Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Travelgate, this isn't

In case it isn't obvious at this point, there are some people who are looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to talk down Sarah Palin and her wildly successful book (one million sold as of today!).  Case in point: the most recent so-called controversy is that Sarah Palin doesn't ride in a bus everywhere she goes, and, horror of horrors, she even stays in hotels.

I could go on about how silly a non-story this is, but someone eminently more qualified to comment on this, namely, Sarah Palin herself, already has done so:

It’s really comical at this point! Despite all of the important events happening in the world today – the president’s speech tonight on the strategy in Afghanistan, the Senate debate over health care reform, the disturbing details of the “Climategate” scandal, the continuing challenges facing the world economy – the media is concerned about my travel and lodging arrangements on my book tour?! Does this sound familiar? It should. The media showed the same out-of-proportion obsession with my personal arrangements, clothes, and hairstyles last year instead of focusing on the crucial issues involving the election.

So what is this news “story”? That I fly on an airplane to complete some of the stops on my book tour when it’s impractical or physically impossible to reach the next event on time by bus. Some news outlets are behaving as if my travel was a secret that they didn’t know about – despite the fact that I’ve tweeted about my flights and at least one local newspaper reported on the arrival of my flight into Rochester, NY. What’s even funnier is that these same media outlets think it’s shocking that we stay in hotels. I guess they expected us to pitch a tent alongside the road. We love the great outdoors, but such an arrangement is hardly practical for a book tour. Using common sense, it was determined that traveling by plane between some stops would save time and energy and allow me to go to more events. Economically speaking for HarperCollins, it’s more efficient to travel by charter, and I am very grateful to the publisher for providing my family and me with this incredible opportunity to shake hands with as many Americans as possible on this book tour.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why my flight and hotel logistics warrant news coverage, join the club. They can, of course, report on whatever they like, but in my opinion CBS loses whatever professional integrity it still has when it links in its report to a website devoted to the bizarre conspiracy theory that I’m not the real mother of my son Trig.

I’m truly humbled by the response to my book tour by everyday Americans, and if traveling by plane means that I can meet more of these wonderful people, I’ll travel by plane (or bus or train or canoe or dog sled or whatever it takes). Please enjoy the photos below!

- Sarah Palin

Gotta go to the link to get the photos.

Of course, some people are never going to take Governor Palin's word for it.  Luckily, there are others to put this lame attempt at a smear on the governor in its proper context, like Josh Painter:

Obamas' Date Night via Air Force One - $56,518.00 per hour (paid for by taxpayers)*

Palin Book Tour leg via Gulfstream jet - $ 4,000.00 per hour (paid for by publisher)

Observing media deny that it is biased - PRICELESS (Media's demise paid for by media)

* Does not include price of second C-17, three C-21A Lear jets, five Helicopters, the Presidential Motorcade, 44 Marines and more than 20 Secret Service personnel on each C-17. Price of NYPD and NY Port Authority overtime pay also not included.

If nothing else, the endurance of this really-not-very-controversial not-controversial-at-all story of Sarah Palin's travels illustrates the obsession some in the media, as well as more than a few bloggers, have with her.  I mean, really, given the tenacity with which such outlets as Entertainment Tonight pursue anything that puts her in a bad light and the way that some people seemingly have personal vendettas against her (you know, people such as "CelticDiva", Andrew Halcro, the recently exposed Jesse Griffin, and, of course, Andrew Sullivan), I would say that the level of obsession has now officially reached "crazy stalker ex-girlfriend" level.