Let's Pigeonhole the Demographic

During the CNN debate, there were two moments of media stereotyping that took place that were entirely predictable. When they wanted a “Black Lives Matter” question, they went to the black reporter to toss it to the black questioner off Facebook. When they wanted an immigration question, they went to the hispanic reporter.

In the media, white people cannot ask “Black Lives Matter” questions or immigration questions to Presidential candidates. They are reserved for designated demographics. Now, we have another one. Female reporters must be assigned to cover Hillary Clinton.

What’s so funny about this is that the media is patting itself on the back, praising its progressiveness and willingness to put women on the campaign trail. But it is entirely predictable. Black reporters will ask questions for the black community, hispanic reporters will ask questions for the hispanic community, and female reporters will cover the first major female Presidential candidate.

It’s the salad bowl of demographics translated into political coverage. Every group must have designated tokens thrown into the mix to represent their demographic. One group is presumed to be incapable of speaking for another group. How dare that white reporter ask about police brutality!

This, to be clear, has nothing to do with the women covering Hillary Clinton. Good for them. Many of them are quite accomplished. But this has a great deal to do with how the media sees the world and divides up press coverage. And we can guess the corollary irony here. At some point, someone will lament how so many men are covering the men running for President. Well of course they are. All the women have been assigned to Hillary Clinton.