Team Obama issues dress code for female reporters

posted at 9:00 am on July 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Barack Obama campaign wanted to make sure that the reporters traveling along with the presidential candidate on his foreign tour presented themselves properly.  His staff distributed a memo that dictated a dress code, reminding the women in the media entourage of the need to keep from offending the natives.  Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown e-mailed the memo to Ben Smith:

Reporters traveling overseas with Sen. Barack Obama were thrown a bit of curve last week when the campaign emailed a “dress code” for Israel and Jordan. Aides had passed along as a courtesy the list that they had distributed to their staff to follow. But some of the tips raised a few eyebrows, particularly among the female reporters.

“Do not wear green.” (Explained later as the color of Hamas)

“Do not wear nail polish.”

“Women should only wear a limited amount of jewelry.”

“Shoulders and arms must be fully covered (no strapless tops, no tank tops, no short sleeve shirts.)”

“Closed-toe shoes, women should also wear stockings.”

At historical and religious sites, a suit or slacks should be worn, shoulders and arms must be covered (“no strapless tops, no tanks tops no short sleeve shirts”), shoes might need to be removed, and women may be asked to cover their heads and “should be prepared with a scarf/pashmina,” the email stated.

First, wouldn’t women traveling to the Middle East already understand at least some of this, especially the journalists? This gives more than just a faint whiff of paternalism, lecturing professionals about how they should comport themselves. All appearances to the contrary, the media entourage does not work for Team Obama. One might think that the women of the press would get offended by treating them like schoolchildren or idiots.

And some of this is downright strange, especially in Israel.  Israeli women don’t wear nail polish and open-toed shoes?  Apparently, they don’t like jewelry, either.  Do they care if women wear stockings or not, and why should the Obama campaign care?

I suppose if any of this offends the women in the press, the proper response would be, “Just get over it, sweetie.”


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Hold on let me get my Burka…. What color should I have… Black? Black with charcole black? Black with Red? Burlap?

Am I a racist since I said Black? What color can you call something the color of night?

upinak on July 21, 2008 at 1:35 PM

It looks like Barry’s foreign tour is providing even more proof that he is a gentleman…..Rasmussen

Way to go Barry! Keep this up and you’ll get the sportsman of the year award.

Limerick on July 21, 2008 at 1:42 PM

I’m betting Ms. Couric’s blackberry has more travel miles than BO does on his passport. Arrogance has no boundaries. And, if this doesn’t cool the heels of the female journalists on this trip I don’t know what it would take.

24K lady on July 21, 2008 at 1:42 PM

“Now we don our gray apparel.” — the WORKAH BURKA.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 21, 2008 at 1:46 PM

All those who nod to the “culturally sensitive” theme should realize that while you think you are being polite, you are (in their eyes) acknowledging and honoring Islamic misogyny. Of course if you don’t, you may get your throat cut. Islam has a strong incentive program that way. So be a good dhimmie while in Rome.

I wonder if Barry will wear his red, white and brown Black Muslim slaver outfit that he wore in Kenya a few years back to show his Arab street cred in Jordan?

BL@KBIRD on July 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM

PS

Rome is headed your way too.

BL@KBIRD on July 21, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Proposed bumper sticker:

BARACK OBAMA: SHEIKING-UP AMERICA.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 21, 2008 at 1:58 PM

The cult that is forming around this “fairy tale”, empty suit, one term socialist/Marxist senator is staggering to me…Is it just me???????????

adamsmith on July 21, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Adam: I’ve been saying that for months now. The promises of unity, the talk of what WE the American people will want to do/give up for Obama, the beyond-sycophantic way the media treats him.

Rev. 13:5 – And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev. 13:11-12 – And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

KrisinNE on July 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM

It looks like Barry’s foreign tour is providing even more proof that he is a gentleman…..Rasmussen
Uh huh. Next thing we know American women will dress ‘by the BO list’, at first it will be chic*, but when Barry is coronated (sp) is will become mandatory dress–so as not to offend anyone in the ME, North America or anywhere in the world.
*Tre-sheik!

Christine on July 21, 2008 at 2:21 PM

IT will become…duh. First posts are the worst.

Christine on July 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Get used to the dictates, folk, all in the name of not offending the host. That’s what’s coming to US.

