WSJ: The defense of Dr. Jill Biden is evidence of a coordinated political conspiracy!

Democratic National Convention - Day 2

As we discussed, the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page published a completely sexist piece of garbage op-ed by Joseph Epstein over the weekend. The dude was trying to convince Dr. Jill Biden, our soon-to-be First Lady, that she should no longer use her “Dr.” title because she is not a medical doctor. Nevermind that she has a Bachelors, two Masters degrees and a PhD in Education. Nevermind that she’s been a working educator for decades, and she plans to be the first FLOTUS to hold down a full-time job (as a community college professor) while her husband is president. The sexist drivel included Epstein referring to Dr. Biden as “kiddo” and the whole thing just felt like a snowflake man-baby was triggered by Dr. Biden’s knowledge, education and competence in her field, education.

Well, the reactions to the WSJ were amazing. Here are just a handful, including a message from Dr. Biden herself.

This douche Epstein also bragged about how he taught at Northwestern without a PhD in the op-ed, and Northwestern is now like “I don’t know her.” They issued a statement about how they disagree with Epstein’s “misogynistic views” and they deleted his profile from their website.

Meanwhile, the reaction to the WSJ piece within the Wall Street Journal’s offices has been… confusing. Paul A. Gigot, “the top editor for The Journal’s opinion section for nearly two decades” wrote a reaction piece where he basically says this whole thing was some kind of Democratic Party plot, and that the outpouring of support for Dr. Jill Biden was evidence of a coordinated political strategy. Gigot wrote: “Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue?… [the responses reveal] what was clearly a political strategy… 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.” He also wrote: “Mrs. Biden is now America’s most prominent doctorate holder and is taking a leading role in education policy. She can’t be off-limits for commentary.”

This is moronic. Like, the Biden transition didn’t FORCE Joseph Epstein to write that misogynistic trash, nor did the transition FORCE the WSJ to publish it. The Biden camp didn’t start this, they were reacting to a sexist, contemptible attack on educated women. As for a coordinated response, it was everyday women leading the pushback online, and the Biden transition followed. And no one is saying Dr. Biden should be “off-limits for commentary.” We’re saying that we have every right to RESPOND to that sexist commentary by trashing the Wall Street Journal. The gaslighting too – “on a relatively minor issue.” Dr. Biden studied for years to earn her degrees, all to see her work minimized by a caveman douche.

Democratic National Convention - Day 2

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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94 Responses to “WSJ: The defense of Dr. Jill Biden is evidence of a coordinated political conspiracy!”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    Ironic the writer’s last name is Epstein.
    This piece should never have seen the light of day, Shame on all involved.
    Love Hillary for chiming in. I am sure she has faced her fair share of this archaic and andomaniac (my own word) thinking and behavior. This is not about girl power or woman empowerment, it’s about being a human being and standing up for what is right.

  2. 3mom says:

    She actually has an EdD. The only reason I know this is because my dad has a PhD in education, so I’ve known the difference since I was a kid, lol.

    • Midge says:

      What’s your point?

      • 3mom says:

        Article says she has a PhD. Not commenting on value/worth of one compared to the other, if that’s the impression I’ve given.

      • Clsarah says:

        It’s an important distinction to make. There are multiple doctorate level degrees – MD, PhD, EdD, PharmD, PsyD, DO, DDS, JD, etc. anyone who has earned one has earned the distinction of being referred to as “Dr” and there are different reasons for choosing different tracks so being correct in the degree is important. It’s not just MD or PhD.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      EdD is doctorate level. It is therefore entirely appropriate for her to be called Dr.

      • 3mom says:

        Absolutely. Again, I was making the distinction between PhD (in the article) and EdD (what Dr. Biden actually has). As Clsarah stated so well, there are important differences in doctoral degrees, but all of them lead to the title ‘Doctor’.

      • Caty Page says:

        Agree that anyone with a PhD who chooses to call themselves “Dr.” has earned it. Except Jursis Doctorates, who get the cumbersome “esquire” or “JD” instead.

