Ramona's picture

    She Shouts

    Bob Woodward was on Morning Joe today talking about Hillary Clinton, and in the course of the conversation he said, "I think a lot of it with Hillary Clinton has to do with style and delivery, oddly enough,. She shouts. There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating."

     Joe Scarborough had to agree: "Last night I was watching her and I said to myself, has nobody told her that the microphone works?  Because she always keeps it up here." (Hand held high)

    So then the convo moved to Hillary's trust issue and how she really didn't win much in Iowa because the young kids don't go for her. But Woodward, ever the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, brought it all back by saying, "I'm sorry to dwell on the tone issue, but there's something here where Hillary Clinton suggests she's almost not comfortable with herself. And, you know, self acceptance is something you communicate on television."

    To which Joe brought up Margaret Thatcher and how she could skew anyone by "keeping it to a whisper".  And Ronald Reagan.  No shouting.  Not like Hillary, anyway.  (There was more. It's all here.  If you care.)

    Well!  I put on my blogging frock and tilted my dainty little fingers over my lovely, shiny keyboard (No more cookie crumbs! I cleaned it yesterday.) and began looking for the words that would singe the damn paint off of my stylishly hued walls.  I was mad!

    So there I was, fingers poised, at the ready, when a radical thought entered my almost-perfect-if-not-for-the-bed-head:  I've never cared about anything Bob Woodward has said before.  Why the hell should I care now?  And Scarborough?  Same thing, only stronger.

    We're going to have months of this--her tone, her voice, her pantsuits, her hair, her age, her attempts at seeming human--so we need to decide early on whether it's worth it to waste time on silly distractions.  Who really cares?

    She's a woman; I'm a woman.  Hillary has done things and now she's running for President of the United States. There the similarity ends, so if I'm going to support her for the presidency I have to stop wasting time defending her womanhood and start defending her ability to do the job.

    So I will not care who insults her personally any more.  She has bigger fish to fry.  Hillary has known this for a long time.  I'm just now getting it.

    I'm in awe of how much I'm learning from her.




    If this is not anti-female, I do not know what is.


    What the hell does that mean?

    Bernie (who I have loved for decades shouts).

    And Trump, all he does is shout.


    But Mornin Joke is always playing into this type of crap.

    In case you did not get this, WOODWARD IS A PRICK. 


    Oh, I got it all right.  But thanks for reminding me!  I saw somewhere that he also compared Hillary's email "scandal" to Watergate.  Way to keep his reputation alive. . .

    Oh I am sorry about adding on.

    But Christie yells, and that is all he does.

    Except for the idiot Carson, all repubs do is shout--Even Carla of course.

    Bernstein will show up after all, hahahahhah

    ​Look, a lot of our generation were taught by nuns who 'shouted'. hahahahah

    Most of our generation had female teachers in elementary schools across this nation.

    I feel that I know where this all comes from.

    Mommy was home and Daddy was at work. hahahhaah


    I have gone too far. hahahahahahahah

    Nip it in the bud Ramona.

    Do not let this go.

    But Hillary is a genius. She shall figure this out!



    Well, yes, they ALL shout, but in their manly man voices.  Hillary shouts in her fishwife voice.  So obviously she needs to take some time off to come to terms with herself and that means no presidency for her! 

    Also, elocution lessons would be good. 

    But not from Howard Dean.

    To be fair, Bob Scheiffer said she's wooden.  And Christie said he beat her rear end.  And that's so far for today. 

    Well, it's still early.


    And nobody, I mean nobody, has a bigger rear end than Christie  (even after surgery!)


    Let me ask about this shouting? Is it ... shrill? Maybe strident? Or is it more like a harpy-like screech? How would we describe this shouting? Are talking harridan, shrew, or man-eating virago? [Seriously, what jackasses. The killer is none of them thinks he's a sexist.]

    Yes, all of those, Doc.  (I'm tempted to hide your comment lest those great words of yours get out into the ether and into the wrong hands.)

    But, no, they're not sexist.  What an insult!

    Others noted the sexist comments


    ​If you stand behind a podium as the single speaker, you do have a microphone in front of you, but the noise is so loud that you think that you can't be heard. The result, your voice gets louder. You are never really certain that you can be heard. When Woodward talks on his cellphone, I assume that his voice increases because despite sophisticated telecommunications networks he is certain that he has to increase his volume to be heard. On a studio set, you are directly communicating with a single person or a small group of people. Your voice is normal.I stopped watching "Morning Joe" over a decade ago because I would leave for work irritated by the nonsensical opinions that came from my television presented as deep insight. I now watch the NFL Network. The NFL analysts are clearer that they are just giving opinions. The other thing that you note from the video is that Woodward can hardly conceal his dislike of Hillary Clinton.


    Edit to add:

    Here are male Presidential candidates


    They're great!  Especially the NY Mag.  Thank you!

    Yeah. I'm trying to think of a time I head Bernie NOT being at least a little shouty. (And this is not a criticism of Bernie. He just happens to shout a lot.)

    I always feel like I've wandered into an impassioned argument in a deli, which I kind of enjoy.

    Woodward became an icon because he was picked by Mark Felt to be the recipient of his leaks. Felt decided to leak info because his was pissed he was passed over for promotion. Lots of reporters were working on the Watergate story, Woodward and Bernstein were just lucky to get the leaks to break the story. Yes they did a great thing and I admire them for it. But Woodward's ego was just to big to go back to the tough slog of real reporting.

