More than any other Republican presidential prospect, Sarah Palin draws white-hot journalistic loathing. She’s too red-state, too gun-toting, too religious, and too unwilling to abort a disabled “fetus.” Even so, filmmaker Steve Bannon remains deeply optimistic his forthcoming Palin documentary “The Undefeated” will sway the media to see Palin in a different light.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker turned filmmaker, told National Review’s Kathryn Lopez that once he and his producing partner delved into Palin’s life story, “we decided that not just the American people but even the mainstream media were both fair and decent -- that when presented with something that represented a completely different point of view they would be at least open to considering it.”
While the AP noted that "Palin’s attorney did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story," it appears the news wire made no further attempt to provide balance to its May 23 story, which chiefly conveys the former staffer's perspective on Palin's tenure in office as Alaska governor.
The media seems to take an exceptional interest in Senator Lisa Murkowski when she’s uttering liberal talking points on ‘compromise’ or when she’s blasting Sarah Palin as being ‘not worldly enough’ for the office of the Presidency.
Case in point, as NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth pointed out, CBS recently highlighted Murkowski’s claim that she believes Palin lacks the ‘intellectual curiosity’ to run in 2012. And the rest of the main stream media ran with it, as reports on the ‘intellectual curiosity’ slap began cropping up at MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
Then of course, there is the Anchorage Daily News (ADN), who’s seemingly made a living in coming to Murkowski’s aid. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that they were reporting on a Republican letter urging Tea Party candidate, Joe Miller, to start answering questions about his background, and offered their own editorial suggesting that personal matters are indeed fair game in an election.
On Monday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric filed a report on Senator Lisa Murkowski in which she highlighted the Alaska Republican’s criticism of the Tea Party movement requiring a "purity test," and of Sarah Palin being "not worldly enough" to be President. After describing Murkowski as "one of a dying breed of moderate Republicans," without noting that Tea Party Republican Joe Miller was dragged down by personal scandal, Couric passed on that "Murkowski claims she’s winning because she represents all Alaskans."
A clip of Murkowski complained: "I do not pass the purity test that the Tea Party has set out. ... But I don't think most people in my state pass that. There's a lot of people in Alaska that are pretty anti-government, but I think they would also agree that, well, maybe the best thing is not that we shut government down."
A clip of the Alaska Senator was shown in which she asserted that she does not wish for President Obama to fail as Couric relayed Murkowski’s desire to "compromise":
Reporters from a CBS affiliate in Alaska recently left an accidental voicemail message for an aide to Senate candidate Joe Miller, in which producers are heard discussing the possibility of reporting on the appearance of a child molester at a Miller rally. Essentially, they could be heard conspiring to create or fabricate stories. The incident was so outrageous, it prompted Sarah Palin to refer to the reporters as ‘corrupt bastards.’
After initially claiming their employees were taken out of context, the General Manager at KTVA has announced the termination of two individuals involved in the conversation.
“The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening's Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went downhill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards. As a result of this incident, the two producers involved in the recorded conversation are no longer with the station.”
This is a far cry from the station’s original response to the incident, in which they stated:
Here's the story, as relayed by Big Gov's Publius (HT Dan Riehl):
... (A) voice mail message was inadvertently left on the cell phone of Joe Miller campaign spokesperson Randy DeSoto.
The voices are believed to be those of the news director for CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussing creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller.
It’s no secret that the nation is preparing for a GOP tidal wave with significant conservative victories in the Senate and House next Tuesday. The election has essentially focused on domestic economic policy. Conservative candidates have been gaining ground with a popular job growth/lower taxes/revive the economy mantra.
But desperate liberal Democrats have suddenly shifted the focus from the economy to divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, and the mainstream media have been more than willing to give them a platform. Media personalities like Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Eleanor Clift are loudly voicing concerns over the future of gay marriage and the legal status of abortion.
Back in September 2008, MSNBC's Chris Matthews floated a specious allegation that then-Governor Sarah Palin had ties to an advocate of Alaskan secession named Joe Vogler. Although the charge was roundly discredited, it was one of the many early attempts to smear Palin as a wacky extremist.
Two years later, it appears at least one writer for a liberal magazine thinks Alaskan secession would be a fun little topic to bat around the Web.
That's why one needs to mix it up, perhaps by suggesting that they're akin to the radical Islamic clerics that inspire terrorism.
Just ask MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
During the "Political Sideshow" segment of his June 1 program, the "Hardball" host compared Sarah Palin's Facebook page posting about author Joe McGinniss renting the house next door to a "fatwa" aimed at "rev[ving] up anger at the author" from amongst her "mob" of followers [MP3 audio available here]:
With all the major news stories and developments out there, the editorial board at the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman in Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin's hometown, is bemused, bewildered, and somewhat befuddled at the national media's interest in a privacy fence (HT Michelle Malkin) on residential property.
