During the presidential campaign last fall, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speculated that no “elite television journalist” ever asked Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin about her “actual career in Alaska”:
The media paid as little attention to her record in office as they did to that of their preferred candidate, Barack Obama, choosing instead to craft an image for each of them. Perhaps Todd Purdum’s recent hit piece on the accomplished Alaska Governor prompted this thought from our reader Leah, expressed in an e-mailed:
Obama and Palin as two sides of the same coin, their records and accomplishments (or lack thereof) are ignored, one is loved for being handsome, young and debonair, the other hated for being young, beautiful and very talented.
Pretty much sums it up. Like columnists for Hollywood fan magazines, the better part of the reporters covering the 2008 presidential campaign and now currently covering the President and the Governor of Alaska are more interested in image than substance. Obama is cool and hip, uses a blackberry, Palin is, her looks notwithstanding, old-fashioned and hypocritical, with trailer-trash in-laws.
I really don’t need bother reading Purdum’s piece because he’s not interested in reporting honestly on the Governor of Alaska, but feeding the media narrative about the incompetence and arrogance of this good-looking, happily married conservative woman. I mean, can you trust a guy who claims that, as Bill Kristol puts it (quoting Purdum)
. . . “several” Alaskans independently told Purdum that they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? I don’t believe it for a moment. I’ve (for better or worse) moved in pretty well-educated circles in my life, and I’ve gone decades without “several” people telling me they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Noting how different reporters how come to different conclusions about Palin’s mood, Jim Geraghty, paraphrasing the President’s words about himself*, wonders if “Sarah Palin is now a blank slate, upon which national magazine writers project whatever negative narrative they prefer“. Just as much “news” reporting about Obama says more about those doing the reporting than does it does about the President, so does much journalism about Palin say more about the journalist than it does about the Governor of Alaska.
In his Palinpalooza, Robert Stacy McCain finds finds this all relates to the media’s double (or triple, as it were in 2008) standard:
The problem with the MSM is not that it has no standards, but that it has two standards. Or perhaps — considering how the MSM savaged Hillary Clinton in the primaries last year — we can now say there are three standards: One for Republicans, one for Obama, and one for Democrats who get thrown under Obama’s bus.
* From the President’s second book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, “I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”
RELATED: In her excellent post on Big Hollywood, Myrna Sokoloff dubs Obama “The Smile“:
From my perspective in Hollywood, I see that people respond to him like they do to a movie star. It’s the face, the eyes, the smile, not what he says. This phenomenon shows up in the polls. His personal popularity holds around 60%, but if you ask about specific policies, Americans don’t agree with him. Americans by wide margins do not want to close Guantanamo, are against affirmative action, and against late term abortion. The majority want him to cancel the stimulus and hate the bailouts!
Read the whole thing.