LA Times columnist rushes to Jill Biden's defense after ignoring attacks on conservative women
Media defends Jill Biden after op-ed questions use of ‘Dr.’ title
‘Outnumbered’ panel discusses whether there is a double standard in coverage of conservative women.
Los Angeles Times culture columnist and critic Mary McNamara rushed to the defense of Jill Biden, blasting the Wall Street Journal for writing what she called a “sexist” op-ed about the incoming first lady.
But, a probe of her archives reveals that the award-winning columnist hasn’t issued the same kind of scorn for ugly attacks on conservative women — from Sarah Sanders to first lady Melania Trump — during President Trump's tenure.
Wall Street Journal contributor Joseph Epstein’s piece, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.,” argued that Dr. Jill Biden, who holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware, “should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic.”
The op-ed sparked a liberal meltdown, as everyone from the incoming second gentleman to Northwestern University – where Epstein was a lecturer of English – condemned the piece.
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McNamara, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, was among the outraged and published a piece headlined, “Column: Wall Street Journal, you ran a sexist essay on Jill Biden. Don’t tell us to calm down.”
“What Epstein did was attempt to publicly shame Biden for using the title,” McNamara wrote before mocking Epstein for declaring he didn’t use a “doctor” title himself “even though he received an honorary doctorate at some point from a school he does not name.”
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The L.A. Times columnist wrote that Epstein’s piece argued doctorates have not been as prestigious as they once were.
“You know, when you had to know Greek or Latin and women and people of color were not allowed to pursue them,” she wrote. “As you can imagine, many, many people are deeply offended and upset by this piece.”
Longtime Wall Street Journal opinion editor Paul Gigot defended the op-ed, but McNamara claimed it simply made things worse.
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“Having published a story that was written for the precise reason of provoking an intense response (and all the clicks and longevity that guarantees), Mr. Paul Gigot was shocked, shocked that so many people were so upset. So many that he could attribute it only to ‘a political strategy’ by the Biden transition team. Several members of the Bidens’ communications team did indeed call out the piece’s sexism on Twitter, or as Gigot put it, ‘continued to push the sexist theme,’” McNamara wrote, noting that Gigot’s response would result in think pieces exactly like the one she was writing herself.
While McNamara was quick to defend the incoming first lady, a quick glance at her archives reveals she isn’t so passionate when conservative women are criticized. In fact, she herself once criticized the appearance of first lady Melania Trump.
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“If she hadn’t chosen cyberbullying as her cause, she could be an advocate for the resting bitch face, a warrior against all those who demand that women smile even when smiling is not remotely reflective of their mood or circumstances,” McNamara wrote earlier this year.
McNamara did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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McNamara had plenty of opportunities to defend conservative women during Trump's time in the White House, as Melania Trump has been attacked as “an illegal alien… who can’t speak straight,” Sarah Sanders was labeled a “Gorgon” and “chunky soccer mom,” Ivanka Trump was called a "feckless c—t,” rapper T.I. Made a music video that portrayed the current first lady as a stripper, among many other examples.
But McNamara didn’t defend any of them in her popular L.A. Times column.
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