In other words, when Obama entertains Ahmadinerja in the WH, he will TELL the Iranian first lady to dress properly, so as not to offend the American folks.

Sir Napsalot on July 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Arrogance and Ignorance are the defining traits of Barry’s campaign.

This is the Jordanian Tourism Board’s website (linked to photo gallery). Note the women with bare shoulders and even wearing… bikinis.

Buy Danish on July 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Get used to the dictates, folk, all in the name of not offending the host. That’s what’s coming to US.

Sir Napsalot on July 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Except when the US is the host. Then it’s Offend Away!

RickZ on July 21, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Yep, I’d love to see what’s in the bag dress up in red white and blue stars.

Sir Napsalot on July 21, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Do they need to speak arabic as well? because all we can say is Merci Beaucoup we don’t want to offend anybody in their country even though they do it ours all the time!

xler8bmw on July 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Could it be that he left Michelle O. at home to prevent a burqua donning moment?

Entelechy on July 21, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Forcing a woman to cover her head is downright bull. I would not do it. To ask women of the free world to do this is insulting.

diaphanous on July 21, 2008 at 3:21 PM

I see sexism is alive and well in some people as well as ignorance. A woman being forced to cover her head is not done out of “respect”. Read up a bit on why the women are forced to do so and it’s not all that respectful reasoning nor are things respectfully done to them if they do not wish to cover up, they are beaten. All out of “respect” eh?

diaphanous on July 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

From the Jordan Tourism Website:

Jordan is primarily a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslin women’s clothing often covers their arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but very revealing clothing is never appropriate, and conservative dress is advisable for both men and woman in downtown Amman and outside the cities.

Shorts are rarely worn by either sex, and would be out of place in the downtown area. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable at hotel pools.

Public displays of affection are rare; however, it is not considered unusual for friends to hold hands, regardless of their gender.

Masscon on July 21, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Could it be that he left Michelle O. at home to prevent a burqua donning moment?

Entelechy on July 21, 2008 at 3:20 PM

That could be, and she said on The View that she doesn’t wear stockings, so she’d be in direct violation of Barry’s rules.

Buy Danish on July 21, 2008 at 3:49 PM

A Muslim should know how Muslim women should dress even if he is just a 1/2 Black one.
Now listen up women and get in line behind me after covering your head!
And to think they (media womens) will all vote for the false Messiah.

And you don’t think he will demand slave reparations?

dhunter on July 21, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Hot Air’s values have come to be defined as the opposite of what Obama does.
Tom_Shipley on July 21, 2008 at 10:01 AM

That is a moving target

Yeah – So neither Bush nor McCain EVER circulated the same kind of guidelines to their people traveling to the Middle East??????? What a load of horsesh*t!
You people are unbelievable!
Dave Rywall on July 21, 2008 at 10:33 AM

I at least have the decency to be embarrassed

4shoes – not sure what your problem is with respecting a foreign country’s culture. You’re probably one of those bozo tourists who tries to disrespectfully enter the Vatican with a tanktop and flip flops because dammit, Americans don’t have to change for nobody.
Dave Rywall on July 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

The Pope will personally have flogged anyone who tries that one

Wow, I’m impressed. Good for Obama. And I can’t stand the guy.
It isn’t condescending, it’s being cultrally respectful.
Amy Proctor on July 21, 2008 at 10:06 AM

He learned it from Rev. Wright

Rev. 13:5 – And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
KrisinNE on July 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM

A full Presidential term is 48 months

What about Piglet? Shortly after 9/11 , particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, Piglet lapel pins may have become became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism.

Sorry, that is not what Obama said. Obama said

My attitude is that I’m less concerned about what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart Obama, NYT 10-04-07

Here’s an idea: (Warning disrespectful MM site) Hope for Change Attire

entagor on July 21, 2008 at 4:16 PM

And what must the Obama males wear and do?

