NYT's Palin Panic: Four Hit Pieces On Alaska Gov in One Day

The New York Times is clearly in full meltdown mode concerning the popularity of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and is having a hard time covering up its obvious state of panic.

In its popular Sunday edition, the Gray Lady published four hit pieces about the Alaska Governor: a 3,100-word article prominently placed on the front page; two scathing columns by Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd, and; an article questioning Palin's husband's role in their state's government.

That's over 6,000 words about the vice presidential nominee, most of them quite hostile as evidenced by the following from Dowd's piece (emphasis added):

I’ve been in Alaska only a week, but I’m already feeling ever so much smarter about Russia. [...]

An Arctic blast of action has swept into the 2008 race, making thinking passé. We don’t really need to hurt our brains studying the world; we just need the world to know we’re capable of bringing a world of hurt to the world if the world continues to be hell-bent on misbehaving.

Two weeks after being thrown onto a national ticket, and moments after being speed-briefed by McCain foreign-policy advisers, our new Napoleon in bunny boots (not the Pamela Anderson kind, but the knock-offs of the U.S. Army Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boots) is ready to face down the Russkies and start a land war over Georgia, and, holy cow, what business is it of ours if Israel attacks Iran? [...]

Like W., Sarah has the power of positive unthinking. But now we may want to think about where ignorance and pride and no self-doubt has gotten us. Being quick on the trigger might be good in moose hunting, but in dealing with Putin, a little knowledge might come in handy.

How pleasant. But there was more, for next up was Frank Rich who disgracefully made the case that Palin's experience or lack thereof is vital because John McCain "is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive" (emphasis added):

A week ago the question was: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?

It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.

The ambitious Palin and the ruthless forces she represents know it, too. You can almost see them smacking their lips in anticipation, whether they’re wearing lipstick or not.

Wow. Talk about hateful stuff.

Having nicely attacked Mrs. Palin -- lest we not forget the 3,100-word hit piece on Sarah prominently placed on the front page as previously analyzed by NewsBusters -- the Times set its sights on her husband (emphasis added):

It is not necessarily clear whether Mr. Palin is helping shape his wife’s agenda or simply advocating for it, nor whether he ever put pressure on lawmakers, but his role has not been the customary one of a governor’s spouse in Alaska.

That has made many people in government uncomfortable and often confused over how to react.

“My colleagues told me he was lobbying for the governor’s position on oil taxes,” State Representative Jay Ramras, a Republican who is chairman of the House judiciary committee, said of one instance last year when he saw Mr. Palin outside the legislative chamber before a key vote. “I think that when the spouse of an elected governor steps away from safe issues that are nonpartisan in nature, that it is bad for the legislative and executive branches, and Todd Palin would not be an exception to that.”

Add it up, and the Times devoted over 6,000 words to attacking anything called Palin in Sunday's edition.

By contrast, the name Obama was scarcely visible. I guess his brand of change is something you can believe in only if not discussed too much.

As a result, the good folks at the Times must feel the only way Obama can win is if they tear down his opponent who, at this time anyway, they seem to feel is Palin and not McCain.

How telling.

On the flipside, the utter state of panic at the Times -- and in the media at large -- is so encompassing that it is making journalists go against their own best interests.

After all, every day a press member spends talking about Palin and NOT Obama is a victory for McCain. As such, the Arizona Senator and his campaign staff are loving every minute of this.

Keep it up, folks.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.