How Media Present Hillary Clinton
For many years, there always have been stereotypes when it comes to roles in society and its different professions. For instance, the field of politics have been mostly taken by men. Mainly, because women were always expected to take over domestic and family-oriented roles in society unlike men whose fields and professions was a wider realm when compared to women’s. After many studies, results indicated that there are four categories of the representation of women in politics throughout history. According to Anne Phillips, the first category is fudging the footnotes which basically means that many of the attitudes, behaviors, language, and data regarding the representation of women in politics is false. The second category is the assumption of male dominance which revolves around the fact that politics as a field is dominated by men (24). Additionally, the third category is the acceptance of masculinity as an ideal political behavior; which revolves around the unexplained conception that masculinity serves as the ideal behavior and value in the field of politics. The fourth and last category is the commitment to the eternal feminine; which means that the feminine behavior is ideal when performed in the limits of being a wife and a mother and thus would serve as a weak political figure when compared to her colleagues of men (25). These conceptions only show the injustice women face in trying to be part of certain professions within society. However, these misconceptions have changed in the past years as many female political figures made it to high political positions and proved great success and accomplishments to the field of politics.
One of these women figures is Hillary Clinton whom this paper will discuss her representation in the world of politics and media in the modern world where women are striving to prove success in men-dominant fields. Hillary Clinton can be considered one of the most determined female figures that strived for a place among men in the white house. According to her biography, she had a long journey that consisted of her being strong-minded and persistent. Clinton graduated from law school, became the first lady of Arkansas,and she is the first lady when husband Bill Clinton became president of the United States. During that period, Clinton advocated gender equality, and health care reform. Clinton did not only settle for that however; she became senate in 2001 and from there she started her presidential campaign in 2008 and 2016. During her presidential campaigns, Hillary had a unique way of representing herself. According to Martina Topic and Etajha Gilmer, she represented herself initially with a refusal to fit into the role of being a supportive wife only. Taking in consideration her experiences with law and politics, Clinton saw that she was more than just a wife, and a mother. Moreover, Topic and Gilmer address the fact that Clinton used feminist views to portray her ideology and mission objectives. Some of these objectives include her advocating for racial, women, and LGBT freedom and rights. Also, she was raising awareness during her campaign towards raising wages and ensuring and equal pay for women (2533). In a sense, Clinton was representing herself as a woman whose fighting and advocating for the rights of minorities that are often have been neglected and ignored as well as she made this ideology her main element of representativeness to the people, the media, and the world.
The way Hillary Clinton presented herself is completely different from how the media presented her. Unfortunately, Media do not present her in the same positive manner. According to Diana Carlin and Kelly Winfrey, women candidates like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were living examples of how women politicians have made a long way in the field. However, they did not escape the sexism towards women in aspects like language and media framing. There was a negative coverage of both women candidates for merely being women (326). This only shows how the media attacked women candidates for being women who are striving for a higher position that have always been dominated by men. Their language and how they spoke was being criticized. The beauty standards, fashion, and their gestures were being criticized as well. It is almost as if to be a woman in that field, every move and every detail will count and would either make or break their image. This is proof of the pressure that women have to go through for striving to be more. Additionally, the media did not only criticize Hillary Clinton’s language and fashion but also used cartoons to diss her image. According to Charlotte Templin, the sexism in cartoons has been used as a tool to show a backlash against professional women for instance, like Hillary Clinton. The cartoons demonstrated clichés and stereotypes against women in aspects like gender reversal, calling her a radical feminist, domestic imagery, women as a body only, cherchez la femme, and many other ways to backlash women and their abilities of being professional and of high standards (30). This only shows a proof of how media can be used a weapon to represent women in the worst stereotypes like making her an object, a body, limited to domestic activities, and basically unreliable for the job.
In conclusion, the way women are represented and attacked in media is unquestionably still happening until this very day. Women are viewed as secondary to men, and the inequality they have been experiencing is being fought by a lot of women like Hillary Clinton. Clinton strived to be known and successful in a field that was dominated by men for so many years, and she addressed other women, and other minorities of races and sexual orientations to represent her ideology. That every individual should be equal to the other and every individual is able to offer something. Mainly, she showed that women are in fact able to offer just as much as men can.
- Carlin, Diana., Winfrey, Kelly. “Have You Come a Long Way, Baby? Hillary Clinton, Sarah
- Palin, and the Sexism in 2008 Campaign Coverage” Journal of Communication Studies, vol. 60, no. 4, 2009, pp: 326-343.
