The media scourge

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?

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  • dagon

    book please stop. this is getting embarassing.

    The media and the Left are also re-telling some horrible rumors. They claim now that the daughter is pregnant by Palin’s husband.

    show me ONE credible media source that is floating this. and by the “left”, the way you make crap up, you could mean the deranged drunk around the corner from your office who always makes left turns.

    give me your friends email and i’ll be happy to square her to the real deal with credible sources; and also tell her to take anything you say with a grain of salt as you are obviously more interested in tarring your opponents with every bad brush even if it’s unsubstantiated. shoddy, shoddy work.


  • George Bruce

    I’ve not (yet) heard the one about the daughter being pregnant by Palin’s husband, but I’ve heard all the rest. Apparently where the left is concerned, there is no unsubstantiated slimy smear that they won’t make up and repeat. Much of this stuff has been traced directly to parties linked with the Obama campaign.

    Whether Barry knows about it, I don’t know. I only know he hasn’t fired anybody yet.

    Just as he has never repudiated Ayres or Doern.

  • Oldflyer

    Book I don’t how you can call your ELF a dear lady. She sounds pretty mean spirited to me; perfectly willing to believe every lie and smear about someone she admittedly never heard of before last week. I presume she intends to vote based on her misinformation and possibly influence anyone else that she can. So, I would call her, and the others like her, dangerous in the aggregate.

  • Ellie2


    I think that I, as a self-confessed political junkie, internet savvy-reader of blogs am exceptionally well-informed.

    Your mom probably thinks the same. While she most likely gets her info primarily from TV, I get mine primarily from the Internet.

    So the MSM target their “news” to folks like your mom; and the Blogs target their “truth” to folks like me.

    So we are back to Pilate: What is Truth? Is yours the same as mine?


  • gpc31

    I wondered how you could possibly be so frank with your ELF until you disclosed that it was [a family member]! [Inadvertent disclosure removed — ed.]

    My wife is an ELF in training: She is predisposed to pick up every vile rumor against Republicans; parrots liberal talking points; and regards liberal media bias as a myth. If Katie Couric says it is so, it must be true; anything not covered by Time or Newsweek magazine does not exist. She cannot distinguish between blogs and teen-age chat rooms. Her brain would explode from sheer cognitive dissonance at the concept of “Liberal Fascism”.

    Such a world view comes naturally. She was a faculty brat and has spent her entire career as a university administrator.

    When discussing politics with my wife — gently — I find myself filtering the evidence for her by repeating a useful mantra from one of my old professors: “What is the speaker saying? How does he know it? and Is it true?” Doing so removes a lot of nonsense.

    She was very dismissive of Sarah Palin until I urged her to view the full 17 minute acceptance speech. When she saw Palin for herself she was immediately quite impressed. But after three days of the mainstream media barrage, she has been (willingly) reprogrammed. After all, who are you gonna believe: Me, the msm, or your lyin’ eyes?

  • dagon


    well i certainly hope she doesn’t believe you. and what has the msm made up? be explicit. bet you can’t.


  • Helen Losse

    A parent can do only so much. After that, kids make their own choices. Palin’s daughter is 17. And while it is sad that she is pregnant so young, it is not the end of the world. I would be more concerned about Palin’s own infant. I can’t imagine how Palin can go through the stress of a campaign and still breast feed that baby. But then, breast-feeding isn’t for everyone either.

    And time will tell if choosing her was brilliant or foolish. By that I mean, if McCain/Palin wins or if too much baggage comes forth.

    And yes, we never heard of her until McCain picked her. And yes, sadly, it’s the Republicans turn for some “character assassination,” because they started it. But Obama is right: Keep the kids out of politics. Chances are, he’s right about a lot of things.

  • gpc31


    I really don’t have time to debate with you but when it comes to the broader topic of msm bias, let’s try to be clear: “bias” is not synonymous with your formulation of simply making things up (your challenge to specify “what has the msm made up”).

    If you want to examine source evidence for msm bias, I suggest you go to:

    And click anyone of the following labels on left side panel: “media bias”, “eerie code of silence”, “economy”, “Al Qaeda in Iraq”, etc.

    I’m a bayesian and not a rhetorician when it comes to evidence. Good luck making up your own mind.

  • dg

    Dagon, Bookworm, although obviously intelligent and articulate, does this a lot. But she cannot help herself. It’s her weakness, her indulgence. She just loves the liberal straw man.

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  • suek

    MM has two articles today that are especially relevant. The first one addresses the topic of “show me ONE credible media source that is floating this.”, the second one is just a very thoughtful article on the western method for keeping females in line. A long time ago, my husband brought home a fairly thin book titled “How to live with an S.O.B. Withough Becoming One of Them”, and was primarily concerned with working with a boss – or people – that constantly made you feel bad about yourself – and how that happened. It’s about how people “put you in your place”. It was not geared to the male/female relationship particularly, but it still applied. MM’s article takes some of the principles and puts them into media context. Very interesting – and visible in this particular case.

    I think that the reason this is such an eye-opener for many is because it’s usually a subtle sort of below consciousness level kind of thing. This has been full-blown, hard, fast and ‘in your face’. You just can’t miss it or dismiss it. It’s _there_.

  • dagon


    us magazine is NOT a mainstream news source. it’s the national enquirer with glossier pages. also, no where did i see any mention to some assertion that todd palin is the father of his daughter’s child.

    are you just making stuff up?


  • suek

    >>us magazine is NOT a mainstream news source. >>

    Please supply us with a list of “approved” mainstream news sources so we know who we may reference with your approval.

    >>also, no where did i see any mention to some assertion that todd palin is the father of his daughter’s child.>>

    So what? You just said you only consider certain sources. Obviously it was mentioned in a source that you’re unfamiliar with.

    >>are you just making stuff up?>>

    Please indicate where I made any reference to this.

  • MrBob

    your “what is truth” argument if it is one is a straw man. Truth was standing right in front of Pilate and he could not see it.
    There is truth, and there are lies. There is a right and there is a wrong. What they are doing to Palin is wrong and it is evil.
    I hope she knocks it out of the park tonight.

  • Ymarsakar

    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.

    That is being misinformed, Book. Not exactly better than “uninformed”, now is it.