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Senators Slam ‘Sexist’ New York Times Coverage of Kyrsten Sinema

• November 19, 2021 5:30 pm

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The New York Times is much too concerned with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's (D., Ariz.) appearance, according to three female senators, who call the Gray Lady's recent coverage of the senator "demeaning, sexist, and inappropriate."

Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) wrote a letter to the editor on Friday that criticized the paper of record for in the past two months "publish[ing] four separate pieces analyzing the style and dress of our colleague senator Kyrsten Sinema."

"Your repeated focus on how she dresses, rather than what she says and does, is demeaning, sexist, and inappropriate," the senators wrote. "We cannot imagine the Times printing similar pieces on the fashion choices of any of our male colleagues."

The paper's allegedly misogynistic reporting on Sinema comes as the senator weighs voting with Democrats to pass their roughly $2 trillion spending bill. The Arizona senator has been the subject of much reporting during the past year, due to her position of power as a swing vote in the evenly divided Senate. Liberal ire with Sinema reached an inflection point in October, when radical activists accosted her in a bathroom over her voting record.

The Times accused Sinema of engaging in "political theater" and "coded speech" while wearing an array of eye-catching outfits, including denim vests, white-caped dresses, and in one particularly memorable instance, a hot pink sweater with the words "Dangerous Creature" written on its front. Three of the four pieces were written by the same Times opinion writer, Tressie McMillan Cottom, who claims Sinema's "aesthetics are part of the way she courts, manipulates, and plays with public attention as a political figure."

Sinema has rejected the notion that her fashion choices are coded. "I wear what I want because I like it. It's not a news story, and it's no one’s business," she said this week.

Misogynist media coverage persists despite violating industry guidelines, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found in September 2020. The Washington Post, Daily Beast, and USA Today all wrote articles praising then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris for her shoe choice.

Published under: New York Times