There are few Obama-supporting blogresses I enjoy reading more than Camille Paglia. Unlike some on the left of the political spectrum, she does not harbor a visceral animosity toward her ideological adversaries. Indeed, it would be hard to define an ideological adversary to Paglia as her politics, like her ideas, are quite eclectic.
She supports Obama because she appreciates his qualities. Yet, her appreciation of those qualities does not blind her to his faults nor to those of his political opponents, notably the accomplished Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.Â And Paglia has been unsparing in her criticism of liberal talking heads in the media for attempting to take Mrs. Palin.
One reason the Democrats succeeded in undermining popular support for that good woman in the fall campaign was the generous assist they received from such talking heads and the mainstream media. Perhaps because John McCain was used to having the MSM help him get his message out, he assumed they would give his running mate a fair shake. So, his campaign arranged for the news anchors from the three broadcast networks to interview the Alaska Governor.
But, those anchors weren’t interested in giving Governor Palin a fair shake. They didn’t appreciate that a woman with values different that their own had achieved a position of political prominence while earning the accolades of social conservatives. Her success undermined their narrative, both about successful women and about Republicans.
Yet, Paglia saw through their attempts to discredit that good Governor, refusing to judge her by standards set in coastal urban enclaves. She didn’t let a lens of received “Ã©lite” opinion distort her perception of Palin. She sees her as she was, as she is, and not as others would have her be. Not just that, she calls out Couric for who she is, a preening phony:
I have never had the slightest problem in understanding Sarah Palin’s meaning at any time. On the contrary, I have positively enjoyed her fresh, natural, rapid delivery with its syncopated stops and slides — a fabulous example of which was the way (in her recent interview with John Ziegler) that she used a soft, swooping satiric undertone to zing Katie Couric’s dippy narcissism and to assert her own outrage as a “mama grizzly” at libels against her family.
Ideology-driven attacks on Palin became clotted liberal clichÃ©s within 24 hours of her introduction as John McCain’s running mate. What a bunch of tittering lemmings the urban elite have become in this country. From Couric’s vicious manipulations of video clips to Cavett’s bourgeois platitudes, the preemptive strike on Palin as a potential presidential candidate has grossly misfired. Whatever legitimate objections may be raised to Palin on political grounds (explored, for example, by David Talbot in Salon) have been lost in the amoral overkill that has defamed a self-made woman of concrete achievement in the public realm.
And let me take this opportunity to say that of all the innumerable print and broadcast journalists who have interviewed me in the U.S. and abroad since I arrived on the scene nearly 20 years ago, Katie Couric was definitively the stupidest. As a guest on NBC’s “Today” show during my 1992 book tour, I was astounded by Couric’s small, humorless, agenda-ridden mind, still registered in that pinched, tinny monotone that makes me rush across the room to change stations whenever her banal mini-editorials blare out at 5 p.m. on the CBS radio network. And of course I would never spoil my dinner by tuning into Couric’s TV evening news show. That sallow, wizened, drum-tight, cosmetic mummification look is not an appetite enhancer outside of Manhattan or L.A. There’s many a moose in Alaska with greater charm and pizazz.