The 'B' Word in Traditional News and on the Web

Jamieson, Kathleen Hall; Dunn, Jacqueline
June 2008
Nieman Reports;Summer2008, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p31
The article presents press criticism evaluating moral, ethical, and social issues raised by the increased role of the Internet in political journalism and political discourse. The misogynist epithet "bitch" as applied to U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is examined. It is found that while opponents of Clinton created literally thousands of insulting comments or Web sites based on the term, most quickly vanished, especially when given public exposure by traditional journalists in the mass media. It is also noted that a backlash was generated, in which women supporters of Clinton began using the term as an expression of pride. This is attributed to a comedy monologue given on the television program "Saturday Night Live" performed by comedian Tina Fey.


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