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What kind of evil game is the NYTimes playing?

Two incidences does not mean correlation but let’s just say my tin foil antenna are twitching.

Yesterday, the NYTimes posted an article on the unemployed who are 55 or older.  They feature a picture of the subject of the article.  Patricia Reid, to put it kindly, is overweight, with a double chin and is no longer a young blooming rose.  Not only that but it looks like she’s taking a nap at her computer terminal.  Then, there are the details of her demise: when she was first unemployed, she didn’t curb her spending, she took extravagant vacations to Turkey, she employed the use of a chiropractor, she tapped into her 401K and spent most of it, she’s got significant credit card debt and a 3000 sq ft house.

The portrait of this person is highly unflattering.  She’s unattractive, foolish and lazy or so we are lead to believe.  You come away from this article thinking that Ms. Reid deserved it.

Here’s another one from the NYTimes about exhausting unemployment benefits.  In this one, the subject is a bit younger but still obese and past her prime.  The article mentions she was on “disability” before she was laid off.

I take it back.  There is definitely a trend here. Here’s a third article about exhausting unemployment bennies.  Again, the subject of the article is a middle aged woman, obese, with bleach blond hair.  More unflattering details in this one include the fact that the woman has grown children who have not offered her a place to live.  She’s virtually homeless.

Now, none of the unemployed friends I know look or behave anything like these women.  They’re all well educated, dedicated, hard working, responsible people who simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But if you read the NYTimes, you get the impression that the unemployed are fat, lazy, middle aged women who must have done something wrong or they wouldn’t be facing eviction.  They don’t deserve our help.  The unsympathetic characterization of the long term unemployed makes me think that Glenn Beck is editing.

Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon?  Anyone?  Bueller?

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105 Responses

  1. Hmmm. I’m overweight and over 60. I guess I really deserve the worst that life has to offer.

    • Fat people are one of the last groups that it is OK to despise, humiliate, and discriminate against. If you’re fat, old, and poor, you might as well just climb on the ice floe and get it over with.

      • So, why are they conflating persistent unemployment with obese, unattractive women? Most of the people I know who are unemployed are not obese women.
        BTW, I’ve met you in person and you are not a.) fat b.) unattractive or c.) old.

        • Well, that’s very nice of you, but I am quite overweight. You’re probably on to something with the NYT. The WaPo is already very heavily into class warfare.

          But why are they focusing only on women? Are we going to bear the brunt of all this? I ask, because the Times has done other stories like this, and I haven’t seen any about unemployed men.

        • I wonder if this is just backlash for women finally out numbering men in the work force. Also, I’m sure that this type of commentary is not a coinsedence given the fact that the paycheck fairness act is up again for consideration.

        • I didn’t find Ms. Reid to be unsympathetic, but perhaps that’s because I’m fat myself and because when I lost my job I also didn’t immediately slash my standard of living either – it took some time before I realized I might not find another one. Most people in their 50s have been in the job market before; cultivating optimism and behaving normally are usually successful strategies for dealing with unemployment.

          My objection to stories of these kinds is that they never show us the people who have come to the end of their ropes: people who have lost their homes and all their savings and have nothing left at all. We know these people are out there, but the papers only give us stories about people who still have resources.

          In any case, no matter who they present we could accuse them of slanting the picture by who they choose. I would guess that a randomly-selected 55-year-old laid-off woman would be more likely to be overweight than not. If the reporter went specifically looking for a slender, attractive woman who had prudently moved to a small apartment right after being laid off and never did anything that people could fault her for, we would rightfully say that the news was being manipulated.

          I’m disappointed in your attitude towards these women, who are merely ordinary.

          • I suspect [and yes, I am very suspicious anymore] that these types of articles are to turn the public away from empathy for the unemployed [it’s all their fault], begin to slip into amnesia over our “jobless” recovery and start banging the drum along with Joe Miller, Sharron Angle, et al that unemployment benefits do indeed make the lazy and foolish all the more indolent and reckless.

            The bankers, the CEOs, the political class are all innocent [or at least out of mind] is this script.

