When the media worries about what Hillary’s hair looks like or what my hair looks like, that’s a real problem. We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people.
That was Sen. Bernie Sanders responding to New York Times feminist blogger Ana Marie Cox, who asked him whether he thought it fair that “Hillary’s hair gets a lot more scrutiny” than his. Here was the previous exchange that led to the smackdown:
“Hillary’s hair gets more scrutiny than my hair?” responded Sanders to Cox’s question. “Is that what you’re asking?”
“Yeah,” replied Cox.
“O.K., Ana, I don’t mean to be rude here. I am running for president of the United States on serious issues, O.K.?” Sanders retorted. “Do you have serious questions?”
In fairness to Cox, she was apparently trying to get Sanders to speak about the unfairness of the media paying attention to Clinton’s physical appearance, saying to the Senator that, “the media pays more attention to what female candidates look like than it does to what male candidates look like.”
It’s a fair point and Sanders probably took the question the wrong way. Regardless, Sander’s sentiment was entirely correct and he will no doubt face thousands of stupid questions in the coming months from the American media that cares little for policy and much for ratings. It’s also slightly bizarre to see politicians keeping the media in check – a tactic Donal Trump has perfected, albeit for completely the wrong reasons.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.