I told an elderly liberal friend (“ELF”) about my liberal friend, the one who thinks the media is being so unfair to Palin that she’s tempted to vote for McCain just to spite the media. The following conversation ensued. I should add here that the ELF considers herself very well informed. She reads Time and Newsweek, and she watches the news daily on ABC, NBC and / or CBS, as well as checking in with CNN and MSNBC.
ELF: I think that this shows McCain has lost it. He must be senile.
Me: No. It was a brilliant choice. It may not win, but it was a brilliant choice.
ELF: Not it wasn’t.
Me: Why not?
ELF: Well, first, nobody knows who she is.
Me: Actually, the conservative base and politically aware people do know who she is. [I explain about Palin's anti-corruption efforts and the press they garnered in the WSJ, as well as on the conservative street.] The major media has been ignoring her, but conservatives and corruption watchers haven’t.
ELF: Yeah, but this whole thing about the child. It proves that she’s a hypocrite.
Me: No, it doesn’t. She’d be a hypocrite if she forced her daughter to have an abortion rather than have an embarrassing pregnancy. As it is, everyone knows that kids get pregnant, but at least Palin’s staying true to her principles now that it happened.
ELF: Well, Palin did the same thing. She ran off when she was 17 and got pregnant.
Me: I didn’t know about that.
ELF: It’s true.
Me: I just said I didn’t know. It still doesn’t have anything to do with her being a hypocrite. The media and the Left are also re-telling some horrible rumors. They claim now that the daughter is pregnant by Palin’s husband.
ELF: Well, they wouldn’t say something like that if they didn’t have proof.
Me: There’s no proof. They just cycle from one lie to another. First they said that Palin wasn’t Trig’s mother because she didn’t look pregnant. That was their proof. Then, when Palin announced that her daughter was currently pregnant, they said that Bristol must have given birth to Trig and then immediately gotten pregnant again. Then, when they learned that Bristol was five months pregnant, they said that Palin’s husband must be the father.
ELF: They must have had some proof to say that. They must know something about him.
Me: No, they don’t. It’s just exceptionally vicious. Someone also said at a major blog that Palin flew in airplanes latte in her pregnancy in order to abort the child.
ELF: Well, who is saying this? Some little nobody, I’m sure.
Me: Not so. These stories are appearing at major blogs, such as the Daily Kos, one of the most read blogs in America. These blogs not only have millions of readers, they’re also used by the major Democratic candidates to float trial balloons. These are players making these accusations.
ELF: In any event, Palin has no experience.
Me: She has more experience than Barack Obama. He’s never managed anything but the Annenberg Fund and that was a disaster.
ELF: What’s that?
Me: [I explain about the fact that a nobody law associate was tapped by an unconvicted, unrepetent radical terrorist to head a $100,000,000 fund to improve Chicago schools, with the result that the money went to questionable groups, with no discernable improvement in Chicago's schools.]
ELF: Okay, but it’s a joke to say that because Palin’s a governor she has military or foreign affairs experience.
Me: That’s an interesting one. It turns out that the Alaska National Guard isn’t like other National Guards. While most of them train once a month and are called out only in an emergency, the Alaska NG, because of its proximity to Russia, is on duty 24/7 all year. Palin’s also briefed at the highest security levels regarding Russian foreign policy. [Read more on that here.]
ELF: Yeah, but what’s McCain doing running when he has cancer?
Me: McCain doesn’t have cancer. He’s had cancerous skin conditions, but he’s monitored for them constantly, and attacks them aggressively.
The conversation ended here, as both she and I had places to go. You can see that this dear ELF (and she is a dear lady) was able to dredge up every single rumor and criticism out there. That is, Palin’s been known for four days, and my ELF was extremely well (er, ill) informed with every bit of dirt. She was prepared to believe every rumor, confident that, if the media says it, there must be fact behind it. When one argument fell before fact, another wasn’t far behind.
The fact is, this ELF gets her news from one source, and it fills her mental universe. Even more depressing, this ELF is one little drop in the media fed bucket. How many are there out there like her, and how many are never going to be exposed to opposing information?