Conservative critics mock Jill Biden title controversy

Some media conservatives are making light of a controversy sparked by an editorial in The Wall Street Journal that suggested incoming first lady Jill Biden drop “Dr.” from her title. 

In the piece published Friday, essayist and short-story writer Joseph Epstein argued Biden’s usage of doctor before her name “sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic” in part because she did not hold a medical degree.

Biden received a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

Critics blasted the article, saying Epstein’s comment was sexist, unfair and contemptuous.

Biden responded to the debate about her title in a tweet Sunday, saying, “Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.” 

Author Ann Coulter shared a blog post calling the controversy “pompous and misleading.” 

Others blamed the media for what they said was “selective outrage” in covering it. 

Conservative pundits pointed to the episode as an example of what they say is a quickness on the part of the political left to be offended. 

“I’m sorry. Telling a white lady in her late 60s that she should stop calling herself doctor because she is not an actual medical doctor, that is not sexist. It’s not,” commentator Ben Shapiro said on his program Monday. 

Paul Gigot, the top editor for The Wall Street Journal’s opinion department, defended on Monday publishing the piece, calling it a “minor issue.”

“Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue?” Gigot said. “My guess is that the Biden team concluded it was a chance to use the big gun of identity politics to send a message to critics as it prepares to take power. There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism.”

Some of Biden’s supporters have come to her defense in the wake of the attacks, including former first lady Michelle Obama. 

“For eight years, I saw Dr. Jill Biden do what a lot of professional women do — successfully manage more than one responsibility at a time, from her teaching duties to her official obligations in the White House to her roles as a mother, wife, and friend,” Obama said on Monday. “And right now, we’re all seeing what also happens to so many professional women, whether their titles are Dr., Ms., Mrs., or even First Lady: All too often, our accomplishments are met with skepticism, even derision.” 

Tags Ann Coulter Jill Biden Joe Biden Michelle Obama United States
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