Cosmopolitan magazine this week declared that it would endorse candidates who “trust women to make their own reproductive choices” in the upcoming midterm elections. Other key litmus issues for Cosmo include gender pay equity, gun control and policy on sexual assault. “[W]e’re zeroing in on Senate, House, and gubernatorial races that are competitive and important, and evaluating candidates based on whether they stand up for the issues that matter to us the most,” noted the endorsement explainer.
On the Fox News noontime show “Outnumbered,” Fox News contributor Guy Benson took all manner of exception to Cosmo’s incursion into politics. “Is this beyond the purview of what the readership of this magazine actually wants to see?” asked Benson, who, in keeping with the format of “Outnumbered,” was surrounded by four female panelists on a curvy couch. “Do they want to be preached at about politics when they really just want to check out the latest fashions and these wonderful shoes you guys are all wearing?”
Oh, don’t go stereotyping Cosmo, Mr. Benson. In an outraged reply, Cosmopolitan.com senior political writer Jill Filipovic ripped away:
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote. We hope you do vote, no matter who it’s for, because the more women cast their ballots, the more all our political parties will have to respond to our needs and interests. But we also hope you’re paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle messages that politicians and political commentators send about women, and that you’re making connections between rhetoric, worldview, and policy.
The “Outnumbered” panel found fault with the magazine’s refusal to endorse pro-life candidates, with panelist Andrea Tantaros arguing, “An office in Manhattan is making the decision for millions of women…This is the same thing we’ve seen — Glamour magazine does this, Marie Claire magazine does this. This is the most aggressive I’ve seen it…They rarely endorse Republican candidates, they only indoctrinate you to be a certain ideology that they feel is best for women.”
Right, which is traditionally the way media outlets decide on endorsements — by judging which policy positions best protect the interests of their readers. As Cosmopolitan.com editor Amy Odell told Politico’s Hadas Gold, “We’re not going to endorse someone who is pro-life because that’s not in our readers’ best interest.”