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Press double standard: Carly hectored for failing to scold a fan, while Hillary gets free pass

November 11, 2015

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

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Carly–but not Hillary–reprimanded for taking the high ground

Yes, Hillary Clinton laughed when a laid-off Hewlett-Packard employee in her audience said he’d like to “strangle” Carly Fiorina.

Hillary was probably thinking: “Gee, I’d like to strangle Carly, too. She’s wrecking my whole First Woman President routine.”

But here’s the Republican reaction:

“Republicans accused Clinton of hypocrisy on women’s issues and demanded she apologize.

***

“‘By laughing off a male questioner’s desire to strangle Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have lost all credibility claiming to be a party that stands up for women,’ Republican National Committee Press Secretary Allison Moore said in a statement on Tuesday.'”

***

“I’d like to strangle” is actually an everyday metaphor for the frustration that people feel about other people who annoy or obstruct them. Didn’t you want to “strangle” that passenger sitting behind you on the plane who kept kicking your seat? Or “strangle” your boss who sat for the whole day on the work you handed in in the morning, only to want to have a talk about it just as you were putting your coat on at 6p.m.? Was Hillary supposed to admonish one of her fans for using a figure of speech?

If I were running the GOP, I’d focus on this incident instead:

“ABC News posted video of the interaction that took place in Milford, New Hampshire.

“‘Anybody other than the dictator we got up there now,’ the man told Fiorina. ‘And I mean that. He is a dictator.’

“The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive shrugged as she went on to talk about the President’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“’He doesn’t want this country to get ahead,’ the man said as Fiorina started to turn toward another table. ‘He doesn’t. He’s a Muslim. He’s a black Muslim.’

“Fiorina turned back toward the man.

“‘Well, time to do something different in many ways,’ she said.”

Fiorina was in an awkward situation. She wanted to critique Obama’s executive record and make the case that she could do a better job. The man was trying to hijack the conversation into one about his own racial and religious obsessions. Fiorina brushed off the distraction deftly, saying something anodyne that pushed the discussion back to Obama record while refusing to grace the man’s remark with a direct response.  A masterly handling of an awkward moment.

But Carly, for her pains, got this:

“What a fcking coward. She can’t stand up for what’s right even when it’s not politically expedient?”
Read the whole thing here.
Posted by Charlotte Allen
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