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Hillary Clinton in the News

Gender and Authenticity in American Politics

Shawn Parry-Giles

Publication Year: 2014

The charge of inauthenticity has trailed Hillary Clinton from the moment she entered the national spotlight and stood in front of television cameras. Hillary Clinton in the News: Gender and Authenticity in American Politics shows how the U.S. news media created their own news frames of Clinton's political authenticity and image-making, from her participation in Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign through her own 2008 presidential bid. Using theories of nationalism, feminism, and authenticity, Parry-Giles tracks the evolving ways the major networks and cable news programs framed Clinton's image as she assumed roles ranging from surrogate campaigner, legislative advocate, and financial investor to international emissary, scorned wife, and political candidate. This study magnifies how the coverage that preceded Clinton's entry into electoral politics was grounded in her earliest presence in the national spotlight, and in long-standing nationalistic beliefs about the boundaries of authentic womanhood and first lady comportment. Once Clinton dared to cross those gender boundaries and vie for office in her own right, the news exuded a rhetoric of sexual violence. These portrayals served as a warning to other women who dared to enter the political arena and violate the protocols of authentic womanhood.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. ix-xii

I began collecting television news broadcasts of Hillary Clinton in 1996. I am indebted to many people who contributed to the project over the past seventeen years. I received faculty-support awards from both Monmouth College and the University of Maryland, including GRB and RASA grant awards and course...

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Introduction: Hillary Clinton in the News: The Historical Context

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pp. 1-23

During a June 1, 2007, Today show interview, Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein declared that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was “inauthentic”— the central claim of his book, A Woman in Charge.1 Such authenticity difficulties have dogged the former first lady-turned-senator-turned presidential candidate...

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Chapter 1. Hillary Clinton as Campaign Surrogate: U.S. Presidential Campaigns—1992 and 1996

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pp. 24-53

On January 20, 2007, Hillary Rodham Clinton ended weeks, months, and even years of speculation with the simple words, “I’m In,” as she announced her formation of a presidential exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential campaign.1 The person whom Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein called...

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Chapter 2. Hillary Clinton as Legislative Activist and Legal Defendant: Health Care Reform and the Whitewater Investigations—1993–1995

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pp. 54-94

From the moment that Hillary Clinton entered the 2008 presidential campaign, her candidacy was framed by the memory of her involvement in the Clinton administration’s health care reform efforts from 1993 to 1995. With the presidential campaign well underway in early 2007, journalists often reminded...

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Chapter 3. Hillary Clinton as International Emissary and Scorned Wife: Diplomatic Travel and the Clinton-Lewinski Scandal—1995–1999

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pp. 95-134

As Hillary and Bill Clinton faced what was arguably the biggest crisis of their marriage in the summer and fall of 1998, one of the key news frames of Hillary was that of a victim. From that summer forward, she was routinely framed as the scorned wife suffering the consequences of a philandering husband who...

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Chapter 4. Hillary Clinton as Political Candidate: U.S. Senate Campaign—1999–2001

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pp. 135-175

After months in the thicket of the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton would go public with her complaints about sexist treatment in the press. A May 25, 2008, broadcast of CNN’s Reliable Sources aired Clinton’s stinging critique...

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Conclusion: Hillary Clinton in the News: Lessons Learned

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pp. 176-198

In a May 17, 2008, episode of The Beltway Boys, Fox News addressed the thorny subject of how Hillary Clinton would drop out of the Democratic presidential primary. Co-host Fred Barnes turned to a familiar sports metaphor to comprehend the closeness of the Democratic race, expressing his excitement over the...


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pp. 199-228


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pp. 229-244


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pp. 245-258

About the Author, Publisher Notes

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E-ISBN-13: 9780252096044
E-ISBN-10: 0252096045
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252038211

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 884725763
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Hillary Clinton in the News

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Clinton, Hillary Rodham -- Press coverage.
  • Clinton, Hillary Rodham -- Relations with journalists.
  • Clinton, Hillary Rodham -- Public opinion.
  • Press and politics -- United States.
  • Stateswomen -- Press coverage -- United States.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-.
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