Uprising Radio Asks Wendy Norris: Where’s the Meat of the Media Discussion on Shriver Report?

In case you missed Wendy Norris’ excellent analysis of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, on Rewire, Media Ignores Women’s Health Disparities in Shriver Report, you can listen to an interview with Wendy on KPTK’s Uprising Radio archived from this morning (click below to play):


For the first time in U.S. history, half of all American workers are women and the report is being heralded for its’ focus on how far women have come in this country. This should be applauded, of course. And yet, as Wendy Norris points out, there are still dramatic disparities and inequities in our system. While the media has proclaimed the "closure of gender gap", Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Uprising, says that "disturbing disparites on women’s well-being are being downplayed or completely ignored."

"The Battle of the sexes is over!" the media keeps prematurely declaring in conjunction with the roll-out of The Shriver Report, says Wendy Norris during the interview. But, Norris says, though strides have been made we still have a very long way to go.

"Who is feeding into that glossing over of very shocking disparities that still remain between the sexes, discussed in this report? Maria Shriver herself is a part of the NBC week long programming of this report. What has NBC’s programming been like and is she being fair to her own report?" Kolhatkar wants to know.

According to Norris, NBC has broadcast, thus far, 40 different segments on the report and only 2 have actually mentioned our countries’ distressing health care disparities along race/class/gender lines. One of the more egregious examples, says Norris, is a particularly appalling seven minute segment with Shriver on Hardball with Chris Matthews where a full minute was spent about a study cited in the report that found that there were higher rates of marital sex when men did more housework and childcare. 

"It was jaw-dropping that’s what he decided to focus on…" says Norris. And, she says, Shriver was clearly taken aback, during the interview, that this is what he decided to highlight from the 450 page report. To date, there has been no serious media discussion, resulting from this report, focused on the systemic problems that cause these sorts of dangerous health care disparities. 

Norris says it’s especially concerning right now when we hear of Senator Kyl complaining that he shouldn’t have to pay for maternity care services in his insurance policy because he won’t need them.

And as Kolhatkar notes, "It’s amazing when maternity care services are discussed only as a women’s issue and not necessarily a societal issue that concerns women and children and whole families."

Listen to the segment and get more outraged and energized…