Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Watching the Michelle Obama Watch

So I'm finishing up a report this week on media coverage of race, gender, class, and age in the 2008 primaries. And I'm so jazzed by Gina McCauley's Michelle Obama Watch and what I've learned about it so far that it merits another post. And another, and another to be sure.

I corresponded with Gina yesterday and learned that there have been over 90,000 page views in the 20 days since the site's been up. A recent piece about MOW in The Baltimore Sun tentatively asks "Michele Obama Ties Black, White Women?" and notes, "Gina McCauley's blog on African-American women in pop culture has never attracted this kind of attention. But she launched a new Michelle Obama Watch blog in June to monitor and critique media coverage of the potential first lady, and since then, feminists of all colors have been linking and commenting."

The solidarity is key, and Gina knows it's about something more. As she wrote to me in an email:
"[T]his ultimately isn't about Michelle Obama, it is an exercise in how the nation, the news media and entertainment industry in particular, an deal or not deal with an African American women who defies the dominant stereotypes perpetuated about us. If we let them get away with their chicanery with a Harvard-educated attorney, then the next Black woman to walk in her footsteps would have to to trod a more difficult path."
Hells yes.

The site currently has 13 volunteer contributors who have contributed 88 posts. Got a news tip for the site? Direct your concerns, complaints, or praise about the media's treatment of Michele Obama to michelleobamawatch@gmail.com. And watch for more from Gina over at What about Our Daughters, which has received credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August.

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