Robin Givhan’s WaPo column on Hillary Clinton’s cleavage has become the latest piece of tacky journalism that keeps on giving. Today, Deborah Howell bemoans the fact that the WaPo “got thousands of angry letters and calls last week — the vast majority from women — in response to a July 20 Style column by Fashion Editor Robin Givhan, commenting on Clinton showing a bit of cleavage on the Senate floor.”
There’s a bigger issue about her Clinton piece: Does this have anything to do with whether Clinton should be president? Not a thing. But do we want to read the column about her cleavage? Yes indeed. It was the most viewed story on the Web site all day. So was a recent story on John Edwards’s hairdresser.
There has to be a balance in campaign coverage. Readers deserve substance, but they also want to know who these people are, about their families and their lives.
Howell shares, “One last thought: An angry female reader left a shouting voice-mail message, demanding that Givhan do stories on the more private parts of male candidates. Yikes!”
Yikes, my ass… As I said here in my piece about the Givhan column the other day, “when was the last time Givhan reported on any of Clinton’s male counterparts and discussed the package in his pants?” No doubt, Givhan wouldn’t ever report on such a thing, it would be inappropriate, to quote here on the very thought of “catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!”
And, look away Givhan should have done with Hillary Clinton, instead of making a sexist issue out of Clinton’s style that day. Shawn Mullen on TMV notes, “this cleavage thing is beyond silly.” But, lest we forget just how whacked some in the media are, C&L has video of John Harwood of the WSJ, claiming “Hillary’s blouse was a calculated move.”
I think we all need to ask the media at this point… Can we please get back to the important issues of the campaign season?