            The media gives the word “whore” a bad name. Particularly when the labor stats are showing that those over 50 are having the hardest time in finding employment anywhere, for anything. In fact, some articles have suggested that many of the unemployed over 50 will never work again. Pretty chilling.

            So we dilute that news with articles like these featuring overweight, over 50, slovenly-looking women [because they’re so much easier to dismiss].

            Ugh!

          • Hi DeniseB,

            I think RD was thinking that they are setting up generational wars–another divide and conquer strategy. I was wondering if they were trying to set up gender battles too. The NYT series is specifically about over 55 workers who are unemployed, not sure why they decided on that.

            RD was trying to point out that there are tons of younger unemployed people too. Why the focus on older women? I’m guessing because we are easy scapegoats.

            But it seems clear to me that the powers that be are trying to prepare all of us for big cuts in social security. The baby boomers may be the last group to get their promised benefits (at least for the time being), so I think the elites want to encourage younger people to hate us and think of us a a burden on society.

          • Peggy Sue,

            I didn’t think either of those women was slovenly looking. I rather admired the woman in the second article who had lost her job, her home and driven clear across the country to search for work. I was amazed she was still so upbeat. I think I’d be paralyzed with depression, frankly.

            One problem we seem to have in this country is that people get isolated and family and friends don’t necessarily want to help. I’m lucky to have a large family, so someone would probably take me in if I were desperate. But I’d hate for that to happen.

          • I also noticed Ms. Ried’s appearance but maybe because I’m also 60, I wasn’t put off. I will say that I hear more and more people talking about fat and overweight people in not too flattering terms, so I wonder what is going on in society.

            I think you’re right that we’re getting to another facet of the class warfare in which we are already engaged. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me when I read the article, until you mentioned it. Thanks for pointing it out. Sigh.

          • I felt bad for the woman. My mother has a high level career, but she totally feels under the gun. She works 6am to 10pm because she knows if she loses this job chances are at her age she will not get another one.

            I felt nothing but empathy for this woman and people in her position.

          • Sorry you feel that way. I know a lot of laid off workers right now and none of them fit the description of the people the NYTimes consistently portrays as typical among this demographic. My point is that it is NOT ordinary. Look at each of those articles. By the way, do you also “cackle”? There’s a reason why these particular people were selected and why the articles were written this way. It was to make us uncomfortable with the people profiled.
            And yes, I do think it is the height of irresponsibility to spend money after you get laid off but before you find a new job. As a person on the brink of losing my own job, I can tell you that spending money right now is the last thing I want to do. You can get mad if you want to but that’s my opinion and probably the opinion of many people in the US. It’s just extremely foolish behavior. I wasn’t raised like that. My family would be apalled by such behavior. Our reaction is ordinary. And that’s probably why these details were included in the article. it’s to make you think that the person deserved her fate. But no one deserves to be unemployed due to what comes afterwards. They need our support until they get back on their feet. This article makes me want to withdrawal my support and that is what it is designed to do.
            Maybe you don’t see it as unsympathetic but I certainly do and if I were you, I’d be insulted by what the *NYTimes* is doing, not at me for pointing it out. Don’t kill the messenger.

    • Question: Are there any unemployed men over 55? Are they also undeserving because they are overweight?

      • Yeah, good question. Why is the NYtimes making Roseanne Barr types the face of chronic unemployment? Is it class prejudice? Whistling past the graveyard? Are they in league with bankers?

        • Are they sexist?

          • If I was a honking type, I’d honk, but I’m not, so I’ll just say Yea! It’s amazing how often people think of every reason under the sun for others’ sexism except their sexism.

          • Ageist, sexist and raycist. I’ve noticed a trend, on other blogs, of demonizing white women, usually mature white women. For some reason some folks are very comfortable with their prejudice when it comes to that particular group.

          • Purplefinn–Is a pig’s @$$ pork? 😉

        • RD, I agree with all the comments posted, and I think there’s another issue here. We are living in a society which is appearance obsessed. (I tweeted a little on this to BB). Anyone who has worked in Boston recently knows that unless you are thin, and I mean Hollywood thin, young, and pretty, you are going to have a very difficult time getting or hanging on to a job no matter what your qualifications or experience. And this is in Boston, the world capital of dowdiness. I don’t dare think what’s going on in the rest of the country. Oh, I forget…that’s if you’re FEMALE. I don’t know if ageism applies as much to men, but to some extent weight might.

