From Howard Kurtz's Media Notes Extra column, entitled Valentine's Day Arrow," at WashingtonPost.com:
First, let me say that our country needs more women pundits. I've never quite understood why--unlike, say, boxing--it's a male-dominated field. Quick, how many female newspaper columnists can you name other than Maureen Dowd? They're out there, but not in great enough numbers.

Women seem to do better in management. The top editors at the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and, until scandal hit, USA Today) are women. So are the Washington bureau chiefs of ABC, CBS and Fox. Not to mention the managing editor and editorial page editor of the New York Times.

But the op-ed pages of the major papers are mostly testosterone-laden. And that has prompted quite a blast from Susan Estrich, who has been more successful at punditry (she opines on Fox News) than she was in politics (Michael Dukakis's campaign manager).

Estrich is mad at Michael Kinsley, the former New Republic and Slate editor who recently took over the LAT opinion pages while commuting from Seattle. He doesn't run many women, she says, including, um, her.

The new paper in D.C., the Examiner, reprints a blast e-mail that Estrich sent out to a bunch of gal pals on Valentine's Day, saying "let's break some hearts":

"It is with great regret that I send you this message, asking you to help me in fighting blatant sex discrimination at the Los Angeles Times.

"What could be more important - or easier for that matter - than ensuring that women's voices are heard in public discourse in our community? For the last three years, my students and I have been counting the number of women whose opinion pieces appear in The Los Angeles Times, and the record is worse than dismal, worse than The New York Times (which has a woman editorial page editor), worse than The Washington Post, even worse than the Orange County Register (which has a woman editor). I have been trying, quietly, to force the editors there to address it - but things have gone from bad to worse under the leadership of the new opinion editor, Michael Kinsley, who replaced an African American woman, and now has three men in the top jobs, and 90 percent men writing for his section. Need I add that none of these men are from Southern California; Michael doesn't even live here. . . .

"A few weeks ago, I pointed out to Michael that they went looking for people to ask about their opinions on the war in Iraq: and found THIRTEEN MEN AND NO WOMEN."

Uh-oh, we're breaking out the capital letters.

What really got Estrich going was an article Kinsley ran in the Sunday opinion section: "FEMINIST FATALE. Where are the great women thinkers? Thinking so much about women has shrunk their minds. That was the headline and the whole top half of the paper ...The article last Sunday was penned by a feminist-hater I have never heard of, nor probably have you, by the name of Charlotte Allen."
Yeah, I didn't mention that article here, because it was so pathetic. Also, it was about "feminist intellectuals," but so obviously not written by one, and you know, I'm really over that whole irony thing.

Susan Estrich - you stealth Cupcake, you - you're ROCKIN' MY WORLD!


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