- Caroli, Betty Boyd. “Hillary Clinton.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 24 April 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Hillary-Clinton.
- Phillips, Anne, ed. Feminism and politics. Oxford University Press on Demand, 1998.
- Templin, Charlotte. “Hillary Clinton as Threat to Gender Norms: Cartoon Images of the First Lady.” Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 1, Jan. 1999, pp. 20–36.
- Topic, Martina., Gilmer, Etajha. “Hillary Clinton and the Media: From Expected Roles to the Critique of Feminism” The Qualitive Report, vol. 22, no. 10, 2017, pp: 2533-2543.
2016 Election: an Unexpected Result
One day in March of 2016, I remember being in Spanish class watching a debate between my right-winged teacher and a liberal student. At that moment, I knew the 2016 Election would change the way people think about politics forever. Throughout the election, I had no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. The idea of Donald Trump winning the electoral college seemed too far-fetched when looking at red versus blue states. I didn’t really consider his rhetoric, just previous electoral trends. Because Clinton’s candidacy was basically an extension of the Obama administration, I figured that the electoral map would look identical to the map in 2012. I thought swing states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida would go to Hillary because they voted democrat in the previous election. Boy was I wrong! I thought people would overlook her scandals and vote for her in order to continue the progress the Obama administration accomplished. I truly believed that the candidate’s policies would overcome all other factors in terms of voting, but I finally realized people don’t always vote based off policy. The 2016 election will change the way politicians will run their campaigns, present themselves, and explain past controversies in the next presidential election.
The 2016 election is still being discussed three years later, that’s how impactful that election was. There are many theories on why the election turned out the way it did. Some believe Trump capitalized on American’s fears and internalized racism, Clinton was power hungry and a criminal, others believe the American people were tired of the Washington establishment. There’s lots of speculation on how Trump won and how Hillary lost. Those two statements might sound redundant but the reasons for both are different. An anonymous staff article from the New York Post titled “Hillary’s presidential bid was doomed from the beginning”
Explains some missteps the Clinton campaign had in the 2016 election from the book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign. This book was written by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Allen and Parnes are both geniuses about the Clinton family, they’ve written two books together on Hillary. Both authors have large political presences in such publications as The Hill and Politico.
The New York Post has a reputation for being conservative and it shows subtly in the article while being factually accurate. Considering the political leaning for this publication, I believe that majority of the audience for the New York Post is republican. A little over four percent of users who visited the New York Post website visited the Drudge Report immediately before, others came from Facebook and Google. I think this statistic confirms my assumptions about the audience of the New York Post. The article discusses the many issues the Clinton campaign faced in the 2016 election. Issues include the announcement of her candidacy, conflicting strategy ideas between her staff, scandals, and Clinton’s own shortcomings. The author of this article is trying to inform their readers on how we should have seen Clinton’s defeat before the election ended. I believe the author’s exigence for writing this article is to show that Trump winning wasn’t as unlikely as everyone thought. I also think the author’s purpose for writing this article is to suggest to the Democratic Party to choose a different candidate next time. The article also suggests that the American people are tired of the Clinton Dynasty (Clinton fatigue). This article is effective because it establishes ethos by taking examples from a book written by two Clinton experts. Regardless of the belittling language used against Clinton in the article, the facts are true and its up to the reader if they have a positive or negative opinion on the former presidential candidate after reading the article.
When reading this article at first, it was obvious the author had a negative view of Clinton from the verbiage that was used to describe issues about the campaign. The staff author describes Clinton’s advisers as “leaderless”, Clinton’s husband Bill as “meddling”, and calling Clinton “rusty as hell” in terms of connecting with voters from her book tour in 2014 promoting her book Hard Choices. These choices of words weren’t taken from Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign but it was instead interpreted from the author and then written in their own feelings and words.
The author also mentions an analogy stated by a former adviser from the Clinton campaign. This quote compares Clinton’s email scandal to a cold sore, “You never know when it’s going to pop up, you think you’re over it and then it pops up again”. Although the author of this article didn’t write that quote, he carefully selected it from a book to include it in his article. By using this quote, the target audience of this publication, conservatives, can confirm that Clinton is untrustworthy and can’t escape a scandal. This quote is simplistic and eye-catching to the reader. The quote probably gets stuck in their head and they could repeat it for an argument because the quote has a nice ring to it. This is what the author wants, the more people that disapprove of Clinton, the better.
