A liberal defends the media’s savage attack on Palin

Last week, I recommended that you read Carl Cannon’s Sarah “Barracuda” Palin and the Piranhas of the Press.  Cannon, who holds no brief for Palin, nevertheless thinks that the press’s behavior once she was on the national scene demonstrates that the American media is in freefall.

Cannon begins by pointing out that, after offering their opinions (“Sarah is an idiot”) as fact, the media moved on to relaying rumors as actual news stories.  These rumors included (but certainly are not limited to) the claims that Trig was in fact Bristol’s son, that she advocated book burning, and that she was a Patrick Buchanan supporter.  Minimal investigation, of the type the MSM was unwilling to make, would instantly have disproven each of these scurrilous charges.

What particularly incensed Cannon, though, was the media’s handling of the Vice Presidential debate.  While Palin’s showing was unpolished and she made errors, Biden went off the deep end with lies, lies, and idiocies.  A fair media would have reported on both side’s errors.  Our media, however, attacked Cannon and gave Biden a free pass.

This is old history for you, although Cannon sews it together so well.  What’s new is the reaction I got from one of my very liberal friends when I posted a link to Cannon’s article on facebook, along with my comment that it’s time for the American media to become like the British media, and simply announce its political orientation up front.

My liberal friend was incensed by the article.  What was so funny was his justification for thinking it was a bad article.  I won’t quote my friend here, but the bottom line was his belief that Cannon’s essay should not be taken seriously because Palin was such an unserious figure.  In other words, the press was under no obligation to report honestly about her (or about Biden), because she didn’t deserve to be elected.

Think about that:  my friend believes that it is the media’s responsibility to weed out bad candidates by whatever means possible, including lying to and withholding information from the American people.  I’ve heard of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, democracies, but my friend is now proposing a media-ocracy (a concept that sounds remarkably close to mediocrity).  I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the scariest damn things I’ve ever heard.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    I make no bones about it, I think Palin is a breath of clear-thinking, can-do fresh air. I hope that she continues to speak out.

    Recently, we were asked by Liberal friends what we thought of Palin’s resignation. I mentioned that I can’t think of anyone that was more unfairly slandered and that even the Mafia knows to leave kids alone. Their response was that Rush Limbaugh and McCain had slandered Chelsea Clinton, too. I told them that I had never heard of this and would fact-check it, but even if true, it did not excuse what the Liberal/Fascists did to Palin’s kids (to their credit, our friends eventually agreed with me that children should be completely off limits).

    I did go and check on the internet to see if Rush and McCain had made such cracks about Chelsea. Turns out, each of one them made one inappropriate joke each (in 8 years) about Chelsea Clinton to insider Republican groups, comments that were not well received by the audience and, to my knowledge, were never repeated. That’s it! And yet in the Liberal/Lefty world, this is morally equivalent?

    The other outrageous omission about Palin by the MSM is how it ignored or otherwise covered up the arson of her church while children were inside, an event that occurred just before last Christmas. In the Liberal/Left world view, apparently, it is still OK to burn crosses in order to terrorize people. I don’t think that the symbolism in this event is over-exaggerated.

    Sorry for the harsh language, but the treatment of Palin and the failure of any leading Democrat to speak out against such removed any shadow of doubt in my mind that Democrat/Lefties are vile, broken A**H**** in serious need of professional help. But, at least, Sarah Palin exposed them for what they are…we now know know exactly the nature of the enemy, and it is an ugly one indeed.

  • Mike Devx

    Book says:
    I’ve heard of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, democracies, but my friend is now proposing a media-ocracy (a concept that sounds remarkably close to mediocrity). I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the scariest damn things I’ve ever heard.

    Well, Book, if your government is functionally chosen by a group of priests, who claim their government is not a theocracy, it is still a theocracy isn’t it?

    If Cannon is right, Sarah Palin was eliminated from serious contention by the media. Therefore, if your government is functionally chosen by a group of media personalities who claim their government is not a mediacracy, it is stilla mediacracy, isn’t it?

    So if Cannon is right, then your friend does in fact already have a mediacracy here in America, and he likes it. But the only reason he likes it is because it shares his views.

    Give him a conservative national media that controls all the news that the American public hears and sees, and selects or dismisses his candidates for him, and he would be literally exploding from rage.

    I’ve been saying for some time two things: “Be careful what you ask for, because you may get it”, and “The Republicans need to make it crystal clear to the Democrats, that anything the Democrats do to them while in power, they can expect EXACTLY the same behavior in return once the worm turns”.

