Media’s Hillary-Hate and Trump-Coddling Were Weapons To Silence Women

21 Aug 2017

Hillary Faces Down the Devil and Wins -- Again

Shell shocked after seven months of Trump’s presidency, appalled in particular at his equivocating remarks defending racists after the disgrace of Charlottesville, we still struggle to understand how we got here. Roxane Gay’s NYT op-ed Hate That Doesn’t Hide states what so many of us feel:

“Angry white men holding tiki torches and shouting their throats raw chanting “blood and soil,” spittle hanging from their lips. Angry white men, arms outstretched in the Nazi salute. Angry white men playing soldier, heavily armed in public. Nazi flags, Confederate flags, American flags, “Make America Great Again” hats. Bodies clashing. A slate-gray car barreling into people standing up to racism. Bodies flying.

For the past week, I have seen hate thriving in plain sight. I am disgusted. I am angry. I am worried. And I keep thinking about how different things would be if Hillary Clinton had been elected president. I was, like so many of us, wildly overconfident about her chances. Her presidency was a certainty in my mind and in my heart. And then, it wasn’t.

Instead, it is 2017 and white supremacists no longer feel the need to wear hoods to hide their racism and anti-Semitism.”

When Hillary Clinton repeatedly warned of this in her 2016 campaign, she was dismissed by big media.  Her supporters knew she was right, but I agree with Ms. Gay that we had too much faith in people’s better nature and were blindsided by how much support for Trump’s hateful, fear-mongering, xenophobic, misogynist rhetoric exists.

We also could not imagine that a woman with an impressive 40-year record of helping others could have her character so destroyed by those with an obvious financial motive.  Pundits’ and news anchors’ horrid treatment of Hillary parroted Right Wing and alt-left smear, that’s sure, yet Hillary Clinton faced two other hurdles with her supporters.

First, Hillary Clinton suffers from Hermione Granger syndrome:  She engenders much confidence because she is uber-prepared and capable, tending to make people believe she has it “in the bag”, so some may not work as hard for her as they otherwise could.  Second, those who did go “to the wall” for Hillary were likely outnumbered by those who felt as Ms. Gay did: “I did not have the energy to deal with the inevitable backlash, from corners right and left.”  These two hurdles were interrelated:

Wasn’t that “backlash” implicitly encouraged by network media’s disrespectful behavior toward Hillary? Wasn’t the aversion Ms. Gay felt to dealing with such obstacles baked into beltway media’s cake? And perhaps the uber-confidence in “Hermione”, while sincere, was also a way to avoid having to fight loudly for her because of fear of being attacked for it.

Those who did battle hard to see Hillary elected, and they were many, were regularly hacked, threatened and harassed (including yours truly). Bullying, shaming and verbal or physical intimidation are effective techniques to stifle women’s voices. Which is why, while not ignoring the damage done by Russian hackers and FBI’s rogue Director Comey, beltway media remains ultimately responsible for Trump.  His unfitness for office cannot be overstated.

Beltway pundits and anchors’ deeper sin was covering a dedicated public servant as though she were the anti-Christ.  In so doing, they denied supporters the rightful pride and joy they felt at campaigning for Hillary, who had comprehensive policies designed to help the very people Trump carelessly looks to harm. By 24/7 making her as “ugly” as possible while giving him $2 Billion of free airtime to spew white supremacist dog whistles, their message was: ‘Come on in, ladies, fight for her. We dare you. You’ll get a taste of what she’s getting.’   Big media forced anyone campaigning to play defense, responding to nonsensical charges rather than trumpeting Hillary’s well crafted policy — which she successfully connected with millions.

Mainstream media (not local reporters) also worked tirelessly to generate TV revenue by pumping Trump’s faux “populist” narrative.  Ms. Gay notes that “back in November pundits began attributing Mr. Trump’s win to “economic anxiety,” because they were unwilling to face the blatant racism that fueled his popularity.”  Yet I think it’s more than being unwilling to see the truth. News media did see it, yet allowed personal animus, jealousy of Hillary’s abilities and a cynical desire for profit dictate their actions.

You can choose to believe major networks either ignored the racism and misogyny glaring to the rest of us or are so bloody naïve, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing and hearing. I’ll go with the former, thanks, since it is daily more apparent that these operatives keep pushing revisionist history and would rather (each) have their fingernails pulled out than admit culpability for their 24/7 scandal-mongering coverage of Clinton’s BS emails and little else.

Just last night, with Trump’s “look over there, squirrel!” Afghanistan speech, he once again received pundits’ praise for “at last becoming President” while some of these same lying media liars found the time earlier in the day to take more swipes at Hillary.

Hillary Clinton was and is expected to be perfect while an incestuous beltway media continually “applauds the tenor for clearing his throat.”* Part of their continued excuse-making for this man is to distract from and absolve themselves of their shoddy election coverage.

Further, per Lisa Solod’s piece in Dame Magazine, The Silencing of the Hillary Clinton Supporter:

“The media’s obsession with the white populist narrative serve[d] two purposes:  telling women who supported Hillary they don’t matter and exonerating itself from being culpable in her loss.”  … “White, brown, and black voters, who understood full well the ramifications of a Trump presidency, are rarely if ever revisited.”

This was not dissimilar from the 2008 primaries when Hillary voters were derided by pundits and anchors as “low information.” It was not only implied they were “vagina voters” but every effort was made to shame anyone who supported her. (Want evidence?  Here ya go).  They may as well say:

You don’t exist because we say you don’t …and we print ink by the barrel, so we win.