          After all, as I said to BB, the MSM is the same crowd who “didn’t want to see a woman grow old in the White House”..so why should we be surprised at this type of article? Enraged yes, but not surprised.

        • RD at 10:49–I would suggest all of the above, though “bankers” seems too narrow a term; how about “bonus classes”?

        • It’s the 90’s welfare queen, recycled and given an anti-racist makeover.

          When the NYT want a knee-jerk reaction from the American public, they always go to the same well: men who can’t even conceive of women as anything other than subordinate dependate inferiors, without value unless contributing to a man’s domestic well-being.

          • Dang – should have read to the bottom before posting. Many astute readers have already made the welfare queen connection (and with better spelling!)

      • Well, about 60% of the US population is overweight. So one has to look at those odds.

    • ditto that.

  2. The writer is male? The woman is Teh FAT?

    On a happier note about females, I was having my weekly phone chat with daughter yesterday a.m., and I said I wanted to talk briefly with her and her husband (both liberal but extremely a-political, or so I thought) at some point before the elections to tell her my voting strategy (I didn’t want her vote canceling out mine, but I’ve learned to tread tres lightly).

    She says: Oh, don’t worry; we have no intention of voting for any Democrats – or any Republicans either. I said: Who are you going to vote for? She said: We’re voting the Socialist Party – and, if there are no candidates there, we’ll vote Green!!!

    Now maybe she said all that to get out of having drinks with me (ha!), but, still, she made my day.

    So pick on us all you want, media. We have the numbers.

  3. I need to put my tin foil hat too. Just a min. Okay. The NYT is the U.S. Pravda, and it has a simple message from the party: unemployment is going to be exhausted for many who’ve been unemployed for more than a year. Extensions are over. Don’t even think it. But that’s okay because those who’ve been unemployed a long time are losers, old, and the dredge of society. The in-between lines also tell me that everybody who will exhaust their unemployment, also have a new reality, the soup line and camp Obamaville has replaced Hooverville.

    • But, but … Obama will preserve their lower taxes. (Snark!)

    • The Corporate Media in general serves the same role for the Malefactors Of Great Wealth that Pravda served for the Communist Party of the old USSR.

      This hardly surprises me, since some of the MOGW own the Corporate Media.

    • WaPo is Pravda on the Potomac; the NYTimes is Isvestia.

      Usually, at least. Same diff.

  4. It will be interesting if other “news” outlets follow up with a similar theme as an explanation for 20+% un/underemployment. I suspect that the NYT is following “suggestions” from the WH Political affairs dept. I suspect that the POSs that go along with this sh*t feel that doing the bidding of the WH Ministry Of Propaganda is necessary in order to protect their, now mis-understood, President.

  5. This sounds a lot like the characterizations of people on welfare we’ve all grown accustomed to through the years. And yes, it is definitely on purpose. The war has started against people Obama’s age and above. All part of the SS slicing and dicing we’re about to witness IMO.

  6. Obama pulls another one for his hero, Ronnie’s playbook. Update… “Welfare Queen” 2010 ver 1.2.

  7. “Progressives” don’t like poor people either.

    MattY was just the other day contemplating the firing of public workers.

    “But any viable approach would involve the idea that whether or not a city worker gets fired should be determined by whether or not she’s doing a good job, not by whether or not her job is beneficial to her and her family.”

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/jobs-or-services/

    Re: Adrian Fenty’s job as mayor of DC.

    • Too bad they don’t evaluate progbloggers on whether they are doing a good job or not.

      • Hahaha! “Accountability for thee … NOT for me!” should be their motto.

        • That is the motto for all upper-income alleged adults, of whatever ideological persuasion, with a few noble exceptions here and there.

    • The comments on Matty’s thread are disgusting. If these are “Democrats,” I want nothing to do with them.

  8. Calculated Risk blog has a chart with the unemployment rate for each state. West Virginia is the highest, 18%. Most pundits have the state as leaning D, but I think the Democrats will have a very difficult time electing a D to the senate. 18% is the unemployment for an economy in a depression.

