Sunday, April 04, 2010

WMC: Too pathetic (Ava and C.I.)

WMC -- Women's Media Center -- really doesn't appear to exist to improve women's lives or even their level of understanding. Instead, it largely appears to exists so that the Democratic and Socialist women who direct it can ensure that they do their part to deliver the vote to Democrats each election. A similar 'plan' existed for Greenstone Media -- which WMC founders Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda also took part in -- and look how that ended?

In the end, it's just too pathetic. It's too damn embarrassing. We wish that weren't the case. We know many of the women involved in WMC. They often ask us why we're more likely to highlight the "frothy" (their term) wowOwow (Women of the Web) as opposed to them? Well because wowOwow often has legitimate journalism.

It also features a wide range of women.

And a wide range of opinions.

We find it very disturbing, for example, that WMC points to attacks on certain women (Melissa Silverstein's attack on Kathryn Bigelow, for example) as signs of their 'diversity.' They will attack women, but they will not call out Barack Obama. wowOwow doesn't have that problem despite being top-heavy with Barack supporters.


We were reminded of just how pathetic WMC can be on Friday when we returned a phone call asking if we could work in a link to Becca Stanger's "Even NPR Lacks Women's Voices" because "you called out The Nation and CounterSpin for their lack of women" -- and did so without links from WMC, as we recall or any assistance other than a lot of covert 'support' as in "We love it!" This is, we were told during the phone call, a serious issue.

It is a serious issue. We explained we were furious about the NPR ombudsperson and her idiotic study (that we knew of two weeks ago but was only published Friday -- remember, we told you they don't have a real ombudsperson, just someone taking up space).

Well, we were told, this is a serious post at WMC.

We don't know Becca Stanger and we don't know that she could have written a strong piece for WMC even if she wanted to. WMC doesn't do strong pieces.

If they did strong pieces, they would have been calling out NPR long before NPR's own ombudsperson was writing about the gender imbalance.

That's how pathetic and meek they are, they have to wait for NPR to call itself out to finally weigh in. And considering that so many women we know in WMC are not just over sixty, but over seventy, it's really embarrassing that they're so cowardly and desperate to be liked at their age. Yeah, we said it.

We could also, for example, note how we took part in the March protests against the illegal war and point out that some WMC members publicly stated they'd be out protesting until the illegal war ended but that . . . apparently "change"d . . . when Barack Obama became president, eh?

WMC is so damn pathetic. It gives women a bad name. wowOwow can be doing an article on bad hair days, but even then they're more rooted in reality than any of the pom-pom waving at WMC.

NPR's ombudsperson did a 'study.' Not a real study mind you -- not that WMC can tell you about that.

When we were told of the study two weeks ago by NPR friends, we immediately asked what programs were being studied? We knew it wasn't all the programs. We knew that was too much work for the lazy ombudsperson. We were told it was Morning Edition and All Things Considered and right away we saw the problem. They do tiny segments. Five and six minute reports are considered "long." They're far from gender balanced but if you were really interested in the imbalance, you'd look to other NPR shows.

The 'study' was published Friday
. We'd sooner spit on Steve Inskeep than say hello to him, but we'll note that he does have a point that, by looking at the voices heard on two news shows, you are going to, for example, hear a lot of Barack Obama (speaking to crowds, etc.) which will add into the number of male sources.

Inskeep insists in an e-mail to the ombudsperson, "You yourself acknowledge that if more men appear, it may reflect 'societal' factors like the preponderance of men in certain fields."

And therein lies the problem with the study. Unlike WMC, Ann and we have long called out NPR's gender imbalance. If you want to prove men are featured as guests more than women you go to the obvious.

You go to The Diane Rehm Show and you look at who gets on and who doesn't. Just her two hours on Friday, for example, feature four men and two women guests. Four men and two women. Inskeep is insisting that men might hold more positions in certain fields -- such as president of the United States since no woman's ever managed that (in part due to the go-along-to-get-along gals of WMC) -- and we won't argue with him on that. We will, however, note that women reporters are nothing new and that it's rather strange that Diane Rehm can book six reporters and journalists (some are columnists and not reporters) each Friday for her two hour show but it's almost always four men and two women.