Almost 66 million voters are to this day receiving this message.

How did the media pick our president this time? First, they took a woman, a former First Lady and 2-term Senator, who stepped down as Secretary of State with 68% popularity and systematically smeared her, feverishly penning one empty innuendo, “optics” or sexist piece of dreck after another.  For detailed proof of this, please read The New York Times’ Vendetta Against Hillary Clinton.

Next, beyond mere bias, the media’s brutal coverage of Hillary also worked against her in ways related to the complaints made by both Ms. Gay and Ms. Solod, in that mainstream media’s disrespectful interviews and bashing coverage telegraphed to the “Bro” culture that there is no limit to the dirt that can be heaped upon this (or any) woman.  No one will stop you or call you out.  Their behavior, (networks like CNN let Trump surrogates spout falsehoods unchallenged), also gave Trump blanket permission to do the same.  Isn’t that another way of suppressing her votes and those who would campaign vigorously on her behalf?  That this woman won 3 million more votes than her opponent is miraculous under the circumstances.

Why does this matter now, more than ever?  Because revisionist history ensures the same outcome will be repeated if and when Kamala Harris or Kirsten Gillibrand step to the plate. Indeed, the smears and negative narratives about their “corruption” have already begun – from both Right and Left, as per usual. [emphasis added]

In closing, Lisa Solod quotes Hillary Clinton, who “in her speech to the Wellesley graduating class, exhorted women to”:

“Keep going. Don’t be afraid of your ambition, of your dreams, or even your anger. Those are powerful forces. But harness them to make a difference in the world. Stand up for truth and reason. Do it in private, in conversations with your family, your friends, your workplace, your neighborhoods, and do it in public. In media posts, on social media, or grab a sign and head to a protest. Make defending truth and a free society a core value of your life every single day.”

Defending truth and a free society are more vital than ever not only in the (hopefully short-lived) age of Trump, but in an age of remorseless network media bosses who seem bereft of decency or conscience.

Don’t let them off the hook.  Ever.

*quote from Les Liaisons Dangereuse by Christopher Hampton.


Anita Finlay is the bestselling author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin — exposing how big media silences women who strive for power in a society not as evolved as advertised.

#1 on Amazon’s Women in Politics books for 16 weeks.

Like Anita Finlay, Author on Facebook.

Follow @AnitaFinlay on Twitter.




  1. […] via Media’s Hillary-Hate and Trump-Coddling Were Weapons To Silence Women — […]

    • EXACTLY !! Thank you !! This is very well written and the truth is explained !! Hillary was also bullied endlessly 🙁

  2. sunny lockwood Says: August 22, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I agree completely with Ms. Finlay’s analysis of the media’s treatment of Trump. Day after day after day he led the news, he had more news time than anyone else, etc. It drove me nuts!

    But I also have to point out that the media was horrible toward Bernie Sanders, and that the democrats treated him him horribly. I voted for Hillary Clinton every time she was on the ticket, but I would have gratefully voted for Bernie, if he hadn’t been bulldozed by the democratic party and the disgusting media coverage.

    The election of 2016 is a travesty that this nation may not survive ….

    • Jami Kari Hay Says: August 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Sunny, Bernie Sanders was NOT treated horribly by the Democrats. He stole DNC information, made demands, and was not properly vetted by the media and his supporters. He also treated Hillary badly from constantly repeating untrue narratives and accusations at her and refusing to concede. He appealed to the white male base like Trump but on the radical left. In addition to the media and Russian operatives being responsible for Trump, so is Bernie.

  3. Great article, Anita, as always!

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jami! Bernie was given the same pass as trump throughout the campaign while he attacked Hillary viciously and pretty much did the republicans work for them because he got caught up in his own press and MSNBC was one of his main cheerleaders — Maddow and Hayes, in particular. Bernie was always about Bernie and he got away with it. Hillary had to be perfect.

    Men are never treated the same as any woman, especially Hillary. Bernie was NEVER vetted. He also swore years ago that he would NEVER run as a democrat because it would be hypocritical! The dems should have never given him the right to run as a democrat because he did not deserve to receive all of the money and the dem list of voters along with Hillary because he has done NOTHING for the democratic party during his long 30 year tenure in the Congress. Hillary worked her behind off for the party, passed legislation which actually helped the American people (you know, didn’t talk the talk but walked the walk). Unlike Bernie who did nothing but try to yell people into submission to pass legislation he wanted passed (which is all Bernie seems to know how to do – YELL); she also raised millions for the down ticket races during the campaign and Bernie did nothing for the down ticket races. Again, Bernie is all about Bernie. She did more in the Senate during her 7 year tenure than Bernie did in 30. What has Bernie been doing all of that time while living off the very establishment he railed against during the campaign? The man owns 3 homes and is an avoid socialist. Doesn’t that appear to be, ahem, hypocritical? Yet, we get nothing but the sound of crickets from the media about such behavior. Again, imagine if the tables were turned and it had been Hillary doing this. She would have been burned at the stake.

    Misogyny is all around us and with trump it has been emboldened to show its ugly face everywhere with no fear. I am thrilled that more people and the media are standing up against racism but, by the same token, I am appalled and disgusted by their continued silence in the face of egregious and vitriolic sexism which was rampant throughout the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections and everything in between and after these elections.

    We must have the same determination and commitment to ending sexism as we are now in ending racism, once and for all. The white supremecists, KKK, nazis and alt right want women in their place every bit as much as they want people of color in their place, which is to remain second to the white male.

    Until we end both “isms”, our democratic republic will fail.

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