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On the June 18 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer concluded a segment on criticism of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by some feminists, such as Susan Douglas and Nora Ephron, by injecting a quote in which Republican strategist Bay Buchanan called Clinton a "radical feminist." Blitzer gave no explanation for bringing up Buchanan and her book The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regnery Publishing, May 2007) in the context of a debate between Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post website, and former Clinton press aide Lisa Caputo. Nor did he give Huffington or Caputo a chance to respond. Also, Blitzer did not tell viewers that Buchanan is a senior adviser to Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo (CO).
While discussing the topic with Huffington and Caputo, Blitzer read a passage from Buchanan's book in which Buchanan claimed Clinton "does not just represent radical feminists; she is one of them." Blitzer identified Buchanan only as a "conservative." Buchanan resigned from her position as a CNN commentator in March, when she announced that she had joined Tancredo's presidential exploratory committee as a senior adviser.
Additionally, in a report at the beginning of the segment, Situation Room contributor Carol Costello said: "You would think Hillary Clinton would embody a feminist victory. A woman long described by certain conservatives as a feminazi, now a viable candidate for the president of the United States. But you'd be wrong."
From the 5 p.m. ET hour of the June 18 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
BLITZER: White House hopeful Hillary Clinton is getting a boost in the polls. A just-released USA Today/Gallup poll shows 39 percent of Democrats surveyed picked the New York senator to be president. That's if [former Vice President] Al Gore isn't in the race. Twenty-six percent prefer Sen. Barack Obama [D-IL]. [Former Sen.] John Edwards [D-NC] is third with 13 percent. But Senator Clinton may have to make up some ground with a core group of potential supporters.
Let's go back to CNN's Carol Costello. She's watching this part of the story for us. Carol.
COSTELLO: You know, Wolf, it's surprising, because you would that think these women, who are a lot like Hillary Clinton, would rally around her. But while Senator Clinton enjoys a whopping two-to-one level of support from women over Barack Obama, she is not winning over some baby-boomer feminists.
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COSTELLO: You would think Hillary Clinton would embody a feminist victory. A woman long described by certain conservatives as a feminazi, now a viable candidate for the president of the United States. But you'd be wrong.
BLITZER: I'll leave both of you with this quote from Bay Buchanan, a conservative who wrote a book about Hillary Clinton, The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton. She wrote in her book this: "First and foremost, Hillary is an ardent and radical feminist. Of all the liberal causes of her past, this is the one most deeply rooted. She does not just represent radical feminists; she is one of them." All right. I'll leave our viewers with that thought just so that we get Bay Buchanan's concept into this discussion as well. Ladies, thanks very much for coming in.
As Media Matters noted, in a May 24 appearance on The Situation Room to promote her book, Buchanan misrepresented Clinton's claims about where her daughter was during the September 11 attacks. Also promoting her book on the May 21 edition of C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Buchanan misrepresented statements made by Clinton about her vote for the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq.