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Kirsten Powers is a Professional – Treat Her Like One

August 19, 2010

The first words that come to mind when I think of Kirsten Powers, liberal pundit for Fox News, might be “trailblazer,” “powerful," or perhaps “exceptional professional.” “Attractive,” the first adjective Matt Lewis uses to describe Powers in his interview with the rising media star, does not belong on her CV. I was delighted to learn that Lewis featured a progressive woman on AOL’s Politics Daily.  Then I read his article, and discovered that he was not interested in Powers’s skills as a commentator.  Her gender was too distracting. Powers’s family and home life were more important to Lewis than the career that had earned her the interview. Lewis asked about her role as a liberal among conservatives, her social media strategy, and the difference between written and televised punditry, but only after he inquired about Powers’s husband. When he finally addressed one of her popular video segments, he attributed the attention it had received to the appeal of “two attractive women arguing.”   As Powers noted in her response, an argument between Geraldo Rivera and Bill O’Reilly was not called a “cat fight,” but it still went viral. I welcome coverage of women media professionals, but only when they are treated as professionals.  Kirsten Powers is an accomplished pundit, and her career should not be an excuse to measure her by sexist standards.