Although the authors of the book mentioned in the article are creditable, the author of the article made a choice by choosing Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign over the autobiographical memoir What Happened by Hillary Clinton herself. Both books explain the mistakes made in the campaign, one is just written from the candidate herself. Yes, What Happened is biased towards Hillary because she wrote it, but in the book, she also identifies mistakes she’s made. For example, in the article the author critiques Clinton’s 2008 campaign saying Clinton made it all about her with a “I’m in it to win” attitude. While in What Happened, Hillary responds to this assumption by stating:
“In 2008, I had been criticized for arriving in Iowa like a queen, holding big rallies and acting like victory was inevitable. I never thought that was a fair description of me or our campaign; we believed I could prevail in a crowded and talented field, but we certainly didn’t take Iowa for granted. In fact, we recognized that it wasn’t an ideal first contest for me and spent a fair amount of 2007 trying to figure out how to make the best of it.” (Clinton, 130)
By only mentioning one book about Clinton’s election, the author misses out on personal testimony such as the one above. Of course, it’s hard to change public perception but when someone responds to an assumption at least hear them out. I’m sure the author knew about Clinton’s memoir but decided against citing it in order to maintain the narrative that Clinton is corrupt. Additionally, The New York Post audience might have dismissed Clinton’s word because they already believe she’s a liar thus causing authors at the publication to avoid referencing What Happened.
The final strategy I noticed the author of this article used was the lack of positive things to say about the campaign. Yes, this article is about the things done wrong with the campaign, but the author never used verbiage like “despite of” to at least give some credit to Clinton for trying. There are positive aspects of any campaign, including Trump’s! I mean he did win the presidency after all. There was no mention of anything Clinton did right or tried to make right. I also felt a vibe that the finger was always pointed at Clinton throughout the paper. Some things are out of the candidates control and it’s not always their fault. For example, the author critiqued Clinton’s introductory speech by saying “the failure of the speech to connect Hillary to a cause larger than herself”. I’ve watched the speech that Hillary made on Roosevelt Island, New York in 2015 and just like any politician they talk about the issues the country is facing, not just themselves. I’m sure the audience reading from the New York Post already has a negative opinion of Clinton and the material in this article just reinforces their thoughts. Using only negative information in this article is effective for its audience. I’m not surprised the author used only negative information for this article, they want and need to appeal to their base.
The article is well written and appeals mostly to its base and maybe a select few democrats that are curious on what the other side has to say. Any person who doesn’t support Clinton will find nothing wrong with this article. The article does a good job with remaining factual at all times. However, there are some interjectional opinions throughout the paper that shed a negative light on Clinton. Although I disagree with the subtle opinions, the author did a great job with creating a narrative to attract their target audience. I would’ve preferred a title more like “What Clinton Accomplished and Failed at in the 2016 election” to seem a little bit more non-biased. However, it’s unrealistic to expect media to be unbiased, we all have our own biases and should keep that in mind whenever we read a news article.
The Stance on Guns in America Raised a Dialogue Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
“Hillary Clinton took on Sen. Bernie Sanders for his stance on guns at the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, saying he was “not at all” tough on guns. The debate’s moderator, Anderson Cooper, asked Clinton if the Vermont senator was tough enough on guns. ‘No, not at all,’ Clinton responded -– coming out of the gate strong on one of the only issues where she is considered to the left of Sanders… ‘Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady Bill,’ she continued. She also said he voted for a bill that helped protect the gun industry, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. ‘He also did vote as he said for this immunity provision. I voted against it,’ Clinton said. ‘I was in the senate at the same time. It wasn’t that complicated to me. It was pretty straightforward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America.’ In response to the criticism, Sanders defended his record, but focused on the need to build consensus across the aisle, saying he is from a rural state. ‘What I can tell Secretary Clinton, that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want,’ he continued. In the past, Sanders voted against the Brady Bill and for a bill that ‘protects gun manufactures from lawsuits from victims of gun violence.’ At the CNN debate on Tuesday, held at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, Cooper asked Sanders whether he believes that gun manufactures should be free from liability. ‘Of course not,’ Sanders said. ‘Do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don’t.’ ‘On the other hand,’ he continued, ‘Where you have manufacturers and gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course, we should take action.’”
