(NEW YORK) -- Allegations of sexism aimed at women candidates this year are approaching an all time high – or low – depending on how you view it. The latest victim is Tea Party-backed Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell. On Thursday, the gossip website Gawker published an anonymous post by a man who claims he had a one-night stand with a drunken O'Donnell on Halloween three years ago.
"Christine O'Donnell has plenty of problematic platforms, and Gawker could have used its brand of humor to dismantle her campaign," said Yana Walton, of the Women's Media Center. "Instead they chose this story to create a misogynistic media landscape."
Despite the title of Gawker's post ("I Had a One-Night Stand with Christine O'Donnell"), the night culminated not in sex, but with both parties falling asleep.
Attacks against female candidates have prompted the Women's Media Center, along with the Women's Campaign Forum and Political Parity, to begin tracking sexist attacks in the media against female candidates in the 2010 midterm election campaign. The groups launched their effort in September, researching and fielding calls from tipsters around the country.
"All of us have been extraordinarily surprised at the amount of incidents we've responded to on a daily basis," said Walton.
Walton sited examples including what she said were reporters endorsing candidates for their "tight little butts", morning radio shock jocks talking about candidates' cup sizes, and late night host David Letterman jokingly linking Nancy Pelosi to a real-life violent, sexual event.
"Nancy Pelosi found in a hotel room drunk and naked with Charlie Sheen," said Letterman, flagging the fictional moment as the number two sign that Democrats are in trouble.
Siobahn "Sam" Bennett, president of the non-partisan Women's Campaign Forum, said the insults are getting worse, and attributes the escalation to the uncensored nature of the Internet.
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