    • Yep. I’m not surprised, since WV wanted Hillary. Someone the other day posted this quote, which was on Hillary’s blog back during the primaries:

      Hillary and her supporters discovered this same fact all through Appalachia, where one “redneck” explained to a doubtful visitor from DC that “you go back to DC and tell Hillary we’re all going to vote for her… we have women here who raise our families and support us all our lives and when we get sick they do the field work in our stead. A strong woman don’t put us off none.” (that’s a quote from hillaryclinton.com in 2007).

      WV knew who was strong, and would fight for the little guy, and it ain’t Obama. But they were the “low information redneck” voters.

      • Oh, that quote made my day. Hillary gives all the people the benefit of her compassion and experience, and WV really got it. B0? Not so much, and it was clear as glass in the primary.

        And speaking of unemployment and benefits and his preciousness, Obama’s aunt is in the news today saying that the US owes her citizenship.

        What blew me away about that story (on Earthlink’s home page) is that this woman is unemployed, lives in public housing, and collects a public assistance check every month and her nephew is the freaking president!!!! That a relative of his (and she calls him “my boy”) is not being cared for and supported by him (rather than us) is outrageous. He just comes off as so stingy and weird. But maybe it’s me: in my family we contribute to and care for our family, even the more distant ones.

        • I agree, I always thought it was weird he did not help her any. And somehow her being here illegally was hushed up during the election, then afterward she’s back in the news and gets to stay. They could at least give her Michelle’s designer cast-offs to sell for income! Oh the irony that this aunt is on public assistance and O’s wife spends (or is given) tens of thousands of dollars on clothes.

  9. Seems like they are floating the “no more extensions for you” balloon. My husband had 16 years at his job and me, 20 yrs. We thought we were doing everything right and boom… all gone in the space of 7 months. I dunno, but from where we sit squandering what little is left seems a tad stupid. I would bet that little bit, though, that most folks are like us, not these examples. They are developing an evil meme here, as you suggest. To what end? I think it is the end of unemployment ins. as we have come to know it. Or, “get used to the fact that your old job is never coming back, we are cutting you loose take whatever sh*t job you can find and shut the hell up… oh and lose some weight”.

  10. Mighty good antennae you’ve got there.

    Forewarned is forearmed.

    I have two “forearms”, but no one to vote for.

  11. The unsympathetic characterization of the long term unemployed makes me think that Glenn Beck is editing.

    Of course. Glenn Beck just has the courage of the NYT convictions …But he’s their yard dog, having taken the torch from Rush.

    Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon? Anyone? Bueller?

    When the older unemployed are put on the ice flow…oh wait, it’s here now , we aren’t supposed to care cause they are fat and foolish…that’s my take…but children, what they do to another is in the works for you…so it behooves us to give a damn about others…for our own sakes if nothing else . Anything that seeks to separate the peons is not a friendly approach. The NYT wants a world without social services….but we are supposed to cheer that on I guess.

  12. It is a pretty strange way to be framing the stories, RD. What I wonder is, what is going to happen to all these people?

    Here. Because there are millions of them, state to state. Hopefully politicians will be reading the Times — but I doubt it. Too busy infighting to notice the actual circumstances people have fallen into.

  13. Good catch, RD. They want to change the conversation to whether or not the long-term unemployed are likeable or not, rather than have a conversation about WHY there are no jobs.

    No one in this country, left right or center, wants to see dependence on govt forever, esp generational dependence. We are not idiots. But TPTB want to focus on that, instead of saying, “Okay, you’re right, not a good scenario long-term. So let’s get them off unemployment by getting some JOBS going.”

    Obama’s lack of job creation is what is going to kick his ass six ways from Sunday. The NYT is running pre-emptive defense and distraction for him on that issue. They want the conversation to be about the worthiness of the recipients, rather than about the simple fact that if we had some damn JOBS it would be a mostly moot point.

    • That jives with what I’m thinking … how could you possibly create jobs when that’s all you have to work with?

