Sanders growing tired of media asking about Clinton
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) wants to talk to the country about many things, but one thing he doesn’t want to talk about is hair — his or Hillary’s.
In a recent interview with New York Times reporter Ana Marie, Bernie Sanders shut down the conversation on that issue, saying he wants to talk about serious issues.
Here’s the exchange (Marie in bold):
Do you think it’s fair that Hillary’s hair gets a lot more scrutiny than yours does?
Hillary’s hair gets more scrutiny than my hair?
Is that what you’re asking?
O.K., Ana, I don’t mean to be rude here. I am running for president of the United States on serious issues, O.K.? Do you have serious questions?
I can defend that as a serious question. There is a gendered reason —
When the media worries about what Hillary’s hair looks like or what my hair looks like, that’s a real problem. We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people.
It’s also true that the media pays more attention to what female candidates look like than it does to what male candidates look like.
That may be. That may be, and it’s absolutely wrong.
It is true that female candidates are subjected more often to scrutiny of their looks, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For example, the media could just not talk about a female candidate’s looks and that’s how Sen. Sanders wants it to be. By shutting down questions about hair, or Hillary, Sanders is taking on the important task of holding the media to talk about real issues.
And what are those real issues?
What is your elevator pitch for socialism?
My elevator pitch is that the United States has a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality where the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, where almost 20 percent of our children are living in poverty, 40 percent of African-American children are living in poverty. We are moving rapidly toward an oligarchic form of society where a small number of families control not only the economy but our political system as well. It is imperative that we develop a strong political movement that says to the billionaire class they cannot have it all.
One of the few clear ideas that Americans have about socialism is that it involves high taxes. Can you sell that, the idea that you might have to raise taxes? I think we can sell the idea that when the rich are getting much richer and corporations are enjoying record-breaking profits that yes, they should start paying their fair share of taxes.
This is an issue that matters. What will never matter for the future of this country is what Hillary’s hair looks like, or what kind of suit Donald Trump is wearing, or whether or not candidates’ flag pins are on the correct lapel.
Sanders shouldn’t be the only one holding the media accountable for distracting their audience with frivolous side issues like this. Marie is right to address it, but Sanders has the right answer.
What matters most is what positions on issues politicians take and their past actions. Who people are has always mattered more than what they look like and it’s going to take the U.S. growing up a bit to get there.
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