My theory is that the main reason the press was unfair to Hillary Clinton’s and McPalin’s presidential bid was because they feared woman leadership would emasculate men. Although there are individual journalists who support women's equality, the press is very male-dominated so they promote a male-centric worldview. Also because the press is overwhelmingly male-dominated, women journalists are under tremendous pressure to conform to the male-domination world view. And unfortunately, some of them have been persuaded that male dominance is the best thing to happen because for years they have been constantly barraged by the male supremacy in their workplace and this has convinced them that they are inferior to men.
An example of the press’s adoration of machismo is their support of George W. Bush. Bush had set himself up as a man's man and the press strongly supported him against Gore who was not seen as macho. The male-dominated press strongly supported Bush's military strategies partly because they saw him as representing men and they wanted to support a man doing "manly" things like going to war. Paul Krugman of the NY Times, whose columns supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries, said he spoke to a lot of people who supported Bush's military policies because they admired his machismo:
Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, “They attacked us, and we’re going to strike back” — and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren’t the same person was an effete [infertile] snob…
Let’s also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him…
Bear in mind that members of the political and media elites were more pro-war than the public at large in the fall of 2002, even though the flimsiness of the case for invading Iraq should have been even more obvious to those paying close attention to the issue than it was to the average voter.
Why were the elite so hawkish? Well, I heard a number of people express privately the argument that some influential commentators made publicly — that the war was a good idea, not because Iraq posed a real threat, but because beating up someone in the Middle East, never mind who, would show Muslims that we mean business. In other words, even alleged wise men bought into the idea of macho posturing as policy (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/opinion/08krugman.html?em).
I don’t agree with everything Krugman says, but he deftly shows that the press supported Bush’s military strategy primarily because it was macho. They supported machismo. When Bush was revealed as not being able to lead armies successfully (at least during the short-term), this was a huge blow to the male-dominated press. Partly because they had so strongly supported him. But I think a large part of their disappointment was that Bush represented manliness and so his failure made men look bad. So then when a woman (HRC) arrived on the scene to fix the problem that made insecure men feel more emasculated. If a woman won the presidency and fixed the nation's problems created by the Bush machismo, then there would be even less admiration for macho presidency.
That could be a clue to why the media became fervent supporters of Obama, destroying their journalistic integrity to do anything possible to help him win. My theory: the media sought a different kind of man to replace the macho Bush. Since machismo had failed, they now sought a sort of father figure/preacher type of man represented by Obama. They lauded him for his preaching (a very male-dominated profession). They saw him as salvaging the masculine image and this is one of the reasons why it was so important to them that he beat a woman, any woman, who dared to imply that a woman could lead better than a man. Having seen a macho man fail at war, they then turned to a different type of man to resurrect the ideal of male dominance. Again, this is a main reason why they hate Palin so much because she is promoting female leadership which is a threat to the insecure men's fragile egos.
I believe sexism is at the root of the extreme media prejudice we have witnessed this election season. Both men and women protect men’s egos. I believe some journalist women were complicit in protecting the image of male dominance perhaps because they feared their own power or felt sorry for men’s embarrassment.
I found out that the men's magazine Esquire is promoting Obama. I briefly read their editorial which it's not worth my time to post here because they say a lot of false things about McCain and Palin. It's the first time this male-centric magazine has endorsed a candidate which supports my theory that the male-centric media is going to extreme measures this year to puff up their egos, trying desperately to prevent women from achieving political power because it would harm their fragile egos. I believe the male-dominated media is very threatened by a ticket with a woman hence why they viciously attacked the HRC and McCain/Palin campaigns.
I also believe that the essence of our nation’s current problems is attachment to male-dominance. Hundreds of years of male dominance of government has created a bad vibe. This problem can only be solved be female power at the top. That’s why the most exciting people during this election were women candidates, from my observation, because HRC and Palin provided something that was lacking and people were excited that there was going to be a big change ushering a new era of women’s leadership.
However, the DNC blocked Senator Clinton from getting the nomination even though she got the most votes. So a lot of people were frustrated that they did not get the chance to vote for a woman presidential candidate in order to break down the patriarchy. And McPalin was a lot more McCain than Palin because McCain ultimately would make the vast majority of decisions as president. So, although people were excited about Gov. Palin the leader, they were not so interested in Gov. Palin the follower because they didn’t think that a woman would create great feminist transformation as a follower.
Alas, we wait and wait and wait for the female leadership that will finally end the horrors of patriarchy. Until then we must fill government with more women at all levels till we achieve the 50% mark. And the next presidential election is just around the corner.