One of the pleasures of Sunday morning is walking to the end of the driveway (even in rain, like yesterday) to fetch the papers, which include the local Morning Call and the Sunday New York Times. It’s a treat to lay the papers out on the bed and read while sipping especially delicious coffee. Time seems to stand still while I page through the paper, confident that there are hours between this pleasure and officially ticking off the commitments of the day. Sometimes, I cheat. On a Saturday evening I’ll peek at a few stories from next day’s paper on my i-phone. I did that last night when I started to read the story about Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to inact immigration reform in Arizona. It wasn’t the issue that caught my eye as much as how the governor is described in the story.
The article reads: “To the public, Ms. Brewer, 65, is a smiling, deeply tanned, affable “cheerleader type,” as one friend described her. She may fumble and grimace her way through news conferences, but she genuinely likes shaking constituents’ hands and startling state employees on field visits by chatting them up.” That she is more public relations director than savvy politico is the impression left on the reader. This may all be true, but it seems especially harsh on a day when an article about disgraced Eliot Spitzer’s opinion on the governing ability of Andrew Cuomo is given an especially noteworthy placement. No reference to Mr. Spitzer’s skin tone or any other markers of his appearance are mentioned, except to say he was “zealous” or “overzealous (some would say).”
We have a dearth of women political leaders in the United States and one reason may well be the unfair media treatment they repeatedly receive. The slight to cheerleaders is also noted. I’d like to see Eliot Spitzer do a back handspring. Without his socks on.