      • Nic919 says:

        JDs aren’t the doctorate for lawyers. It is either D Jus a doctor of jurisprudence or PhD. JD is an American fiction to try to make the original LLB seem more important because in the US and Canada you normally need an undergraduate degree to apply to law school whereas in the UK you can obtain an LLB directly after secondary school. But in all cases it is a three year degree with no thesis requirement and it does not entail the same level of work as obtaining a PhD. I say this as someone who has a law degree and a graduate law degree.

    • Seraphina says:

      Yes, ClSarah is correct. I see job posting at the Department of Education here where I live, and they to specify which degree is needed for certain jobs. And I worked in academia before, they are VERY strict about who is an adjunct, who is has a doctorate and who is tenured. And I once addressed an adjunct as professor, I was scolded -quite tersely (by a female professor) that only PhD grads are referred to with PROFESSOR and adjuncts and PhD candidates as instructors. It’s crazy.

      • 3mom says:

        Interesting. I think a lot of that sort of stuff is more due to the culture of a particular school than any universal rule. I have a PhD in biology, and where I adjunct *everyone* is referred to as professor, regardless of degree, tenure, etc.

      • Seraphina says:

        3mom, interesting. Well, sad to say, that PROFESSOR had me in tears when she was done with me. And she taught female gender topics at the undergraduate level as well.

      • 3mom says:

        Seraphina, that’s awful – sadly, I suspect many of us have stories about power-tripping professors. Whenever I think of one I try to counteract their negativity by thinking of the many who were kind/helpful to me over the years.

      • Seraphina says:

        Agreed, I continue to give to a scholarship in that was named after the grad professor who encouraged me to get my grad degree. What a wonderful person he was.

  3. megs283 says:

    A Democratic plot?!? These people are morons. Don’t they realize that women are more than 50% of the population? And that some Republican women use “Dr” in their titles?! They pissed off ALL women and many men with this one.

    I used to respect the WSJ.

    • MsIam says:

      It’s part of the Murdoch “empire” now so that explains a lot. I used to read it too but now, meh. After this, nope!

    • Mac says:

      Apparently Gigot has never heard the words “internet” and “viral.”

      • Thaisajs says:

        He’s not very tech savvy. But I’m sure he’s thrilled by the response to their garden variety trolling. Most buzz the old buzzards on the Edit Page have had in years.

      • Juniper says:

        Well, Gigot was the editor before the internet was a thing so it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • lucy2 says:

      It’s so stupid. They published something ridiculous, probably knowingly in the hopes that it would get a lot of responses/clicks, and when people are like “um no, not cool” that response is somehow a political conspiracy? So, so stupid.

    • Esmom says:

      The WSJ op-ed page has become MAGA-centric. I feel like it gives “shy” Trump voters a veneer of credibility. And while the wall between them and the news division is pretty thick, I feel like the op-eds are dragging the whole brand down.

      Their reaction is pure Trump defensiveness/deflection.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    Coordinated conspiracy? Um… women everywhere know what it’s like to be patronized and dismissed. We didn’t need the Biden admin to get upset in order for us to be outraged. If anything, our outrage caused them to respond.

    This is so infuriating.

    On a side note,, I just submitted my application to enter a Ph.D program, 17 years after getting my MA. And if I get my Doctorate, you damn well better believe I’m going use the title I earned. Anyone who doesn’t like it can f— off.

    • HoofRat says:

      Rapunzel, that’s fantastic! I hope every door opens for you

    • Esmom says:

      You go, Dr. Rapunzel!

    • Noodle says:

      @rapunzel, congratulations to you! In what field will you study for your PhD?

      • Rapunzel says:

        Noodle- it’s an Interdisciplinary Humanities program- you examine culture and cultural heritage, literature, anthropology, history, etc. I am praying I get in.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      What’s up, DOC? You go on with your bad self and ROCK THAT SH*T.