    • I wonder if there is pressure coming from companies about unemployment insurance. If they could just eliminate having to pay for it, another overhaed cost gone. Yay! So elimination unemployment benefits is good for businesses. Just another way American workers can become competitive with Chinese workers.
      They won’t rest until we’re working 100 hours a week with zero benefits.

    • The bonus classes have decided they don’t need us any longer. They think they can make all the money they want by investing in foreign companies that sell goods to foreigners, so they don’t even need us as customers any longer. 😡

    • Why would you think that, when the Times has been critical of Obama on this issue and has published a number of editorials on the urgency of creating jobs?

  14. Ferris is home sick today, but I have my own sneaking suspicions.
    I was an intern on the Hill when I saw the finance committee have a session on the future of social security. All senators slickly disappeared leaving Mr. Simpson of Wyoming to talk. Mr Simpson went right after the strategy of generational warfare: “bad social security recipients, good, bright eyed youth- bent down from the agony of having to carry those stinking freeloaders. Surely the youth do not need this burden in addition to those college loans.”. I don’t know who is writing the copy- repubs or Obams (is it parkay or is it butter?)- but variations on a theme- “we’re all in this together– except for those guys who are f ing it up for the rest of us”

    • They seem to want rioting in the streets of American cities and towns. It won’t be that easy to control a country this large and a population this big unless they use nukes.

      • Oh, I don’t think there will be riots. All the while they are yelling at us about :”obesity” they are making danged sure there is plenty of high calorie, hi fat, cheap, food around. Rioting isn’t likely until people are seriously hungry, and they are making sure most people are not hungry. Remember when we were in college BB, and the professors would talk about the “welfare markets” where the poor were overcharged for high calorie, low nutrition food? Well, they’ve just mainstreamed that food. Fat people are less likely to riot.

    • I don’t know who is writing the copy- repubs or Obams (is it parkay or is it butter?)- but variations on a theme- “we’re all in this together– except for those guys who are f ing it up for the rest of us”

      And “those guys/gals” are the convenient scapegoat to distract us from the real freeloaders and set us against ourselves. The real freeloaders — the ones who received seven figure bonuses with bailout money and who are rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation of looting Social Security — are laughing all the way to the bank while we’re left to fight each other over the crumbs they leave behind.

      • Exactly. The real “welfare bums” in this country are the rich, and always have been.

  15. Pathologizing misfortune: it’s all the rage … if you’re not a bona-fide member of the celebrity community, that is!

    Whether the spotlight is in gawking mode over the lurid details or catalogue culture-shopping for whatever the public figure is flogging — or just stubbornly determined to stay in the public eye — there seems to be a growing climate of visceral hostility to fringe-people who don’t “belong” in our collective attention.

    That’s not just on an entity’s superficial attributes, but that the entity permeated the particularly offended one’s attention bubble, even where the interloper had the right of entry, eg, at the bubblehead’s service station.

    YMMV, as always, but the instantaneous infantile stompiness over being distracted for like, totes a fricken second from the twittering tweeting facebook updating is becoming unbefuckinglievable.

    Whether it’s some media goof stumbling on a story s/he has to do and doesn’t want to or some other goof who can barely look away from the iBinky, some kind of pissiness plague is raging through society and I hope someone finds a cure for it fast.

  16. It’s another one of the many sledges they use to knock down women.

  17. I’ve known lots of people who get laid off and treat the first few months like a vacation. They have severance pay and medical benefits so they travel, they do home improvement projects and never dream they will be unemployed a year later.

    That doesn’t mean they did anything horribly wrong, they just didn’t realize there weren’t going to be any jobs. Demonizing them now is exactly what you suggest, getting the national mood set for putting them on the street and stopping unemployment benefits. Maybe they want to use the money to finance someother welfare for the rich program.

    If you watch the news but don’t spend a lot of time deeply thinking about it, you’d think the jobs would be back by now. It is fairly recent that any of the MSM types have admitted that jobs are not comming soon.

    • it’s the old “blame the victim” card

    • I did it. It’s what I always did when I was between jobs, and I was always glad I did. I assumed I would find another job, and except for the last time I always did pretty quickly. We don’t have crystal balls.

