Lest we forget, one of her goals in Congo was to put the spotlight on the appalling treatment of women there. Obviously, with all the news orgs back home focusing on her -- they all but said ''bitchy,'' didn't they? -- reaction, the true issue got a pathetic amount of coverage.
Which is why I am posting this:
Here is today's column, with linky freshness:
It was 1991, at the Banff Television Festival where, as the Star's
TV columnist, I was thrilled to be chatting with a journalistic hero, a
man whose cred stretched back to the Vietnam War, a network show host,
a big man on the small screen on both sides of the border.
It was 1991, at the Banff Television Festival where, as the Star's TV columnist, I was thrilled to be chatting with a journalistic hero, a man whose cred stretched back to the Vietnam War, a network show host, a big man on the small screen on both sides of the border.
I'd been in the job for a couple of years and, if I do say so myself, had made some waves in the broadcast biz with my reporting. Big Man was very complimentary, admitting he loved my insider gossip.
That's when my (now ex-) husband joined us. Big Man and he were acquainted, as my former mate was himself a TV journalist, producer, director and writer of some note.
When Big Man realized who my husband was, he said, dead seriously, "Oh, now I know where you get all your information."
"Yeah, right," I snapped. "My husband really has time to do my homework for me."
Which brings us to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who, despite her education, background, brains, hard work, groundbreaking career and sheer grit in the face of the most persistent and consistent sexist attacks in memory, continues to be the target of media- generated discrimination.
This week, Clinton, nursing a broken elbow while on a gruelling tour through Africa, visiting some of the most hellish countries on Earth, places where thousands of women, children and even men are raped as spoils of war, failed to deflect a question in an acceptably girlie and gracious manner.
At a town hall with Congolese university students, she was asked, in a halting and a supposedly mistranslated way, her husband ex-President Bill Clinton's opinion of the World Bank's and China's dealings in that country.
(Despite initial reports, subsequent analyses reveal that not only was Clinton in fact asked about her husband, a former Congolese basketball star Dikembe Mutombo was also asked for his opinion.)
"Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks?" she replied, incredulous. "My husband is not the secretary of state. I am. So, you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to be channelling my husband."
The subsequent stories and headlines described her reaction as "boiled over," "outraged," "unhinged," "blew up," just about every substitute for "shrieked shrewishly" you can find in a thesaurus.
But watch the video, which of course has gone viral, and you can see, not only does Clinton hesitate nearly 10 seconds before seeking clarification, her response is assertive, forceful.
Or at least that's how it would have been described had she been a man.
But, of course, she would not have been asked that question had she been a man, now would she?
The coverage was so disrespectful one pundit even noted that she was having a bad hair day.
"It had gone all flat and straight, which puts any woman in a bad humor," wrote Tina Brown, former editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.
You mean it wasn't PMS?
True, this media uproar is no more than just another example of the gotcha/trivia journalism all too common today, especially in the U.S.
But, when it comes to Clinton, there is a pattern. Remember how, during her run for the Democratic presidential nomination, her eyes got moist at one event, only to have the headlines describe a woman sobbing out of control?
Of course, because Clinton is taking a different tack from her weak, warmongering predecessors Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, a strategy focused on development and not defence, it's not as newsnet-worthy as "mushroom clouds" and "smoking guns."
And so, rather than report on her mission, and the Obama administration's truly world-changing strategy of focusing on maternal health and women's safety, the media give us reports on how Clinton's work begins at home, with her husband.
Talk about a fail.