Hillary Clinton's campaign is in a place it doesn't want to be, and the New York Times really, really wants to help. Yesterday, Madeleine Albright told a New Hampshire audience at a Clinton rally that "there's a special place in Hell" for women who don't support Hillary. Her outrageous attempt to shame women into voting for Mrs. Clinton followed Gloria Steinem's Friday appearance on Bill Maher's HBO show, during which the 81 year-old feminist dismissed young women who support Bernie Sanders as only doing so because "That's where the boys are."
The blowback from these statements brought an emergency late Sunday morning Times dispatch. Reporter Alan Rappeport's ability to conduct damage control was limited, given that Albright and Steinem are on videotape saying what they said. In the process of trying, it appears that Rappeport and the Times may have done additional damage by uniting Albright's and Steinem's separate assertions in a common theme.
Rappeport's story headline and basic Twitter post deliberately downplayed the angry nature of Albright's statement and the dismissiveness in Steinem's:
Pope Madeleine threatened women who don't vote for Mrs. Clinton with eternal damnation. The thousands of women in Iowa who chose Bernie Sanders over her six days ago have apparently already sealed their fates.
The day before, Steinem dismissed women who support Sanders as empty-headed boy-chasers.
This elderly pair weren't "scolding." They were, respectively engaging in intimidation and condescension.
That's is bad enough, but look at the full tweet from Rappeport (red underlining obviously mine). It includes an opening sentence containing yet another attack on the people from whom Mrs. Clinton is desperately trying to gain support:
That "grow up" admonishment is also present in the third paragraph of Rappeport's story:
Hillary Clinton’s older feminist supporters have a message for young women who are not backing her candidacy: Shame on you.
Women were expected to help power Clinton to the Democratic nomination, but as she struggles to overcome a tough challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders, her support among them has been surprisingly shaky. Young women, in particular, have been drawn to the septuagenarian socialist from Vermont, and the dynamic has disappointed feminists who dreamed of Clinton’s election as a capstone to the movement.
Two feminist icons of Clinton’s generation made their frustration known over the weekend, calling on young women who view Sanders as their candidate to essentially grow up and get with the program.
Rappeport reports that Steinem has apologized:
With backlash growing, Steinem issued an apology for her comments Sunday morning.
“In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics,” she said in a post on Facebook. “Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.”
Steinem's original ridicule involved far more than "implying." No one is being fooled, particularly among women who support Sanders.
Rappeport reported no apology of any kind from Albright.
Meanwhile, as I suggested yesterday, based on a search on the former Clinton administration's Secretary of State's last name, the Associated Press's main national site is no longer carrying any mention of Albright's "special place in Hell" statement. Additionally as far as I can tell, it did not cover Steinem's original statements, and has ignored her apology.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.