Tremendous Taranto Twitter Takedown of WashPost on 'Likable' Female Candidates

January 4th, 2019 1:55 PM

James Taranto, the man in charge of the op-ed pages at The Wall Street Journal, curated an excellent Twitter thread of media criticism on Friday morning.

Washington Post political reporter Philip Rucker tweet-promoted a "good @AnnieLinskey & @daveweigel piece on the gendered criticisms candidates like Warren have to confront." Linskey and Weigel began their front-page Post story like this: 

Just hours after Elizabeth Warren announced her plans to run for president, a question began surfacing about a possible weakness. It wasn’t derived from opposition research into some facet of her life. It had nothing to do with her policy ideas.

It was the question often asked of female candidates and rarely of men: Is she “likable” enough to be president? Others put it another, potentially more devastating, way: Is she too much like Hillary Clinton to be the nominee?

This leads to awkward "humanizing" videos like Warren saying "I'm going to get me a beer!" Sounds authentically like the Harvard faculty lounge, right? 

Obviously, when it came to George W. Bush, liberal reporters were annoyed they had to ask if Al Gore or John Kerry weren't likeable or too stiff or too intellectual. Bush was the one voters "wanted to have a beer with," and they hated that. Taranto ruthlessly Google-scoured the liberal feminist hot take at the Post, by using headlines from the Post!  

Then Taranto showed a Google search of Romney headlines from the Post in 2012:

-- Ruth Marcus: Is Mitt Romney likable enough to win? (August 28, 2012)

-- Can Mitt Romney become more likable? (August 14, 2012) 

-- Can Mitt Romney be likeable? Does he need to be? (July 13, 2012) 

And so on: