Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Bad Fortnight for the US Political Media

From Mark Steyn...
Credit where it's due.

I would like to thank the US media for doing such a grand job this last week of lowering expectations by portraying Governor Palin - whoops, I mean Hick-Burg Mayor Palin - as a hillbilly know-nothing permapregnant ditz, half of whose 27 kids are the spawn of a stump-toothed uncle who hasn't worked since he was an extra in Deliverance.

How's that narrative holding up, geniuses? Almost as good as your "devoted husband John Edwards" routine?

I trust even now Maureen Dowd is working on a hilarious new column mocking proposed names for the Governor's first grandchild. Perhaps Richard Cohen can just take the week off and they can rerun his insightful analysis comparing the Palin nomination to Caligula making his horse a consul. Whereas we sophisticates all know that if McCain were as smart as Obama he'd have nominated a dead horse to be his consul. No wait...

Class. An oh so true.


Anonymous said...

Rubbish. There are doing the job McCain failed to do. Vet her. If only the media has been this way during the run up to Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Why the media should apologize

On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry. On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked. We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

Laurence Boyce said...

My initial reaction to Palin was something along those lines. I was wrong. She is deadly, and the left just can’t see how counter-productive their “narrative” has become. I’m actually that close (thumb and forefinger nearly touching) to cheering her on. Attempting to write a rather complex article about her at this moment.

Prodicus said...

More of
on the McCain/Palin theme:
' I would caution our pal David Frum to ease up on this kind of analysis:

The Palin choice will intensify GOP support among downscale white voters - while adding to the GOP's difficulties among more educated white voters.

You'd be surprised how crowded it is down at the "downscale" end. '

Anonymous said...

Suddenly, I understand why George W. actually won a 2nd term with more votes than the 1st. The left in America are actually extremely repulsive. Hope everyone votes McCain/Palin so they can all choke on their skinny cafe lattes.

Matt Wardman said...

Just having watched the conference Biographical tape, the publicity is only just behind the opposition on the caricature front.

Grizzly Adams meets the Brady Bunch, and it even uses the Dallas theme tune.

She looks pretty good in some ways, but I'm not sure that the image creation is helping - but I'm not a political marcomms specialist!

Anonymous said...

I thought here in the UK we'd learned the dangers of the #2 appearing to be more interesting than the #1.

I'm agnostic when it comes to the election but the entire focus on that ticket appears to be this women and not Johnny boy. If I were him I'd be a bit cheesed off.

Anonymous said...

Palin hates gays though Iain.

Conservative Cabbie said...

While I never thought it was going to happen, not picking Hillary for VP has been a big mistake for Obama. It left the door open for McCain and this whole Palin narrative has ensued.

After this last week, I am left wandering, Biden-who?

Linders said...

I'm happy for Steyn to continue commenting on the US elections just as long as we are spared the tedious, ignorant, uninformed nonsense he writes about UK politics.

Helen said...

Ah yes, the media "vetting" Palin by trashing her family. Would that be the media that could not find time to do even minimum checks on Obama's political background? Oh, and by the way, McCain not vetting is another one of the Dems' meme. The vetting has been going on since February and, surprisingly enough, a number of blogs have mentioned Palin as a contender. It's just the MSM, particularly the British part of it, that was taken by surprise.

haddock said...

"Palin hates gays though Iain."
a contribution from someone with so little conviction that he/she/it cannot put a name to the quote.
I'm unaware of any evidence that she 'hates gays' If she is a Christian she will hate the sin but love the sinner.... if you were not such a bigot you would know that.
in any case I doubt Iain needs you to brief him on the innermost feelings of a person you have never met.

Chris Paul said...

It would be sexist to let this woman and Magoo off the hook Iain. This appointment was a deliberate trap for the Democrats. There is a good case that Gove's crew actually started the smearage themselves.

But a double edged trap. Just letting this appalling candidate be is not a sensible option and would be more disrespectful than putting the questions. That is obvious.

The real problem I've noticed is the brickwalling from the Republicans when asked even the simplest questions. Carly Florina was classy in her brickwalling. But there was some guy on BBC news Channel post McCain speech being extraordinarily unreasonable. Bloody rude. Haughty and horrible.

Bush/McCain/Gove whoever have set the trap. Palin has agreed to be the bait and she's using her daughter and family pretty badly.

Unsuitable person.

Creationist, gun-nut, oil-nut, islam-basher, gay-basher, woman-basher, child-user, corrupt-Governor, holy-warrior, incompetent-Governor, tax-hiker, internecine-poison, U-turner, did I say gay-basher, hate-monger.

I'm amazed you're on her side Iain. She is not on yours.

"Bad questions. Bad media. Bad." Well said.

Member of the Public said...

Anonymous 7.41pm

Questions to media from public.

1. If you are vetting Sarah Palin, how come it is mostly unsubstantiated, spiteful, rumors that we hear. Balanced articles are hard to find.

2. Actually I'd like to hear more about her record - the positive as well as the negative. But you seem to concentrate on her daughter's pregnancy and her husband's distant speeding fine. Why have we not heard more about her actual record from people in Alaska?

3. Is Obhama qualified to be the president? Let alone a heartbeat away. We don't seem to have had that properly looked at.

4. Why was Binden not vetted in the same way as Sarah Palin? Not sure we really know very much about him. Yet we know all sorts of 'gossip' about Sarah's family!!

5. We hear that a lot of your sources come straight from the Democrats. What impartial sources have you used to get 'the facts'?

If you belong to the media, you should apologise to Sarah Palin and us, for printing rumour, gossip and scandal, and not doing the investigating and vetting which you should be doing. The fact you still cannot see the error of your ways must mean your are institutionally bigoted.

bebopper said...

Anonymous 9.56
"Palin hates gays though Iain".

What a slimey, weasely post. You're probably a Guardian reader; you would have enjoyed today's article by Ed Pilkington, which rehearsed every rumour, every negative story ever written about Sarah Palin. You would have enjoyed Liz Forland's rant on Any Questions, which demonstrated her Guardian/BBC snobbery and self-righteousness, when asked to comment on a "sister" who happened to be white, working class and right wing.
Palin has got under the skin of lefties here and in America. In my book, she can't be all bad.

Ross said...

Anon 7:41.

The media didn't ask questions like "Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? ""

Not, they asked questions like "DID SARAH PALIN FAKE HER PREGNANCY!!!!!" .

Can you tell the difference?

Chris A said...

Iain I can hardly believe you link to that dreadful journalist Mary Steyn, although I'd hate to credit him with the word "journalist".

This is the idiot, after all, who said "I don't think it's possible for anyone who looks at Iraq honestly to see it as anything other than a success story."

Neo-conservative twit.

Weygand said...

Why are people so excited about Sarah Palin?

What distinguishes this Hockey Mom, who is so rigid and unflinching about the causes she subscribes to, from the mindset of the Taliban?

She prefers the Bible to the explanation of human development; they select their interpretation of the Koran. For both Darwin is a heretic. I cannot see her, any more than them, saying "Howdy Partners" to you and yours.

Worse still, the sight of her pregnant child holding hands with the child husband-to-be before their shotgun marriage was reminiscent of the treatment of children in less developed cultures - I suppose we should be glad that at least the poor girl has not been buried alive.

If this tired septuagenarian and Barbie bigot are the best that the USA have to offer, then we are in for a very bad time indeed.

Man in a Shed said...

Who knows if she'll survive the 'scrutiny', hate and bile the left with all its vengeful fury can muster.

But many of us are rooting for her.

The more the Guardianistas rant with their anti-American, misogynist and racist hypocrisy the louder the rest of us will cheer.

Yak40 said...

Vet her.

Like they've enthusiastically vetted Obama you mean ?

Oh wait, he's a Democrat, move along...

Darren said...

As someone who lives in the States, and who has been watching the coverage of Palin on the major networks, I think he (and others) is making this stuff up as he goes along.

As someone on the political right, Steyn's just stoking the myth of the liberal elite to ensure that his candidates gets elected come the fall.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Conservative Cabbie said...

Chris Paul said:

"Creationist, gun-nut, oil-nut, islam-basher, gay-basher, woman-basher, child-user, corrupt-Governor, holy-warrior, incompetent-Governor, tax-hiker, internecine-poison, U-turner, did I say gay-basher, hate-monger."

He's not the brightest is he.

Anonymous said...

Vetting her? So she disagrees with abortion, refuses to damage her own flesh and blood about a mistake in her private life, she fired someone who tasered a teenager, she like shooting, agrees that oil is useful and has mild religious views.

Well she seems Ok. And you democrat supporting shite-hawkes seem most repugnant, repeating spiteful slander with no basis in fact.

I'm gonna laugh SO much if McCain wins!

Anonymous said...

"from the mindset of the Taliban?"

Why just the other day she blew up a school for women in Alaska and stoned a couple of women before growing opium and shooting at American wait she didn't did she?

"who is so rigid and unflinching about the causes she subscribes to"

yes AND she flip-flopped regarding the "bridge to no-where", HA flip flopping and being rigid...on wait a minute.....Gee I must just be a fuck-tard!

andy c said...

