Sarah Palin learns to play the victim
September 7, 2008
Posted by Susan J. Demas | Capitol Chronicles | Analysis (not affiliated with ThePalinReport.com)
The e-mails, comments and threats kept pouring in across the for my column, Palin: McCain’s version of ‘Trust me,’ and I knew I’d struck a nerve. But then a couple readers told me how they’d heard about it: The column had been forwarded by Gov. Sarah Palin’s people (allegedly) as part of their toddler tantrum on the mean ole media.
That might explain the curious number of people who have written to tell me that I have no right to express opinions in an opinion column.
I am deeply flattered. I would advise them read Anne Kornblut’s analysis of what’s fair game in elections. Good stuff, especially when you consider that the Hillary Clinton campaign dragged her personal reputation through the mud.
I am utterly sickened by the John McCain campaign’s contempt for the American people. No one expressed it better than spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace who declared on MSNBC that the American public doesn’t need Palin to answer questions. When Time editor Jay Carney, a friend of McCain’s, politely expressed incredulity that Palin would dodge questions from the press, Wallace shrieked, “Who cares!? Who cares? But I mean, like, from who, from you? Who cares? No offense. Who cares if she can talk to Time magazine?”
Now I understand there will be folks shouting, “Good! Stick in the the media!” Yeah, we in the media can be arrogant jerks. Sometimes we don’t tell you what you need to know, just all about John Edwards’ possible love baby, if McCain looked good against a green screen and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright shouting a couple times. But few voters actually get to talk to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain or Sarah Palin in person. That’s where the media come in. We can ask the questions you’ll never be able to in your living room.
You should know what Sarah Palin thinks we should do about Iran’s nuclear program. You should hear about her plan for the foreclosure crisis. You have a right to know what she thinks the solution is to turning around the auto industry.
She didn’t talk about any of that (incredibly the latter) on Friday in Sterling Heights. Stump speeches are not enough to inform the public. That’s why candidates need to answer questions from the press. And we, in turn, owe it to them and you to ask substantive questions.
But Palin was noticeably the only member of either presidential ticket to skip the Sunday talk shows today. This makes Palin look weak, despite her proclamations about being a “pit bull with lipstick.” Pit bulls ain’t afraid of the Eastern Elites in the media; they rip them to shreds. Just ask Ann Coulter. The left is gaining some traction with painting her as a chicken, which is something no candidate, especially a woman, wants.
McCain top aid Rick Davis sloughed this off, saying, “I’d never commit to anything in the future. … Our strategy is in our hands, not the media’s. We’re going to do what’s in our best interests to try to win the election. If we think going on TV news shows are [sic] in our best interests, we’ll do it. If we don’t, we won’t.”
Just remember the next time a politician tells you he’s not talking to the press, it’s not for your benefit. It’s for his. So when McCain and Palin expect you to cheer that they’re sticking it to the media, they’re really asking you to celebrate that they’re sticking it to you.
And here’s a roundup of some intriguing stories on Palin in light of my posts this week:
The Politico’s Roger Simon writes the best column on the role of the political press I have ever read. “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.”
Conservative Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley apologizes for not drinking the Palin Kool-Aid.
Time’s Joe Klein looks at McCain’s slime the press strategy and if it will cause the media to be gentler on the Republican.
The Freep’s Stephen Henderson ponders the new morality that teen pregnancy can be celebrated and asks how it would be viewed if Bristol Palin were black.
A McCain aide can’t answer what Palin’s foreign policy credentials are, leading Republicans to criticize CNN for biased reporting.
Gone are the days of the Straight Talk Express, when McCain is hostile to innocuous questions in a Time interview, such as asking him to define honor in political campaigns.
A Wasilla evangelical Christian mom disagrees with Palin’s choices.
Hanna Rosin explores how the Religious Rights’ views on morality have changed as their behavior hasn’t met their ideals.
Jacob Weisberg points out how shotgun weddings equal sky-high divorce rates and looks at how the right’s anti-abortion absolutism has meant more acceptance of teen pregnancy.