Here at the Name it. Change it. campaign, we know that sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women candidates. Sexist media coverage has a proven negative impact on voters' likelihood to support women candidates and it further perpetuates the inequitable political environment experienced by women.
This is why we need your help to hold outlets accountable when they cover women candidates unfairly.
One of the recent incidents of media sexism that we identified came from Boston radio producer Bill Cooksey.
On September 20, WRKO-AM "endorsed" Republican State Treasurer candidate Karyn E. Polito-not for her policies or her qualifications--but for her "banging little body" and "tight little butt." Cooksey said:
"I think she's hot. She's tiny, she's short. She's got a banging little body on her. Facial wise, I give her about a seven. Body wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight little butt. I endorse Karyn Polito."
Even after receiving backlash from the comments, WRKO-AM radio host Todd Feinburg (of the Todd & Tom show) defended the sexualized remarks:
"I thought it was delightful and humorous and it's a form of social commentary. And why do we need to be appropriate?" Read the full story in the Boston Herald.
Not only does this kind of sexist commentary fly in the face of equality and objective journalism, but our recent study shows that it does real damage to the woman candidate.
That's why Name It. Change It. has been reaching out to WRKO to discuss these harmful remarks and to ask them to apologize to Karyn E. Polito. We've sent e-mails, made phone calls, and left messages, but WRKO refuses to respond.
We need you to contact WRKO and tell them that sexism against women candidates has no place on their airwaves.
Will you email, call, and tweet WRKO today and help us take a step forward in eliminating sexism in the media?
WRKO phone: 617-779-3400
Julie Kahn, Vice President & Market Manager: (617) 779-5306,
Jason Wolfe, Vice President of Programming & Operations: (617) 779-3541,
Bill Cooksey on Twitter: @W_Cooksey
Twitter hashtag: #WRKO
If you're tweeting about this or any other sexist incidents, remember to use the @NameItChangeIt hashtag, #NICI.
Many thanks for your support,
Name It. Change It.
A collaborative campaign between WCF Foundation, Women's Media Center, and Political Parity, Name It. Change It. works to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press--from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.