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Susan Estrich
27 Aug 2014
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15 Aug 2014
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If you are the last person in America wondering whether Hillary Clinton is running for president, her recent … Read More.

Diane Steps Down


There were no ruffles or flourishes.

Diane Sawyer stepped down as the anchor of "ABC World News" and the "face" of the network (her job to be effectively split between George Stephanopoulos and David Muir) with characteristic dignity, grace and understatement.

And, OK, she still looks gorgeous.

But where are the next 10 women in line for her place?

Once upon a time, all of the broadcast anchors were men. Then there was the "first" woman co-anchor and then the first woman anchor and then — as unbelievable as it seems — there were two, which should mean you can stop counting. Someday, I used to tell my students, counting will seem silly, like counting how many male nurses there are.

And then there was one anchor.

Now there are none.

Is counting really so silly? Is it possible that this is all just the product of a gender-blind, race-blind world? What an amazing coincidence that would have to be.

I am absolutely certain that no one making any of these decisions at the broadcast networks in any way experiences themselves as discriminating. Some — more than there used to be — are even women and minorities themselves. So while it is still true that most of the people who make most of the major decisions about just about everything except maybe what happens in elementary school classrooms are men, and while it is absolutely true that the most natural thing in the world is to assume that the person who looks like a younger version of yourself is, strictly on the merits, the most qualified, it is also true that the best person for the job is not always a woman.

But none of the four best?

Since 1995, the number of women CEO's at Fortune 500 companies has grown from 0 to 23, meaning the number of men has dropped from 500 to a mere 477.

I know women have children, and many women put family first, and I'm the last to say that's wrong. But not all women have families, and children grow up, and 0 for 4 or 477-23 are just not the kind of numbers you get at random, just aren't explained by the demands of family, just don't make sense unless someone was paying so little attention to all of the unconscious factors at work that they had no idea that their high-minded principles were producing mid-20th-century results.

That's why we started counting — why Catalyst started counting women CEO's and why The White House Project started counting women on the Sunday shows and why I started counting op-ed pages and we all started counting things we hoped we could soon stop counting.

It's not to impose a quota. It's to sound a wake-up bell when the numbers are out of whack with what should be the 21st-century reality.

Oh, sure, anchors aren't what they once were — unless, God forbid, it's one of those moments when you might depend on their judgment, their calm, their ability to hold us together. I remember watching Walter Cronkite when President Kennedy was shot.

Diane Sawyer has always been a class act. There must be a successor somewhere. And another Katie, and another Barbara, not to mention some Hillarys in the wings, if only we look for them.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



12 Comments | Post Comment
There are plenty of liberal women nutcases out there. Just look at MSNBC. Pick one and groom her for the Presidentcy.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Oldtimer
Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:58 AM
Re: Oldtimer

Groom her Oldtimer? No. A liberal woman for President has to be the brain damaged, down trodden, used, doormat of some liberal man preferably several liberal men. Someone like Hillary Clinton.

On second thoughts maybe you are right any woman from MSNBC fits that description.
Comment: #2
Posted by: joseph wright
Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:26 AM
Re: joseph wright
Which, sadly, if true, would still make any of them likely to be better qualified for the presidency than anything surviving the current GOP presidential selection process would be.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Mark
Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:27 AM
Re: Mark

Certainly better for liberals and better for the continued destruction of America.

OK so now that it is clear that the liberal choice for a woman president would be any badly used, brain damaged down trodden, doormat of one or several liberal men, irrespective of competence or ability, what would the liberal choice be for a male president?

If the recent past history of liberal choice is anything to go by the liberal credentials, in no order of importance, are that the candidate must be (1) a consummate liar (2) a rapist or serial abuser of women (3) a repeat adulterer (4) an active supporter of infanticide (5) a lawless corruptocrat (6) a narcissist that thinks he lives in a Monarchy (7) an Islamist (8) an anti-Semite (9) an anti-American (10) a tree hugger that actually believes in man made global warming (11) a socialist/Marxist dreaming of wealth destruction (12) a racist (13) a propagator of race, gender and class division (14) and a hater of individual freedom and responsibility.

Yep Mark you are correct, the above would rule out any GOP candidate.
Comment: #4
Posted by: joseph wright
Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:35 AM
News flash Obama is to interrupt a week end of fund raising to attend a MSNBC wedding.
Russia invades Ukraine, ISIS is on the move and there is no strategy for either, and the only thing on Bammy's mind is to dress up and be bridesmaid at some MSNBC wedding. One hears that moochelle is to be the bouncer at the door complete with bulging biceps and muscle shirt. LOL!
Comment: #5
Posted by: joseph wright
Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:25 AM
Re: joseph wright
And the magic Joseph strategy for IS and Ukraine is? As usual, babble about how the POTUS has failed to provide the magic solution you imagine would just be there if a real man was on the job. This followed by evidence that strong women, such as Mrs. Obama, frighten you. How sad.
I notice on your pathetic straw man list you include that knowledge of science (Item 10) excludes all GOP candidates. Sadly, I would have to agree with you on that point. While admitting that is honest of you, ignorance of science in the modern world is not what a rational person wants in a leader.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Mark
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:49 PM
Re: Mark
For just one second please think to whom you are posing the question "and the magic Joseph strategy for IS (sic) and Ukraine is? You actually ask Me! Why not ask your princling Bam Bam? Does it not occur to you for one moment that your question is misdirected ? Of course it does not. I think we all know why and we all know the answer to the same question posed to the right person.

