Will Newsweek Eat This Headline? 'Why Sarah Palin Is Likely to Belly-Flop'

When athletes trash-talk their opponents before a big game, their comments often go up in the opponents’ locker room for motivation. Something tells me Jonathan Alter’s trash-talking in Newsweek is in Sarah Barracuda’s locker. The piece was headlined "Why Sarah Palin is Likely to Belly-Flop." (It doesn’t have that title online, but that was the header yesterday on Newsweek's list of most-read stories.) Alter is looking forward to Palin being "grilled," as if she was going on with the mooseburgers:

The problem is that politics, like all professions, isn't as easy as it looks. Palin's odds of emerging unscathed are slim. In fact, she's been all but set up for failure, which is yet another reason McCain's choice may prove to be irresponsible.The McCain camp will have to either let her wing it based on a few briefing memos (highly risky) or prevent her from taking questions from reporters (a confession that she's unprepared). Either way, she's likely to belly-flop at a time when McCain can least afford it.

I imagine Alter might be sweating as he rereads this after her crowd-thrilling Wednesday night speech. They gave her perfect tens for nailing the dive.It’s also ridiculous that Alter, the champion of the "public character" of a certain sex-addicted, intern-canoodling president he called "our rogue prince of prosperity,"  would try to swoop on "what Alaskans call ‘Troopergate.’"

Palin's claim that she had "nothing to do" with the firing will hardly go unchallenged. Because the media loves scandal of any kind, especially one involving the potential use of public power to settle private family scores, this story could prove a distraction to the McCain campaign all fall.

That sounds like both a threat and a promise. But it's deeply, thoroughly hypocritical of every journalist who huffed at the original Arkansas Troopergate, and the abuse of White House travel office director Billy Dale, and the collection of Republican FBI files. And....

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis