowing her position as the top dog, played the pile-on like the consummateÂ politician she
is once was with the following quote:
"I don't think they're piling on because I'm a woman. I think they're piling on because I'm winning."
But now we hear her singing a different tune. Evidently, as Hillary has gone from front-runner to bitter-loser over the past couple of months she is not as sharp as she once was. While her camp and supporters cry foul over an alleged gender bias, they fail to forget problem the media has also had a long history of racial bias, of which Barack Obama was just as likely to fall victim.
Think back to when Barack Obama was behind in both delegates and overall popularity polls. He was being written off as much as anyone and no one was attacking the media, crying about some race-based bias. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until Obama won in Iowa that he was even worthy of any media bias, positive or negative. Nor were any other candidates. The only one who was getting treated with any type of serious hype, positive or negative, was Hillary. But then, things got interesting and a new bias developed once Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses.
The only thing the media loves more than winners is winners who aren't supposed to win. The underdog champ is a better story than the favorite winning. Everyone secretly roots for underdogs, because if they win, things get interesting. As someone who has watched the elections closely since Iowa, I can honestly say the only reason why CNN, MSNBC, and others of that ilk, continue to count me as a viewer is because Obama is still in this. Straight up, the race for the Democratic candidate ticket is a better race than anything else on television. It's better than Daytona, it's better than the Amazing Race, it's better than any reality show on there. Even American Gladiators - and I love that show.
No doubt, the media is sexist. Some people will even accuse this very publication I write for as being sexist or showing women in an unfavorable light. So yeah, I get that. Sexist, we are. But has not the media historically been racist too?
I'm asking because the more people continue to talk about a gender bias against Hillary Clinton, the more Barack Obama looks like a white man. Obama, for those who may have forgotten, is only half-white. The other half of him is African-American (Black, African, whatever, you get the point), and I know in some parts of this country, and to the media, half-black is whole black. So if Hillary can cry foul over accusations of gender-bias, trust me, we can go back to the tapes, and I'm pretty sure we can find instances of racial bias that hurt Obama as well.
Chris Rock once said, black people have to take a plane to the places white people can walk to. If Hillary Clinton kept her lead in tact up until this point, members of the media would be giving her the McCain treatmen; Obama, the Huckabee. But because Barack Obama is black, Hillary Clinton still has a fighting chance, because there is still a doubt, even amongst Obama supporters, that a black candidate can actually pull this thing off. Take race out of this equation, and we're still talking about a rookie Senator outshining the Clinton machine - a political brand as influential and recognizable as the Bushes, Kennedys, Roosevelts and Adams'.
So where's the beef? Because the last I checked, a black man in power was just as inconceivable, and to some, scary, as a white woman in power. Hillarinas are just upset because they realize the ability to transcend your differences in order to gain mass appeal cannot be taught, and prior to this year's race, no one thought a black man outside of the world of sports would be able to transcend his race. But Obama has transcended his differences in a field where differences matter. Meanwhile, Clinton has not, primarily because her strategy to get to the White House has reeked of self-entitlement, and if there's any bias against Hillary it's a bias against the attitude she had up until the moment she started losing.
Fact is the media is biased against minority groups of all types, but the bigger media bias tends towards underdogs, a role Barack Obama has been in up until he won Wisconsin a week ago. And no matter how far or close he is to wrapping things up, he will continue to be somewhat of an underdog because Clinton can do something to change the tides in her favor and was never supposed to be losing in the first place. Until then, expect the bias towards winners to continue.