The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Vanity Fair Admits Video Telling Hillary Clinton To Take Up Knitting “Missed The Mark”


Reprinted with permission from

The editors at Vanity Fair magazine offered the latest proof that a lot of journalists didn’t learn any lessons from the relentlessly condescending and sexist coverage of Hillary Clinton’s historic presidential candidacy.

But their effort to mock and talk down to the former first lady, secretary of state, and first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency ended quite badly for them this week.

The outlet published a snarky and sneering video on Tuesday featuring editors and writers holding champagne flutes to toast in the New Year while telling Clinton to get out of politics.

Or as the Washington Post put it: “Vanity Fair staffers provide snotty, condescending life tips for Hillary Clinton.”

“Take up a new hobby in the new year,” suggested one staffer to Clinton. “Volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy, literally anything that will keep you from running again.”

Note: there’s not a single person connected to American politics who thinks Clinton is likely to run again in 2020, in part because she has emphatically and unequivocally announced she won’t run.

So the whole idea that Vanity Fair staffers have to convince Clinton not to run for the White House again, to talk her down from her ambitious ways, is pointless and dopey.

And the whole misguided mess was immediately dragged:

Soon the hash tag #CancelVanityFair began trending on Twitter, as more and more readers took the magazine to task for its childish and crass stunt.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Vanity Fair emailed the Washington Post with the lame excuse that the video “was an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark.”

Of course, the context for the tasteless swipe is that much of the press spent most of 2016 wallowing in bouts of sexist coverage and holding Clinton to an entirely different standard than her male counterpart.

The press also steadfastly refused to cover the substance of Clinton’s campaign, instead focusing on gotcha email stories and snarky analysis that depicted her as phony, unlikeable, calculating politician. Many journalists also worked hard to ignore her legion of women supporters.

Over many years, there has developed an almost open contempt for Clinton from the press corps. There was even media talk during the campaign last year about how journalists were primed to “take down” her historic run.

So no, posting a video where young Vanity Fair staffers — who weren’t even born when Clinton was founding a rape crisis hotline in Arkansas in the 1970s — mock the former first lady, telling her take up knitting, doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

It springs from a deep wellspring of sexist attitudes about powerful women in America.

And people are sick of it.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mike Lindell

Ronna McDaniel secured a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday with roughly two-thirds of the votes cast, leaving her challengers in the dust, including millionaire conspiracy-monger Mike Lindell, who had projected a winner’s confidence on the campaign trail.

Keep reading...Show less

Charles McGonigal

Youtube Screenshot

The arrest of Charles McGonigal, chief of the FBI counterintelligence division in New York from October 2016 until his retirement in 2018, reopens festering questions about the troubled election that put Donald Trump in the White House. Among the crimes charged against McGonigal in two lengthy federal indictments is a secret financial relationship with Oleg Deripaska — a Russian oligarch close to dictator Vladimir Putin and associated with Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, himself convicted of crimes and pardoned.

During his FBI career, McGonigal oversaw investigations of Deripaska and other oligarchs suspected of various crimes, including espionage. Now the exposure of his illegal connection with Deripaska may provide fresh insights into Trump's tainted victory.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}