Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarah Palin inappropriately blasts the media

Sarah Palin officially resigned from the Alaskan governorship this week, ending her tenure with a scathing critique of the media.

"How about in honor of the American soldier, you [the media] quit making up things. And don't underestimate the wisdom of the people. And one other thing for the media -- our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone!"

Palin's comments address many of the controversies she has had within the year since she was picked to be John McCain's vice presidential running mate. To be fair, those controversies that have shadowed her since then have caused the public to view her negatively -- her approval rating has dipped significantly since emerging onto the national scene -- thus allowing Palin to make a claim of bias in the media.

But is it biased to report on the facts? Ethics complaints dogged (and continue to haunt) Palin, including the substantially significant accusation that she abused her power by firing the state's Public Safety Commissioner over his refusal to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law. Such a charge is newsworthy, considering how Palin is continually talked about as a potential Republican contender for the presidency in 2008. It'd be biased not to report on these complaints, seeing as how omitting this information would greatly benefit Palin herself.

Then there's the accusation that the media unfairly place her children in the spotlight. It's strange that she considers this the media's fault, however, since at every juncture where the media has done so it has been done after her insistence. She paraded her family at the Republican National Convention (and the campaign trail overall) last year, so it's only natural that we talk about them. Her daughter is now a spokeswoman for abstinence-only education, despite the fact that a more balanced approach towards sex ed could have prevented her own unwanted pregnancy; so talking about Palin's daughter is newsworthy, too. And when David Letterman made an admittedly crude joke about said daughter, Palin was the one who took it out of context, insisting that Letterman was referring to her other, significantly younger daughter. Her insistence for an apology kept the media's eyes on her family, something that she could have avoided had she just ignored his joke like she has hundreds of other times with other comedians.

When Sarah Palin begs for the media to leave the new governor's kids alone, her request will probably be met with agreement from the media -- not out of respect for Palin, however, but rather due to the fact that his family isn't as newsworthy as hers. Hardly any other politician, in fact, has a family that is as newsworthy as Sarah Palin's is, through no fault but her own.

One other thing to note in Palin's comments from above is worth discussing. She makes this appeal to the media on behalf of the American soldier. This isn't rare for her to do; she has placed that line in her speeches many times before. She has done it so often, in fact, that if it didn't ring of politically motivated speech before, it certainly does now.

It is true that the American soldier fights for our freedoms, but he/she doesn't do so to benefit any one political party, much less a singular politician. Certainly, the American soldier doesn't fight for governors who have a beef with the media. That Sarah Palin continually tries to use the American soldier as a prop, a means towards her political ends, is sad, pathetic, and inappropriate for her to do. If she desires any future political career, she should cease from using these brave and valiant men and women to her political advantage.

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