Politico's Allen cited Women's Wear Daily article that cropped Vogue editor's statement on canceled Clinton photo shoot

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

In a recent blog entry, Politico chief political writer Mike Allen posted a passage from Women's Wear Daily that misrepresented a statement by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in her February "letter from the editor," in which she addressed Sen. Hillary Clinton's cancellation of a scheduled cover shoot. The WWD cropped Wintour's comments in which she critiqued the media, and neither Allen nor WWD indicated through ellipses or otherwise that words had been omitted.

In the January 23 edition of his "Political Playbook," under the banner "MAUREEN DOWD ALERT," Politico chief political writer Mike Allen cited a January 18 Women's Wear Daily (WWD) report that discussed Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's February 2008 "letter from the editor" addressing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) cancellation of a scheduled cover shoot. In its article, WWD characterized Wintour as "tak[ing] Clinton to task for being behind the times," but simply cut out a passage from Wintour's letter, without any indication that it had done so. Specifically WWD omitted from its excerpt the two sentences in which she asked: "How has our culture come to this? How is it that The Washington Post recoils from the slightest hint of cleavage on a senator?" In his January 23 blog posting, Allen directly quoted from the WWD article, without noting the article's omission of Wintour's criticism directed at the media. MSNBC made the same omission on the January 21 edition of Morning Joe.

Allen posted the following passage after stating "Women's Wear Daily Reports:"

In her February editor's letter, [Editor in Chief Anna] Wintour takes Clinton to task for being behind the times. 'Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying.'

Both Allen and the WWD passage he was quoting then stated: "Wintour continues: 'This is America, not Saudi Arabia.' " However, he and WWD omitted the statement directly preceding Wintour's Saudi Arabia remark, in which Wintour's criticism was directed at the media, not the Clinton campaign.

From Wintour's "letter from the editor" with the omitted portion highlighted with bold italics:

This spring we are blessed with a fantastic variety of subtle, sophisticated clothes that make a woman -- at work, at the playground, at cocktails -- look marvelously modern. See for yourself in Craig McDean and Grace Coddington's celebratory portfolio of day dressing at its most compelling, appropriate, and chic.

Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female presidential hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying. How has our culture come to this? How is it that The Washington Post recoils from the slightest hint of cleavage on a senator? This is America, not Saudi Arabia. It's also 2008: [former British Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher may have looked terrific in a blue power suit, but that was 20 years ago. I do think Americans have moved on from the power-suit mentality, which served as a bridge for a generation of women to reach boardrooms filled with men. Political campaigns that do not recognize this are making a serious misjudgment.

But both Allen and WWD reported:

In her February editor's letter, Wintour takes Clinton to task for being behind the times. "Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying." Wintour continues: "This is America, not Saudi Arabia."

Neither Allen nor WWD indicated that a portion of Wintour's letter had been omitted before she wrote, "This is America, not Saudi Arabia."

From Allen's January 23 "Political Playbook":

MAUREEN DOWD ALERT -- Women's Wear Daily reports: "Clinton was to appear in Vogue as the presidential race reached high gear, but backed out late last fall before a photo shoot was scheduled for fear of appearing too alluring. ... A Vogue spokesman confirmed: 'We were told by Ms. Clinton's camp that they were concerned if Clinton appeared in Vogue that she would appear too feminine.' In her February editor's letter, [Editor in Chief Anna] Wintour takes Clinton to task for being behind the times. 'Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying.' Wintour continues: 'This is America, not Saudi Arabia.' "

From the January 18 Women's Wear Daily article:

Don't mess with Anna Wintour. A lesson learned by many in fashion, but obviously not by Sen. Hillary Clinton or her advisers. Clinton was to appear in Vogue as the presidential race reached high gear, but backed out late last fall before a photo shoot was scheduled for fear of appearing too alluring. New York Post columnist Liz Smith reported Nov. 1 that "the astute [Vogue contributing editor] Julia Reed hung ten waiting to write about her and the giant fotog Annie Leibovitz had her cameras at the ready for nothing." A Vogue spokesman confirmed: "We were told by Ms. Clinton's camp that they were concerned if Clinton appeared in Vogue that she would appear too feminine." (Clearly, though, the presidential candidate didn't worry about that when she cried in New Hampshire.)

But Wintour didn't take Clinton's dis lightly. In her February editor's letter, Wintour takes Clinton to task for being behind the times. "Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female president hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying." Wintour continues: "This is America, not Saudi Arabia. It's also 2008: Margaret Thatcher may have looked terrific in a blue power suit, but that was 20 years ago. I do think Americans have moved on from the power-suit mentality, which served as a bridge for a generation of women to reach boardrooms filled with men. Political campaigns that do not recognize this are making a serious misjudgment."

Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
Mike Allen
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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