A prominent female news anchor chastised the McCain campaign Tuesday evening for engaging in sexism and insulting behavior in its attempt to shield Gov. Sarah Palin from members of the press.
In a fiery commentary, Campbell Brown laid into John McCain for casting a "chauvinistic chain" that ran over his running mate. Punctuated by a call to "Free Sarah Palin," the CNN anchor highlighted the attempt Tuesday by the McCain campaign to ban editorial reporters from covering Palin's visit with world leaders at the UN, as yet another gender-demeaning move in a campaign highlighted by sexist behavior.
"Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment," said Brown. "This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters... Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one."
This is, it seems, one of the strongest backlashes to the war that McCain and his aides have waged with the press. Critical articles the campaign can handle - easily chalked up to a "liberal media bias". And the lack of an organ to get out its message is really not a problem when media outlets are still covering the candidate's every move (though today, a near boycott occurred during Palin's trip to the UN). But charges that the campaign is insulting women voters by shielding its vice presidential nominee from the press are powerful and persuasive, especially when they come from a well-known female news anchor. Palin, it should be noted, will be taking questions from CBS's Katie Couric on Wednesday.