Not as bad a fortnight as you've had Iain. Your flirtations with Obama were suddenly sent into a talispin by the appearance of a strong matronly woman.

Your coverage of Sarah Palin has been disturbing verging on obsessive this last week.

Guys, let's get over the 'did Sarah Palin fake her pregnancy' story. That was on a left wing blog not associated to the mainstream news media or the Obama campaign. It was no worse than some of the b0llocks on Conservative Home.

She's come from left field, is a completely unknown quantity and as such everyone is entitled to ask tough questions, esp given that McCain clearly failed to.

Similar questions have been asked of Obama, wrt Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, and his voting record in office, and to be fair, nothing has stuck. And Joe Biden has 30 years in office to judge him on - he may be a hypocrite and not your cup of tea but to say he's been untested is crap.

She needs the same levels of scrutiny as anyone else, the fact is the election is very close and we need to know more about her than her bl00dy wikipedia entry.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish. Mark Steyn is an evil, poison dwarf.

Curbishlyauto said...

Palin has agreed to be the bait and she's using her daughter and family pretty badly

I take it you haven't been watching Obama, his wife and his children on show in Denver recently?.

The hypocrisy and arrogance which is typical of Labour and their apologists these days is why you have lost the argument.

Exile said...

I have been blogging the Sarah story pretty much non-stop for almost a week, and I have to agree than many of my fellow leftists have lost the plot. Sad to say that includes Chris Paul who I have a lot of time for.

Attacking her for her NRA membership and conservative social values is playing to her strengths, Chris. It's like this latest "sambo beat the bitch" smear that is going around, it won't work so let's stop doing it.

The way to get Sarah is to keep on digging at the Brad Hanson story. If it can be proven that she wrapped her legs around him, then it will damage her with the evangelicals, her home constituency.

The rest is just a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

The left are being very stupid to attack Palin in this way. Pretty soon, *any* attack on her will remind people of the National Enquirer stuff. Bit like Clinton - in the end every attack *sounded* as if it was about Monica.

That plus the chronic misogyny - "a woman with 5 kids should be at home" - makes them sound hypocritical and stupid. Most people don't buy into the thesis that because you are right-on you have the right to be racist/sexist against those who aren't.

Incidentally the stupid stories about Palin and her child and grandchild make it sound as if a number of pro-lifers don't actually know anything at all about babies and how they get there.

All in all, the left are commiting hari-kari with a blunt spoon on this one. And I'm a atheist, pro-lifer.

Conservative Cabbie said...

Latest poll new from Zogby (not sure how reliable they are) have McCain on 49.7% and Obama on 45.9%, nearly four points.

I have heard some doubts expressed about Zogby's methodology so take it with a pinch of salt.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Need someone like her over here stoke up politics and give it a good polarising kick up its apathetic arse .....

Our expectations are so low for our career politicians that the rage has gone.

Ministers are still there after false war's, the destruction of our economy , exam failure ,data loss (possibly putting lives at risk).....etc etc and there are so many etc's

who do we have who could fill a stadium ?

where is the inspiration ?

Anonymous said...

african mum is so right.

The left in America and especially over here are repulsive.

If you do not agree with them they are vicious and denigrate you with all manner of lies and accusations. They are guttersnipes!

A woman in the Independent on Sunday has a particularly evil piece against Mrs Palin today. Absolute tripe and sheer hatred.

I hope David Cameron removes the vote from left wing women!

Arkangel said...

Conservative Cabbie said...

Latest poll new from Zogby (not sure how reliable they are) have McCain on 49.7% and Obama on 45.9%, nearly four points.

I have heard some doubts expressed about Zogby's methodology so take it with a pinch of salt.

Gosh, if that's true, it'll really cheer up the Beeboids..
As to Chris Paul, you're so bigoted I'm surprised you bother to get out of bed in the morning. Gosh, you must really hate yourself.

roschelle said...

The "maverick" is looking more and more like a sidekick...merely going along with the powers that be...he says and does whatever he thinks his champions want to hear. Just like calling lobbyists 'birds of prey' which is a total contradiction to what his true ties with these unnecessary evils in Washington are.

dearieme said...

A journo in yesterday's FT remarked calmly that Mrs Palin is not actually a creationist.

member of the public said...

Exile dear, you're not going to get anywhere with scandal now. We don't believe you.

Your only way out is to do a similar hatchet job on Obhama and Binden. When we see you being fair we may just start to believe you. But you can't can you - you are just 'not very nice or intelligent people'.

Hate and hypocricy seems to be your stock in trade. Which is just why we will cheer on Sarah.

Weygand - you've not read your leftie handbook have you!! The Taliban, they're OK, they're poor muslims from the religion of peace being oppressed by the wicked west. More forced listening to the BBC for you!!