The just-built fence is on Palin's property. Its purpose is to frustrate the prying eyes of author Joe McGinnis, who has moved into a house next door for what is said to be the next five months.
The Palins are understandably none too pleased at the orchestrated attempt at privacy invasion that appears to either be funded by or will ultimately be reimbursed by publishing giant Random House. Readers here will share that feeling once they see who is expending precious newsroom resources trying to follow the McGinnis v. Palin saga instead of dealing with legitimate news stories.
Here is some of what the Frontiersman had to say on Saturday (bolds are mine):
Time's Michael Crowley, late of the liberal publication The New Republic, took to his new magazine's Swampland blog with a salutatory post yesterday. After the obligatory kind words about how excited he was to be on board "another great [journalistic] institution," Crowley laid out his case about why author Joe McGinniss was foolish for renting a house right next door to the Palin family's Wasilla residence.
He did take a few swipes at Palin in the process -- arguing Palin is on a mission to discredit journalists and this just bolsters her argument -- but Crowley's case is the polar opposite of Slate's Jack Shafer, who defiantly praised McGinniss's journalistic "a**holery." Here's the relevant excerpt from Crowley's May 27 post (emphases mine):
On Monday's Countdown show, substitute hosted by liberal MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell, during a segment with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter about former Governor Sarah Palin's resignation speech from the weekend, Alter referred to what he called Palin's "fibs" and "absurdities" as he reminded viewers that she is very popular in the Republican party despite the flaws Alter and his ilk see in her. Alter: "She is now an icon within the Republican party, and we can, you know, laugh at her and point out all of her fibs and all of her absurdities, but she has a hard core constituency within that party that suggests that her career is not entirely over."
Alter later recounted some of the elements of her weekend speech, including "attacking the national media," and contended that her words would play well with Republicans, "even if it rubs us the wrong way." Alter:
On the Saturday Early Show on the morning of July 4, CBS anchor Priya David mocked Sarah Palin’s famous phrase, "You betcha," as she introduced a report by correspondent Nancy Cordes on the Alaska governor’s decision to resign from office. David: "Resign from office? You betcha. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin dropped a political bombshell Friday, announcing that she's leaving her post, but her future plans remain a mystery."
Unlike her report on the CBS Evening News from the previous night, this time Cordes refrained from referring to Palin’s speech as "rambling" and "confusing," but she did run a soundbite of the Politico’s Mike Allen calling Palin’s decision "odd." Allen: "If you’re trying to promote yourself as a steady leader, this is an odd way to run for President." On Friday night, Cordes had run a soundbite of Allen calling the announcement "bizarre." Allen: "This is very unusual, even bizarre. Governors just don't stop in the middle of their terms when there’s no clear reason."
Below is a complete transcript of the relevant report from the July 4 CBS Early Show:
Tourism has recently been up a little in Juneau, Alaska. More folks than ever have been interested in taking bus tours through Alaska's capital city with a major attraction being the Alaska State House where Governor Sarah Palin goes about her daily work. In fact, the tours have been gaining in popularity since before John McCain asked the governor along for his run for the White House -- Palin being a draw the whole time. The bus tours are so popular that adorable little Piper has even set up a lemonade stand to sell tourists a glass of lemony goodness to quench their thirst for something wet as well as something cute.
And Palin haters in Alaska are livid. They want the bus tours stopped and little Piper's stand razed to the ground. Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS) strikes again. It's an ugly, ugly thing, this PDS and one man in particular is leading the charge but curiously enough his long past of agitation and his criminal record don't quite seem to be making any of the stories in the Old Media.
My therapist told me to take two shots at Chris Matthews and call him in the morning . . .
Mike Barnicle is back to looking down his nose at bloggers. After Mika Brzezinski claimed on today's Morning Joe that "blogging isn't journalism," the former Boston Globe columnist declared that "95%, 99% of blogging isn't journalism. It's therapy for the blogger."
The predicate was a provocative one. Willie Geist read from an Esquire interview of Sarah Palin in which she said that—long after the issue had been put to rest—the Anchorage Daily News called her—based on allegations in blogs—to ask whether she was indeed the mother of Trig, her youngest child. Palin took that as evidence of continuing problems in the world of "journalism," prompting Mika and Mike to go off on us members of the pajamahadeen.
