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Howard Dean calls out the media on sexism

June 1, 2008 | 10:40 am

As we've noted before, the issue of bias -- against Hillary Clinton because she's a woman, against Barack Obama because he's African American -- has been an underlying theme in this year's contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.  On ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning, host George Stephanopoulos raised the matter yet again in discussing with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean the party's hopes for unity in the aftermath of Saturday's contentious meeting over the seating of the Florida and Michigan convention delegates.

Asked about an op-ed in the Boston Globe last Friday by 1984 vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro (who got in trouble in March with her own racially tinged remarks about Obama) ...

Dean replied:

There has been an enormous amount of sexism in this campaign on the part of the media, including the mainstream media.  We'll leave present company excepted, because I think that's true.  But there have been major networks that have featured numerous outrageous comments that if the words were reversed and they were about race, the people would have been fired. 

So that's a big issue.  And there are a lot of women in this country who -- there's two issues here.  One is one candidate is ahead and one is not.  That happens all the time in primaries, and you get over that.  What you don't get over is deep wounds that have been inflicted on somebody because they happen to be a woman running for president of the United States. 

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Does Barack Obama get over it by choosing Sen. Clinton as a running mate? 

DEAN:  We don't know.  But I do believe that the issue of sexism in this country has to be addressed. 

-- Leslie Hoffecker