      I always figured that if I couldn’t find another job I would spend every cent I had and become dependent on family or become homeless and kill myself. If I lived like a pauper all I could do would be postpone it for a few months, so I might as well keep my spirits up in the meantime. And I am not a profligate or cavalier person.

      A good friend of mine is going through this now. He is 55 and lost his job a month ago. I am terrified for him and his family, but he is living as accustomed and spending and I’m not going to say he shouldn’t. I’m glad he’s optimistic and not panicking.

  18. Even if they had spend their severance on stomach stapling and boob jobs, they’d have a smaller chance of getting hired because they’re not young and hot, hot, hot.

    Perhaps encouraging the government to more strictly enforce age discrimination laws rather than encouraging discrimination by demonizing these women would be a step in the right direction.

  19. Classic blame the victims. I don’t know how this current socioeconomic climate is ever going to be changed.

  20. I haven’t read the last two but Reid was well educated. She had a Masters. I didn’t find the article unflattering. I found it a mixed bag and a cautionary tale. She had a fully paid for house and a 401k with almost $200,000. So when she had time on her hands due to unemployment they traveled and shopped. It was a mistake because 4 years later she hasn’t found new work. Her computer skills aren’t what the firms she has been looking for need them to be.

    • problem is, if you ‘refresh’ your skills with school, you lose your eligibility for unemployment

      • Most of the states now allow training according to the sites I visited. You have to coordinate it through them but they allow it. An ezine article referenced May 2009 as when it changed.

        Even if they didn’t I don’t know that a class in a particular computer system would impede someone from getting employment. The only requirement VA. had back when my husband was receiving them was to apply to 2 companies a week.

        Reid was actually fairly fortunate. Her $80,000 a year company(boeing) gave her a 6 month severance. She also still gets medical coverage through her ex employer for under $100 a month.

        She definitely made some bad decisions but overall I wouldn’t charecterize her as uneducated or lazy.

        I would likely say she probably treated her unemployment initially as an extended vacay. One she hadn’t been able to take while part of the workforce.

        • I didn’t think either of the articles was unsympathetic. I just question whether over 55 women are the only group with high unemployment. Actually I think African Americans probably are suffering most–especially young AA men. At least that’s usually the case.

          • Good point, bb. I agree it’s a misleading portrait of unemployment in America to leave out working class AAs.

            Yet the NYT and other publications will continue to sneer at the huge swath of unwashed masses of America for all their presumed racism.

          • They have done a number of other articles on how various demographic groups have been affected by the recession over the last year.

          • it feels like they’re trying to pitch a face of unemployment here with this one though.

          • Maybe it’s because a lot of their readers fit into this market, 55, woman, high salaries. I don’t think it was a slight on african americans, and I do think it reflects tghe unique nature of this particular downturn, ie that there is this huge contigent of professional boomer women likely to never find work again.

    • After reading the first article my take away was – the husband is a home repair guy. Why in hell hasn’t he fixed the leaky roof? The cost of repairs of that type are almost entirely in the labor.

      I imagined him as lazy and probably he has been dependent on her all along.

      Get off your ass man.

      • I know. The article said he was a contractor hit by the downturn.

        It did say though they had put off any repairs because they are hemorrhaging money. It didn’t mention whether he was the only one on the payroll at his company.

        • I would like to know what he does all day. Why can’t he repair his own roof.

          Seriously, most home repairs just require labor – not much in materials.

          JFTR – I own a maintenance/home repair business. I no longer go on the roof because I am 65.5 and have a bad knee but good grief…

          Note: While typing this response I received a cold call from a woman (on behalf of her husband) asking if I needed any “sub-contractors for flooring”. She was so timid I felt sorry for her but she/they are trying. I referred her to a friendly competitor who does not have their own flooring guy.

          • I have people knocking on my door just about every day now looking for work doing repairs, etc.

    • Computer skills are kind of a catch-22 if you are unemployed. Except for entry -level, employers will be looking for a current actual project with a current software release. They don’t train.
      And the trend is for employers to not accept resumes from unemployed people or people with poor credit. How about making that illegal, Mr. Pres?

      • I would think that most companies would have proprietary software that would require training regardless of who they hired. In the jobs that required computer skills that I encountered that was the case.