We'd go further and say that in the field of the arts, women have long held their own. In fact, women have held their own since they first made their way on to the stage. So we would wonder why Terry Gross can't find women to book in equal (if not greater) number to men?

In her 'study,' the ombudsperson writes, "Are there really no women to alternate the political patter on Friday nights with Dionne and Brooks? Couldn't Maureen Corrigan (who reviews books for Fresh Air) split the book reviews on ATC with Cheuse?"

First off, Alicia Shepard, why are you bringing up E.J. Dionne and David Brooks? You say you're confining your study to Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Neither show airs "Friday nights" and you appear to mean Mark Shields and David Brooks who appear Friday nights (Dionne sometimes subs for Shields as does Ruth Marcus, among others) on The NewsHour? We're all for holding The NewsHour accountable for gender imbalance -- and stood alone in doing so during the Democratic and GOP conventions -- we're just confused as to why you limit your topic to avoid calling out Terry Gross (and that was done purposely) and yet expand it to include a PBS program? A PBS TV program?

It's a puzzler.

Then you want to note that Maureen Corrigan is a book reviewer on Fresh Air. And yet you don't point out how many critics Terry Gross has. You don't point out how little Corrigan is on.
Supposedly writing about gender imbalance among sources heard on NPR, you bring up Fresh Air but fail to tell readers that Terry has ten critics in her posse and all but one have a hang down. Ann was able to make that point just last week:

David Bianculli on TV
Maureen Corrigan on Books
David Edelstein on Movies
Kevin Whitehead on Jazz
Ken Tucker on Rock Music
Milo Miles on World Music
Geoff Nunberg on Language
Ed Ward on Rock Music
John Powers on Popular Culture
Lloyd Schwartz on Classical Music

That's Terry's My Posse Don't Pee Sitting Down group. And Shepard intentionally sidesteps that issue the same way she sidesteps how few women you will hear in a month of listening to Fresh Air -- other than Terry herself, of course. (We dealt with Terry most recently in last week's "Radio: That not-so Fresh Air.")

We'd be livid if we were Steve Inskeep. The ombudsperson counted canned soundbytes as "sources" but intentionally avoided utilizing the two biggest NPR programs that depend upon guests. Intentionally.

We don't know if Becca Stanger could have written a strong blog post. It's not a blog post. It's a piece of PR material. It exists not to help or inform women but to say, "Look! WMC was quoted at NPR!"

That's rather sad but so is WMC. And we're tired of trying to reason with those women -- some of whom were good friends at one point. We're tired of it and we're tired of them. We're tired of "women's" outlets on the left that don't call out the left for sexism. We're tired of all the women who put more emphasis on Socialism, or the Democratic Party, or Communism or 'getting along' or 'setting up my end' or whatever else and throw women in the backseat. As Teri Garr says in Tootsie, "I don't take this s**t from friends. Only from lovers."

wowOwow may be all the superficial things you at WMC insist it is but, at the end of the day, wowOwow's put women front and center. WMC hasn't. And, at the end of the day, wowOwow's offered five to seven days of new content while WMC has done . . . don't you feel it coming . . . damn little.

And forgive us, but we're still hoarse from 2008 when we had to scream and scream at all of you to get you to even do a tiny bit of coverage of Cynthia McKinney's presidential campaign. Women's Media Center? We think not.

And it honestly does come back to last month, to being at rallies against the illegal war and remembering how so many at WMC used the Iraq War to grandstand against Bush and, now that he's gone, none of you can be bothered anymore with an ongoing illegal war that neither ended nor vanished.

Again, you've just become too pathetic for us and our friendships with you may need to be written off as one of the lesser casualties of the illegal Iraq War.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }