Journos Blame Criticism of Their Kamala Fashion Fangirling on "Sexism"

Image via CNN reporter Maeve Reston's Twitter feed.
Image via CNN reporter Maeve Reston’s Twitter feed.

As Red State‘s streiff wrote Sunday, Sen. Kamala Harris enjoyed some fawning press coverage over the weekend thanks to female journalists-turned-fashion-consultants to the 2020 hopeful.


A quick recap, via Fox News‘s Brian Flood:

A group of political reporters hit the campaign trail with California Sen. Kamala Harris on Saturday but took a break from the political journalism, instead encouraging the Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful to try on clothes and giggle with her at a South Carolina boutique.

CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston, NBC News political reporter Ali Vitali and CBS News political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns documented the laugh-filled shopping spree on Twitter. (Notably, all three reporters are billed as straight-news journalists, as opposed to opinion hosts.)

As Flood noted, these are straight-news journalists, not opinion writers. It’s hard to believe that, though, when you look at Reston’s tweet – for starters:

And there was also this from Vitali:

Political analyst Brit Hume was one of the more vocal critics. He slammed the trio’s gushfest over glam queen Kamala in several tweets. “This is just embarrassing. So now journalists are going shopping with Harris, helping pick out clothes and then putting out glowing tweets about it,” he said in one.


In response to the criticism – which was widespread, a bevy of journalists – most of them female – rushed to the Twitter machine to defend themselves and their colleagues from the backlash.

Huey-Burns responded to Hume’s tweet by suggesting that the journos in question (including Huey-Burns herself) were merely covering the campaign stops because that’s what was on Harris’s schedule. Completely omitted from her defense was the fact that they were actively participating in the fashion show by giving Harris items to try on and cheering as she did so.

Later, Huey-Burns also tweeted:

In other words, our lopsided coverage was for a good cause, so shut up about it already.

NBC‘s Kasie Hunt made sure to invoke the “female” angle of the reporting, insinuating that it was sexist to criticize the lady journos in comparison to coverage male candidates had received in the past. Hume again responded:


The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto had a good point in response to defenders using the “but Sean Hannity and Trump” defense:

Hume and Taranto are exactly right here. The fangirling by the lady reporters betrays what straight-news political journalism is supposed to be about: Earnest, focused coverage involving questions about the important issues that matter to Americans.

Once upon a time, a journalist focusing on the fashion choices of female candidates was viewed as demeaning to their bonafides as contenders for higher office who should be taken seriously.

Not only that, but no one would have taken issue with this past weekend’s Kamala coverage anyway if Reston and company hadn’t been all “Slay, Queen, slay!” about the colorful jacket that they picked out for the presidential candidate to try on.

Reston snapped back at critics of her reporting by playing the – you guessed it – “sexist!” card, and retweeted an enthusiastic vote of confidence from LA Times columnist and culture writer Robin Abcarian:


In other words, look for more of the same from Reston because she will not be deterred from fangirling over humanizing female Democratic candidates in the face of all that misogynistic pouncing!


Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–


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