May 16, 2014

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss: what Jill Abramson’s firing means for women in media; why more Republican women don’t run for office; the National Women’s History Museum.

On the panel this week joining host  Bonnie Erbe is Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); former Pres. Women’s Campaign Fund Sam Bennett; Republican Strategist Mercedes Vianna Schlap; Conservative Commentator Darlene Kennedy


Click read more to see what they had to say!

Women In Media

What does Jill Abramson’s firing from the New York Times mean for women in media?

  • Siobhan Bennett: "Absolutely, we all drink from the same sexist groundwater.  Media included.”

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: “A profession with so many women in it should have more women at the top giving rather than receiving orders.”

  • Mercy Vianna Schlapp: "It sounds like there was a personality conflict from the beginning .”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “A friend of mine from Arkansas emailed me and said I’m not reading the Times anymore and I think it would have huge impact.  Problem is, where do you go?”

  • Darlene Kennedy: "Eight Pulitzers the Times received under her leadership and they said that their online readership has increased.”


Republican Women

Why don’t more Republican women run for office?

  • Siobhan Bennett:  “Even though more democratic women were elected than ever before... there’s always been a commensurate decrease in the number of Republican women serving and what’s the net outcome of that?  More challenges to women’s rights across the board than we’ve ever seen in our nation’s history period. ”

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: "These figures should be embarrassing to the Republican party...They have a structural problem.”

  • Mercy Vianna Schlapp: "Where we need a lot more [women] is to get them up the ranks which is through training and recruitment.  There is definitely room in the GOP to do that.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “When I used to cover early on the Republican conventions they always had a strong contingent of almost exclusively female, very wealthy, very intelligent, very accomplished, pro-choice Republican women.  That is gone!”

  • Darlene Kennedy: "I think if we get a better representation of more women, and more men who are little bit more understanding in their language and how they address things, you know we might get more traction.”


National Women’s History Museum

Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) & Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on why they'd like to see the museum built.

  • Marsha Blackburn “All funds being funds privately raised that makes a difference and so many of the male members are saying I didn’t realize there’s not any kind of museum that deals with women’s history”  or  “it serves us well to say every penny is going to be raised privately from the building the structure the curating the exhibits the endowment, everything will be a private dollar”

  • Carolyn Maloney  “The best legislation is bipartisan. Marsha is a friend. She also a conservative Republican and has worked so hard in lining up support, answering questions and being everywhere she has to in order to make this happen.”

  • Carolyn Maloney “ As Ginger Rogers says I had to do everything that fred Astaire did only in high heels, dancing backwards and being paid half as much as he was.”

  • Mercy Schlapp: "It’s private dollars that’s being raised so they can decide on the exhibits. For the social conservatives if there is a balanced approach, if you’re going to bring in an exhibit about pro-choice  leaders you do something on pro-life leaders.”

  • Del. Norton: "The way we got the African American Museum is that we set up a commission and it took us 10 years, so this is the way to go about it for the a women’s museum.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma put a private hold on it  (earlier version of the NWHM bill) because there was an online exhibit on Margaret Sanger”

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.