Today's media leaders seem to beam with pride at how progressive they are in standing up and reporting more positively on a mixed race candidate, Barack Obama, then a white candidate, John McCain. However the treatment of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton show that the media in the United States has a long way to go when to comes to true fairness.
It started with the media's fixation on Hillary Clinton's pantsuits. At the height of the Democratic Primary, Clinton's outfits and hairstyle actually made mainstream media news stories. No one wrote a story about Obama's choice of ties.
Now in the fall election, the media and the pundit and even comedian groups seem to dwell on Palin's looks and her clothes. At first, there were a few remarks and articles about how Palin's clothes come from J.C. Penney's. (As if something was wrong with that.) Now, that the Republican Party funded a clothing overhaul for the Governor and her family, that dominates the news about her campaign. Can you imagine someone asking Obama or Biden where they got their suits from and who paid for them or picked them out? How about the fact Jay Leno wears suits given to him for promotional purposes?
If the question was asked about the clothing a male public figure wears, most people go "who cares?" including members of the media. So, why do they care so much about what a woman wears?
The election season shows us that on some level, prejudice based upon race is on its way out of the mainstream culture for good. However, there is a soft sexism still present, especially with those who tout themselves as "progressive." Indeed, when a smart, conservative, attractive woman comes along on the national scene, it seems all the "progressives" can do is dwell on how good she looks and what she is wearing. Of course, they have to allude to her being a bubble head as well for good measure.
It is truly ironic that the very "progressives" who would cry havoc if they learned a woman applying for a job was subjected to a potential employer who emphasized the woman's looks and outfits and mocked her intellect, do the same with Sarah Palin. Of course, they did the same with Hillary Clinton on lesser scale, so no one should be surprised.
American women still have a long way to go before they will be taken seriously by the progressive media. The treatment of the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin make that clear.