Op-Ed of the Day: Sexism in the Petraeus scandal coverage

Frank Bruni, in The New York Times, says that the coverage of the complicated Petraeus scandal is “reverting to clichés that should be retired and indulging in a sexism we like to think we’ve moved past” and that the affair is boiled down to a good man who fell into a siren’s trap.

It’s the women in these situations who are often subjected to a more vigorous public shaming — and assigned greater responsibility.

The Web site Business Insider posted an interview with an unnamed former colleague of Petraeus’s who knew Broadwell and characterized her as “a shameless self-promoting prom queen.” The colleague all but exonerated Petraeus by saying: “You’re a 60-year-old man and an attractive woman almost half your age makes herself available to you — that would be a test for anyone.”

The headline of The Washington Post story that weighed in on Broadwell’s wardrobe asserted that he “let his guard down,” a phrase that portrays him as passive, possibly even a victim. The story notes that his former aides considered him “the consummate gentleman and family man.”

petraues.jpg(CIA Director David Petraeus, testifies before the US Senate Intelligence Committee during a full committee hearing on ‘World Wide Threats.’ on January 31, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER )

Jill Kelley had better prepare herself for a lot of press attention. She lawyered-up yesterday.

We’ll talk to Hanna Rosin at 9:50 about how we look at women and sex scandals.

-Stephanie Curtis, social media host