Ari Fleischer rips mainstream media 'hypocrisy' in treatment of Harris, female GOP candidates

Ex-White House press secretary recalls crude coverage of Elizabeth Dole, Sarah Palin

The left's attack on allegedly "sexist coverage" of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., exposes the blatant "hypocrisy" of the mainstream media, who took no issue with unflattering coverage and offensive descriptions of female GOP candidates in the past, Ari Fleischer said Thursday.

"Look at their hypocrisy in the way they are saying any Republican who criticizes Kamala Harris is guilty of sexism," the former White House press secretary told "The Daily Briefing."

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Fleischer, who briefly served as communications director for former presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole, argued that The New York Times' rush to label critics of Harris' record as sexist stands in stark contrast with their repeated negative coverage of his former boss.

"I was Elizabeth Dole's communications director when she ran for president in 1999. Here is what The New York Times' Maureen Dowd said about Elizabeth Dole back then. She called Elizabeth Dole a 'Nurse Ratched,'  a 'control freak' and an 'overbroad dominatrix,' Fleischer said.

"Where was The New York Times and the mainstream media beating up Maureen Dowd ... for the way she described Elizabeth Dole?"

The media was also less than chivalrous when it came to their coverage of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Fox News contributor noted.

"When Palin ran, [liberal talk show host] Ed Schultz talked about a 'bimbo alert,' Harry Reid's [press secretary] called her 'shrill,' Donny Deutsch on CNBC talked about her 'sex appeal' and Joe Biden called her 'good-looking,' he said.

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"I don’t remember the press coming out of their clothes and their shoes at that time to criticize Democrats for what they said about Palin,"  Fleischer continued.

More recently, Sarah Sanders's appearance was publically attacked during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner by comedian Michelle Wolf, who Fleischer said insulted "her makeup and her looks" while attendees sat in silence.

"I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion," Fleischer concluded, "that the political press corps are in the tank."