Perhaps the most telling means to determine media bias is to compare treatment of the two major parties’ nominees for vice president. One had a reputation for embellishing his record while making some pretty silly statements, the other had her supposedly silly statements publicized as a signs of her stupidity. His were brushed aside, as “Well, that’s just Joe.”
Now, another prominent Democrat tapped by Barack Obama for an important job has now joined her fellow partisan from the First State, with her eagerness for exaggeration and her penchant for misrepresentation. And Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has not been subject to the same degree of media scrutiny (and mockery) as the more charismatic former Alaska governor received. Now, Jennifer Rubin reports, she’s telling us that Republican “want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws“.
“No,” quips Rubin,
I don’t suppose the media will give her the same treatment that is handed out to Palin. They make allowances for Wasserman Schultz, you see, because her “heart is in the right place,” meaning she mouths liberal platitudes, albeit inartfully.
Well, they do make allowances for Joe Biden.
Sarah Palin reminds me of one of my teenage nieces who knows just how to smile and just what to say in order to manipulate her father. For an example of such behavior, see the first scene of the Odyssey on Olympus. Athene knows how to get Zeus to do her bidding. My niece is not nearly as successful as was the owl-eyed Olympian, but she is aware (at some level) of her charm and her power over men. And Sarah Palin sure knows, on a much deeper level, just when and where to bat her eyelash to whip the media into a frenzy.
Or to get them to follow her motorcade when she doesn’t share her itinerary with them. Today, I occasionally looked up from the new cardio machine to catch a glimpse of CNN commentators caught in Mrs. Palin’s web. They were talking about her recent pizza summit in New York with the man who bills himself as the Donald (the real Donald has his own bill) and bemoaning that Mr. Trump and Mrs. Palin were upstaging the more serious candidates and preventing a serious discussion of the issues.
Methinks they were doing the bidding of the Obama campaign, trying to make Republicans look like we’re obsessed with the Trump/Palin circus.
But, the only reason Palin and Trump might be upstaging the other candidates is because, well, folks like those on CNN are dispatching their production crews to follow her every move as they shine their lights and focus their cameras on their stage. Message to CNN: if you don’t want Sarah Palin to upstage those whom you bill as the more serious candidates, then don’t cover her.
“For more than two years,” Michelle Malkin observes, “Palin-bashing journalists (on the establishment left and the right) have mocked the conservative supernova while milking her for headlines, circulation, viewership and Web traffic.”
These guys just can’t leave her alone. They give her a prominent role on their broadcasts while complaining that she gets too much publicity. They should learn from wise fathers of teenagers. It is possible to say, “No,” to a charming and attractive young woman.
UPDATE: In a great post on the media’s Palin obsession, John Nolte wonders “how many of these so-called journalists who are now making complete fools of themselves choking on bus fumes left unfinished ‘Palin is irrelevant’ pieces on their desk to dash off and make fools of themselves.” Read the whole thing.
While I have been more critical of Sarah Palin in recent days than I was during the 2008 presidential campaign, I still admire the accomplished reformer for her ability to drive liberals crazy without insulting them and to keep her name in the media. Yesterday, Glenn linked this from Hot Air:
Once again, the former vice presidential nominee has proven she can tilt the political world on its axis in an instant. Last week, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann took their campaigns to Iowa, but it was the news of Palin’s bus tour that really had people talking. She made a simple announcement on her website, and she got all the attention, all the interest.
Today on Hot Air, Ed Morrissey tells us that the media have been grumbling “that Palin’s decision to keep them out of the loop on the tour’s stops have created a dangerous working environment for reporters“, with CBS reporting
Since Palin and her team won’t share where the potential candidate is headed, reporters and producers have little choice but to simply stay close to Palin’s bus. This has resulted in scenes of the Palin bus tooling down the highway followed by a caravan of 10 or 15 vehicles – including a massive CNN bus – all trying to make sure they don’t lose sight of the Palin bus.
It adds up to a dangerous situation, says CBS News Producer Ryan Corsaro.
I can just see the former Alaska governor looking back through tinted glass windows at the caravan of media struggling to keep up with her bus and laughing (a rich, deep, full laugh) at their obsession. Morrissey offers them a means to spare themselves this dangerous pursuit: ”Here’s your first option: stop chasing her. If it truly presents a danger to journalists to drive behind the bus and attempt to keep up, then don’t bother doing it.” Yeah, but, Ed, as Glenn put it, “She’s living in their heads, rent-free, 24-7.” Like a jilted boyfriend, they can’t let her go.