Explanation: Bernie Sanders in this article stated that his opponent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had “misstated” his statement that people should stop “shouting” about gun control. In order to capture the attention of his audience, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders over-exaggerates his arguments and makes his opponents look bad. In one particular response to a question about his contradictory beliefs on gun control, Sanders used the logical fallacy, Straw Man. This logical fallacy misrepresents the position on a situation. After being asked about gun control, Sanders says, “When you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals, or aiding and embedding that, of course we should take action.” Instead of taking the approach that guns should be banned simply because of the danger that can be caused if the wrong person gets hold of one, Sanders decided to make a statement about how people who sell guns are completely aware of the fact that they are selling them to criminals. While there may be cases in which stores with weapons sell their products to known violent people, Sanders has no evidence that this is a constant problem. He makes a claim about people in order to make himself seem like the only viable option for bettering this nation. This logical fallacy is effective for Sanders in the sense that he is able to make eliminating gun availability appear to be by far the safest option. For those who sell guns or are more familiar with data on the difficulty in purchasing a gun, however, Sanders would come off as being ignorant.
An Argumentative Political Preference of Hillary Clinton as President
During an election it is hard to decipher the truth when you are constantly exposed to political propaganda. However, when you look how each presidential candidate has behaved throughout their career, you can determine their character. Character, or personality, will determine a candidate’s ability to not only lead, but to compromise when necessary. A great president is someone who is able to communicate well, listen well, and be a diplomat without forgoing their own values. They should value family, reasonable freedoms and I believe among the candidates, Hillary Clinton is the most apt to lead and deserves the title “Leader of the Free World”.
Hillary Clinton has had a long career in politics and is well-educated. She graduated from Wellesley College and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. As a woman, she has paved the way in politics she became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation, the first female partner at Rose Law Firm, and the first female senator of New York. As First Lady of Arkansas, she reformed the public school system and was on board of directors of Wal-Mart. Clinton’s democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, often calls out her ties with corporate America (Gray). In the eyes of the population, her ties with Wall Street make her dishonest, untrustworthy. However, these people fail to remember Clinton has been immersed in politics for four decades. Hillary and her husband, Bill Clinton, are supported by corporations because whether you like it or not, their wealth gives them political power. For the Clintons to be agents of change, they have had to scratch the backs of big banks, corporations and the wealthy (Lazaroff). However, Hillary has always used her power for good.
Some of Hillary’s greatest accomplishments have been advocating for the rights of children. She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families early on in her career and helped create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. When Bill Clinton became president, as first lady she focused on the welfare of families, women and children. Although some of her ambitions failed, like reforming the health care system, she fought for reform and for the general good. She also advised her husband to appoint the first woman, Madeleine Albright, to be Secretary of State (Baker). The media is quick to dismiss these accomplishments. Even after her husband’s term in office, Hillary Clinton has remained in the White House. As Secretary of State, she had invaluable experience in foreign affairs. In 2016, we need someone who has experience because the U.S. is entangled in Middle East, Europe and Asia. Hillary Clinton is not a firestarter, she is level headed and has proven to be a diplomat, she will not make any rash decisions that could put our nation’s security at risk. For all these reasons, Clinton would make an excellent president.
The candidate you should absolutely never vote for is Donald Trump. Trump is a businessman, he has absolutely no experience in politics. He often makes vague, mean, racist, and sexist statements to provoke people and tap into our anger. When he controls our media and our emotions, he controls us. Let’s not give into the generic statement “Let’s Make America Great Again” when the man has never clearly specified what policies he would put in place. His grandest and most solid plan to date is to put a wall on the Mexican-American border and fund it using the Mexican government’s money. This plan would supposedly solve the immigration problem, but making the Mexican government pay for and creation of the wall is ludicrous. Even more, his hot-headed temper makes him impulsive and often he flip flops on serious issues. To give this man the title “Commander-in-Chief” would be dangerous because he has proven time and again that he is impetuous and lacks forethought. If he was elected president, I would be incredibly concerned about our country’s safety.
Hillary Clinton is really the best candidate out there. She has a solid record in politics, clocking in many decades and her values have stood the test of time. If anyone questions her morality, I would ask them: what would you do if you were in politics? A lot of politics is a money game, but that should not detract from her obvious objectives: to provide people with a better standard of living and to help the common good. While Bernie Sanders seems like a morally upright type of person, a lot of his policies are also vague and potentially dangerous. Breaking up Wall Street, our financial sector, and providing free college will not solve all of our nation’s problems. It could put our economy on edge and often Bernie Sanders fails to focus on other problems like foreign affairs. Clinton has the strongest background, good character, and a strength in perseverance that sets her apart from the noisy crowd. For these reasons, Hillary Clinton should be elected Madam President.