In 1992, the feminists in the media rejoiced at what they called "The Year of the Woman," when 10 Democratic women (and one Republican) were running for the Senate in the aftermath of Anita Hill's unproven sexual-harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas. Just two years before, seven Republican women (and two Democrats) ran. But the media yawned.
In 1992, the evening newscasts aired 29 stories exclusively devoted to women Senate candidates. In 1990, there was one ... on election night. In 1992, the morning shows interviewed women Senate candidates on 26 occasions. In 1990, there were zero interviews.
This was all about the party affiliation. When the liberals Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein both won primary elections from the U.S. Senate in California in 1992, Time reporter Margaret Carlson almost levitated in ecstasy. "There was a rush, an exultation, that surpassed any political moment I have ever known -- better even than Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential candidacy."
The primary elections on June 8 brought this memory rushing back. Republican women won gubernatorial primaries in South Carolina and New Mexico. The national media had plenty to say about Nikki Haley of South Carolina before the election, which is to say they had an endless regurgitation of unproven adultery charges to level against her.
One low point came from former Clinton bimbo-crusher George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "Good Morning America," asking Haley on the morning after her victory about how she's somehow embarrassing her state by being accused without proof: "Do you expect more incoming during the runoff?" And: "Can you assure South Carolina voters that they're not going to be embarrassed if they elect you?"
Stephanopoulos, like many good Clintonistas, is incapable of embarrassment over his hypocrisy.
Susana Martinez, winner of her gubernatorial primary in New Mexico, has another complaint. One gathers New Mexico is too far away from the East Coast for the media to notice. She's been utterly ignored.
Then there are the two female business leaders who won their GOP primaries in California, one for the Senate and the other for governor. On ABC, Stephanopoulos demeaned their business credentials as a minus, not a plus, because of the oil spill. "Meg Whitman, head of eBay. Carly Fiorina ran Hewlett-Packard. There's some controversy there."