Hillary Clinton Spoke About Policy Positions, But Media Only Heard Her Southern Accent

Hillary Clinton returned to South Carolina this week to rally support for her 2016 White House bid, and despite speaking at length about the substance of her campaign platform, media chose to fixate on her southern accent.  

While speaking to the South Carolina Democratic Women's Council, Clinton laid out her vision for America and highlighted her support for President Obama following their 2008 primary fight. In her remarks, Clinton placed a heavy emphasis on her support for gender pay equality and helping middle class families, while pushing for civility and coalition-building:

CLINTON: We will have disagreements. We will have debates, but I want you to know that I will be remembering what I think should be at the core of every political campaign, how we treat one another, and how we care for this if we have been given, the United States of America.

Media's takeaway from the event? Clinton's southern accent.

After reporters traveling with the campaign noted a hint of a southern drawl, media pounced, treating Clinton's substantive speech as a sideshow and her accent as the main event.

CNN's New Day host Alisyn Camerota declared Clinton's accent is “an interesting twist” to her campaign, while MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said that, “Hillary Clinton got her southern accent back after, like, 20 years.”   Vox.com dedicated a post to exploring the origins of the accent, writing that “there is a certain fascination worthy to be had of public figures who can turn their accents on and off.”

Fox News pundits skewered Clinton's southern-infused speech as ranging from “the chitlin' circuit to the debutante ball,” calling it “fickle and elusive,”  "fake" and "insult[ing]."

Such superficial coverage of Clinton's event is unsurprising, given media's seeming preference for fluff over substance in coverage of the Clinton campaign and their repeated attempts to sensationalize Clinton's voice.