In addition to being the official left-wing panty buncher, Sarah Palin may well also serve that role for the MSM.
UPDATE: I believe the answer to this question is “Yes”: Media wonders: Could Palin be manipulating us?.
UP-UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein finds that her failure to play by the traditional rules of political travel is. . .
. . . driving the mainstream press to distraction — giving her the media coverage she needs, on her terms, because they just can’t quit her, and because they can’t help but take offense at her audacity in ignoring them, which serves to remind them, uncomfortably, that their cultural significance is based solely on people’s willingness to believe in their power.
Chris Matthews calls Sarah Palin ‘profoundly stupid’
ADDENDUM: It seems the editors at Yahoo! give this story such prominence because they agree with Mr. Matthews statement, but most people will wonder at his obsession.
In commenting on Josh Green’s Atlantic piece on Sarah Palin, Jennifer Rubin takes slight issue with said reporter’s conclusion that the former Alaska governor is a tragic figure and elucidates a pitfall of politics — and of blogging as well:
One can’t but feel that Palin was not only snared in the web of resentment but that it determined a particular course for her post-2008 career. She embarked on a particular path, one incompatible with being a serious force on conservative policy and a credible presidential contender. . . .
But one can’t really call it a “tragedy” as Green does. She’s attained fame and fortune and she has as loyal a following as any popular figure. But she made a choice — to bear grudges, to forgo serious policy study, to reject the advice of all but a handful of advisers. It is a shame for those who saw a star-quality and enviable political talent. But tragedy? No. She simply chose a different path.
“Snared in the web of resentment”: a good way to describe what sometimes happen to bloggers who end up responding to hate comments where the critic makes little effort to understand our arguments, even less to acknowledge the sincerity of our expression. But, alas, they’re not interested in our opinions, but see us instead as targets for their own animus.
Just as most Palin critics are little interested in her record. Josh Green is. Outlining her successes as governor and asking a question which almost perfectly parallels an exchange I had with a liberal Alaska woman last summer*, he asks:
WHAT HAPPENED TO Sarah Palin? How did someone who so effectively dealt with the two great issues vexing Alaska fall from grace so quickly? Anyone looking back at her record can’t help but wonder: How did a popular, reformist governor beloved by Democrats come to embody right-wing resentment?
I do think he’s a little harsh here, but he is onto something. Sarah Palin doesn’t so much embody right-wing resentment as she taps into it, but she also exudes conservative enthusiasm. She can still articulate that vision of the Gipper, painting a picture of that shining city on a hill and expressing the confidence that we can still find our way toward that idyllic place. But, in promoting that visions, she’s become more of a cheerleader than a policy leader. (more…)
It seems a truism of contemporary political discourse today that if a liberal pundit or Democratic politician can’t defend his actions, he will accuse his critics of harboring prejudices against a particular minority group.
As most of you know, on Tuesday, a blogger at Wonkette, a left-of-center website, posted a piece “attacking Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome baby Trig on his birthday.” The blogger also suggested that Palin’s husband Todd slept with their daughter. In response, several advertisers, including Papa John’s pizza, pulled their ad from the site.
Now, Ace reports that the folks at Wonkette are accusing the pizza place of animus against gay people:
In a tweet, Wonkette announces that their former advertiser, Papa John’s, is not only “shitty,” but “homophobic.” Clarification/Correction: The tweet was by “Wonkette” and not necessarily Ken Layne, as I first assumed. Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s some other shrieking ninny. I don’t know who does their tweeting.
Homophobic = not giving gays a pass on every nasty thing they say or do. That is the only possible definition of the word he can be using to get to this conclusion.
The site was just as gay when Papa John’s was advertising on it before. The only difference is that they posted that nasty Trig post.
It’s not anti-gay to hold someone to account for crossing a certain line. And Wonkette went way over the line in mocking the child of a prominent conservative leader reviled on the left. As would a conservative blogger who mocked the president’s children — or the children of any Democratic politician. It’s one thing to criticize Sarah Palin and take issue with her ideas, it’s quite another to attack her children.
It is telling that they’re now playing the anti-gay card. Their critics have won the argument. Instead of conceding the point and acknowledging their error, they choose to personalize the matter. They just can’t let the right win. But, here it’s not the right that’s “won”, but common decency that’s won out. (more…)
There must be some kind of a trigger in certain liberals’ psyches that whenever they encounter a conservative argument they can’t understand — or at odds with their vision of what conservatives should be saying — they respond attacking their favorite right-wing demons, be they George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin or the Koch Brothers.
And they seem particularly vicious when dealing with Mrs. Palin — and other attractive conservative women.
