To say that the ostensibly objective political media does a piss-poor job of evaluating Republican spin would actually be an insult to piss, which is why it’s so wonderful when it actually happens. The reporter in me really wishes the phenomenon worked both ways, but what they really do to Democrats is dismiss legitimate responses as “spin,” while treating Republican nonsense as legitimate. Part of this is due to the fact that the right has been so effective at working the ref that reporters are deathly afraid to hear noise about their lack of even-handedness.
That’s why it was so refreshing to see my former colleague Lynn Sweet completely bulldoze Carly Fiorina surrogate and former Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) on Sunday morning’s Up. In between stalking Hillary Clinton and complaining about sexism in how the media covers the only woman candidate in a Republican field of 17, Fiorina has managed to move up in the polls by being the least ridiculous thing at the kiddie-table debate.
Hayworth thinks that puts her in Hillary’s league, but more importantly, that Hillary is no big deal when it comes to women’s issues. Lynn Sweet set her straight in short order:
Hayworth: “I would say we are very fortunate to have, in this presidential race, a woman candidate who is effectively addressing the issue issues that plague all women. Her name is Carly Fiorina. But seriously, to contend, as Secretary Clinton does, that she has the unique voice on behalf of America’s women is completely false.”
Sweet: “Hold on. I don’t think she’s saying anything that’s false on this one. Whatever you might think of Hillary Clinton, she has a track record on women’s issues that go back decades, even before her famous Beijing speech, okay? And I’m not here to knock a woman candidate, okay? But what’s fair is fair, okay? Carly Fiorina might be another voice. They might agree or disagree on their approach to women’s issues, which are human issues.
“One of the strong suits, no matter what you think of Hillary Clinton, is going back to her days working for the Children’s Defense Fund as the first lady of Arkansas and even before that, frankly, working with the fund. And so I think we have to put that speech and what she did in New Hampshire yesterday was trying to rally her troops around one of the most non-controversial aspects of her strong, indisputable record.”
If only other reporters could manage this kind of honesty, instead of treating Fiorina’s candidacy as anything other than a heat shield for the GOP to avoid charges of sexism in attacking Hillary. Like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina is nothing more than a vehicle for white male resentment, or in the latter two cases, a Trojan horse.