Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The media's love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin

This isn't exactly breaking news, but maybe you, like me, have noticed the tendency of many commentators in the (old-school) news media to cover every little thing Sarah Palin does with the same intensity as the paparazzi did Paris Hilton's trip to jail, while at the same time decrying the influence and popularity Sarah Palin presently holds.  For example, a few months ago some guy named Dana Milbank, who works at some old dinosaur called the Washington Post, decided that the best way to get himself some attention attempt to take away from the influence wielded by Mrs. Palin was to declare that February would be a Palin-free month in the (so-called) mainstream media.  The fact that most of my readers probably are not aware that this even happened speaks volumes both to Sarah Palin's influence and to Dana Milbank's lack thereof.

Anyway, the current even that has those types frothing is a bus tour by the Palin family to historic sites around our nation.  This may be followed at the SarahPAC webpage. You can view the introductory video to this tour right here:

Now, most rational people would not think that there is anything wrong with a bus tour.  Heck, John Madden did it every week when he did NFL color commentary.  But when Sarah Palin does it, it's a real problem!  She can't do this!  But it must be reported to death anyway!

Or at least so sayeth the talking heads.

For example, I don't need to go into the details of how some of these people are annoyed at not being told where the Palin family is going...Matt Lewis already summed up most of the grumblings:

Some journalists believe Palin is behaving like a celebrity, and that covering her may be beneath them. For example, The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta Tweeted: “reality TV star Palin treating pol reporters like paparazzi — needing & hating, inviting & making chase.” Politico’s Ben Smith Re-Tweeted her — and Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post agreed, responding: “seriously, why dont media outlets have entertainment reporters cover her instead of polit. press?”

The whining got even better, or more shrill, or something, with one CBS News producer blaming potential future car crashes on Mrs. Palin.  As Geoffrey Dickens of NewsBusters writes:

The press is pouting because potential GOP presidential contender Sarah Palin is apparently having a bit of fun with them, by refusing to let them know in advance where she is headed on her bus tour. One of them, CBS News producer Ryan Corsaro, even suggested the former Alaska governor is a "dangerous" traffic hazard because she is forcing reporters to chase her around like they were paparazzi.


In a May 31 CBS article headlined "Sarah Palin's bus tour treats reporters like paparazzi" Corsaro complained:

I just hope to God that one of these young producers with a camera whose bosses are making them follow Sarah Palin as a potential Republican candidate don't get in a car crash, because this is dangerous.

But the prize for the lamest take on the Palin bus tour has to go to MSNBC's Martin Bashir, as quoted by Alex Fitzsimmons, also of NewsBusters:

Anchoring his eponymous program, Bashir scolded, "In fact, the whole thing could be in breach of a federal law because the United States Flag Code establishes important rules for the use and display of the stars and stripes, the flag of the United States."

The entire video of the rant can be found at the previous link; I don't care to post it here.  
Hey, perhaps Mr. Bashir would prefer people who use and display American flags like this:

(Picture courtesy the Denver Post via; used under Fair Use)

(That, in case anyone has forgotten, is how used flags were "used" and "displayed" following the conclusion of the coronation nomination acceptance speech of Barack Obama in 2008.  But hey, at least he didn't put them on a bus!)

But regardless, with regard to Sarah Palin, if it isn't one thing, it's another for the dying breed of media talking heads so desperately hanging on to their waning prestige and their nonexistent influence.  They can't live with her, but in these present days with their many choices for information gathers, they sure can't live without her.

(Oh, and I am on record as hoping that the Palins will make it to the Austin area, despite its deep-blue condition, and check out The Salt Lick.  I can dream.)

(Hat tip: Texas for Sarah Palin)