Palin’s Fallout

I was curiously interested by the amount of response I have received from my last posting regarding the non-political decisions of Gov. Palin, and the effects I forsaw as fallout. I have written in the past about homosexuality, Iran, American Hubris, abortion, Oil and the ridiculous pandering of American media. But never had I received so many explicitly angry responses (of which I erased all, as we don’t need such language on this site) and some well thought out frustrated responses as well (of which I am grateful for).

So I desired to write an editorial regarding my audacity at examining a shortsighted choice, in which I felt I saw several immediate problems. But instead, I am going to provide a link to an apology in POLITICO by Roger Simon. He states

“On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn’t be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols.

Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head Wednesday night (and several in the audience wish she had hit some reporters on the head instead) when she said: “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”

But where did we go wrong with Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways:

First, we should have stuck to the warm, human interest stuff like how she likes mooseburgers and hit an important free throw at her high school basketball tournament even though she had a stress fracture.

Second, we should have stuck to the press release stuff like how she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere (after she supported it).

Third, we should never have strayed into the other stuff. Like when The Washington Post recently wrote: “Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body. … Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints.”

Why go there? What trees does that plant?

Fourth, we should stop making with all the questions already. She gave a really good speech. And why go beyond that? As we all know, speeches cannot be written by others and rehearsed for days. They are true windows to the soul.

Unless they are delivered by Barack Obama, that is. In which case, as Palin said Wednesday, speeches are just a “cloud of rhetoric.”

Fifth, we should stop reporting on the families of the candidates. Unless the candidates want us to.

Sarah Palin wanted the media to report on her teenage son, Track, who enlisted in the Army on Sept. 11, 2007, and soon will deploy to Iraq.

Sarah Palin did not want the media to report on her teenage daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant and unmarried.

Sarah Palin thinks that one is good for her campaign and one is not, and that the media should report only on what is good for her campaign. That is our job, and that is our duty. If that is not actually in the Constitution, it should be. (And someday may be.)

The official theme of the convention’s third day was “prosperity,” but the unofficial theme was “the media are really, really awful.”

Even Mike Huckabee, who campaigned for president this year by saying “I am a conservative, but I am not mad at anybody,” discovered Wednesday night that he is mad at somebody.

“I’d like to thank the elite media for doing something,” Huckabee said, “that, quite frankly, I didn’t think could be done: unify the Republican party and all of America in support of John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

And could that be the real point of the attacks on the media? To unify the Republican Party?

No, that is simply the cynical, media view.

Though as Lily Tomlin says, “No matter how cynical I get, it’s just never enough to keep up.”

I couldn’t resist that. For which I am sorry.”

How dare the media actually question the qualification of an individual? FOX news is justifiably upset with the “Liberal Media”. Those horrible Liberal minded sissies are not catering to the whims of the Congressional Republicans. Shame.

And this leads back to the Republican Party, and the Bush strategy of attacking rational media (i.e., not FOX, CNN, MSNBC). In fact, it can be argued that this indeed is McCain’s “new” strategy. Not so different then the past eight years.

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~ by maffersalmon on September 4, 2008.

11 Responses to “Palin’s Fallout”

  1. Wow Matt, a new low. You actually finished your entry with a link to the Huffington Post (A.K.A. Liberal Elite Media 101). Tsk tsk.

  2. Really? Thanks 🙂 I hadn’t noticed…

  3. Um, for the record, since I can tell you’re such a stickler for these things ben, it’s an associated press article syndicated on huffington post. Tsk tsk.

  4. And since I am such a stickler, I should point out that I never said that the Huffington Post wrote the article, but simply that Matt linked from them. (Oh, and I implied that they are one of the standards of greatness in the liberal elite media.) The comment was a light-hearted attack on Matt’s choice of sources, that’s all. I’m glad he understood. 🙂

  5. Ben, sorry, but based on my limited reading of your comments thus far, there’s MUCH to be inferred and “read” between the lines, so while you never “said” it was a Huffington post article per se, you ambiguously infer that the article is somehow crap because of where it’s hosted.

    What exactly is a liberal elite? Is there a comparable conservative type of person? Just looking for some definition of this interesting label/libel so as to correctly read it going forward.

  6. What I may or may not imply (not infer, that’s what the reader does), is up to me. If you inferred that I was casting judgment on the article itself, then you were grossly mistaken, my friend. I think you’re reading into my comments a little too much.

    As for Liberal Elite, it is a term generally used to describe leftists who are wealthy (like the Huffington family). The negative connotation of Liberal Elite is meant to point out the hypocrisy of being excessively wealthy while supporting the ideology of the enforced distribution of wealth. At least this is what it means to me. I don’t think there’s really a direct comparison on the conservative side, though some might consider Corporate Corruption the closest parallel, though it is indicative of greed more than hypocrisy.

  7. Hoping you weren’t being smug, thanks for the grammar lesson (honestly).

  8. Wow, I think I like this stream of comments better. Now, on to the conversation.
    Ben, you are correct in your historical understanding as to the entomology of the term the “liberal elite”. However, as with all language, it is created. Therefore, we are left to discover where such language, specifically negative language, was created, by whom, and for what purpose. Just because such words as Pussy, Niger and Fag (all words I have been called over the last few days, ha ha) all have somewhat interesting and non-offensive roots, they were quickly developed, commandeered and formed to become offensive and elicit fear, hate and anger. Such is the language developed by the self-monikered neo-conservatives of the eighties and nineties. Truth be told, we are living in an age of political language that is completely dominated by the cultural inheritance we have received from the Milton Freedman inspired ideologues. So what is the intention of such a phrase? Simple. It is to elicit contempt for individuals who have chosen to invest their wealth into an ideal that they would/attempt to/aspire to work towards. It is a term designed to promote contention. Now, therefore, regardless of you intended it, there indeed was an implied undertone of your comment, indeed something to be taken from between the lines. I know my grammar is poor, and often my writing is convoluted. But it is more important to know what the words we use are conveying then how to spell such words. Cheers

    P.s. as a side note, were the themes of the article and apology misleading or otherwise faulty? If so, I am interested such an appraisal. Remember, to read and understand is more wise then to examine and dismiss.

  9. While entomological analysis has the ability to satisfy curiosity, I personally don’t think it influences the understanding of the intent of a term’s usage so much as does an analysis into its intended connotation at the moment of its use. That said, I think you’ve delved further into the latter in your remarks, so I have no qualms with the resultant direction of your post. (Yes, that was basically meaningless babble, but I’m treading lightly after the contentious battle from the previous topic.)

    Anyway, I also apologize, though admittedly half-heartedly – apology because I don’t mean to offend, half-heartedly because I doubt I’ll make any attempt to cease the practise – for criticizing grammatical and syntactical errors.

    Now, on to the actual topic at hand… (What a novel idea, Matt, thanks for bringing it back into the spotlight.)

    So Roger Simon’s sarcastic apology (far different from a half-hearted apology) is missing the point. The fact is that the media’s rabid investigation into Palin’s personal life was sudden, derogatory, and far outreached any probative investigation into that hair-plugged running mate of Obama’s. (What’s his name again? I mean I’ve heard nothing about him since Palin’s name was announced. Anyway, I’ll just call him Hair-Plug.) I know that the expediency of the investigation was necessary due to her being a generally unknown public figure, but you’d never see that type of brutal reporting in relation to Hair-Plug! (A google news search of hits from the past month for “Joe Biden” returns about 88,000 hits, but for “Sarah Palin” there’s over 104,000! Not to mention that hers are really all in just the past week, while Hair-Plug’s been in the race for two weeks. Should he have more news if he’s been in the race longer? Just a thought.) Yet through all this, Palin’s been poised and handled it with professionalism. She’s handled the attacks far better, in my opinion, than Obama’s handled his attacks. No wonder she’s got such incredible support!

    All I can say is, if someone was to keep score on who’s convention did the most to increase support of their nomination ticket, you’d have to give the credit to the Republicans, and you’d have to give the MVP honours to Palin. It’s that simple, really.

  10. Ben,
    No doubt on the increased interest through Palin. My original observations, which caused such a uproar, in the end, where only slightly validated, with only a handful of the media picking up on it. Otherwise, as was correctly surmised by others, it became a moot point. So well done for those who expected that.
    However, I only brought it up as my own observation and criticism. Obviously, the world did not agree with me. However, the reason I included the overtly sarcastic apology was in response to the criticisms of my observation and criticism. I love to hypothocize. I really do (and correct my spelling all you want… i need help here, ha ha). In fact, that is what critical thought and introspection is all about. However, with that comes analysis. Which I am now undertaking. The article was funny to me, as it was a totally tongue in cheek remark on the outrage of some by the questions of many. See the validity of the inclusion now? It has to make you smile. Common 🙂

  11. Hypothesize 😉

    I understand the sarcasm, and I even see the humour in some of it. That said, I think it inaccurately responds to a couple of issues. For example, if Palin herself released the news of her pregnant teenage daughter, I wouldn’t think it’s safe to assume that she didn’t want the media to report on it. What she didn’t want was for it to become the media spectacle that it was for the first couple days before the L.E.M. (liberal elite media) finally heeded the directive of their messiah (A.K.A. B. Hussein Obama) and left the issue alone. She didn’t use her son’s upcoming military service as a deflection from her daughter’s situation, but rather as an example of the patriotism of the family. Military service is indicative of patriotism, whether or not a teenager gets pregnant has no bearing on patriotism one way or another.

    And so what if attacking the media has a byproduct of unifying Republicans. It’s not like the media hasn’t given them plenty of fodder with which to mount their attack. And it’s not like the Democrats are innocent of their own attacks. I bet Glenn Beck has to watch his back walking through the CNN building in NYC. Then again, he’d probably have to watch his back if he were anywhere near you. 😉

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