Tuesday, September 09, 2008


They were two of the biggest perpetrators of sexist comments during this election - MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Chris Mathews, and now they have been dethroned from their anchor posts and returned to commentary roles at the the network.

Their displays of extreme gender bias were not cited as even a factor in the reshuffling, the move as a victory in the fight to stamp out sexism on the campaign trail. Our efforts specifically call on party leaders - or corporate chiefs, as the case may be - to "stop the silence" on sexism. Booting those in high-profile media posts is a good step.

Olbermann famously suggested that someone should take Hillary Clinton "into a room and only he comes out." His attack reached a new low in it's threat of violence.

Chris Matthews called Hillary a "she-devil" and a "witchy" and lamented that the reason she was a United States Senator and candidate for president was that her husband messed around. We keep forgetting it. "She didn't win [the Senate race] on her merit."

Offensive is an understatement. The only thing worse is that Olbermann and Mathews sat in their anchor chairs for as long as they did.

We find it mysterious that no one's talking about their well-documented pattern of gender bias as a factor in their dismissals. In today's news coverage of their removals. we could not find any mention of their sexist and offensive behavior, from the New York Times to NPR. These are news organizations that know better.

Such a lack of recognition of their role in this year's sexist treatment of candidates prove our work is far from finished.

Gov. Sarah Palin's spot on the Republican ticket has launched the subject of sexist treatment of women candidates back into the spotlight. We will defend Palin "against misogynist smears" not because we like her or support her, but because that's how feminism works."


Stacy Mason