Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is coverage of Palin legitimate? You betcha

People have been accusing me, and the media as a whole, of going out of our way to keep Sarah Palin in the news and to attack her. Well, there are two factors at work here. First, Palin is a public figure who is looked upon by some right-wing Republicans as the second coming of Ronald Reagan and the future of the party. That, in itself, makes her perpetually newsworthy. Second, Palin, rather than just concentrating on her job as governor of Alaska, continues to thrust herself into the public eye, whether it be by defending the educational pursuits of her grandbaby’s daddy or, most recently, whining about the treatment she receives, as compared with the public and media treatment of Caroline Kennedy, shown above. Palin did a recent interview with conservative filmmaker John Ziegler, who is working on a documentary called “How Obama Got Elected.” Palin told him that Kennedy, who is pursuing the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Hillary Clinton, is getting softer treatment as a Senate contender than she did as a vice presidential candidate. This may be too much for Palin to grasp, but these are two strikingly different offices that are in play. Kennedy is attempting to become one of 100 senators. A senator, on his or her own, has limited power. Palin was attempting to become vice president to an elderly man with a history of cancer. After hearing Palin on the campaign trail, that was a worrisome prospect for many people. Palin also told the filmmaker that CBS anchor Katie Couric and comedian Tina Fey have been “capitalizing on” and “exploiting” her. She also accused CBS of “splicing together” the Couric interview to make her look bad. Poor baby. Here’s the truth. Couric conducted an interview in which Palin was exposed as being unprepared for higher office and seemingly lacking in intellectual curiousity. And Fey has not been “exploiting” you, Mrs. Palin. She’s mocking you. And it’s pretty easy. My advice to Sarah Palin, if she has designs on higher office (and we know she does), is to spend the next few years gaining knowledge about the world beyond the Great White North and what she can see from the tip of the Aleutians.



Blogger Ellipses said...

How do you propose we start tearing into sweet caroline a la Sarah Palin?

Lack of education? Oh, wait... Harvard and Columbia...

Unread? Oh, wait... she has actually WRITTEN books (has Palin read one yet?)

Annoying verbal tick? Aha! That liberal bee-atch is going to "you know" herself right out of the senate! Nevermind that she has an education that is top notch, has written books that have more words than pictures (and footnotes and other boring stuff), and seems to have lived a rather boring, though enlightened life... Yeah... that's funny chit right there :-)

January 11, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caroline Kennedy is not investigated or hammered in the same way. When you are wealthy and famous, you get in the best schools whether you deserve it or not (George Bush anyone?)
Honest commentary would include the fact that the media is not as rough on the Kennedy family. Ask Dominic Dunne what he went through investigating the family.
I can't remember one person calling Bushy educated for his time in a prestigious college. Wealthy and famous people rarely actually write their own books, ghost writers do.
She could be very qualified, but she should stand on more than her last name and she should be judged the same as everyone else.

January 11, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Kennedy definitely is getting an easier pass than Palin in the media. I agree with the others' comments about Palin and the media, but at least she has some political experience. Other than being ivy league educated and having written some books, what else does Caroline Kennedy bring to the table to be a senator? She has no political experience other than being a Kennedy. Sadly, in this case, it might be enough.

Can anyone tell me what she's done politically that makes her a viable senate candidate? I'm afraid in this case the Kennedy nepotism will win her a seat.

January 12, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Obviously, sweet caroline doesn't have any political experience... however, the books she has written are on constitutional issues, so while she might not be all that good at politics, I think she probably has a better legal head on her shoulders than the neighbor lady.

Anonymous... I consistently gave bush more credit for his education than a lot of people. My argument was "Legacy or no legacy, a C average at Yale is nothing to shake a stick at." Unfortunately, the performance has not lived up to the defense.

I believe sweet caroline graduated in the top 10 of her class, though.

What I think is at issue, though, is that sweet caroline isn't a polarizing figure like Palin is... maybe she will prove to be more of a tool shed than people think she is as time wears on... maybe not. But as far as the media circus is concerned, right now, there's no there there.

January 12, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's perfectly legitimate to question Palin's knowlege of world affairs, her political experience and her ability to lead our country, Brant, but you seem to delight in calling her a redneck and in making fun of her family.

I don't think she's ready for high office, either, but neither do I believe that gives me the right to personally mock her.

January 12, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

ellipses, I'm right there with you on Bush and his education. And he did that while he was a raging drunk. Still, it didn't necessarily translate into all it could have.

I'm sure Sweet Caroline is plenty intelligent. But writing books doesn't qualify one for the senate. She'll get in because she's a Kennedy. How she performs, well, we'll see. I mean, she is a Kennedy...

Anonymous, Palin is a public figure. She chose to put herself in the spotlight. With 24-hour news organizations clamoring for anything to fill the hours and our seemingly endless desire to know all the dirt on someone, her choice to work in politics also puts her family in the spotlight. (Does anyone remember when the Bush twins were getting drunk and dancing on tables?) Palin's family "brings the goods," so I say have at them. I like Palin, but I also found Brant's comments about her and her family hilarious.

