News and Commentary

Media Accuse Pence Of ‘Mansplaining,’ Sexism During Debate. Total Speaking Times Tell A Different Story.
Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic vice presidential nominee, speaks during the U.S. vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
Kim Raff/Bloomberg

The mainstream media were quick to paint Vice President Mike Pence as sexist after Wednesday’s vice presidential debate. Pence was ripped for so-called “mansplaining” to Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and deemed “sexist” for allegedly interrupting and talking over her.

But is that really what happened?

According to unofficial and official time-keeping of the debate from ABC News, CNN, and CBS News, a far different picture is painted.

For example, according to Kelsey Walsh of ABC News, Harris spoke more than Pence during the debate.

“Unofficial speaking times,” said Rick Klein, advancing Walsh’s reporting. “Pence: 35:22, Harris: 38:48.”

According to CNN, the shakeout was almost a dead heat in speaking time.

Pence, per CNN, spoke 36:27, and Harris spoke 36:24.

Screenshot via CNN

CBS News, alternatively, found Pence to speak more than Harris: “Pence spoke 38 minutes to Harris’ 35 minutes.”

The news outlet noted of the speaking times in a piece that framed Pence as sexist and shamed him for “interrupting” Harris.

Noting of the disparities, journalist Jeryl Bier posted:

Speaking times for VP debate:

CBS – Pence had 3 minutes more.

CNN – Harris and Pence had virtually the same time.

ABC – Harris had 3 minutes more.

“How is this possible?” posed Bier. “I assume the event was televised, maybe even recorded?”

Nonetheless, the averages do not show Pence dominating Harris in speaking time — a far differing narrative than most of the media have strategically crafted during and after the debate.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh outlined some of the media hysterics:

Right on cue, nearly as soon as the broadcast concluded, Dan Rather, George Stephanopolous, and others in the news media were accusing Pence of “mansplaining.” Major Garret at CBS meanwhile gushed with pride, exclaiming that Harris was a role model for women everywhere when she asserted herself against the rude man who kept arguing with her, almost as if they were taking part in an event where the whole point is to argue with each other.

NBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss noted that Pence was interrupting not just one woman but two — both his female opponent and the female moderator. This, he says, showed a “lack of respect.” Over on CNN, S.E. Cupp was apoplectic, ranting about how Pence’s alleged sexism and “mansplaining” was “infuriating” and made her skin crawl. Predictably, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez got in on the identity politics action, saying that Pence daring to ask questions directly to Harris was misogynistic and “exemplary of the gender dynamics so many women have to deal with at work.” Feminist writer Jill Filipovic claimed, bizarrely, that it was “condescending” and “sexist” for Pence to call Kamala by her name. Many publications, such as The Hill, extolled Harris’s courage in the face of these horrific attacks, and celebrated her inspirational, girl-power performance. 

Related: WALSH: Desperate Media Accuses Mike Pence Of Sexism For Debating A Woman During A Debate Against A Woman

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