Oh Please: Women's Groups Complain About 'Sexist' Media Coverage of 2020 Presidential Campaigns

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

In spite of several months of grueling campaigning, the female Democratic candidates for president haven’t polled as well as their male counterparts.


In response, frustrated liberal women’s groups don’t believe that there’s an issue with the female contenders themselves. Instead, they are blaming … their allies in the liberal media.

The Hill reports:

The groups… write that the “historic number of highly qualified women candidates” running in the Democratic primary have received less media attention than their male counterparts, citing a FiveThirtyEight analysis, and that coverage of them has often focused on concerns about “electability,” using standards that have not been applied in coverage of male candidates.

The groups demanded the press ensure at least half of town hall and debate moderators are women and half of moderators are people of color, calling CNN’s recent New Hampshire town halls using only men as moderators “unacceptable.” The letter also calls on the media to ask male candidates about issues affecting women, including sexism, maternal health, reproductive rights and sexual assault.

“We need a candidate committed to protecting and promoting women’s rights, but too often, only women candidates are asked about reproductive rights and justice, maternal health or mortality, combating sexism, and addressing and eradicating sexual violence–if these questions are even asked at all,” the letter states. “Women make up over 50% of the electorate. Journalists must ask male candidates about these issues.”


Read the full letter here.

These women have either been hiding under rocks over the last several election cycles, or they’re just digging for someone or something to blame for the lack of traction the female candidates – with the exception of Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) – have gotten.

If we were talking about a Republican presidential field with a bunch of female candidates, these women might have a point (of course these same women’s groups would not go to bat for those Republican candidates the way the have for Democratic women), but we’re not. The mainstream press goes out of their way to treat the female Democratic party candidates with reverence and respect.

This is just one example, from CNN‘s Chris Cilizza, comparing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) to “Game of Thrones” character Brienne of Tarth:

Deeply disciplined and principled. Loyal, to a fault. Their upbringings have troubled them as they sought to both honor the past and move beyond it. Also, both are sneaky tall! (Warren is, according to the Internet, 5’8″.)

Here’s another, from CNN‘s Dan Merica, who is covering Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (NY) campaign:

Kirsten Gillibrand is campaigning by living her best life. So why aren’t voters responding?

Mainstream media journalists have even turned into impromptu fashion consultants on the campaign trail, as a giggly Sen. Harris found out in February:


In response to conservative complaints about how Harris was being treated like a rock star by those covering her, the female journalists blamed … sexism (shocker!).

So did Queen Kamala.

There are many more examples. These are not the exception. They are the rule.

On the issue of men being asked the same questions women are about issues like abortion, rape, birth control, etc, again these ladies have to have been hiding under a rock. They must have forgotten how often these exact type of questions asked of male candidates during political debates have gotten Republican men in trouble.

As to these women’s group’s complaints about the “electability” issue being “sexist” in nature, all I have to say is “are you kidding me?” The “electability” question comes up every presidential election cycle with Republicans who have fretted over which candidate had the better shot of defeating the Democrat in November.

Democrats are no different on this matter.

Talking about someone’s “electability” is only “sexist” in the minds of people who are desperately looking for something, anything to whine about. Elections are ultimately about winning, not installing someone in public office just because of their skin color or sex (I know Democrats don’t view things that way, but it’s the truth of the matter).


If polling numbers for the female candidates continue to stay in the single digits, I just don’t know what these liberal feminists and their sympathetic allies on the left will do. Maybe demand the guys just drop out of the race?

Oh, wait. That’s already started happening.

—Based in North Carolina, 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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