A November 5 "political memo" by New York Times reporters Adam Nagourney and Patrick Healy discussing the role of gender in presidential campaigns in the aftermath of the October 30 Democratic presidential debate asserted: "In a campaign in which a woman is leading the Democratic field, it was perhaps inevitable that the question would arise: would or should she be treated any differently from her rivals?" The headline itself echoed the false suggestion that one or more of the male Democratic candidates were advocating that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) be treated differently because of her gender: "Different Rules when a Rival is a Woman?" However, the article provided no evidence that any Democratic campaign has said that Clinton should be treated differently from the male candidates.
Nagourney and Healy included quotes from Clinton; fellow Democratic candidate John Edwards; 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter; former NARAL Pro-Choice America president Kate Michelman, an Edwards supporter; and a video compiled by the Clinton campaign from clips of the October 30 debate. None suggested that Clinton "should ... be treated any differently from her rivals."
Similarly, in a November 3 Times article, reporter Elisabeth Bumiller wrote: "Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama [IL] tangled on Friday over whether women should be treated equally to men in the boxing ring of presidential politics. At the same time, Mrs. Clinton elaborated on the 'pile-on politics' video her campaign prepared, which showed her under assault from the six male candidates at the Democratic debate on Tuesday." Media Matters for America noted that, as with Nagourney and Healy's article, none of the quotes Bumiller provided in the article support the suggestion that either the Clinton campaign or the Obama campaign had asserted that women should not "be treated equally to men in the boxing ring of presidential politics."