United States Republican candidates refuse interviews with women journalists

United States: Republican candidates refuse interviews with women journalists

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Robert Foster has refused to let journalist Larrison Campbell cover his campaign in Mississippi, saying he wants to “stay professional”. A week apart, two Republican politicians explained declining interviews with female journalists. It was initially Robert Foster, candidate for governorship of Mississippi, who made talk about him. He refused to let local Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell follow him during his campaign, evoking his Christian faith and explaining that he wanted to “stay professional”. “The other candidates were accompanied by male journalists, which is a little different situation (…) There would have been many opportunities to end up in embarrassing situations that I wanted to avoid,” he said. justified on the local radio station. The candidate’s team suggested that the journalist be accompanied by another journalist, a man this time, reports CNN.

Robert Foster is also afraid of his detractors, who he says follow him incessantly with a phone in his hand, trying to find him in a compromising situation. “In ten or fifteen years, someone could accuse me of aggression and I have no witnesses to protect me”, he also explains, evoking the post #MeToo era.

Accused of sexism, the candidate did not dismount: “As I had anticipated, the left lost his head just because I chose not to be alone with another woman. They can not understand that even in 2019, some people still value their relationship with their wives and respect their Christian faith, “he said.

Robert Foster is not alone in judging it indecent – or dangerous – to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. His Republican rival, also at the same governorship, Bill Waller, defended himself a week after the incident. “I think that nowadays, appearances are important, and transparency is important. According to him, it is a question of “common sense” not to be alone with a woman without the presence of his wife.

“A universal history”

This “rule” would be inspired by the recommendations of evangelical pastor Billy Graham, issued in 1948 and already adopted by Mike Pence, the current vice president of the United States. “During his twelve years in Congress, Pence had rules to avoid the temptations of infidelity, or even rumors of impropriety. Among his rules: he demanded that the assistants who worked late at his side were men, he never dined alone with a woman other than his own, and did not go to a party where alcohol is served if Karen ‘was not there,’ said an Indiana newspaper in 2016, according to the Slate website.

As for journalist Larrison Campbell, she warns that her story is not isolated. According to her, women are “sexualized every day as they try to do their job,” making the event “a universal story,” says CNN.

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