Newsweek Uses Year-End Edition to Take Potshots at Palin

Newsweek sprinkled throughout its year-end double issue, with Barack Obama on the cover as the #1 member of “The New Global Elite,” a bunch of potshots at Sarah Palin -- and even derided teen daughter Bristol too. In a list of those who committed “low behavior” during 2008 (which did at least also highlight John Edwards), the magazine accused Sarah Palin of a “smear” against Barack Obama, on another page Newsweek described her as an “ill-informed, inarticulate shopaholic” (while on the same page hailing MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as a “brilliant” woman who “gives libs a happy new voice”) and deep in the December 29/January 5 edition the magazine ridiculed Bristol Palin: “For 30 years, the Moral Majority has promoted 'abstinence only.' Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin...how's that working out?” The specifics:

Page 21, a list of “The Biggest Losers” of 2008 “who set the high-water mark for low behavior in 2008,” featured Palin: “In a smear that sounds even worse in retrospect, Sarah Palin goes rogue and stirs up prejudice by accusing Barack Obama of 'palling around with terrorists.'”

Ten pages later, in a full-page year in review version of the “Conventional Wisdom Watch” (not yet online in the posted CW), the newsweekly hit her and McCain, but admired Maddow:
Sarah Palin: Ill-informed, inarticulate shopaholic has ego bigger than Alaska -- and she's still the darling of the GOP.

John McCain: Hard to forgive the nasty end-game, and Palin pick was irresponsible. But classy concession speech and Letterman gig.

Rachel Maddow: Brilliant, ebullient, lefty lesbian gives libs a happy new voice. Will MSNBC be Obama's Fox?
“Will”?

Finally, page 79 has “The Power Index” (also seemingly not online) with a list of the magazine's arguments for whether figures in the news in 2008 were a “player or pretender?” Under “pretender,” Newsweek discredited the Christian Right and Palin:
Christian Right: For 30 years, the Moral Majority has promoted "abstinence only." Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin...how's that working out?

Sarah Palin: She seemed like McCain's silver bullet...until she opened her mouth. A 2012 contender if she starts boning up on issues. Now.
Ken Shepherd's earlier post on the same issue of the magazine: “Newsweek Buries 2008 with Obit Bias.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center