    If you’ll pardon the phrase: Payback is a bitch, in other words. Or, it ought to be. But these Republicans we currently have “speaking for us” are far too nice a bunch of guys and gals to execute that kind of revenge payback. They want to be loved and cuddled, not feared, by their liberal opponents. So the Democrats are gleefully racing along, enacting everything they wish using every brutal tool of total power that they can. Because they know there’s no downside to it. There are no repercussions. Their Republican opponents are toothless, inoffensive little mice squeaking, “please play nice, please play nice!”

    Is it because our little Republican mice lost the courage of their convictions? Or because they never had them to begin with? There are a few of them beginning to speak up loudly, but far too few, far too few to make any difference.

    You’ll never get 51% of the American public to elect a political party of squeaking little inoffensive mice, no matter how badly this liberal Statist experiment collapses into disaster around us. Even if we had a fair mediacracy, it wouldn’t happen.

    There’s always hope, though. The American public may turn on these Statists once this experiment collapses into disaster. Then, at some point afterwards, strong-minded, strong-willed conservative candidates with conviction will run for office – and the American people may well elect them. And if those new candidates run within and are elected within the GOP, and kick these current sorry-assed squeaking little Republican mice out of Washington, then all can still, in the end, turn out fine. There’s never a reason to give up hope!

  • Charles Martel

    Well, Book, I now understand better than ever why you started this blog. As a fellow Marinite, I know what it’s like to be surrounded by dimwittery that is not only colossal but often credentialed.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when you are having a conversation with one of your liberal friends. I think I’d focus on your face as the struggle to not groan, burst out laughing or roll your eyes would be the most interesting part of the scene.

  • suek

    >>Turns out, each of one them made one inappropriate joke each >>

    Not only that, but the jokes were insults, not slanders. Not that I think it was “ok” to insult Chelsea, but slander is a different thing. I don’t think you can take a person to court for insulting you – you _can_ for slander. I hope Palin starts taking people to court.

    And look what they’re doing to Ricci…the fireman Sotero decided against. And Joe the Plumber.

    It’s the Alinsky thing all the way.

    And Mike – I agree. It’s time to lose the “nice” image. “Nice guys finish last” is something we need to remember. They don’t insult muslims either.

  • Zhombre

    A couple of random thoughts.

    We’re not in a mediacracy; with Al Franken’s elevation to the Senate, I’d say we’re in a burgeoning idiocracy. But then, I am an irascible old geezer who never sat through an entire episode of American Idol and firmly believes watching network news or reading Time and Newsweek destroys brain cells.

    Regarding Palin, of whom I am not that great an admirer, I think the press treatment of her was appalling — they flocked around her like a hysterical troop of white blood cells determined to destroy this infection — and I agree with the assessment of David Goldman writing on-line as Spengler in Asia Times, that Sarah Palin represents both the best and worst of America: yes, she is unsophisticated, provincial, badly educated, uninformed, and not ready for prime time, but her lack of slick is compensated for by her authenticity. This is a woman of very modest origins and education, with a forceful personality, who ran a small business and kept a family together, and Got Involved — that great activist sine qua non — in local politics and progressed from small town mayor to reform minded governor of the last pioneer state. That the Stepford liberal snobs abhor her says more about them than her.

  • Oldflyer

    Badly educated Zhombre? Based on what criteria? Are you any more aware of the standing of the U of Idaho as an educational institution than are the likes of Noonan, Olberman, et al? What if she did not even attend a University? Would she necessarily be badly educated? What University did George Washington attend? Abraham Lincoln? I fear you have fallen into the same mind-set as many others.

    Provincial? Just for the hell of it, name a 45 year old woman who has accomplished more at this stage of her life. Name one who has traveled the country speaking her beliefs and attracting a devoted following of millions? Sure she made mistakes. Did McCain? Did Biden? Did Obama? Did any of the three, or any other candidate, face the unrelenting hostility from the media and the left wing ideologues that she faced?

    I do agree that she was not ready for a national campaign. On the other hand she did not force herself onto the national scene. McCain came looking for her; she did not seek out the national spotlight. As she herself has said; when the door opened, she went through it. In retrospect I imagine she wishes she had not gone through that particular door, because other doors would certainly have opened in good time.

    I also agree that she is an authentic breath of fresh air. That is part of her problem She is a threat to stale, old Pols and members of the chattering class, who have reached a cozy level of comfort with each other. As some commentator remarked today (it may have been Mark Levin) there is a fairly large segment of the population in this country that cannot tolerate an attractive, accomplished woman with conservative beliefs. Unfortunately, many of them control the microphones and printing presses.

    Sarah Palin has become a national obsession. No one knows what she will do next; and few are willing to wait until she speaks before they speculate and pontificate.

  • suek

    >>they flocked around her like a hysterical troop of white blood cells determined to destroy this infection>>

    Very good! I _like_ that description!