    • bananapanda says:

      Women are 50% of the US population and more than 50% of Bachelor’s degrees earned each year for about a decade now. I’m not sure what the % of Masters and Doctorates are but this article clearly triggered a nerve for all of us women who have had our academic credentials questioned. PLUS Community Colleges are incredibly important for low income students, immigrations and working parents, so his dissing of her dissertation was even more insulting.

      It also seems like a lot of people didn’t realize that PhDs and EdD are referred to as Doctors. I thought everyone knew this after the Dr. Laura (radio host) mess – she was actually trying to pass herself off as a psychologist when her degree was in Physiology. It even triggered that West Wing episode.

  5. Leah says:

    That Epstein guy sounds like a knuckle dragging trump supporter who wants to see women subjugated. Dreaming of a 1950’s which was a fabricated fantasy created by media companies. As my friend who was born in the 1950’s once said “not once when I was young did I see my mother vacuum the rug while wearing pearls”.

    He needs to crawl back into the cave he was dropped in, and take his anti women views with him. Hey Epstein, this is the 21st century, women can hold doctorate degrees and call themselves doctors now. We are also allowed to vote, have our own credit cards and drive our own cars without having to ask permission from a man.

    I call her Doctor Biden out of respect. I am also hoping that she will return Jackie’s garden to its former glory because Melania destroyed it out of spite.

    • Miranda says:

      Yeah yeah, but never mind all this “education” and “real job” nonsense! St. Melania the Martyr had to put up some Christmas decorations!

    • Kalana says:

      I looked him up. He is racist, homophobic and a misogynist. He’s been the subject of protests and pushback for decades. He has spent his whole life as mediocre, hateful trash.

      He was an adjunct at Northwestern and an editor for Phi Beta Kappa’s magazine and has received a National Humanities medal.

      Thinking of the amount of lives he has been able to hurt because of his views, it’s infuriating. Women and BIPOC should be able to study and achieve excellence without having this kind of loser as a gatekeeper. Clearly he has plenty of well-placed connections to receive a teaching position at Northwestern with only a BA, the editorship, the medal, and now the chance to write this article. It took twenty years of controversy at Phi Beta Kappa to remove him so clearly someone was protecting him that whole time. There was also his birtherism article on Kamala for Newsweek.

      I hope people who have had to deal with him come forward and share their stories.

      • Teebee says:

        They are. He’s trash, from way back. The article about him and his homophobia from the 70s… no words.

        That he has escaped a resounding public smack down for so long, and that he has continued to be a go to for so many marginalized issue assassinations, it’s mind boggling.

    • Eleonora says:

      Typical example of male mediocrity being treated like he’s all that.

  6. Mindy_Dopple says:

    This is perfect example of gaslighting. An appropriate response to a trash article and all of a sudden they can’t take the heat. They’re the victims just for saying something “small”. They poke a hive and then when bees attack they’re like seeeee the bees are violent and can’t take a joke! Of course not the best example but you know what I mean. It’s just like people who misuse the first amendment. You are free to speak your mind but that road is a two way road. People are free to respond to it!!

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I can’t.

  8. Thanks Kaiser, for following up on WSJ Opinion Editor’s BS response about the backlash the WSJ is getting for allowing that kind of trash opinion to begin with. Reading the editor’s response early this morning made me almost as angry as the original opinion piece by that mysogenist lecturer.

  9. TQ says:

    Such idiocy!

    But fragile White men always shout ‘it’s identity politics!’ when we as women, people of color, and others from traditionally marginalized groups demand our equal rights. SMDH.

    Dr. TQ, Esq. (h/t @OriginalLala)

    • OriginalLala says:

      yes! I finally added Dr to my twitter handle in reaction to this. I saw a big push on social media for us to add Dr to our profiles. I’m here for it, I worked so freaking hard for my PhD (completed in 2019!)

      • lucy2 says:

        I saw a lot of women doing that! It’s great.

        One of my good friends has a PhD and uses her title, she’s a university professor. As does my uncle. Every elementary and high school superintendent in this area uses theirs. No one has every questioned it.

