Governor Sarah Palin (AP Photo/Robert DeBerry)
Last year, it was evident that many conservatives had become disaffected. There were few politicians who could articulate their concerns. When Senator McCain secured the Republican presidential nomination, the disenchantment of some grew even greater. But, shortly thereafter, McCain made a move that had a number of people rejoicing: he chose Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate. Others, however, were alarmed upon hearing of McCain’s choice; this dismay quickly morphed into an irrational loathing of the Governor.
Almost immediately, members of the media deliberately and relentlessly chose to paint her as an uneducated, simple-minded Barbie doll. It quickly became apparent that Palin could either be intelligent or attractive. She did not have the option of being both. The undeniable fact that she is both has engendered much resentment among journalists like Katie Couric.
Her recent attempt to get a cheap laugh at Sarah Palin’s expense during the Princeton University commencement was giddily applauded. Yet, one wonders how Couric would handle such a cheap shot if it were leveled against her. If she can see New Jersey from her house, can she equally see all of the Americans who consistently choose not to watch CBS Evening News with Katie Couric? Presumably, Ms. Couric would consider this question mean-spirited as opposed to sly and witty.
On July 3, 2009, Governor Palin announced her decision to resign at the end of this month. Upon learning of Palin’s decision, media figures responded in the predictably lowbrow manner to which the public has grown sadly accustomed. Indeed, Maureen Dowd, who persists in confusing character assassination with insightful commentary, comfortably embraced new lows with a piece published on Sunday in The New York Times. Some members of the media have even entertained the idea of a corruption scandal as the actual reason behind Sarah Palin’s resignation.
But, Thomas Van Flein, acting as Palin’s legal counsel, demonstrated that the Alaska governor is prepared to fight back against any attempts at calumny. He indicated that he is ready to sue media outlets who engage in the perpetuation of defamatory statements. While welcome, the necessity of this threat further illustrates to what extent members of the media have debased the profession.
The media onslaught against Governor Palin reveals not only an ugly bias towards her as a woman, but also a fear of those who endeavor to forge their own path. Ultimately, in reveling in such undignified behavior, members of the media offer insight into themselves rather than Sarah Palin.