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Womens Group: Network News Coverage Is Sexist

Petition Calls on National Media Outlets to Stop Using Sexist Language and Fostering a Sexist Culture. 5/23/2008 05:38:00 AM Eastern

The Women's Media Center (WMC) has launched a petition targeting what they say is sexist media coverage on the major cable news networks.

 The group, whose board includes Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and former PBS President and current Museum of Television & Radio President Pat Mitchell, combined the online petition with a YouTube video of news clips they posted, "Sexism Might Sell, But I'm Not Buying It!," which they combined with the following online petition that sent the following message:

 "Media companies may think that sexism sells, but I'm not buying it! Together with the Women's Media Center, I call on the national broadcast news outlets (CNN, FNC, MSNBC and NBC) to stop treating women as a joke; to stop using inherently gendered language as an insult or criticism; and to ensure that women's voices are present and accounted for in the national political dialogue. Sexism isn't a partisan issue. We're not going to let anyone hit the snooze button on this important issue!"

 The effort comes the same week that the campaign of Hillary Clinton and its supporters suggested that she had had to fight sexism as well as Barack Obama on the campaign trail. The WMC video featured numerous references to Clinton in campaign coverage that equated her with a nagging wife or commented on a harsh expression or focused on her cleavage, although there were also reference to the hair and makeup of Michelle Obama.
Kathy Vermazen, media director for WMC, said the timing of the video and petition was a "total conicindence," and not tied to the campaign's complaints. As to why the video's focus is on Clinton, she said that Hillary Clinton had "put a spotlight on something that has been happening for a long time," and that in that spotlight, "something that may have been subtle" no longer looks subtle.
At press time, the just-posted video only had 170 view on YouTube after about two hours on the site. Network spokespeople had not returned calls at press time.

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