      • Jay says:

        It would be amazing if the unintended consequences of this whining snowflake’s opinion piece are 1. More people know about Dr. Biden’s work, including her ongoing teaching 2. More women feel empowered to use their qualifications without fear of what fragile dudes may think.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yep. No ownership. And there are always people who try to play the, “you’re just saying they can’t ever be criticized 4 anything!” card. Even when presented with clear examples of that not being true.

  10. OriginalLala says:

    I can’t even with this garbage….


    Dr OriginalLala (PhD)

    • Blondems says:

      I concur!
      BA, GradDipArts, MSc (Hons)
      I haven’t had the opportunity to do a doctorate, but I seriously admire those who have – and I am proud as heck of my degrees and nobody is going to tell me when I can or can’t mention them!

  11. Wiglet Watcher says:

    She will be an inspirational FLOTUS and I’m as excited about her as I was for Michelle. Hell, I like her more than her husband

  12. ClaireB says:

    Men are so confused when women give up on individuating them and just hate them as a group. This editorial and the baffled and butthurt response of the “top editor” are why.

  13. damejudi says:

    I feel like after wading through that heap of toxic, gas-lighting garbage I’ve earned my Ph.D in bullish*t detection.

  14. BlueSky says:

    So let’s see… single out someone who is just minding her own business, been an educator and supportive wife and mother for decades. Write ridiculous article under the guise of an opinion piece when it’s really “I’m threatened by a woman who is more educated than me. And plus I’m jealous” women and educators come for his neck. Cry when people dare to criticize you and gaslight anyone who dares call you out for the trash person you are. But women are the emotional and sensitive ones. 🙄

    • molly says:

      So much this. Also, “she’s taking a leading role in education policy”?? No, TF, she is not. She’s going to keep doing the job she’s done for years and continue to be a vocal advocate for public education.
      Rampant nepotism is Trump’s game, not Biden’s.

  15. Miranda says:

    Oh you just KNOW this asshole is one of those people who have no respect for educators and constantly takes issue with our union…then threw a tantrum when KIDS NEED TO BE BACK IN CLASS FULL TIME RIGHT GODDAMN NOW I’M SICK OF MY KIDS BEING AROUND 24/7 WE DIDN’T HAVE THESE BRATS TO ACTUALLY RAISE THEM OURSELVES IT’S NOT FAIRRRRRR!!1!one!

    This whole saga reminds me way too much of the times (that’s timeSSSS, plural!) when people have basically told me that I’m just a glorified babysitter because I “only” teach 2nd grade. On at least a couple of occasions, the people leveling this insult did not possess ANY college education, much less the Masters I worked my ass off to earn.

    Also, extra props to Dr. Jill for earning that PhD at an age when a lot of teachers would be thinking about retirement. It’s awesome enough just to do that for your own satisfaction, but to be so dedicated to your profession that you’d actually USE that degree, and continue using it while juggling First Lady duties as well? She’s an actual hero, no hyperbole.)

    • Rapunzel says:

      That first paragraph…so spot on. Not to mention the folks screaming how kids need socialization but did/do nothing to help their kids connect with friends in a socially distant manner.

      And the amount of people who were insulting Dr. Biden for studying education and studying how to teach reading. . . was disgusting.

      • H says:

        Yes. Reading is a specialized certification. I tried explaining this to a friend who wanted me to tutor her daughter in reading (she was not reading on grade level). I explained that while I have a master’s degree in education, it is not in reading and she would be better off with tutor who knew that field. You need help in high school history, I’m your girl, but 4th grade reading? THAT is an art.

    • schmootc says:

      ‘Only teach 2nd grade?’ People actually said that? Jesus. My Mom was an elementary school teacher who used to teach kindergarten and first grade and there’s no ‘only’ about it. That is not an easy job at all.