Who would expect the tan empty suit that presently purports to be the Commander in Chief and that presently purports to be the Chief Executive aka POTUS to actually have a strategy? Who would expect him to be doing the job he is paid to do?

Clearly not you. Clearly not the Media, Clearly not ISIS. Clearly not many. And they would be right. One must suppose it is all part and parcel of the universal pass little Bam Bam is given for being the first affirmative action POTUS.

The bar could not be lowered any further? Ooops strike that last remark, the lying doormat Hillary and Fauxahontus the lying crazy "would be" Cherokee squaw each await in the wings. What bar?

But here is the rub, little Bam Bam, like it or not, is supposed to have a strategy to deal with ISIS and a strategy to deal with Russia and a strategy to keep America and Americans safe.

Does he? No !

Seems you forget that the golfing fool actually called a press conference to announce to the world that he does not have a strategy and moreover to announce that he does not have a strategy even after watching ISIS build for four years. The indolent feckless golfing fool still thinks ISIS is JV. The indolent feckless fool, flying in the face of all the facts, and contradicting his so called advisors actually announced at yet another fundraiser that we are safer than we have been in 30 years. This feckless fool is dangerously delusional.

I truly believe that the empty tan suit's strategy for every matter of importance is to have no strategy at all. Can anyone say Urkel and " Did I do that?"

Save for strategizing how to get back from or maybe to escape from yet another vacation with Mrs. Obama's biceps to attend a bachelor party, and save for strategizing stealing the bride's limelight at an MSNBC wedding and save for strategizing getting back to the first tee the fool in the whitehouse displays no strategic thinking at all. Never has.
Even after 200 plus rounds of golf in the last five years I suspect the duffer's handicap is still in the high twenties and so no improvement there either. What a waste of time and space he is.

And finally, with regard to my so called "pathetic straw man list" I notice that of the 14 essentials credentials for a male liberal president all based upon recent history you choose to try to attack the credential of a belief in anthropological global warming and base that attack upon some mythical science. Again a liberal bites at the dangled bait.

What credible actual science Mark? Note here I asked what credible actual science. There is no credible actual science as to man made global warming. It has all been debunked as the greatest tax and spend hoax of decades. Is there climate change? Yes always has been. Has there been warming and cooling? Yes. Always has been. Is there any real objective credible science as distinct from doctored, manufactured hockey sticks and wholly unreliable computer modelling to prove any anthropological warming? NO. None.

Stated belief in voodoo hoaxes so as to tax and to spend is not what one wants in any sort of leader. Period.
Comment: #7
Posted by: joseph wright
Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:14 PM
In his Op-Ed Mar wrote: "And the magic Joseph strategy for IS and Ukraine is? As usual, babble about how the POTUS has failed to provide the magic solution you imagine would just be there if a real man was on the job."

This is more of the usual silliness. Yet another foolish demand for a complete alternate strategy from anyone who dares to complain that the Dear Leader's foreign policy is failing.

This argument is a straw man. Where were all the alternate plans from the democrats during the Bush II era? Then, there was nothing but complaints. You would be hard pressed to find anything constructive the democrats ever offered back then.

Now they demand complete and well thought plans from the opposition! Why aren't they demanding this from Obama? The sad fact is that administration has no apparent strategy. It appears to be merely reactive, and remarkably sluggish even at that.

The worse part of it is that both our enemies and our allies are all too aware that the dear leader is an emperor without clothes. Our enemies are emboldened and our allies begin to doubt the wisdom of being on our side.

Only a completely irrational sycophant wouldn't be worried about this administrations incompetence at this point. Wake up Mark, the real world is about to erupt in your face. And you aren't going to like it one bit.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Old Navy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:22 PM
Dear Ms. Estrich,

It seems by your last paragraph only Liberal women need apply for Diane Sawyer's job!

Nuff Said...Dennis
Comment: #9
Posted by: Dennis
Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:54 AM
Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now "strongly disapprove" of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

With many people now acting as if it is time for "a woman" to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.

Perhaps News Anchors should be chosen by their qualification instead of their bra size. Liberals do not dislike discrimination, they just want to be in control of the discrimination that occurs.
Comment: #10
Posted by: SusansMirror
Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:55 PM
SusansMirror wrote: "With many people now acting as if it is time for "a woman" to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications."

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
Comment: #11
Posted by: Old Navy
Tue Sep 2, 2014 3:26 AM
A major part of the solution to our war against Islamic evil if to build up our military, not tear it down.The numbers are getting so bad that by the time we get someone in office who wants to face the problem we wiill need to introduce contription again. It's coming!!
The general population won't like it and the administration will be voted out of office and the Progressives will be back in at a time when out Nation is in deep doo-doo, thanks to the current Progressive Agenda.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Oldtimer
Tue Sep 2, 2014 5:57 AM
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