January 12, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

When you accept your party's nomination for vice president when you know, or should know, that you're woefully unprepared for the job, when your husband goes by the name "first dude", when your teenage daughter gets knocked up while you rail against any real sex education in our schools, you pretty much open yourself up to mockery. Palin put her family front and center in the campaign. At a time when she should have been protecting her daughter, Palin thrust her into the media spotlight, even going so far as to stuff the baby daddy into a suit and parade him in front of the cameras. Palin clearly wants to be the center of attention, and she has to take whatever comes along with that, including some well-deserved mocking.

January 12, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Since we are on the topic of qualifications...

What do you guys feel the qualifications for a senator are?
Vice President?

Can we lump those three positions together on this one? or are they so dissimilar that they each require a special skill set?

January 12, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some of the coverage is based on the fact that Sarah Palin has also become a celebrity and not just a politician. Can you imagine "The Insider" reporting as obsessively on the family life of, say, Mitt Romney?

Some Republicans think Sarah Palin is the second coming of Ronald Reagan? I'm thinking she's more like the Republicans' version of George McGovern -- someone who appeals to a small, activist slice of the party and would go down in flames in a general election.

--Brad Hundt

January 12, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous dg said...


1) I'd like to be confident candidates for high offices are smarter than I am and that's not asking much.
2) They've paid their dues, spent time dealing with many of the same issues as the holder of the office they are seeking.

January 12, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Well, you know, I think, you know, there's plenty, you know, of reasons, you know, that, you know, Sweet Caroline, you know, has, you know, left herself, you know, open for, you know, some, you know, scrutiny.
Just because she's supposedly written a book or two doesn't make her, you know, qualified to serve in the, you know, Senate.
Those who have made fun of Palin's speech patterns should give a listen to the AP interview Kennedy did a couple of weeks ago. It was, you know, embarrassing. She dropped 30 "you knows" into a 2:30 interview that she was supposedly prepared for.

The Palin stuff now is chicken-egg material, Brant.
Could she turn down interview requests? Yes.
But she continues to get requests because of some of the reasons you stated.
But is is newsworthy what her daughter's boyfriend is doing about his education? In my mind, no.

January 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'd like the candidates for any of the positions to have a college degree (it doesn't have to be from an ivy league school). For senator, I'd also like them to have at least some rudimentary knowledge of politics and most important, I want them to have some sort of experience in public office. I'd like the president to have some leadership experience - governor maybe - or at least some time in Congress. He or she should have some military experience too, but that's not a deal breaker.

As for Palin whining about the media's treatment of her, well, to me it sounds like the Hollywood folk who piss and moan about the paparazzi chasing them, but then they go to the hottest, most popular places in town to socialize. And surprise!!! Who's there? The paparazzi! Gosh, how does that happen?

Many of the Hollywood people use the paparazzi to their advantage (How does a horde of photographers know just when Britney Spears is going out for cigarettes?). Ms. Palin, you chose to be in the public eye. You chose to put your family in the glare of the spotlight. Shut up.

January 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pathetic attempt to rationalize the lack of journalistic standards and ethics regarding the reporting done on Palin and her family.

Hilarious that anyone would think that she is the darling of the Republican party. Where on earth do you think those ridiculous snippets about her wardrobe etc etc that you people allowed to be to turned into and masquerade as front page hard news stories came from?

January 13, 2009 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Anon- I have heard plenty of times people say "McCain lost because he was too liberal... Palin got dragged down by him... Palin is the kind of conservative we need to win elections... Palin/Palin (sarah and todd) in '12...

Not to mention all the "Sarah!" bumper stickers...

Granted, it's the lunatic fringe of the base... but those people mobilize well... there's a joke in there about a trailer, but I won't go there...

Anyway... also remember that "news" is the business of selling advertising... I'd love for the media to investigate the legitimacy of sweet caroline's bid for senate (is bid a bad word to use post Blagogate?)... but it doesn't have the interesting bits that would make Johnson and Johnson want to sell kitchen cleaner in the breaks.

What's the narrative on sweet caroline? What exactly is it that the media should report?

With Palin, it was entertaining... you need to make sweet caroline entertaining for anyone to pay attention...

Would anyone care if it was over a senate seat in wyoming?

January 13, 2009 at 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Palin! I agree that Ms. Kennedy is getting off easier but understandably so. Ms. Palin was running for the second most powerful person in the U.S. if not the world. She is a simply publicity whore (more like Paris Hilton than Ronald Reagan. At least Paris doesn't make excuses about who she is and what she stands for...admirable). If Ms. Palin pretends to be the future of the Republican party where she is running on shear Macbeth-ean, blinded ambition and has the hubris to think she can lead our dear country then I feel bad for her and she deserves all the press she is given. Hold on to your glasses sweetie ain't seen nothin yet.

January 13, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy-Palin '12

January 16, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

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