BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone, with some of your letters, comments and tweets. My interview with New York University Professor Clay Shirky two weeks ago caused quite a stir. I asked Shirky why he thinks media outlets, including NPR, feature so few female commentators and sources in their stories. Shirky says it’s an extension of a problem he sees among his graduate students at NYU. He said, quote, “Not enough women have what it takes to behave like arrogant, self-aggrandizing jerks.”
BOB GARFIELD: “This story blamed women for sexism,” responded Rebecca from New York City, quote, “There are lots of reasons why women may not put themselves out there more, including that it's seen as inappropriate and they are punished for it.” Mack, from Pennsylvania, agreed, quote, “The story seemed to conclude that it was the fault of women for not asserting themselves enough to catch the attention of journalists. Good journalists would find the best sources, male or female, self-promoting or not.” And Chris wrote, simply, “Perhaps men should be pressured to stop being arrogant, over-confident jerks, instead of pressuring women to be like men.”
BROOKE GLADSTONE: But many of you told us that Shirky was right on the money. Jylene from Lynn, Massachusetts wrote, “As a woman who has had to learn the hard way to put myself forward just to survive, I actually thought your rant was correct and moderate.” Galen from New York chimed in, “I couldn't agree more with Shirky. If I hear one more speech of men receiving awards ‘thanking their wives’ for being there while they were doing the difficult work, I will throw up.”
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