Right-Wing Media's Sexist Obsession With Clinton's Voice Following Her Primary Victory Speech

Media Labeled Previous Attacks On Clinton's Voice "Sexist"

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Right-wing media personalities reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's Florida primary victory speech by claiming she was "shouting angrily" and "screech speech," with MSNBC's conservative morning show host Joe Scarborough telling Clinton to "smile" during her speech. Media outlets previously blasted similar attacks on Clinton in February as "sexist."

Hillary Clinton Gives Speech After Winning Florida, Ohio, And North Carolina Primaries

WSJ: Clinton "Won A Critical Victory" In Ohio "And Completed Her Sweep Of The South." The Wall Street Journal reported on Hillary Clinton's& primary victories in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina on March 15:

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton won a critical victory in the hotly contested Ohio primary Tuesday--and completed her sweep of the South with wins in Florida and North Carolina--as she took full command of a contest far closer than most expected at the start.

Rival Bernie Sanders was still hoping for wins in Illinois and Missouri, but Mrs. Clinton was certain to grow her delegate lead Tuesday night and with each week has been edging closer to the total needed for her party's presidential nomination. [The Wall Street Journal3/15/16]

Right-Wing Media React To Clinton's Victory Speech: "Shouting Angrily," "Screech Speech"

Fox's Brit Hume: "Hillary Having A Big Night In The Primaries. So She's Shouting Angrily In Her Victory Speech."

[Twitter, 3/15/163/15/16

Right-Wing Author Matthew Vadum Responds To Hume: "Hillary Is Angry And Evil And Ugly. And Loud."

[Twitter, 3/15/16]

Fox Media Critic Howard Kurtz: "Hillary Shouting Her Speech."

[Twitter, 3/15/16]

Fox Host Dana Perino: "It Is So Strange To Hear These Inspiring Words In Such Angry Tones. #confused #whyisshemad."

[Twitter, 3/15/16]

Conservative Columnist Michelle Malkin: "Hillary Screech Speech Ends With 'Fight Song' Blaring."

[Twitter, 3/15/16]

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "Smile."

 [Twitter, 3/15/16; 3/15/16]

Media Previously Criticized Similar Attacks On Clinton's Voice By Joe Scarborough And Bob Woodward As "Sexist"

ThinkProgress: The Morning Joe Panel Was "A Redux Of ... Sexist Media Coverage." In a February 3 article, ThinkProgress explained that the Morning Joe panel was "a redux of ... sexist media coverage ... that touched on many of the common tropes about Clinton 'screaming,' acting 'unnatural,' and being 'feisty'":

Journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame argued Wednesday that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is struggling to overcome opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) because Clinton "shouts" too much.

The comment sparked a redux of the sexist media coverage of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, as MSNBC's Morning Joe commentators launched into a lengthy discussion that touched on many of the common tropes about Clinton "screaming," acting "unnatural," and being "feisty." [ThinkProgress, 2/3/16]

Vox: Comments About Clinton's Voice Play Into "Sexist," "Deeper Stereotypes People Have About Women." In a February 3 article, Vox's Emily Crockett called out Scarborough and Woodward's comments, saying they feed into "a longstanding sexist narrative about how Clinton is 'shrill,' as well as deeper stereotypes people have about women, especially those in power positions." The article explained that there is also a "deep-down belief that women can't be trusted, which was also strongly at play in the Morning Joe conversation":

The Clinton and Sanders campaigns had a brief feud over this a few months ago, after Sanders accused Clinton of "shouting" about gun control during the Democratic debate and Clinton started talking on the campaign trail about how "when women talk, some people think we're shouting."

It was a small thing that Sanders almost certainly didn't mean to be a gendered comment. But it played into a longstanding sexist narrative about how Clinton is "shrill," as well as deeper stereotypes people have about women, especially those in power positions.

But this Morning Joe conversation took all of that noise and, well, turned it up to 11.

[...]

These kinds of implicit biases are sexist, but having them doesn't make someone "a sexist" -- or if it does, it makes all of us sexists. It doesn't matter how smart you are or whether you are a man or a woman; everyone has some implicit biases against women.

This includes the deep-down belief that women can't be trusted, which was also strongly at play in the Morning Joe conversation. [Vox, 2/3/16]

Huffington Post: "Male Presidential Candidates Have Not Received The Same Level Of Scrutiny" As Hillary Clinton. In a February 5 article, Huffington Post editor Alana Horowitz Satlin called out Woodward's criticism of Hillary Clinton's voice, writing that male presidential candidates have not received the same level of scrutiny, and pointing to her rival Bernie Sanders, who she said also "has a tendency to raise his voice but has generally gotten a free pass." Satlin wrote "[i]t's also worth noting that most of the criticism is coming from men, not women":

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward received a barrage of pushback after criticizing Hillary Clinton's "screaming." Many pointed out that herrival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has a tendency to raise his voice but has generally gotten a free pass.

[...]

It's also worth noting that most of the criticism is coming from men, not women.

Clinton, for one, has turned the diss into something of a battle cry.

"When women talk, some people think we're shouting," she said in October. [The Huffington Post, 2/5/16]

Time: "Nobody Talked About The Loud Voices, Shouting, Podium Slamming ... Of The Male Candidates." In a February 3 article, media critic Soraya Chemaly pointed out that the Morning Joe panel didn't talk about the "loud voices, shouting, podium slamming, deranged expressions and bombastic anger of the male candidates" in the presidential race:

This morning, MSNBC aired a segment in which Hillary Clinton's voice, once again, was the topic of criticism. "She shouts," said Bob Woodward. And yet, nobody talked about the loud voices, shouting, podium-slamming, deranged expressions and bombastic anger of the male candidates -- all of them. [Time2/3/16]

NYDN: "Woodward Lobbed A Thinly Veiled Attack" At Clinton By Criticizing Her Voice. New York Daily News political reporter Adam Edelman wrote that Woodward's criticism was "a thinly veiled attack" on Clinton and pointed out that "Woodward did not ... criticize [Bernie] Sanders, who frequently shouts at campaign rallies":

Journalist Bob Woodward lobbed a thinly veiled attack at Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton Wednesday, saying that the former secretary of state "shouts" too much on the campaign trail.

When asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" why he felt Clinton, who eked out a razor-thin victory over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, is currently being crushed by the Vermont senator in New Hampshire polls, Woodward said: "I think a lot of it with Hillary Clinton has to do with style and delivery."

[...]

Woodward did not, in the interview, criticize Sanders, who frequently shouts at campaign rallies, for his approach on the trail. [New York Daily News2/3/16]

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