COMMENTARY | Having been accused of being essentially a coked-up sexual predator with a fetish for African-American men, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has gotten an unlikely group of defenders: the “lamestream media” she has so often disdained
Politico writes about the near-universal disgust being expressed in, among other places, the New York Times for the lurid accusations being hurtled in Palin’s direction in a new book by Joe McGinniss. This is not the first time the Times has come to Palin’s quarter. A recent article also suggested that she had — get ready for it — interesting ideas with bipartisan appeal.
The reaction by the media suggests that any attempt on the part of McGinniss to smear Palin and thus intimidate her from running for president has backfired. McGinniss might have come up with more believable stories, but instead he went for the lurid and ultimately unbelievable. The reputation he has thus besmirched seems to be his own.
The development does present a dilemma to Palin. She has gained a lot of mileage playing against what she termed “the lamestream media,” an institution that has declined considerably in repute, especially among Palin’s conservative, tea party supporters. Palin has managed to get around the press using social media like Twitter and Facebook, appearing on TV in her capacity as a Fox News contributor, and occasionally on conservative talk radio.
Now a question arises. How does Palin deal with the media now? One suspects it should be on a situational basis.
The media, by its very institutional, liberal biases, is likely to get a lot of stories wrong in the future, just as it has in the past. Palin will be obligated to make hay about that. But on the few occasions friendly stories appear in the media, Palin will need to point that out too, as her husband Todd did with the New York Times takedown of he McGinniss book.
Since the disastrous Katie Couric interview, Palin has largely avoided traditional media outlets. This is partly because of her contract with Fox News. But should she run for president, her formal association with Fox will end and she will be free to appear on other venues. She is much quicker on her feet than she was in 2008, when she was thrown into the deep end of the pool with insufficient preparation. She will likely do well, jousting with more liberal interviewers, in 2012.
Sources: What Is McGinnis Up to in Smearing Sarah Palin? Mark R. Whittington, Yahoo News, Sept. 15, 2011
‘Lamestream media’ defends Palin, Molly Ball, Politico, Sept. 16, 2011