MEDIA
11/23/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Campbell Brown Calls Out Double Standard On Palin Clothes Controversy

Campbell Brown cried out against a double standard in politics and the media against women Wednesday night, using her "No Bias, No Bull" segment to deliver her perspective on the controversy surrounding Sarah Palin's $150,000 fashion makeover.

"My Issue?" Brown said. "There is an incredible double standard here, and we are ignoring a very simple reality: women are judged based on their appearance far far more than men. That is a statement of fact. There has been plenty written about Sarah Palin's jackets, her hair, her looks.

Sound Familar?" she asked. "There was plenty of talk and plenty written about Hillary Clinton's looks, hair, pantsuits. Compare that to the attention given to Barack Obama's $1,500 suits or John McCain's $520 Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison."

Brown further said that the double standard applies to all women in the public eye, including the media: she gets viewer e-mail when she wears an outfit viewers don't like, but she doubts Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper have to worry about viewer e-mail when they wear an ugly tie.

Watch (full comments below):

Transcript:

And now, as we do every night-- we're cutting through the bull:

A lot of sniping and a lot of stories today about Sarah Palin's clothes.

Politico.com reports that the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothes, hair and make-up for Palin on the campaign trail.

Now these are not your tax dollars. This is money given by Republican donors to the RNC. But the report questions whether it is legal to use campaign cash for "personal use."

My issue? There is an incredible double standard here, and we are ignoring a very simple reality. Women are judged based on their appearance far, far more than men. That is a statement of fact. There has been plenty of talk and plenty written about Sarah Palin's jackets, her hair, her looks.

Sound familiar? There was plenty of talk and plenty written about Hillary Clinton's looks, hair, pantsuits. Compare that to the attention given to Barack Obama's $1,500 suits or John McCain's $520 dollar Ferragamo shoes. There is no comparison.

Women get scrutinized based on appearance far more than men. And look, I speak from experience here. When I wear a bad outfit on the air, I get viewer email complaining about it. A lot of email. Seriously. When Wolf Blitzer wears a not-so-great tie, how much email do you think he gets?

My point is for women unfortunately appearance is part of the job. If Wolf or Anderson shows up on the air without make-up, you think you would even notice? I show up without make-up? Trust me, you'll notice. This doesn't just apply to TV. All women in the public eye deal with this issue. And it is for this reason that I think the RNC should help Palin pay for clothes, hair and make-up. It is part of the job.

Now, you may think, that's an awful lot of money to spend on clothes, hair and makeup. Or you may complain as some have that it's hypocritical to sell yourself as a small town hockey mom when you are wearing designer clothes. That's fine, just don't ignore the fact that there is a double standard here.

And personally I think in this campaign, with so much at stake, this is a peripheral issue. I myself have raised plenty of questions about Sarah Palin, much to the annoyance of the McCain campaign. But those questions have been about her qualifications and experience. Never her appearance. Let's keep the focus on what really matters here.