In a highly criticized move over the Christmas holiday, Vanity Fair’s Hive published a video Six New Year’s Resolutions for Hillary Clinton.
As anyone can anticipate, the take-home message of the minute-long video was for Clinton to move on from 2016 and not run for office. “It’s a year later and it’s time to move on.” one of the editors closed, before a condescending toast to the former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate. Vanity Fair has since apologized, acknowledging their attempt at humor missed the mark.
Commentators like the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Bruenig and Fox News’ Brian Flood rushed to the defense of Vanity Fair’s politics and business section after an online campaign called for subscribers to cancel their subscriptions to the magazine.
Most of the outrage was directed at a particular quote from Maya Kosoff, a tech writer for Vanity Fair, “Take up a new hobby in the New Year. Volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy, literally anything to keep you from running again.” A few days after the video went live, Kosoff took to Twitter before setting her account to private:
“i don’t appreciate being taken out of context to make me seem super sexist. this wasn’t a hillary hit piece either, fwiw! we made silly new years resolutions for a bunch of politicians:https://t.co/zartY9UVCHhttps://t.co/ye415NcHnqhttps://t.co/whdyLPL1mg”
Kosoff was never taken out of context. In the video, she clearly stated that Clinton should do anything that would keep her from running again, and volunteered a stereotypical elderly feminine hobby that would keep her from running.
Even if her intent wasn’t to be sexist, it was ultimately how the video was received. The video was intended to be funny, but it wasn’t received as such.
It was a sloppy, cheap opportunity to take a shot at a private citizen who has made it abundantly clear through her book, What Happened– which Vanity Fair also took a shot at– and a CBS Sunday Morning interview that she has no intention to run for public office again.
In an attempt to defend herself, Kosoff posted a series of videos. One of which featured Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, and it didn’t exactly help Kosoff redeem herself, as she can be seen telling the press secretary “It’s time to quit your day job, and double down on your penchant for taking pictures of the baked goods that you so love making, like those pecan pies. Take up food Instagram as a hobby”
One of the other editors requested Huckabee-Sanders to host a morning Sirius XM radio show with Senator Bernie Sanders, the former opponent of Hillary Clinton during the presidential primaries. It’s worth pointing out the self-described Democratic Socialist is a sitting Senator for the state of Vermont, and a failed presidential candidate himself. Why is he more deserving of being a pop culture icon than Clinton? Why should he entertain the musings of a journalist while Clinton takes a stab at retiree activities?
There were two things noticeably absent from the three videos Kosoff suggested in her tweet though. First, being other failed presidential candidates, and second a demand for any of those individuals to not run for public office ever again.Of course, Vanity Fair would want to tread lightly with making such a demand against the POTUS. But if they’re going to demand a failed presidential candidate/private citizen to not run for office, they could start with Joe Biden or Mitt Romney.