TIMES UP study finds Kamala Harris’ announcement coverage steeped in sexism

Sen. Kamala Harris was subject to more commentary about her race and gender

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A new study released by TIME’S UP Now has just confirmed what many have already speculated: the coverage Sen. Kamala Harris has received during this current election cycle has been steeped in bias.

Over the summer, Harris secured the Democratic nomination for vice president and made history as the first Black woman and Asian woman in American history to do so. Ahead of her highly-anticipated Wednesday VP debate against Mike Pence, researchers released findings from a study where they compared Harris’ handling in the media against the coverage of two previous vice-presidential nominees, Sen. Tim Kaine and then Gov. Pence.

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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

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“As part of the We Have Her Back campaign, TIME’S UP Now commissioned Edelman Data & Intelligence to analyze media coverage of the announcement of VP candidate Kamala Harris in 2020 and compared it against the announcements of Mike Pence and Tim Kaine in 2016,” explained their website.

From their analysis, they were able to discern that a quarter of the media coverage around her VP announcement included harmful stereotypes and that a whopping 61% of that coverage made mention of Harris’ race and/or gender, while only a mere five percent did that for Kaine and Pence.

“When women, and especially women of color, run for office, they are subjected to a double standard that has nothing to do with their qualifications and everything to do with this country’s history of sexism and racism,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Now. “It’s time for women to be judged on their merits — and for the media to take a critical look at their biased coverage.”

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