Remember when you were a kid and you and your best friend got caught doing something you two weren't supposed to be doing? Remember the first words blurted from your mouth was, "Well, it's HIS fault?" It's a common reaction for a kid trying to avoid the wrath of Mom that he knows is coming after getting caught for doing what he knew was wrong in the first place. Well in essence, this is what the executive editor of the Anchorage Daily News, Pat Dougherty, did in reaction to the furious question that Governor Sarah Palin had for the editor's choice of continuing to pursue the idiotic and insulting claim that Sarah is not the real mother of son Trig. In response to being outed, editor Dougherty blamed everyone else for his continuing to publish the ridiculous conspiracy theory that only idiots, hatemongers and fools could believe.
In a good catch by McClatchy Watch, Dougherty gets caught spreading hateful rumors about Governor Palin, gets called out on the fact by Governor Palin herself, then looks back wide-eyed in feigned innocence and points his finger at bloggers and people on the left that have persisted with their own interest in this stupid story.
Governor Mom tapped her foot and asked lil' Dougherty why he's promulgating known lies in his paper and he blurted out, "It's their fault, Mom." Of course, in the adult world, that juvenile excuse does not work. Dougherty needs to take responsibility for what HE placed in the paper HE controls. He should admit that HE just wants to find any way at all to destroy Governor Palin. His faux shock at being exposed is as phony as a three dollar bill.
It would seem New Scientist magazine recently decided to sacrifice credibility in the field of research. Journalistic research, anyway.
In their recent article titled, "Science heroes and villains of 2008,"New Scientist has taken the liberty of naming some noteworthy individuals in the field. As their opening salvo states (emphasis mine):
The collective brain of New Scientist has come up with 8 scientist heroes of the year and people to look out for in 2009, 3 non-scientists who deserve special mention - and two possible bad guys.
Apparently, the collective brain has recently slipped into a vegetative state.
Of the three non-scientists who deserve special mention, one is Philip Munger, an editor of the Progressive Alaska blog, guest of Air America radio broadcasts, and Daily Kos loon. His contribution to science that earns him the status of hero? Claiming that Sarah Palin once told him that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. Ah, my hero. Einstein, Newton, Hawking... and Munger, of course!
There was a fire Friday at Wasilla Bible Church, where GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family are members. The fire did $1 million in damage. The photo at the right is among three that are in a slide show at Wasilla's local paper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, whose story is here.
The Washington Post has a short AP story at Page A02 (more on that shortly). The New York Times has nothing about it on its home page. A Times search on "Palin Church" (without quotes) leads to the same AP story; a review of today's print edition shows that the story appears on Page A41.
Does anyone think a similar fire at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, which Barack Obama attended for almost two decades until earlier this year, would have been as quietly covered -- even if Obama had lost?
Maybe it's just as well that the AP's coverage isn't too prominent yet, because Rachel D'Oro's story added an agenda-driven undercurrent in the last excerpted paragraph:
Seven days before America elects a new leadership team,Newsweek is making a last-ditch attempt to portray GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin as a religious nut.
In her article "Jesus and Witches," Newsweek Religion Editor Lisa Miller suggests Palin believes in witchcraft, thinks the world is coming to a fiery end in her lifetime, and may have a "special sense of destiny" fueled by her "apocalyptic theology" and Alaskan "Last Frontier identity." Miller even hints Palin may be anti-Semitic.
On The Corner, Mark Hemingway underlines just how microscopic an ethical question can be from Sarah Palin's mayoralty and still be cited as breaking national news in an "investigation" by the AP.
She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free "awesome facial" she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The "absolutely gorgeous flowers" she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.
The story was headlined "AP Investigation: Palin got zoning aid, gifts." Most of the story covered a zoning exception Palin got on her lakefront house. AP's Brett Blackledge cites tiny scandals like these as a way to underline "Palin claims she has more executive experience than her opponent and the two presidential candidates, but most of those years were spent running a city with a population of less than 7,000." According to Blackledge, she was suspect from Day One:
The AP is suddenly alarmed that no one is "running Alaska" while Palin is out on the stump with John McCain, so much so that they've published a piece wondering if Alaska is about to sink into the icy grip of the Alaskan tundra, or something, because Palin isn't there. One wonders if the AP is all upset that no one is in Congress representing certain districts of Illinois or Delaware with Obama and Biden roaming the countryside instead of sitting in the Senate? One wonders if the AP has even noticed that Obama has spent less than 200 days in the Senate since he took his seat in that august body in 2005? Talk about rudderless! Talk about short-shrifting the representation of constituents!
The AP is all about the wringing of hands because Palin has been absent from the Alaska governor's office for the last three weeks. I guess the AP isn't aware that Alaska has a Lt. Governor? But, let's face it, the AP doesn't care about Alaska at all because this article is only a thinly disguised excuse to slam Palin for not running to the press to fawn over them and cater to their every need.
Most of this piece is centered on the way McCain and Palin are trying to control the Palin message, as opposed to any real worry that Alaska is running rudderless. In fact, this AP smear piece is a bait and switch, not really about what it seems to be about.
