The recent “revelations” that the media industry has its own problems with sexual assault and harassment begs the question: did the disregard that some male journalists feel for women’s safety and bodily autonomy translate into how they covered Hillary Clinton during the election?
On Wednesday, Samantha Bee gave a peppy breakdown about the way some of the men who have fallen from grace—including Mark Halperin, Matt Lauer, and Charlie Rose—were allowed to speak to, shush, and condescend to then-candidate Clinton. Showing clips from interviews that are now even more upsetting in retrospect, Bee illustrated how Clinton was often silenced by these boiling pustules of hypocrisy. And now they’re out on their asses for exposing their fronts, while Trump made it to the White House.
“We’ll never know how much these pubes affected the election,” says Bee. “But what we do know is that their industry gave us four times more coverage of Hillary’s email scandal that they did of Trump’s gross behavior to women. But to be fair, they were probably typing it with one hand.”
The Columbia Journalism Review reports that despite the breathless coverage of fake news, Russian bots, and Facebook algorithms, the media tipped the scales in determining what issues were deemed newsworthy (the emails) and what weren’t (policy).
As Bee says, researchers found that in election-cycle journalism, there were about four times as many sentences related to Clinton categorized as “scandal” than there were categorized as “policy.” Sentences about Trump were only one-and-a-half times as likely to be about scandal than policy. Overall, the coverage of Clinton’s email scandal far outweighed any other types of coverage:
They found roughly four times as many Clinton-related sentences that . Even more striking, the various Clinton-related email scandals—her use of a private email server while secretary of state, as well as the DNC and John Podesta hacks—accounted for more sentences than all of Trump’s scandals combined (65,000 vs. 40,000) and more than twice as many as were devoted to all of her policy positions.
Perhaps most notably, the New York Times published ten front page stories about Clinton’s emails from October 29, the day former FBI Director James Comey reopened his investigation, up to the election. Just six days. That’s as many as they wrote on her policies in the previous 69 days leading up to voting day.