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Sexist Media Coverage of Nancy Pelosi Highlighted in Media Matters Video

May 18, 2009

Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial 5/14 press conference, about when and whether Congress was properly briefed on the use of torture by the CIA, many voices in the mainstream press media have resorted to superficially attacking Pelosi’s looks; an inherently sexist, degrading and unworthy tactic. Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit media watchdog group, highlights some of the most egregious examples of these attacks in their video “Conservative Media Figures Attack Speaker Pelosi”  and media written roundup “Yet again, media figures respond to a Pelosi controversy with attacks on her looks." Among the comments: Alex Castellanos, a guest of CNN’s State of the Union stated, “if Speaker Pelosi were still capable of human facial expression, we'd see she'd be embarrassed, because, right now, she is in a very Nixon-like position,” and Michael Savage commented on his radio program, “[Pelosi is] Mussolini if he came back and wore ugly clothing and put on bad makeup and had too much Botox.” Media Matters rightly asks, “Would we be hearing this if Nancy Pelosi were a man?” These offensive comments and the many other examples in the article and video provide further evidence prove that our news media should must be held accountable for such sexist discourse. The Women’s Media Center is dedicated to exposing and ending sexism in the media, and we encourage you to report examples of it to us.