Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'Miss Representation' turning heads at Sundance Film Festival

"It is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue"
A new defense of Gov. Palin comes from unexpected quarters. The documentary film "Miss Representation," directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, explores how mainstream media undermines American women in influential positions, and how this impacts young girls. The film also challenges the media's often disparaging portrayal of women. Ms. Newsome is married to California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
In particular, "Miss Representation" devotes quite a bit of time to how Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were covered by mainstream media in the 2008 presidential elections.

"The idea for the film came to me as I watched the 2008 presidential campaign and saw this sexism and double standard that was directed towards Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and some of the wives whose husbands were running for office. It really upset and affected me," Siebel Newsom told FOX411's Pop Tarts at the premiere in Park City, Utah over the weekend. "I knew I wanted to have children someday (she now has a two-year-old daughter and is pregnant with a son) and I was worried about raising a daughter in a world that objectifies women to such an extreme."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom concurred, saying Palin was treated abominably.

"We need a greater sensitivity to the way we portray women particularly in the news media. To watch the way Sarah Palin was treated -- to discuss whether an elected official or former elected official has breast implants -- is pretty demeaning, and it would never happen to a guy," Newsom said. "We need to disassociate ourselves from this party ideology. It is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. This happens all around and puts so much pressure on young girls."

"Miss Representation" has been turning heads at the left wing Sundance Festival, which officially characterizes the film as an "empowering" documentary.

Although Ms. Newsome says the issue her film addresses "is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue," the women she interviews in her documentary are overwhelmingly political liberals. While it is true that misogyny is a problem on both sides of the aisle, it is demonstrated most often by the left, since leftists dominate our entertainment and press institutions. So if anyone needs to see the message of this film, it is those on the left. Perhaps having a plethora of liberal interviewees in the documentary will help some leftists, at least, get the message. After all, they are the ones who pride themselves on their "tolerance."

- JP

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