Vanity Fair under fire for urging Hillary Clinton to quit politics and knit instead

by Mark Anderson
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The magazine posted a series of videos suggesting satirical New Year resolutions for Clinton and Sarah Sanders, among others, drawing ire across the internet

Vanity Fair became embroiled in a social media storm over a video in which Hillary Clinton was urged to quit politics for knitting an attempted joke that backfired even before it drew a bizarre tweet from Donald Trump.

The row began just before Christmas, when the magazine posted a series of videos in which editors and writers held up glasses of champagne and suggested satirical New Year resolutions for Clinton, Trump, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and economic adviser Gary Cohn.

The clip aimed at Clinton urged, among other things, that she should stop blaming others for her loss in the 2016 presidential race; that she should teach yoga breathing classes; and that she should embrace knitting over any political ambition.

Take up a new hobby in the New Year: volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy literally anything that will keep you from running again, the writer Maya Kosoff suggested.

Former Clinton aides, writers and celebrities were among those who tweeted their outrage, even after Vanity Fair put out a statement of regret, four days after the item was published.

So Vanity Fair decided that the best way to end 2017 was to take a repulsive cheap shot at Hillary Clinton, one of the most accomplished women in the history of the United States, wrote Peter Daou, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Clinton and John Kerry.

Adam Parkhomenko, a former Clinton adviser, tweeted an image of a copy of Vanity Fair burning on an open fire and urged readers to cancel their subscriptions.

The actor Patricia Arquette tweeted: Stop telling women what the f-ck they should do or can do.

The website Dictionary.com tweeted that telling a woman with a law degree such as Clinton to take up knitting was the definition of sexism.

Even the Washington Post weighed in, with an opinion piece calling the videos snotty, condescending, demeaning and snarky. The six youthful staffers who posted the video on Vanity Fairs online political and business vertical, The Hive, were young urbanites, the paper said.

After Twitter users started identifying the group, Kosoff reportedly tweeted: I dont appreciate being taken out of context to make me seem super sexist. The tweet could not be confirmed, however, as her account had been made private.

Speaking to the Guardian on Thursday, Daou said he was not interested in criticising the individual journalists involved so much as the publication as a whole, which he accused of perpetuating gender bias against Clinton.

Its an institutional issue, he said. This is an extension of the mainstream US media using a double standard in the way theyve treated Hillary Clinton. Its repugnant.

He called for Vanity Fair to apologize fully and take down the video.

Later on Thursday morning, from a golf course he owns near his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the president weighed in with a peculiar tweet.

Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H[illary], Trump wrote.

Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb[assador] to Court of St Jamess & a big fundraiser for CH [Crooked Hillary], is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!

The tweet appeared to allude to reports that New York-based magazine editor Wintour aspired to be US ambassador to the UK under a Clinton administration. Wintour is, however, editor-in-chief of Vogue, another magazine owned by publisher Cond Nast. Since 2013 she has also been artistic director of Cond Nast. Vanity Fair has just appointed former New York Times journalist Radhika Jones to replace longtime editor Graydon Carter.

In one of the other videos, Kosoff recommended Sanders quit her day job and take up food Instagram as a hobby, posting pictures of the baked goods you so love making. The line was a reference to reports at Thanksgiving that questioned whether a chocolate pecan pie Sanders tweeted about really came out of her oven.

In the video aimed at Trump, Hive editor Jon Kelly suggested the president get a new haircut.

The easiest way to not look crazy is to stop having a crazy haircut, he said, raising a glass.

In its statement, Vanity Fair said the videos were an attempt at humor and we regret that it missed the mark.

Read more athttp://www.theguardian.com/us

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