    Since he was an icon even, or especially, to liberals for taking down Nixon I read The Brethren and Wired. I found the Brethren uninteresting and uninformative and Wired distorted. I pretty much discounted him as a hack who just got lucky one time with a high level inside source and haven't paid much attention to him since.

    He's always been a conservative, and not a very smart one, and he's gotten more conservative as the years passed. Several years ago he starting making regular appearances on news shows trying to be interesting and provacative. My guess is his latest books haven't been selling so well. There's only so long you can ride one lucky break. After a while people start asking what have you done for me lately and in Woodward's case the answer is worse than nothing. I've seen him pushing some dumb ass fox news lines. And now this. fuck him. Breaking the Watergate story doesn't make you a hero forever.

    Hillary is straight forward. Sorry for the cliche but what you see is what you get.

    It's not necessarily the only possible style. I 'm sure among those of us discussing this tonight I'm the only one who heard FDR deliver his "my little dog Fala" speech. To a Teamsters convention in  1944. One of the few campaign moments during that War year.

    FDR (after some words about Republican  electoral tactics

    ".......not content with attacking me  (pause)

      my wife Eleanor (pause)

    my son Elliot (pause)

    they.... even ........attack (voice dropping to pretend self-pity) my little dog Fala


    rest drowned out bydeafening applause and guffaws. Just to continue the quote what he said was

    And Fala doesn't like it.

    I was furious. As a young republican I was hoping for a Dewey victory and that speech on the radio made me face the fact that it wouldn't happen.

    Back to Hillary.She doesn't play games.Doesn't ( particularly) exaggerate. I don't agree with some of her positions -world trade particularly- but she's always businesslike. I was living in the UK when Harold Wilson was closing in on the premiership. A lower class Brit educated "above his class" as my right wing neighbors put it. Some ordinary passer- by being interviewed got it right ( appearance wise) saying off handedly " a plumber come with his tools to do a job"

    To me that's Hillary.


    That was just--to quote FDR--dee-lightful.  (Oh, no, I think that was Teddy.  But it was.)

    Wow. Known registered Republicans have a personal distaste for Hillary.

    It's a complete shock, I tell you.

    She didn't win because...THE CHILDREN!!! (or The Youth, same diff - future generations standing by)

    But I appreciate Woodward dwelling on the "tone issue"

     In Study 1, we manipulated voice pitch of recordings of US presidents and asked participants to attribute personality traits to the voices and to choose the voice they preferred to vote for. We found that lower-pitched voices were associated with favorable personality traits more often than were higher-pitched voices and that people preferred to vote for politicians with lower-pitched rather than higher-pitched voices. Furthermore, lower voice pitch was more strongly associated with physical prowess than with integrity in a wartime voting scenario. Thus, sensitivity to vocal cues to dominance was heightened during wartime. In Study 2, we found that participants preferred to vote for the candidate with the lower-pitched voice when given the choice between two unfamiliar men's voices speaking a neutral sentence. Taken together, our results suggest that candidates' voice pitch has an important influence on voting behavior and that men with lower-pitched voices may have an advantage in political elections.


    I read an article some years ago that claimed that the physical difference between the size of male and female vocal cords is insufficient to account for the differences in pitch when speaking. Either most men artificially pitch their voice lower, most women artificially pitch their voice higher, or both.  Likely it's done unconsciously or from some forgotten childhood decision.

    Oh, I just figured southern women had drawly vocal cords, Texas ones had twang genes, Val Girls had 'like totally' inheritance and Germans had their lips sealed together so they say 'v' instead of 'w'. Occam's chainsaw. So you're saying size doesn't matter, we can all be Freddie Kreuger/Conan the Barbarian/Donald Trump... or most scary, Sarah Palin (aka Tina Fey)

    So, these guys are about two seconds away from, "She'd be so pretty if she'd just smile."

    Just wait.  It's not over yet.

    I watched Hillary's speech on Sunday on MSNBC and I really liked it.   I never thought she was shouting, I thought she seemed like she had a lot of energy and passion.  

    Me, too.  But then we're not out to get her any way we can.

    I'd be curious how much depends on cultural affinity to "whiny screechy" brazen in-your-face female singers ....

    [transferred comments here]

    I wrote a long answer to your post and it disappeared.  I'm going to try again but the second effort won't be nearly as brilliant as the one I've lost.

    Yeah, that's frustrating. Hasn't happened to me in a while - more with mobile phones i end up posting twice.

    My very first job out of college was at another Ballet Company, and one of the things they did was train me to use my voice. Our artistic director had an MFA and he trained me to answer the phone, and modulate my voice correctly, to make people think certain things. I was young and had no idea about any of that, ahh artistic directors, they truly are something amazing. 

    I love your blog Mona. Thanks for writing it.

    Thanks, Teri.  I took acting and singing lessons when I was young, but we had a teacher in grade school who would yell "enunciate!" whenever we mumbled or didn't speak up. Lol. I still love that word!

    My first job out of HS was as a long distance telephone operator.  The first bit of training was in how to speak clearly.  And, so as not to confuse anybody, we said "nyen" for nine and "fyev" for five. 

    There was a time when how we spoke was as important as what we said.  No more, I guess.  Except for Hillary.

    Great post. Ramona.

    I think Woodward's comments are a subset of an essential problem our society is having with modernism and pluralism. We are unable to celebrate differences in gender, race and vocation without then concluding that the differences are things we should fear. The fact that Woodward brought the subject up is evidence that he and a great swath of the media and the public are unwilling to adapt and change, and because they have no other answers, are promoting the practice of fear mongering.

    Woodward should retire. He has lost whatever credibility he might once have enjoyed. What a schmuck! 

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