Boston Herald Apologizes (Ish) to Secretary Hillary Clinton

In the Boston Herald, writer Margery Eagan writes what she terms as “an apology” to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in response to Secretary Clinton’s handling of the Libyan crisis. While the article was an attempt to recognize Secretary Clinton’s leadership and apologize for the writer’s sexist mistreatment of Clinton in previous editorials, the article fell rather short in achieving its purpose.

To her credit, Eagan in her editorial actually admits to her sexist treatment of Secretary Clinton:

“I made a career out of trashing Hillary Clinton’s hairdos, pantsuits, her attempted health care coup, her right-wing conspiracy theories, her staying with that slippery serial philanderer.”

Eagan tries to atone for this by applauding not only Secretary Clinton’s ability to put aside her ego after an unexpected loss in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, but for doing a great job at doing so. In Secretary Clinton’s moving funeral speech she says, “This work and the men and women who risk their lives to do it are at the heart of what makes America great and good, so we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted.”

While the intent to apologize for previous sexism was there, the whole article further diminished this praise by focusing a whole lot on Clinton’s tears or emotion during this whole editorial. There was the voice “uneven with emotion” when Secretary Clinton was speaking. There was what “appeared to be crying” while Clinton listened to President Obama’s speech at the services.  Granted, it was a funeral for people in her employed killed in the line of duty serving their country, but President Obama wasn’t noted for being anything more than “seeming stricken.”

Additionally, Eagan praises Secretary Clinton’s sign of visible unity with President Obama during the funeral service, because she “reached for his hand like an older sister or even a mother, and held it for a second or two.”  Really? Why dismiss this accomplished woman, that even Eagan has eaten some crow over ridiculing,  by making her  gesture relevant as only “an older sister or even mother” as opposed to, hmm, a colleague?

Name it. Change it. will give Eagan a shout out for trying, but she’s got a long way to go.


Published by Kate McCarthy on 09/17/2012

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