Right now, the White House press corps has been wondering — as it should! — whether, since President Obama nominated three white guys to his cabinet, women are being shut out of the Oval Office. The New York Times' Annie Lowrey wrote about the "all-male look" of Obama top staff Tuesday. But, if we're going to look at photos, we can't help but notice that another Oval Office crew has a nearly all-male look: the White House press corps.
Above Lowrey's story was a December 29 photo, at right, of 11 aides meeting with Obama in the Oval Office to discuss the fiscal cliff negotiations. The ten you can see are men. The eleventh, Valerie Jarrett, is hidden behind White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer. Only her leg is visible -- "Jarrett's leg as metaphor," the Times's Jodi Kantor tweeted. Times staffers might be particularly sensitive to the issue, what with their newspaper's past trouble with sex discrimination. But others are outraged, particularly MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who shouted down his co-host Mika Brzezinski Thursday morning during a discussion of the White House's latent sexism on display in the lack of diversity in his cabinet. Obama needs Mitt Romney's binders full of women, The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus said, as did a whole bunch of other people on Twitter. The White House responded by sending out a photo of a January 8, 2013 meeting with three female advisers in the frame. We might note that, as the first former enlisted soldier to serve as defense secretary, Chuck Hagel represents a different kind of diversity -- one of social class -- but you know, we don't like to talk about class in America.