In the case of Valerie, our friendship began when I interviewed her for my book, “Knowing Your Value”. Valerie’s personal journey as a powerful woman resonated because of her engaging spirit and the professional struggles that we shared. It sparked a friendship that has survived the ups and downs of some brutal news coverage. As Valerie can tell you, Joe and I have been tough on the White House when their actions concerned those around the Morning Joe set. I have dished out criticism toward Valerie and her peers many times. But I must say this week’s gossipy post-mortems after the elections are unbecoming.
Would these criticisms be leveled at men like John Podesta or Dan Pfeiffer? They work closely with the President. In fact, Ms. Jarrett was out of commission for the most important stretch of the campaign because of a serious medical procedure on her spine. So why is Valerie the focus of these ridiculous attacks?
Perhaps it is because she is a woman. In the case of the Politico piece, which was written by a woman, I can draw from the conclusions in my book – women are often the toughest on their own. But whether the attacks come from women or men in the media, it does seem that strong female advisors who are close to the president become the focus of the most hostile and catty criticism. Whether it was the horrific caricatures of Condi Rice, or the snide sneers aimed at Karen Hughes, or today’s unfair focus on Valerie, at this point the whole “blame-the-woman” routine is just getting old.