        I’m more inclined to believe that with a glut of people to choose from that she is experiencing problems because she is a) older and b) overqualified(as in she has a masters and her last job paid $80,000)

    • I didn’t say she was uneducated. I’m saying that the details that were provided lead you to believe that she spent extravagantly, went on vacations, tab up her credit card debt *after* she lost her job but before she got a new one. Who in their right mind does that??? It’s the height of irresponsibility. That, plus her picture, PLUS her trip to a chiropractor, whose treatments are little better than placebo according to research, paints a very unflattering picture of her. I doubt that she is representative of the long term unemployed. Yet, if you read the nytimes, people like her are becoming symbolic of this demographic. It’s incredibly heartless. I know a lot of unemployed people in their 40s and 50s. They are getting the shaft at work and then they get saddled with this image of themselves. I don’t like it. It pisses me off.

  21. It’s interesting because the demographic hardest hit by the recession is supposedly MALE, not female. The number of female breadwinners have increased during this downturn. Yet, somehow, all these articles portray women. Very, very interesting.

  22. On a somewhat related note, I just heard Geena Davis speak at the UNDP meeting in New York about gender stereotyping in the media and learned that she has formed ‘The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media’ to fight stereotyping.

    http://www.thegeenadavisinstitute.org/

  23. Remember ,men have to make more money because they have families to support. Women just work for extra spending money on shoes. Everybody knows that.
    As for school, I’ve been on the waiting list at my county’s vocational school for 3 years now. I raised heck about it recently and was told it was because kids graduating from high school were being given priority and because the school offers job placement, there are few slots because of the employment situation. Hopefully, my child will graduate, go to school, get a job and then raise me. Almost all of the classes are online courses. So how come they have a maximum of 20 students per course. I live in a major metro area.

  24. Poof! My comment disappeared. 😦

  25. On a somewhat related note, I just heard Geena Davis speak at the UNDP meeting in New York about gender stereotyping in the media and learned that she has formed The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to fight this stereotyping.

  26. Good catch RD. I’m suspicious along with others that this is an effort to undermine political support for jobs programs that will target mature displaced workers. They must assume (correctly, unfortunately) that unattractive, overweight middle aged women are most likely to be considered “the alien other” i.e., least likely to evoke our empathy for their present circumstances. Not only no empathy but if they keep laying it on, our contemp. Bastards.

    Did you catch the word “cackle” that was used to describe the first woman’s laughter?

    • I sure did when I read the article — it seemed almost difficult for the writer to have placed it where it was.

      BTW, I have heard so few people ever cackle, except in melodramas, that I’m not sure I would recognize one….

      But men do not cackle; nor do they have to worry about cankles.

      • Yep, it really stood out, didn’t it? I caught that too but didn’t have enough time to write it this morning before I headed out the door to work.

  27. Just another way to demonize older women. The growing elderly population will be mostly women because we live longer, and increasingly poor because our lifelong lower wages and less access to fulltime work provide less in the way of retirement savings and Social Security benefits.

    Just watch the progression. Soon enough, women will go from simply the dregs of society to the number one drain on the economy. Why won’t that stupid bitch DIE!

    *****A

  28. Wow, obese equals lazy….good to know.

  29. Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon?

    It’s not that complicated…they know their audience.
    (i.e. it makes all the Fox News watchers feel good about being assholes against unemployment)

  30. The third article seemed pretty sympathetic, and the second one wasn’t bad either. Especially for the Times. Anyone who recoils in horror from the pictures probably couldn’t be counted on to care about the plight of the unemployed regardless.

  31. I had a completely different read. First of all, the article was about people over 50 who are unemployed and their particular plight, not the unemployed in general. Granted, it’s odd that only women are profiled and pictured, but I’m not offended by Ms. Reid’s appearance (or any of the others in the article) nor by her plight. I think the point they were trying to make is not that she was being irresponsible, rather that she was surprised that she was not able to find another job easily.

    If there is anything nefarious about it, is it feeds into a very toxic notion that teh old are unemployable and “exhausted”.

    I’m happy for you that all your unemployed friends are young, thin, attractive, and energetic.

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