      • Amy Too says:

        “Only teach second grade”/“glorified babysitter.” Probably coming from a person who has 2 children and can’t control them both at the same time without the other parent or a nanny/babysitter or a TV to help out. And that’s without attempting to teach anything at all. That’s just basic “Can you keep 2 children from literally biting each other into a crying/snot-nosed heap for 20 minutes” type parenting. And not the “Can you keep 30 children from biting each other into a crying/snot-nosed heap for 7 hours straight while also teaching them literally every school subject on your own plus how to read and how to write so they can actually engage with their learning materials?” that is teaching second grade.

  16. Abby says:

    I think WSJ did not read the room, and women (and men who support them) are sick of this type of response. Plus standing behind our president elect and his highly educated wife. It’s a perfect storm.

    Super disappointed in how the WSJ editor responded. This editorial should never have seen the light of day written this way. I don’t subscribe and usually don’t read it–the comment section for these articles is usually something else, but now I’ve got additional reason not to read.

    • Juniper says:

      Don’t read the comment section. It’s a cesspool of Trumpians and misogynists. Not reading the comments is self-care.

  17. kkim says:

    “Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue?” wrote Mr. Gigot –

    One might wonder why the WSJ published an editorial on a ‘relatively minor issue’….

  18. FYI says:

    Notice that Gigot called her “Mrs. Biden” in his reaction. 💩

  19. Other Renee says:

    My husband is sitting next to me fuming over the latest evidence of idiocy from the WSJ. He holds a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and is rightfully complaining that nurses and educators (both female-dominated professions) are undervalued. (He’s really a special guy!) Public education is seriously underfunded. It will be nice to have another FLOTUS in the (sanitized) White House who cares about and will promote the value of education.

  20. GuestwithCat says:

    I’ve seen this all around lately and I’m so weary of it all: White men reacting to women and/or POC calling out their bullshit as them being “overly sensitive” or “dragging identity politics in”.

    That’s because they can’t muster up a coherent intelligent defense for what is illogical mindless bigotry.

    They pride themselves on being so logical and masters of their emotions, yet it’s obvious they’re just stewing in insecurity, mindless hatred and bigotry.

    In fact, bigotry is the antithesis of logic, reason, and intellect because it is all based on the most primitive, mindless instincts. Like most other animals, we do have an instinct to clan up and exclude those not of our group. It takes a higher level of thought to overcome that and reap the rewards of the inclusiveness that is our best hope to advance civilization.

  21. Sayrah says:

    Playing the gender card? This can’t be real

  22. Jaded says:

    I can barely contain my anger at how this pencil-dick faux-lectual (I made that up) could be allowed to spew such sanctimonious drivel and how the WSJ is actually defending him. I can’t believe how far WSJ has fallen since Rupert Murdoch took over. Everything he gets his filthy hands on immediately loses credibility, including Jerry Hall.

  23. Sara says:

    So if calling out misogyny is a “Democratic plot,” that means the GOP is the party of misogyny. Which we already knew.
    And if Dr. Biden isn’t free from commentary, neither is your dumb opinion section, Gigot.
    Epstein belongs in the Facebook comments not WSJ.

  24. downtherabbithole says:

    Ummmm…OK. SO if it *really* doesn’t matter, I want to see every single male contributor to WSJ (OR FOX News, OAN, etc) who claimed a Dr. title who hasn’t had their hands in a human body or whatever their “bar” is to use the title turn theirs in when they write or produce or participate in a piece and retroactively have their prior pieces “corrected”. I’m sure that will go over well. It’s the ultimate mansplaining to tell a woman when she can use her rightfully-earned title.

  25. Liz version 700 says:

    Oh my God this made me so mad. So count me as part of the conspiracy. Just a good ol attempt to minimize a smart woman by a jackass. She is a fantastic partner for her husband so we must minimize the “kiddo.” It reminds me of all of the bs I dealt with after law school. It reminds women everywhere of the bs they have dealt with from this type of man. This is why many women jumped on the viral bandwagon. The conspiracy is being fed up with this kind of behavior.

