Accuracy in Media

A national survey of women has determined that Claudia Kennedy is a leading choice to become the first woman president. Claudia who? That was our reaction. We were tempted to ignore this survey, were it not for the fact that its results got featured on the cover of Sunday?s popular Parade magazine a few weeks ago. The article inside was titled, “Women Who Could Be President.” Oddly, conservative-oriented women such as Phyllis Schlafly and Jeane Kirkpatrick didn?t get any votes. Why? They weren?t on the ballot. And this fact is another indication on how slanted the exercise was.

The poll was put together by something called the White House Project. They claim that more than 100,000 Americans in fifty states voted for the five women who they thought had the potential to lead the nation. These five were Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, Dianne Feinstein, Christine Todd Whitman and Claudia Kennedy, a three-star Army General. The two runners-up were Ann Fudge and Mae Jamison.

If you have not heard of some of these women, you are not alone. The ballot included a number of little-known women. Other women on the ballot included Wilma Mankiller and Carol Bellamy. But we repeat: identifiable conservative women, with the possible exceptions of Elizabeth Dole and Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, were not on the list. Interestingly, the White House Project says the names on the ballot were picked to represent excellence in their fields and “the diversity of the nation.” Translation: there was a liberal bias.

What is the White House Project? Members of their board tell us where the White House Project is really coming from. They include representatives of the National Gay and Lesbian Task force, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the National Abortion Rights Action League. Now we understand why conservative women like Phyllis Schlafly, a national pro-life leader, were not on the ballot.

The Parade Magazine cover story didn?t mention any of this. However, it did include some hints of the bias behind the survey. White House Project chairwoman Barbara Lee was identified as a fund-raiser for Democrats. And president Marie C. Wilson is president of the Ms. Foundation, named after the feminist magazine. Their ballot technique was simple: place a ballot in front of someone in which most of the choices are liberal Democrats and most of the Republican choices are liberal Republicans. It?s no surprise that liberals, led by Hillary Rodham Clinton, end up on top.

The organizers claimed they selected women based on their “demonstrated leadership abilities.” But the failure to include Phyllis Schlafly on the ballot shows this is a lie. Schlafly was the driving force behind the national campaign to stop ratification of the feminist Equal Rights Amendment. She is a lawyer and author of many books. She doesn?t get on the ballot, but Wilma Mankiller, a former chief of the Cherokee Nation, makes it. In their quest for diversity, the White House Project discredited its own poll. Parade Magazine should not have fallen for this one.

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