Baier: Purdum's Vanity Fair Hit Piece Example of 'Palin Derangement Syndrome'

“Another case of Sarah Palin derangement syndrome has reared its ugly head,” FNC's Bret Baier announced Tuesday night in citing Todd Purdum's lengthy piece in the August issue of Vanity Fair magazine, “It Came from Wasilla.” Purdum, a New York Times reporter for 23 years until leaving the paper in 2006, is married to ex-Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.

In the “Grapevine” segment, Baier recounted how Purdum was appalled by “a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded,” quoted “an anonymous friend of presidential nominee John McCain as referring to Palin as quote, 'little shop of horrors,'” and charged “that on the campaign trail aides quote, 'worried about her mental state: Was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression?'” Plus, “quote: 'No political principle or personal relationship is more sacred than her own ambition.'”

In “Liberal Media and GOP Hacks vs. Palin” on the Weekly Standard's blog, Bill Kristol denounced the “hit piece” from the “lefty” Purdum:
You don't have to be a big Palin fan to recognize the article is full of dubious claims, and is dependent on self-serving stories provided on background by some of the people who ran the McCain campaign into the ground.
Kristol highlighted how Purdum claimed: “More than once in my travels in Alaska, people brought up, without prompting, the question of Palin’s extravagant self-regard. Several told me, independently of one another, that they had consulted the definition of 'narcissistic personality disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 'a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy' – and thought it fit her perfectly.”

Kristol marveled:
Is there any real chance that “several” Alaskans independently told Purdum that they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? I don’t believe it for a moment. I’ve (for better or worse) moved in pretty well-educated circles in my life, and I’ve gone decades without “several” people telling me they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Baier's item in the “Grapevine” segment on the Tuesday, June 30 Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:
Another case of Sarah Palin derangement syndrome has reared its ugly head, apparently. Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum writes in a piece titled, "It Came From Wasilla," quote: "What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded?" Purdum quotes an anonymous friend of presidential nominee John McCain as referring to Palin as quote, "little shop of horrors."

He writes that on the campaign trail aides quote, "worried about her mental state: Was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression?" And that quote, "no political principle or personal relationship is more sacred than her own ambition."

One blogger [Tom Bevan] at Real Clear Politics calls it a hit piece quote: "Complete with a slew of juicy, negative quotes from insiders and a smoothly crafted narrative that demeans and diminishes Palin's accomplishments."

And even liberal Salon.com Web site [Alex Koppelman] calls it quote "devastatingly critical...Todd Purdum paints Palin as a narcissistic egomaniac unable to take the advice of others."
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