Usually I cut the media some slack; I figure someone has to. But, once and a while, when they truly go over the top, I have to jump in to give them a sanity check. Look at the link following; it’s an op-ed piece from CNN’s Campbell Brown (who previously defended the amount spent on Sarah Palin’s makeup, hair, and clothes).
If you didn’t read it, the piece essentially focuses in on the use of the word “diva” by some unnamed McCain staffer to describe Sarah Palin’s recent conduct that was viewed as — well maybe the best term is “off message”.
Ms. Brown starts off by criticizing the use of the term diva as being sexist, which it surely is. But just how much credibility are you prepared to give to some unnamed staffer’s supposed use of this term?
And in a campaign marked by sexist comments directed at both Palin and Clinton, does this one really stand out as egregious?
Should the use of the word diva by someone in the McCain camp really be that central to our thoughts one week before the election?
NO and NO.
Hillary Clinton endured all sorts of sexist comments during her campaign (and, quite frankly, for years before it ever began). That doesn’t make them right any more than it makes right the more subtle racial comments you can hear directed at Obama.
But they are part of the political landscape because women and people of color are about to break that last barrier and attain the nation’s highest office. The real prospect of a black man or a women as president makes some people far more nervous that they’d care to admit. And, among other reactions, they respond with inappropriate remarks. It’s not right, but we shouldn’t be too surprised. And folks, “diva” doesn’t really compare with some of the nastier comments I’ve heard and read.
I guess, though, the most central thing is to ask ourselves if this name calling should even be our focus. If I were in the the McCain camp, it certainly would not be.
I’d want to know how we lost the momentum we had coming out of the convention. I’d want to know how we are so badly losing the fundraising race. I’d want to know why half the ticket feels it is necessary to go “off message”. I’d want to know what the plan is to keep from getting our butts kicked next Tuesday and, in the process, giving the Democrats an even larger majority in Congress.
Yep folks, calling someone a diva isn’t very nice and it is sexist. But it’s not even on the list of huge problems the McCain-Palin campaign has right now.
And, a week before the election, it shouldn’t be a focus of media attention. It’s not really much of a story and, after next Tuesday, no one will even remember it. Ms. Brown, save your pen and ink for some real news.