Associated Press writer Matt Volz has been a busy bee covering the Troopergate anti-scandal over the last two weeks. Not surprisingly, he continues to write story after story without citing to the obvious bias underlying the entire investigation.
I am guessing most of you know the basic facts, but here they are in a nutshell. Sarah Palin has an ex-brother-in-law named Mike Wooten. Prior to Palin becoming governor, she and her family filed a formal complaint against Wooten regarding a number of misdeeds including the tasering of a young boy, threatening to kill Palin's father-in-law, and shooting a moose (apparently a heinous crime in Alaska). After Palin became governor, she and her staff had several conversations about Wooten with Walt Monegan, the Public Safety Commissioner. Palin later had a separate dispute with Monegan and offered him a reassignment. Monegan refused - and would later claim he felt pressure to fire Wooten. Palin has repeatedly stated that Monegan was offered reassignment (i.e. fired) for independent reasons and Wooten had nothing to do with it.
From this modest difference of opinion, the Alaska legislature saw fit to order an independent investigation. Although Palin initially welcomed the investigation, once she became John McCain's running mate the probe took a decidedly partisan tone.
New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt evaluated two tough political stories in the Sunday Week in Review, one anti-McCain, the other anti-Palin. While he found the McCain piece fair, he faulted the anti-Palin piece.
In both cases, Times reporters and editors rallied to the defense of the pieces, finding McCain guilty of "demonstrable falsehoods" and Palin of"sometimes petty, peremptory" political leadership in Alaska.
When a newspaper like The Times takes a tough, critical look at a candidate in this year's presidential election, it has to give readers enough solid evidence to make up their own minds about whether it is being accurate and fair. Consider two front-page articles last weekend: I think one delivered the goods and one fell short.
New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney's front-page story on Friday, "Obama Raises Level of Attack As Party Frets," tipped its hand on one part of Barack Obama campaign's strategy: Relying on turnout from its loyal supporters in the press.
By every indication, Mr. Obama's aides underestimated the impact that Mr. McCain's choice of Ms. Palin would have on the race. Mr. Obama and his campaign have seemed flummoxed in trying to figure out how to deal with her. His aides said they were looking to the news media to debunk the image of her as a blue-collar reformer, even as they argued that her power to help Mr. McCain was overstated.
Thursday's New York Times lead story by Elisabeth Bumiller and Michael Cooper covered Palin's rapturously received speech at the Republican Convention Wednesday night, "On Center Stage, Palin Electrifies Convention." After describing how she introduced herself to the "roaring crowd" in St. Paul, the Times threw in this dubious assertion:
But the nomination was a sideshow to the evening's main event, the speech by the little-known Ms. Palin, who was seeking to wrest back the narrative of her life and redefine herself to the American public after a rocky start that has put Mr. McCain's closest aides on edge. Ms. Palin's appearance electrified a convention that has been consumed by questions of whether she was up to the job, as she launched slashing attacks on Mr. Obama's claims of experience.
Actually, only the liberal media was consumed by that question -- Palin was a wildly popular pick even before her impressive convention speech.
So how did Anchorage Daily News reporter Lisa Demer end up speaking with a California doctor and getting her allegedly expert opinion concerning the circumstances surrounding Sarah Palin's pregnancy and birth?
Obviously, I don't know. But it's not like Dr. Laurie Gregg was a local phone call away.
Still, a Sacramento, Calif., obstetrician who is active in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said when a pregnant woman's water breaks, she should go right to the hospital because of the risk of infection. That's true even if the amniotic fluid simply leaks out, said Dr. Laurie Gregg.
"To us, leaking and broken, we are talking the same thing. We are talking doctor-speak," Gregg said.
Is that "doctor-speak," or Democrat-speak?
Well, I don't know, but it could be the latter, because, "oddly enough," there is a Laurie Gregg who is a known Sacramento Democrat and a Golden State political appointee (bold after title is mine):
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't just a pro-life politician. She recently proved she's pro-life by personal example. In an age when many parents receive the news that they're carrying a baby with Down syndrome and then "terminate" the pregnancy," Gov. Palin gave birth to a son with Down syndrome and announced her delight at God's blessing. The national news rarely covers much from Alaska, but this story also has a heartwarming pro-life angle, which offers a political reason for the media to go whistling past it. [UPDATE: A reader noted Alaska's AP had it, and the picture I've added.]
Alaskan columnist Effie Caldarola wrote it up and I read it in my church paper, the Arlington Catholic Herald. I couldn't find it online:
Over a month ago, her office announced that the 44-year-old and her husband, Todd, were expecting their fifth child in May. It was a secret the beguiling brunette, a runner, managed to keep from even her staff.