The discussion was facilitated by Mike Barnicle who asked that the clip be played again, but this time we should listen to the tone. After listening for a second time, Barnicle asked the group, "Do you want to listen to that for four years?" While I agree that Palin sounded a little shrill and high pitched, that was not the issue. The issue was the way the question was asked. Barnicle's question was judgmental. Let's ask it a different way. "What do you think of her voice? Do you think she loses credibility? How will that impact her on the campaign trail?"
This is a different kind of question and a valid one at that. The voice is 38% of the message according to a UCLA study. The meta message is in the tone and not the words. Hillary Clinton lost credibility when she gave vent to her anger and passion in the form of an escalating tone. She has since found her voice. Men have an advantage over women in the vocal arena. A deeper or lower pitched voice will be perceived as more authoritative. While using the upper range of her pitch level doesn't serve a woman candidate, it seems that there's a double standard when it comes to men.
Former Mayor Koch of New York City has a nasal sounding voice and uses /um/ after almost every other word. This is how he spoke during his administration and he still uses this speaking style. Yet, we didn't hear comments such as "Could you listen to him for another four years?"
The points made during the discussion regarding tone were valid. What some people don't get is that there is a tone to language. And I heard an element of sexism in Barnicle's comment. What do you think?