The Other List:

1.All Che T-shirts must be freshly laundered.
2.Beating your wife (wives) in public is acceptible but certainly not encouraged.
3.Any hairstyles that exaggerate the ears are frowned upon.
4.Laughing at women reporters’ pashminas must be done covertly if at all.
5. No red white and blue combos (America is on the decline, globally, after all).
6. Khaffiyehs should be worn only while not eating (wouldn’t want to get couscous on this symbol of Palestinian resistence to Israeli apartheid).
7. The proper stance when in Sen. Obama’s presence is to look up at him adoringly (see: archive photos of Mao, Lenin, etc. for comparison).
8. No throwing sheeps’ eyeballs around during press conferences.

profitsbeard on July 21, 2008 at 6:57 PM

4shoes – not sure what your problem is with respecting a foreign country’s culture. You’re probably one of those bozo tourists who tries to disrespectfully enter the Vatican with a tanktop and flip flops because dammit, Americans don’t have to change for nobody.
Dave Rywall on July 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

You bettcha!

America leads…the rest of the world follows!

jerrytbg on July 21, 2008 at 8:35 PM

Team Obama issues dress code for female reporters


AH YES, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA the closet Muslim, comes out of the closet.

byteshredder on July 21, 2008 at 8:50 PM

4shoes – not sure what your problem is with respecting a foreign country’s culture. You’re probably one of those bozo tourists who tries to disrespectfully enter the Vatican with a tanktop and flip flops because dammit, Americans don’t have to change for nobody.

Dave Rywall on July 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Well Dave, I actually do respect many foreign country’s cultures. However, when that country’s culture is based around a religious ideology that treats women as second class citizens and the veil, burka, headscarf etc. symbolizes that religion, then no, I absolutely do not respect that, and I would not go to a country where it would be expected of me to don a piece of crap cloth.

4shoes on July 21, 2008 at 9:01 PM

Obama, as the employer, has every right to require his paid staff follow whatever dress code he wishes. But how dare he instruct these independent journalists on what to wear?
You know the answer. They are neither independent nor journalists. They are members of his staff, just not overtly paid.

rakofgor on July 21, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Harlots? Jezebels? Do not question the messiage egObama.

SouthernGent on July 21, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Ahh, 4shoes, I understand your simple, naive position. You can boycott those countries all you want, but the adults who run your country have to work with other countries around the world to get various things done. So don’t worry – they’ll go.

And again, have fun in your flip flops and tank top trying to lower the cultural bar at the Vatican, the Grand Palace in Bangkok, or anywhere else in the world that requires respect for local wardrobe traditions.

Dave Rywall on July 21, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Well Dave, actually I’m not a flip flop or tank top kinda gal, did you read at all anything I just wrote? For someone who goes around calling others simple, you don’t seem to be able to grasp what is written simply in front of your face.

I said, I actually do respect many foreign country’s cultures. There, you’ve had a chance to read it twice, does it mean anything to you?

I stated that I do not respect a culture who’s religion is based in an ideology that subjugates women (meaning Islam), and I do not respect at all their treatment of women and the manner they are forced to dress. I would not wear what they think is appropriate dress, and no I would avoid going to those countries. Are the women diplomats who go to these countries and don the veil more diplomatic than I? Possibly. I think they’re bowing when they don’t have to, and I think it makes them look weak.

4shoes on July 21, 2008 at 10:42 PM

The burka better be black; charcoal is for harlots.

Pardon me for not watching the MSM, but I’m guessing this isn’t considered news. Now, if McCain had done such a thing…

Feedie on July 22, 2008 at 12:34 AM

PC will kill us all, starting in Europe. We’re not far behind.

Entelechy on July 22, 2008 at 1:54 AM

women are told to “cover up” so they don’t get raped because the muslim men can’t contain themselves and if they are compelled to force themselves on a woman, it’s her fault for not being covered up. Of course muslims don’t have a term such as rape so they say…uncovered meat deserves to be taken. Real respectful…pigs.

So yeah women of the free world who agree to “cover up” are capitulating to the men who smirk as they feel good at raping their women who don’t cover their hair that day and feel they deserve it for not doing so. Disgusting.

diaphanous on July 22, 2008 at 2:39 AM

This guy is a nutjob.

Totally clueless and so completely full of himself.

He really thinks he is all that!

Insulting to all free women everywhere!

HonestConservative on July 22, 2008 at 5:43 PM

This guy is a nutjob.

HonestConservative on July 22, 2008 at 5:43 PM

You mean Jackson didn’t get him?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 22, 2008 at 8:44 PM

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