Study: Media treat Ferraro, Palin the same

Oct. 27, 2008 at 1:43 AM   |   Comments

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro doesn't have much in common with GOP nominee Sarah Palin -- except media coverage, a researcher says.

Dr. Janis Edwards, director of "the Palin Watch" at The University of Alabama, says 24 years and a gulf of ideology separates the first two women who ran on a major party ticket. However, Edwards says the way the media talk about Palin and Ferraro hasn't changed -- newspapers around North America have used similar media frames to describe these very different women, who made vice-presidential runs at different times for different parties.

Both candidacies were framed around questions about their experience, whether their selection was a political stunt and the notion that their selection was a gamble, Edwards said.

"Both Palin and Ferraro were discussed in terms of their questionable experience, perhaps because both were relative unknowns on the national stage -- unlike many vice presidential nominees, neither of the women had participated in the presidential primaries," Edwards said in a statement.

Both Palin and Ferraro were discussed as token stunts to appease particular voting demographics and both choices were referred to as a political gamble -- as opposed to a positive, bold stroke, Edwards said.

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