Many people have questioned why male candidates running for the White House in 2020 have been getting more positive media coverage than women. Take the case of Joe Biden, for example. After waiting for a few months, the former vice president announced that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president of the United States. During his announcement, there were already concerns about Biden. In fact, a few women came forward saying that he had touched them inappropriately. This wasn’t the first time that Biden was accused of this. At one point during his announcement, Biden appeared to make light of his accusers in an effort to water down the seriousness of these accusations.
In a different scenario, the media would have jumped on this as possible baggage. They would have torn Biden apart and demanded answers but not in 2019. Biden, just like most male candidates, has continued to get very positive media coverage in the expense of other women candidates that actually have less baggage and skeletons in their closet. And it’s not just about the allegations. This is the third time that Biden is running for office. The 76-year-old United States Senator from Delaware failed in the two previous attempts and the media is not talking about this. Imagine if Hillary Clinton tried to run again? Imagine the kind of media backlash that would cause? But Biden is getting preferential treatment including his male counterpart in the Democratic Party Bernie Sanders.
So, why is Biden a darling of the press despite these obvious issues? Well, it has to do with the polls. Right now, the former Vice President is the most popular candidate among Democrats according to recent polling data. In addition to this, Biden is seen as a moderate and someone who could actually steer America back to an era where political parties used to cooperate and get things done. Many analysts think that Biden has the best chance of beating Trump in 2020. This could explain why the press, which is not really pro Trump, has had a warm spot for Biden.
Also, let’s not forget that journalists that are covering the election are mostly men. In fact, an annual study released by the Women’s Media Center in 2018 found that male journalists were the most dominant in covering elections in the US. This could explain why there’s a bias towards women. The study noted that male bylines on US elections outnumbered women by three-to-one. This covers all aspects of media including print media, online media, and news wires.
Although we have seen the dominance of women journalists deployed at the White House, right now most news on US elections are mostly written and delivered by men. This coverage is definitely giving male candidates an advantage. It’s not, therefore, a surprise that the top three candidates in terms of fundraising in the Democratic Party are all men. Most analysts argue that due to a lack of coverage, most women are not able to articulate their policy positions, which disadvantages them.