  26. LightPurple says:

    In my experience, the only people who use the terms “race card” or “gender card” are racists and misogynists who just got called on being racist and misogynist. Gigot just labeled himself.

  27. Annaloo. says:

    This is case and point of the environment of toxic masculinity of the manosphere that support the GOP

  28. EllenOlenska says:

    So…how deep an investigation did @WSJ conduct into Melanias genius visa/citizenship. Did they critique the nude photos?

  29. Marigold says:

    I got my masters at age 50. I’m now about to turn 59 in a few days and this actually giving me energy to THINK about getting my EdD.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Go for it! I completed my bachelors at 31, masters at 49, and from what I’ve been reading these last few days has started me thinking, why not go for the PhD?

    • Juniper says:

      I’m 50 and currently working on my masters. I am on track to finish at 51. That’s amazing about your EdD. You go for it if it’s what you want.

      I’m with BeanieBean, maybe I should consider continuing.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Go for it!

  30. Valerie says:

    Right, when everything is against them, it’s a coordinated attack—and one well done, even though the libs are supposed to be intellectually inferior and incompetent. When everything corresponds to and supports their worldview, the system works. I can’t imagine being that insulated and paranoid. I’m actually worried about the proliferation of mass paranoia that I keep seeing, and not just from Americans. Trump has created an extremely toxic world. I hope those caught up in it can recover.

  31. emu says:

    So orthopedic or heart surgeons aren’t allowed to be doctors either according to this idiot’s logic?

  32. Jay says:

    The WSJ and this commenter were clearly looking for “controversy” and got exactly what they deserved.

  33. jferber says:

    She has a Ph.D. and is Dr. Biden. In my school district in a tony part of Westchester, NY, every school official who has a Ph.D. in Education is referred to as Dr. in person and in writing. No one that I’ve ever heard has questioned or criticized them. My husband is a Dr. because he has a Ph.D. in physics. It’s legit and ANYONE who knows ANYTHING about HIGHER EDUCATION, knows this. So I hazard a guess that WSJ knew this, but decided to stir up lying shit anyway. This is your new First Lady, jerks. Show some respect for Dr. Biden and President-elect Biden. Even if you do work for Australian right-winger Rupert Murdoch.

    • Nic919 says:

      I agree. Anyone who has attended university would be aware that professors use Dr and in all subjects of study not just medicine.

  34. msromperstomper says:

    My holiday greeting to my History of Women students included a rant about this misogynistic garbage and concluded with a flourish of “this is why we need the History of Women!’ Signed, Dr. msromperstomper. I can’t with this!!!

  35. Call_Me_Al says:

    Thanks, Kaiser, for following up on the Epstein article by excorciating Gigot’s bulls–t as well. I can’t believe this s–t!

  36. Josie Bean says:

    As the mother of a very devoted teacher, I am thrilled that Dr Biden’s career is in education. She will be such as asset to the country.

  37. Nikki* says:

    Kaiser, you said it all perfectly. Can you send your column to the WSJ too?? They need to hear you.

  38. Saucy&Sassy says:

    I think social media responses should include urging everyone to cancel subscriptions to the WSJ, and to not click on anything that they write. I have a feeling that’s not what they want to see happen. If they’re waiting for the Trump supporters to subscribe, I suspect they’ll have a long wait. Are they wanting to make this newspaper a tabloid? I have to wonder, because they certainly have a good start at it. But people don’t have to monetarily support them by subscribing.

  39. Amy says:

    In the comment on the op-ed, she’s addressed as “Mrs”. If that doesn’t say it all, what would?

  40. Ellen Olenska says:

    PhD in English and tenured full professor here. That horrid op-Ed by a (dare I say) failed academic is not just insulting to women academics but to all PhDs. He suggests the standards have been lowered in recent years. He has no idea what he’s talking about. If anything the stakes are higher as Tenure track jobs keep getting eliminated. I wonder if he knew how many people he’d be offending with his awful “kiddo” piece. I wonder if he cares.