In Sunday’s print edition, the dutiful lemmings at The Washington Post lined up their talking points with the Biden campaign, making clear that condemnations of Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick from conservatives and the Trump campaign would be false and sexist.
Reporters Annie Linskey and Isaac Stanley-Becker penned the roughly 1,900-word article “Biden campaign, women’s groups are working to blunt sexist attacks on his vice presidential pick” with pin-point precision.
Whether it be Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), or Susan Rice, The Post wants you to know criticisms are no more than a sexist disinformation campaign (aside from a puny throwaway acknowledgment that’s not usually the case in graph 14). Just like calling someone a racist or saying “the science” is on your side, they want to shut down debate.
After reading these lede graphs, try and not break the computer or phone you’re reading this:
Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, warned on a recent all-staff call that when his vice presidential pick is announced, sexism will motivate the ugliest attacks against her — no matter who she is.
She delivered this directive: Everyone on the campaign will be enlisted to defend her.
The all-hands-on-deck approach within the Biden campaign, described by someone on the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, is being separately bolstered by some of the country’s leading women’s groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, She the People and UltraViolet, who have been strategizing for months about how to best defend Biden’s vice presidential pick from sexist and racist insults.
Even before the nominee is named, some being considered by Biden are beginning to face the same sorts of attacks, playing on negative stereotypes, that the campaign and independent groups have vowed to confront.
The horror! So, what’s their proof? Turns out, one example is “[o]ne Facebook image” portraying Rice on a box of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Behold, yet another example of how the liberal media think random Facebook memes can decide elections. Unsurprisingly, they provided no link to said meme.
Presumably, these reporters would chalk up criticism of Rice on Benghazi, Rwanda, the Trump-Russia probe, or unmasking to be sexist as well. But there was nothing about any of those topics in this article.
Linskey and Stanley-Becker were even worse when it came to characterizing issues raised about Bass and Harris:
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) is being maligned online for a past relationship, a theme that was also floated on right-wing sites in her unsuccessful presidential campaign. Memes of Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) circulating on Facebook suggest she’s a “liar,” a radical and a closeted communist, offering no evidence other than past travel to Cuba and a warm quote about former leader Fidel Castro.
The posture by Biden’s campaign and women’s groups is meant to be far more aggressive than the way gender attacks were dealt with in 2016, when Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, often tried to downplay or ignore such gibes and was not taken seriously on occasions when her team did point to sexism. It’s also a reflection of the changed environment since then, as women expanded their political power with nationwide marches and the #MeToo movement ushered in fights against sexism in business, the media and politics.
Their work includes engaging a research firm to identify images already being circulated online, and preparing to call on platforms like Reddit or Facebook to remove images as they emerge from the dark corners of the Internet.
They’re also lining up surrogates ready to call out gendered or racist attacks — if the nominee is a woman of color — and have gathered research on how male vice presidential candidates have been described, as a means of comparison.
Since The Post chose not to given their viewers the facts, here we go: Harris briefly dated then-California House Speaker and future Mayor Willie Brown (D) in the early 1990s with Brown admitting years later he did make sure to elevate her career, including “her first race for district attorney in San Francisco.”
Leaving aside the reality that many see these claims about women sleeping their way to power as sexist, it’s a biographic detail that voters should know instead of make esoteric references.
Second, note how The Post says the attacks on Bass are made with “no evidence” even though they provided five separate critiques that have nothing to do with gender. Speaking warmly about Castro would be a problem for a number of voters, especially in Florida. And nothing about her fondness for Scientology? What are you doing, Annie and Isaac?
We’ll spare you the rest of the piece, but it not only heavily quotes progressive activists, but The Post accepted their claims as fact that criticism of Biden’s eventually pick should be blunted and/or shuttered over claims of sexism.
As we noted above, here was the measly recognition that not everything is sexist:
Not every campaign attack is gendered, the campaign and the women’s groups acknowledge; some rest on past records or statements, akin to those that would be leveled against a male candidate. Trump campaign officials said their criticisms would be based on policy differences.