Can’t it be both? Over the past few days, I’ve been wondering if, now that the primary is over, we can answer the question of whether the country is more sexist or racist.
Certainly it’s never going to be so clear cut, but the NYT has an interesting look at the role that sexism played in the media’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
I think it’s pretty obvious that most of the male-dominated punditocracy — Matthews, Hannity, and the like — engaged in some pretty wretched behavior. At the same time, it’s very clear that certain chunks of white America refused to vote for Obama because of his race.
And I think that just about says it all. The issue of sexism seemed largely confined to the media. The rank-and-file voters had no problem voting for a woman (at least not this woman), despite how hard the media pounded her. But on the flipside, despite largely glowing coverage in the media, many Democrats didn’t vote for Obama because of his race.
To put it another way: the media has a sexism problem, but America still has a racism problem.