This morning when I woke to check the commentary to a piece I had posted in the wee hours of the morning, I found that instead of addressing the point of the post, a memorial tribute to prominent Democratic politician who had shown class, dignity and grace on the public stage, particularly in the twilight of her life, one of our perennial critics responded not by acknowledging the qualities of Geraldine Ferraro but instead by attacking Sarah Palin.
I found these attacks particularly ironic, given that when I crafted the post, I had intended to reference Ferraro and Palin’s joint appearance on FoxNews as an example of the Democrat’s class, but chose to exclude it, fearing it might detract from the tribute I wished to offer Mrs. Ferraro. A number of our readers also noted the irony, with Sonicfrog finding the critic’s response “priceless” and Sean A wondering about some liberals’ obsession with Sarah Palin:
Obsessed? Don’t be silly, of course liberals aren’t obsessed with Sarah Palin. Clearly a post entitled “In Memoriam Geraldine Ferraro” demands a response that attacks Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin has really become the official left-wing panty buncher. Jennifer Rubin finds that it’s not just Sarah Palin. Other conservative women cause liberal pundits to get their panties all in a bunch, spurring them to act ”like college freshmen catcalling from the balcony of their fraternity house“.
What is it about attractive and outspoken conservative women that drives certain left-wingers bonkers?
. . . can we claim a right to his?
I mean, this guy who acts as if he is today, something he never was, a member of the working class, shocks the audience on Rachel Maddow’s show “by telling the rich and bankers that ‘we have a right to your money!’” And well, with the success of his movies, the guy can really count himself among the rich.
Noting that Michael Moore had declared in the same clip that “This is War”, Glenn Reynolds quips,
I guess the “new civility bullshit” is officially over. Bear that in mind as you contemplate a response. I don’t think these people realize that they are setting precedents that they may come to regret. They are as feckless in this behavior as they are in their fiscal approach. The consequences are likely to be insalubrious.
As I was reading about the Wisconsin Senate’s vote to curtail the privileges the state had granted pubilc employee unions, I was watching Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted which provided footage of various MSM reporters concerned about allegedly violent rhetoric at McCain-Palin rallies and asking Republicans to denounce it. Interesting how concerned they were about violent rhetoric when they had no actual evidence of such rhetoric.
I wonder how many reporters will call on Wisconsin Democrats — or any Democrats for that matter — to distance themselves from Mr. Moore’s incitement to violence.
UPDATE: Yes, the media who seem obsessed with imaginary conservative violence seem oblivious to actual liberal antics as per Bryan Preston’s observation: (more…)
Under normal circumstances, I would not blog on the silence of HRC when an angry activist at a protest aligned politically with the Democrats and ideologically with liberals hurls an anti-gay slur. It is not their job to police the rhetoric of everyone on their side of the partisan divide. That said, it would be nice if they did at least acknowledge that social conservatives do not have a monopoly on anti-gay animus; we often hear of narrow attitudes and nasty rhetoric from groups aligned with and individuals supportive of the “progressive” movement.
The only reason I brought up the issue, in an update to one post, a separate post and in two spoofing HRC’s own releases was those very overheated releases when they decided to use the occasion of a teenager’s use of said slur as a means to discredit her mother, a Mrs. Sarah Palin, an accomplished and charismatic conservative who, in her rise to political power and her short time as governor of the Last Frontier, effected real reform in her state while standing up to the entrenched interests in her own party and working across party lines.
You see, that Mrs. Palin has become a prominent celebrity on the right, well loved in certain conservative circles and bitterly hated on the left. She has replaced a Mr. George W. Bush as the person who must be vilified to show one’s adherence to the sacred creed of the progressive zealots of the hopeful movement for transformative change, i.e., the political left in the Obama era. HRC wanted to show its allegiance to this, to borrow and paraphrase an expression, vast left-wing conspiracy.
Now, we have no problem with people joining this “conspiracy.” In a free society, individuals have the right to adhere to lost causes and subscribe to discredited ideas for social progress and economic prosperity. But, our mockery here shows that while HRC may style itself as civil rights’ organization, it is, in reality, little more than the gay and lesbian auxiliary of the Democratic National Committee.
And we just wanted to remind our readers, that group’s posturing notwithstanding, that is really all that is is. I daresay you’ll find some people on the political left who share this assessment of that organization.
Last November, on two successive days, HRC issued press releases (one each day) asking Sarah Palin (while attempting to demean her by calling her a “reality TV star”) to “come out against . . . anti-LGBT bullying” because her teenage daughter had used the slur “faggot” on Facebook. Even after the teen deleted the offensive comment and her older sister apologized, HRC still called on the accomplished former governor (i.e. not the individual who used the term) to speak out.
HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz even called Mrs. Palin’s parenting skills into question, “As a mother, she should know to speak up when a child makes hateful remarks”. Yet, he has no clue what the charismatic conservative said to her daughter in private, only whining that she didn’t speak out in public. That she removed the post suggests that either her parents asked her to remove it because they didn’t want their child using such language or, perhaps they had raised her well enough to realize, when her emotions had cooled, that she had spoken too harshly.
Since originally posting on this, we could come up with no evidence that HRC had ever asked a prominent Democrat to speak out when her child used offensive language.
Now, we’ve got a union protester using the same slur, and in circumstances which make its use far more troublesome than that of a teenager posting on Facebook. Let me remind you of the facts:
At AFSCME’s “solidarity” rally in Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday, a cameraman was accosted by a fuming pro-union protester. The cameraman had his back to the goon, who appears to accost him unprovoked. The goon screams:
“I’ll f**k you in the ass, you faggot.
This borders on assault, with the adult using hateful words actually threatening an individual. HRC has not called on AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee to speak out against such hurtful language, particularly given his minion’s obvious use of the term to demean, in a context clearly suggesting that homosexuality is an inferior status. And HRC is more ideologically in sync with AFSCME than it is with Mrs. Palin, having joined them in endorsing the One Nation, Working Together rally last October. (more…)
Just last night when dining with some right-of-center bloggers and allied conservatives, I met a conservative woman who upon learning I was gay asked if I knew a certain gay Republican (I did). She reported his observation that he found it easier to be gay in Republican circles than to be conservative in gay circles — something your humble bloggers have long experienced as well.
Well, when I returned home, I found in my in-box an e-mail from Bruce alerting me to post on the American Thinker from another gay man who has just learned the same thing.
Discovering posters attacking Sarah Palin on a San Francisco fence, Ray Gross tells that he is gay and living in hiding in San Francisco, “hiding from the Liberal Left”, hiding that he’s a conservative:
Gay people are used to feeling the fear of backlash and intolerance. It’s been a common theme for me, and I hid being gay for a good part of my life because of that fear.
But here I am, hiding again, hiding from those who have been telling me my whole life that they are the tolerant, loving and accepting ones. And I believed them, joining them in pinning the labels of hate and intolerance on the political right.
Now I fear them. They are not tolerant or accepting. They accuse others of hate and intolerance and yet, by their behavior they show themselves again and again to be the hypocrites they are. They are incapable of seeing the irony of the situation; that those who preach “tolerance” are intolerant, and those who champion “love” exude hate.
Like Pavlov’s dog they are trained by the left and the liberal media to salivate at the mere mention of the words “conservative” “Republican,” “right,” “Christian,” and “Bush”. Now, they have a new favorite victim for their hate and intolerance, Sarah Palin.
Yet again, these folks manifest the very hatred they claim to find in their ideological adversaries. Why do these people hate so much?
This is just too rich to pass up, Oops! Sarah Palin Didn’t Call Christina Aguilera an ‘Airhead’:
Whoops! One comedian’s attempt to spoof Sarah Palin has been blown way out of proportion after one media site decided to report the former vice presidential candidate’s fabricated comments as fact.
In Palin’s comments, which were crafted by an Onion-like satirical website, she supposedly blasts Christina Aguilera‘s disasterousperformance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XLV. In the satire, Palin calls Aguilera a “demanding beauty queen who’s clearly in over her head.” The Palin impersonator also talks about wanting to “deport” Aguilera, after having “to suffer through a performance by a foreigner with a poor grasp of the English language.”
But as Gossip Cop points out, the quotes were all fake — even though Us Weekly reported them as fact.
in context of national conversation on civil discourse, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s declaration of February as a Palin-free month suggests he believes himself only capable of talking about the charismatic conservative in derogatory terms or that he believes the only news she makes is worth of mockery. In either case, in making this declaration, he acknowledges his bias, his inability to cover the former Alaska Governor fairly.
If I had access to Lexis-Nexis (or someone was willing to pay for my use of this resource), I would search Milbank’s writings about Sarah Palin to see if he ever reported her many accomplishments in her brief tenure as chief exec of the Last Frontier.
Indeed, it would be interesting to review the writings of Mrs. Palin’s various critics to see if they ever considered her record in office and wondered why, when John McCain tapped her as his running mate in Augusts 2008, she had a 75% approval rating . . . among Alaska Democrats.
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin echoes my point and builds upon it:
Moreover, the pledge, whether made in jest or not, only reinforces the perception that the media methodically distorts (Let’s have politics with no Palin! Or a Congress with no John Boehner!) and cherry picks the news rather than cover what is there.
Understandably, after making such a fuss over Palin and throwing all manner of criticism at her, warranted or not, the left blogosphere and liberals in traditional media are tuckered out. But this is a problem of their own making, and it should serve as a cautionary tale about inappropriately vilifying and magnifying a public figure, who for a time served their political ends. Substituting one failure of perspective for another hardly seems a wise course.
Once again, Victor Davis Hanson gets at the nub of the issue in the national debate following the Tucson shooting:
In logical terms, how are we to use a moment to reexamine political speech when the moment was explicitly declared not to be connected with political speech at all?
How can a president subtly distance himself from the macabre and revolting behavior of his left-wing base while simultaneously editorializing on unhinged invective in general (e.g., without an embarrassing extreme, there is no occasion to call for moderation from others)?
Why did five days of presidential silence follow the shootings (so unlike instant editorializing about the Mutallab and Hasan incidents), when the likes of Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Andrew Sullivan, Sheriff Dupnik, and the New York Times rushed in to scavenge political capital amid the carnage? All that might have been bridled with a brief word or two from the White House, a brief Sister Souljah moment admonition to the New York Times to cool it for a while. We know that would have worked, because the Times within hours after the successful Obama speech was calling to cool what it had helped arouse, apparently realizing that its demonization and its refutation of demonization hand-in-glove were politically useful.
Read the whole thing. Via Instapundit.
That might be a better solution than something said journalist proposed: Milbank declares February a Palin-free month.
Wonder if U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) will get the same treatment Sarah Palin did for using the expression, “blood libel“:
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on the “lie” of government takeover of health care: “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing, blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing.”
“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it and you have the Holocaust,” Rep. Cohen said.
This is civil discourse?
UPDATE: Readers, please let me know if you come across any Democrat or left-of-center pundit who criticized Mrs. Palin for using the expression will take Mr. Cohen to task. Thanks!
In a piece on John McCain’s recent commentary on the president’s Tucson speech, Bruce Drake offers a helpful bit of commentary of his own:
The shootings in Arizona have prompted much introspection about the tone and tenor of American politics even though the reasons why the suspected gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, carried out the massacre remain obscured by his history of bizarre behavior.
Well said. Nice synopsis.
I welcome this discussion about the “tone and tenor of American politics,” but wonder why those engaging in such introspeciton now didn’t do so earlier, particularly during the George W. Bush era when the organs of “mainstream” opinion rarely (if ever) scolded their ideological confreres for their excesses.
Will those concerned with this tone and tenor take to task those who rushed to blame the Tea Party in general and Sarah Palin in particular for creating a climate of hate or some such? Will they wonder at their own failure to take on those who advertised their animus for George W. Bush when he was in the White House or dishonestly accused him of lying?
It is good to promote civil discourse, but in putting the focus on civil discourse in the wake of the Tucson shooting, will we lose sight of the real problem exposed as the evidence trickles out — of the failure of authorities in Pima County to detain a mentally imbalanced man whose actions provided numerous warning signs?
The real issue raised the the shooting is not the tone and tenor of American politics, but how we should act to prevent individuals with serious mental health problems from posing a threat to their fellow citizens.
Via Doug Powers (blogging @ Michelle Malkin) comes this about “J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee” last weekend in Tucson:
When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated. Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”
Fuller, as law professor William A. Jacobson reminds us, blamed Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Sharron Angle for the shooting.
Mr. Fuller must be upset that the evidence does not support his accusations. According to the Phoenix ABC affiliate, he has been “taken for a psychiatric evaluation”:
Fuller was arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct and threat charges, [Pima County sheriff's spokesman Jason] Ogan said. While Fuller was being escorted out, deputies decided he needed a mental health evaluation and he was taken to a hospital, where he remained Saturday evening.
The hospital will determine when he will be released, Ogan said.
Ed Driscoll has more.
RELATED: The hatred they discern in conservatives is the hatred they feel in their own hearts
Blogress Divas Regent do have a way of zeroing on those afflicted with Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS). Here’s Clarice Feldman on the Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen commentary on the charismatic former Alaska governor:
Read the skewering in its entirety and marvel with me at how this gorgeous backwoods gal is felling a whole forest of hypocritical and under- educated men and women who have been posing as professional writers worthy of our respectful attention to their views.