  • highlander

    The main revelation of the 2008 campaign for me had nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats, but everything to do with the mainstream media who revealed themselves as a propaganda organ of the left.

    Some journalists went beyond even that.

    They became — not columnists — but calumnists, competing with one another to see who could come up with the most outrageous things to say about Sarah Palin and simply making up ugly things to say as they saw fit.

    Middle School kids do things like that. Adults don’t.

  • Zhombre

    Oldflayer, you flay me. OK, let me respond. I do not mean to denigrate the University of Idaho. Idaho is fine with me. I love Idaho. Sun Valley, finest potatoes in north America, Hemingway’s last refuge, oh God bless Idaho. And Olberman is a genuine jerk, IMHO. But nothing about Palin suggests she is particularly erudite or that her education is wide in its parameters. That’s not a slam. I do not look down on her. Far from it. As for provincial, that’s not really pejorative. Alaska is far from the Lower 48 and far from the urban centers of the Midwest and NE and I doubt Palin has deep experience of the wider world. That is not a qualitative criticism so much as a quantitative one. And I neither denigrate her accomplishments. Her ‘can do’ attitude and her accomplishments in Alaskan politics are admirable. As for attracting a “devoted following of millions,” so what? Obama did that. So do the incipient cults of Michael Jackson and freaking Princess Di. So did many people. Attracting followers is one thing. Leading is another. Palin wasn’t ready for prime time when McCain, with his grandstanding zeal brought forth Palin like Popeye opening a can of spinach, and she got lambasted by the prissy bullies of the media. I’ll wait to see what she does now, independently.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Zhombre, for a moment there I thought you were describing Harry Truman, the haberdasher homebody from Missouri who never even got a college degree…from Idaho or wherever.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Palin wasn’t ready for prime time when McCain, with his grandstanding zeal brought forth Palin like Popeye opening a can of spinach, and she got lambasted by the prissy bullies of the media.

    That means McCain wasn’t ready.

  • BrianE

    Her awkward syntax and speech patterns of talking are both her strength and weakness. It establishes her authentity. Were she to pithisize her speeches, she would appear to be more like them. The them right now are politicians, who we can’t believe, and the talking heads, who we can’t trust.
    Once she finishes her book, she can head out on the book circuit, hopefully spending time with folks like Brian Lamb, where she can articulate her core principles. That should give us an opportunity to see if there is any there there.

    I hope the “drill, baby, drill” line wasn’t hers though. That will be the fight we need to wage in 2010, hopefully with a slogan that isn’t quite so irritating.

    I like this one- “no oil for pacifists”.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    As for provincial, that’s not really pejorative

    It is in this context.

    Provincial=not my tribe. In this analogy, the Left is to Sarah Palin as the Cave Man is to a Stranger. See Stranger, Kill Stranger.

    Spengler’s own forum is the proof

    Those are not his views. Those are just his crowd.

    These are his views

    The point of the matter is that Edwards was right about there being two Americans. Half of America wants to see justice done, the other half wants to purge their sins through graft, favoritism, government muscle, and so forth. One side believes guilt is best expiated through good works while the other side believes scapegoats and a hate receptacle is all they need to expiate guilt.

    One half of America believes in the theory of aristocracy, which says a select few of good breeding and educational background have the skills required to rule, and only those select few elites in the West are valid rulers. The other half of America believes the process of competition produces qualified leaders.

    Certainly America has become polarized. But that’s not because the people changed. It’s because the language changed. White vs black. Rich vs poor. Military vs civilians. Well educated ivy league vs non-ivy league. The powerful vs the non-powerful. The politically well connected, the politically non-adroit. Provincial vs cosmopolitan. Citizen of America vs citizen of the world.

    These are concepts which are communicated every time an American speaks, writes, or read.

    The overarching principle that a good education is beneficial to a person is no longer relevant, because the context of that principle, that of a good education, is meaningless when the very idea of “education” becomes certification of one’s qualifications for the aristocracy. What is left then? Trade school skills, ala utilization abilities: those are what is left to be taught, given that Americans have proportioned more abstract and cerebral fields to themselves.

    The only requirement of a good king, executive, or president is that they hold the nation together, and in so doing allow other factors to continue to strengthen that nation, which consists of their people.

    All these foreign policy questions and whatevers are just indirect litmus tests. They, like the aspect of a judge’s political party, do not strictly determine what their philosophy and future behavior on the bench will be.

    There are no professional Presidents. A person that is at a job for 4-8 years is not a professional. At best, he is a very very competent journeyman nearing master level. Thus this idea that you need to prepare for the Presidency through years and years of whatever, is nonsense. Competition is what will decide things in the end, not a strictly defined number of years or training, and not definitely not decided by mysterious agents with ulterior motives.

