Twin toadying: New York Times political reporter Amy Chozick relished Hillary Clinton and other women D.C. liberal feminist figures (both in and out of power) in two stories Sunday, one on the front of Sunday Styles and one on the front of Sunday Business.
Chozick, who led the paper’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, couldn’t help fawning over Clinton even in a mildly critical story: “Hillary Clinton and Lena Dunham, Her Main Millennial, Hit the Weinstein Wall.” The print headline was tougher: “Words on Weinstein Reveal A Dunham-Clinton Rift.”
As if in preemptive apology for the story to come, Chozick managed to characterize the failed candidate in flattering terms Clinton could well have penned herself:
From the start, Lena Dunham and Hillary Clinton were something of an odd match. The millennial daughter of New York privilege known for her audacious public presence and frequent nudity on her HBO show, “Girls.” And the baby boomer raised with a steely Midwestern reserve, a devotion to her Methodist faith and a fierce affinity for a “zone of privacy.”
On Tuesday, the generational tensions that hummed beneath the alliance during the presidential campaign exploded into public view.
The rift came as a result of comments made by Ms. Dunham for an article published in The New York Times on Tuesday about the film mogul Harvey Weinstein and how he used a network of lawyers, publicists and journalists to protect his reputation and, in some cases, enable the sexual aggression of which he is accused.
In the article, Ms. Dunham said she had warned two Clinton campaign officials against associating with Mr. Weinstein. “I just want you to know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Ms. Dunham said she told the campaign. In reply to Ms. Dunham’s comments, Nick Merrill, the communications director for Mrs. Clinton, said, “As to claims about a warning, that’s something staff wouldn’t forget.”
At least Chozick relayed the close ties between Weinstein and the Clintons:
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For years, Mr. Weinstein had been a loyal friend and donor to Bill and Hillary Clinton. In 2014, the Clintons rented a seven-bedroom bluff-side estate in Amagansett, N.Y., next door to Mr. Weinstein’s Hamptons home. After the November election, the Clintons dined with Mr. Weinstein and discussed a possible documentary project. The talks fell apart soon after the first allegations against him were published in The Times on Oct. 5.
Chozick’s celebration of (liberal) feminist pols continued with her profile of Janet Yellen, Bill Clinton’s former economic adviser and the first woman to head the Federal Reserve Board: “A Feminist Hero, Not By Design – Janet Yellen’s many fans are sad about the departure of the first woman to lead the Fed.”
Yellen is the latest liberal politician to conveniently become a “pop culture phenomenon” worthy of gushing articles in the Times:
Ms. Yellen, the first woman to serve as the head of the Federal Reserve Board, didn’t ask to become a feminist icon, and she almost never talks about gender in the abstract or her historic role as the agency’s chairman (she bristles at being called “chairwoman”). And yet, during a tenure characterized by a plummeting unemployment rate and consistently low inflation, Ms. Yellen became a pop culture phenomenon.
Despite his unorthodox decision to replace her, even Mr. Trump has agreed that Ms. Yellen has performed well in the job. In the Rose Garden announcing Mr. Powell’s nomination, the president called Ms. Yellen an “absolutely spectacular person” and said she had “done a terrific job.”
So, why, many women wondered, replace her with a man?
“Janet should’ve been renominated, as every past Fed chair has been renominated for nearly the last 40 years,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said in an interview. “But it’s not the first time and certainly not the last a highly qualified woman is passed over for a job she clearly deserves.”
It’s a funny thing Americans have about powerful women. Voters haven’t always responded to women who ask for the big jobs (see: Hillary Clinton), but when they see a woman simply doing the job -- and a good one, at that -- they seem happy to give her rock star status.
Chozick hopped onto the pseudo-ironic, “you go girl!” enthusiasm surrounding the elderly liberal Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and squeezed in some more Hillary fawning:
It’s true of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice who has become known to many young women simply as “the Notorious RBG.” And it was true of Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, traveling the world and negotiating with world leaders in a scrunchie and glasses while basking in 70 percent approval ratings....
To protest Ms. Yellen’s departure, liberal activists have worn “Yellen wigs” in support of the economist’s signature floppy white bob (as well as her affinity for keeping interest rates low). Supporters describe her in terms more suited to Taylor Swift than a 71-year-old academic shaping monetary policy.
Evidently replacing any woman with a man is evidence of sexism by the Trump administration:
The White House shunned any accusations of sexism playing into the decision. “The mere suggestion is an affront to Chair Yellen,” the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Chozick may have noticed that Sanders is a woman who replaced a man in her position, and that Trump has many women on staff in positions of authority.
She got a late hit in on economist and potential Federal Reserve head Larry Summers, who was flayed alive in the media (and the NYT) in 2005 for offering a thought in an academic setting:
Then there was the issue of Mr. Summers, who during his time as president of Harvard had caused controversy and a suitable backlash when he argued that inherent differences between the sexes were a possible reason for the lack of female science professors.
Apparently female economic policy differs from male economic policy:
Considering her tenure at the Federal Reserve, economists said that having a woman in that role had brought about a more representative approach to monetary policy, even if Ms. Yellen did not emphasize an agenda intended to advance the interests of women. Several academic studies, for example, show that women economists are more likely to address inequality than their male counterparts.
“The economic profession as a whole has a terrible white male problem,” Ms. Coronado, said. “Are you even going to ask the right questions if you have a lot of privileged people setting the agenda?”
Oh those terrible white males!