John Ziegler Exposes How Palin Derangement Syndrome Works

July 3rd, 2009 11:22 AM

Although almost eight months have passed since last year's elections, Palin Derangement Syndrome continues to manifest itself throughout America's press.

As NewsBusters' Mike Sargent reported Tuesday, Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum is gravely afflicted with the illness, and needs to see a team of doctors quickly if he ever wants to be taken seriously by anyone other than the extreme Left.

With that in mind, Palin documentarian John Ziegler had a fascinating radio interview with Politico's Mike Allen Wednesday that shed some light on how PDS works and why it's so pernicious.

To set this up, Allen was on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier in the day, and defended Purdum's piece (15 minute audio available here):

MIKE ALLEN, POLITICO: Nobody can agree on what exactly went wrong with that disastrous campaign. Todd has a great phrase in there where he refers to it as "A Bermuda Triangle of a campaign." [...]

I know that she was advised after the campaign to disappear, to study, to learn foreign policy, to learn economics, learn some of these issues and come back in two years when she was ready. She didn't do it, instead she did a series of stupid interviews that just dug her deeper..." [...]

Sure, she has incredible star power as you point out. She's wanted for fundraisers. We all cover her. But Joe, I don't think she's taken seriously as a policy person. I don't think that that's the sort of circus act the Republicans are looking for. I think she'll get tons of coverage. It's hard to see her at this point being taken as a serious person. 

After playing these audio segments, Ziegler asked Allen: "Which really stupid interviews that Sarah Palin did were you referring to specifically?"

Reasonable question, correct? Yet, no matter how many times Ziegler asked it, Allen never gave one example of Palin giving a stupid interview despite telling MSNBC's Joe Scarborough earlier in the day, "she did a series of stupid interviews that just dug her deeper..."

And therein lies the heart of Palin Derangement Syndrome: making totally false statements about the Alaska governor without being able to back them up.

Sadly, as this is what most media outlets want -- dirt about Palin irrespective of veracity -- the mudslingers not only easily get away with it, but are revered for doing so.

Fortunately, Ziegler was having none of it, and pointed out the hypocrisy to his guest:

You made a very serious allegation that you seem to be backing off of that you can't substantiate, and I'm just. You're a very good reporter. You're not a lefty that I can tell. But I was disappointed that you would make an allegation like that on MSNBC where you're obviously, you know, that's what the audience wants to hear, and then you're not willing to back it up. You're a good reporter, Mike. I would think that you would have some substance behind an allegation like that. [...]

You're saying that there's a perception that's out there. You're presuming that perception is reality, and then you're not, you're making allegations based upon that perception that you have no substance behind. As a reporter, don't you find that at all troubling? If someone else did that, wouldn't you criticize that kind of reporting?   

Allen didn't answer those questions either demonstrating how the state of America's media is such that so-called journalists don't have to substantiate negative allegations concerning Republicans. They can say or write whatever they want about politicians they don't like -- irrespective of facts -- with total impunity.

And therein lies a very serious problem.

Bravo, John. Bravo.