Media Pundits Accused of Using Sexist, ‘Gender-Encoded’ Language Against Clinton

Progressive online publication Think Progress accused several male media pundits of using “gender-encoded” language to describe Hillary Clinton and her Super Tuesday 3 victory speech, claiming their observations of the former secretary of state were “sexist.”

The article targeted tweets from Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, Fox’s Brit Hume, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Politico’s Glenn Thrush. Collectively, the pundits criticized Clinton for sounding as if she was shouting during her speech, in addition to not smiling.

The article went on to claim that Tuesday’s criticism was “far from the first time media members have used gender-encoded language to describe Clinton,” citing past comments from other male pundits who have said that Clinton often times appears to be “screaming” or looks “unnatural” when giving a speech.

The article claimed:

The sexism of the 2008 campaign was so heavyhanded that it inspired the Women’s Media Center to draw up a guide to gender neutral coverage of female politicians for reporters. Research done by a WMC affiliate found that simply mentioning a female candidate’s appearance, whether to disparage, praise, or notice, hurts her election chances. The center has also identified certain words, like “feisty” and “scold,” as female-specific dogwhistles that can impact public perception.

This is not the first time Think Progress has criticized male pundits for making observations about Clinton’s speech delivery. Most recently, the progressive publication criticized Scarborough for making similar observations last month during a “Morning Joe” panel. However, women on that panel also made the same observations of Clinton — including show co-host Mika Brzezinski.

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