    A republic that is ruled by a system for the people needs educated people, so that the system is by the people and not just over the people. They do not need educated leaders, except in so far as the leaders need an education to know what the people are telling them to do. The strength and wisdom of a leader is not imparted through education. Alexander was educated by one of the greatest philosophers of the age, Aristotle. Look what he used that education of his for. And look how it all turned out.

    Issues of education and questions of policy will always be eternally subjective tests for a candidate. Thus fragmentation and disagreement will always result. Some people have less education and may want their leader to have more education, or they may see education as being unimportant. Those with several decades of formal education will usually never tolerate those that have less.

    I know plenty of people who think they know military history, because they read some things in a book. I know plenty of people who can recite the timeline of what they claim is the “WMD story”. These are not people disinterested in foreign policy. But it doesn’t make them right. Knowing facts does not equal knowing knowledge. Knowing what has transpired in the past is no indication that one knows what should transpire in the future. These aspects can increase the chance, the luck, of the draw, but it is not certain. What is certain when it comes to judging human behavior is personality, past behavior, and current psychological profile (aka character).

    A megalomaniac/sociopath has a particular character that is different from the character of someone like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, to use two examples. Americans would have done us all a favor had they asked the important questions about Obama and Sarah Palin, and not just the superficial tests that the Western elite aristocrats preferred the masses to ask. Because americans didn’t ask about Obama’s character, only about his policies, people are supporting him so long as they get their kick back bribe. Cause the policies were all they voted for, and it will be all that they expected. Character? Honesty? What are those? They have no value to Obama’s voters. No value whatsoever.

    As for attracting a “devoted following of millions,” so what? Obama did that. So do the incipient cults of Michael Jackson and freaking Princess Di. So did many people. Attracting followers is one thing. Leading is another.

    You don’t judge the quality of people in an army by numbers. You don’t judge the quality of a leader by the numbers in their army, either.

    A mass murderer with a loyal following of millions of sadists and serial killers is not the same as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or Harry Truman.

    Any loyalist of America and its Constitution should have known this already. It should not have to be said.

    Attracting followers is not one thing. It is the only thing. Or do you think Obama can gain the loyalty of the US Marines just because he was elected President? Just like that.

    People forget all too often that you don’t get to lead, unless people are willing to follow. And people ain’t gonna be willing to follow unless they believe in you or something that serves the same purpose. To reiterate my point, a leader does not exist if nobody is on the wagon. Thus it isn’t split between “a mass following” and “leadership”. Rather it is integral to itself, in which leadership is the cause of that “mass following” of whatever kind or stripe.

    If people will remember the incident with Flight 93 on 9/11, they may wish to ask themselves when was the question ever raised concerning the expertise, qualifications, and training of the passengers of Flight 93 when it comes to leading small units, conducting tactical operations planning and execution, hostage crisis management, negotiations with Middle Easterners, and etc etc “qualifications”.

    Would they have necessarily passed the “test” that current America would have given them? No, they would not have. Why, given their actual performance? Because current America is not fit to judge the qualities of leadership. That judgment is only valid from a peer. And there are few peers of real leaders in America in comparison to the total number of people voting.

    Things were simpler when you could just vote in your neighbor as mayor or even Governor. Simpler, but not necessarily easier.

  • Gringo

    Danny, Sarah Palin also reminds me of Truman, who was the last President to not have a college degree. One difference in Truman’s and Palin’s education was that Truman was well-read in ancient literature and history. I doubt that Palin was- but I am not all that well read in ancient literature and history myself.

    While Palin may not be ready for prime time, neither are our POTUS and VPOTUS. Anyone recall Obama’s “inflating tires is the energy equivalent of increased drilling” gaffe, for which he never apologized nor acknowledged he made a mistake? The vituperation heaped upon Palin was horrible.

    Regarding going tit-for-tat with the Democrats, I am not sure I want to stoop to their level. But we DO need to make the powers that be that we are paying attention. I would endorse a non-stop call in campaign to our elected representatives in DC to heap scorn on their heads for voting for 800-page bills that they haven’t read. Go to their local offices, well prepared, and shame their aides. We need to make them AFRAID of their constituents, and ashamed that they were asleep at the wheel. Those with Democratic representation, get on the stick.

    A Garden of Piggish Delights , from National Review, gives a good overview on the Cap and Trade Bill. Just think if each Senator got 100 angry constituents to discuss the bill, and if something similar had been done for the Representatives. The NR article will give us “laymen” some ammo to fire at our elected representatives in Congress.

    Yes, BrianE, nooilforpacifists is a good blog.