Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Bien is expected to select a female running mate and a new group called “We Have Her Back” promises to make sure she receives fair coverage from the media.

Former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson are among the group of influential women who sent a letter to media industry leaders on Friday urging them to avoid stereotypes when covering Biden’s female running mate, according to Axios.


“We are reaching out now because we are about to embark on a historic moment - once again - having a woman on a Presidential Campaign ticket. While you have already done significant reporting on the process, we know you are actively preparing for coverage about the specific Democratic Vice Presidential nominee,” began the letter addressed to news division heads, editors in chiefs, bureau chiefs, political directors, editors, producers, reporters and anchors.

“Given how few women have reached this point, the sometimes disappointing coverage of the process to date and the double standards we’ve seen in the public and media expectations of women leaders over the years - and even more so for Black and Brown women leaders - we wanted to respectfully share some thoughts with you about the media’s role in the scrutiny and coverage of women and women of color candidates in general, and the vice-presidential candidate in particular,” the letter continued.

The letter then emphasized changes that newsrooms have made in the wake of George Floyd’s Memorial Day death in police custody, such as “including more Black people and people of color on the front lines of reporting and behind the scenes producing and editing” and urged media industry leaders to do the same thing when covering Biden’s running mate.


Biden announced in March that he would name a woman as his running mate. According to some Biden confidants, the presumptive nominee has narrowed down his choice of running mates to Susan Rice, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

“A woman VP candidate, and possibly a Black or Brown woman candidate, requires the same kind of internal consideration about systemic inequality as you undertook earlier this year,” the letter said. “Anything less than full engagement in this thoughtful oversight would be a huge step backwards for the progress you have pledged to make to expand diversity of thought and opportunity in your newsrooms and in your coverage.”

The letter, which was signed by leaders from National Women’s Law Center NARAL, National Partnership for Women and Families, Supermajority, Emily’s List and TimesUp, in addition to Planned Parenthood, said that women have been subject to “stereotypes and tropes about qualifications, leadership, looks, relationships and experience” for years.

The women have formed a group called “We Have Her Back,” which plans to monitor coverage of Biden’s selection.


“Those stereotypes are often amplified and weaponized for Black and Brown women. Attempts at legitimate investigations of a candidate have repeatedly turned into misguided stories that perpetuate impressions of women as inadequate leaders, and Black and Brown women as worse,” the letter said before listing multiple examples of how media coverage has “has contributed to the facts of the lack of diversity at the top of society’s roles.”

The examples included reporting on a woman’s ambitions “as though the very nature of seeking political office, or any higher job for that matter is not a mission of ambition,” reporting a woman’s likeability, noting a woman’s appearance, questioning electability, doubting a woman’s leadership ability and suggesting that women are too emotional or irrational.

“We are certain that if you pursue thoughtful conversation internally, you will find even more examples of how these stereotypes can seep into coverage, and thereby seep into the public consciousness as voters are seeking to understand those seeking office,” the letter said. “We believe it is your job to, not just pay attention to these stereotypes, but to actively work to be anti-racist and anti-sexist in your coverage (ie: equal) as this political season progresses and this Presidential ticket is introduced. As much as you have the public’s trust, you also have great power. We urge you to use it wisely.”

The women who signed the letter then offered assistance and said they would meet with media industry leaders if needed.


“This is a defining election no matter your viewpoint. We intend to collectively and individually monitor coverage and we will call out those we believe take our country backwards with sexist and/or racist coverage,” they wrote.

“As we enter another historic moment, we will be watching you. We expect change. We expect a new way of thinking about your role in how she is treated and the equality she deserves relative to the three men running for President and Vice President. Your great institutions, the ideals you serve, and our country, deserve no less.”

If he chooses Rice or Harris, either would become the first woman and first African-American vice president in U.S. history should Biden best President Trump in November’s general election.

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.