Where Are The Women Pundits?
It didn’t really take a Broadsheet column to point it out, but it just can’t be said enough: there is a total lack of diversity in the pundit-sphere these days.
What bothered me about [Politico reporter Michael] Calderone’s ranting wasn’t so much whether any of these young men deserved to break into these famously stodgy, old-school institutions — I find all their work refreshing and valuable; Cillzza, especially, is an incredibly tenacious reporter — but that they were simply younger versions of what has long been an old boys club. Is it really that much of a surprise that pages typically populated with old, white men are now also occasionally featuring young, white men?
It’s hard not to be infuriated by this — particularly when I find myself continually blown away by young female reporters like Dana Goldstein at the Daily Beast and Ann Friedman at the American Prospect. Combine that with the fact that journalism schools report overwhelmingly female enrollments, and you do have to wonder why no women are handed the big-time opportunities being doled out to the likes of [Washington Post's Ezra] Klein and [New York Times's Ross] Douthat.
So, there is the question. Why don’t women pundits seem to be given the same opportunities that the male pundits, be they young or old, are receiving regularly?
I wonder if women become overlooked for such gigs because we can be seen as too issues-based in our punditry. Men will write in giant generalities about the healthcare system, reforms, financial realities, and struggles. When the women pundits write about the healthcare system, the focus tends to turn to real stories of families who are hurt, reproductive set backs, loss of insurance and the human face of lack of care.
Cillzza can know the comings and goings of every politico in office, but a writer like Joanne Bamberger actually spends her effort on analyzing the public policy of those politicians and how that will affect the average family with children.
And everyone knows you’d never want to give a permanent dead tree real estate to women who might use it to discuss gender struggles.
Men write about politics. Women write about how politics effect people.
Maybe that’s not something that the gatekeepers of MSM jobs believe is appealing on a mass market. Creating an emotional connection between the writer and the audience gets women dubbed as advocates instead of pundits. But I’d rather see them create change than create column space.
Who are some of the best women pundits? Enter your favorites in the comments!