Windsor Tripehound said...


Sarah Palin has hit the mark in a way that leftie apologists like Chris Paul will never understand.

“Any Questions” last Friday was very instructive. The sneering, condescending way in which Liz Forgan and Bea Campbell spoke about her was nauseating. Panellist Charlie Wolf summed it up very well: the “wimmin” don’t like Palin because she’s not afraid to be female; she doesn’t need a severe haircut and a trouser-suit; she’s not afraid to make the most of her looks; she’s not afraid to talk openly about loving her husband and children; she’s not afraid to talk about her family problems.

All the things that the militant feminists and lefties despise are precisely the things that “ordinary” people (which means most of us) can associate with and warm to. To people like Mrs Tripehound and me, whose backgrounds are solidly working class, she’s “one of us”

Conservative Cabbie said...

"As to Chris Paul, you're so bigoted I'm surprised you bother to get out of bed in the morning. Gosh, you must really hate yourself."

No, he doesn't hate himself, he's a liberal, they're tolerant don't you know as you can judge from his posts.

Andy C said: "She needs the same levels of scrutiny as anyone else, the fact is the election is very close and we need to know more about her than her bl00dy wikipedia entry."

Completely agree, let's have a full examination, but let's make it about substance, not scurrilous rumours, gossip and lies.

Martin said...

Anon said: "...Rubbish. There are doing the job McCain failed to do. Vet her. If only the media has been this way during the run up to Iraq...."

So how come the media haven't vetted Obama? This is a man who has links to convicted terrorists and much of his so called "work" as an Illinois Senator was just hot air.

You beeboids that post here as anonymous should learn a thing or two. Sarah Palin WAS considered as a VP pick a long time ago.

It's only because most of the BBC had their heads up Obama's backside or reading the Daily Kos hate site that they ignored the fact Palin was a hot pick by many people

andy c said...

CC - absolutely spot on as usual (disturbing how much we agree on core values!)...

As an Obama supporter I was disgusted by that bile about her her pregnancy, it's irresponsible, odious and straight out of the Karl Rove playbook.

Nor do I care about her daughter's pregnancy, it's none of my business nor anyone elses. It puts her in a difficult situation wrt family values etc, but as long as she steers clear of moralising then I don't have an issue with it.

I want her judged on her positions, not on the fact that she's a woman, and on her record in office and what her future policies would be. In this respect, she's much more important than Biden - who let's face it, is very unlikely to accede to the Presidency, while she's much closer to it, given McCain's age.

Conservative Cabbie said...

Go to:

for a link to a blog that disavows a lot of Palin smears.

Conservative Cabbie said...

Andy C.

She's not that much closer than Biden. Actuarilly, there's a 1.5% chance of Obama not surviving a presidency whilst there's a 14.5% that McCain doesn't survive.

Ok, thats 10x more chance that McCain dies than Obama but I still like those odds on McCain surviving. (I don't know if that Obama figure includes an increased risk of assassination because of colour).

It would seem highly unlikely that should McCain die in Presidency, that it would be in the first year which means despite all the left wing scaremongering, there's plenty of time for Palin to get her experience.

stephen rouse said...

Yup, people seem to be queuing up to denounce her as typical of the intolerant religious right. Funny thing is, eight years ago John McCain would have been one of them.

Weygand said...

I love posting on this blog, as it allows me to amuse my family (who consider me to be slightly to the right of Attila the Hun) with proof that in the public estimation I am somewhat of a 'leftie'.

To clarify - I detest the ignorant draconian behaviour of groups such as the Taleban (as anyone reading the original post properly would have understood). However, it is the same bull-headed stupidity that let Bush into the present fiasco in Iraq and the last thing the world needs is more of the same.

For a taste of Ms Palin, I suggest you visit the website of her Wasilla Assembly of God and their new page announcing that one of their pastors may have preached that anyone voting for Kerry in 2004 would go to Hell, but "Those who know our church and Pastor Ed know that we often say things in a humorous, tongue in cheek manner."

Conservative Cabbie said...


Doesn't tell us anything about her because she left The Assemblies Of God church because:

"the Palins moved to the nondenominational Wasilla Bible Church in 2002, in part because its ministry is less “extreme” than Pentecostal churches like the Assemblies of God, which practice speaking in tongues and miraculous healings."

andy c said...

Just watched Meet the Press. Wow. Biden gave Tom Brokaw a schooling on foreign policy.

I hope she's reading every book and article she can get her hands on wrt Foreign Policy, or she is going to get her @rse handed to her in the VP debates.

Anonymous said...

Verity's back!