Wednesday, September 03, 2008

BABYGATE: IS GOV. PALIN "GETTING VETTED" BY THE MSM, OR IS THE MSM "GETTING VETTED" BY THE VOTERS?


Before Gov. Palin addresses the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, I want to review some of the "vetting" that has occupied the media since Friday. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say that McCain has "baited a trap" for the liberal media, and they took the bait. Let's start with the story of her daughter Bristol's pregnancy, which was front-page news in every newspaper, and the lead subject of every TV news outlet, both broadcast and cable, in the nation.



I don't have the time or patience to review all of the coverage, so I will cite one example. On PBS, Mark Shields implied that Gov. Palin's acceptance of McCain's offer of the VP slot "guaranteed that her daughter would be known globally as the best known 17-year-old unwed teenager in the world, and that decision many people question." I'm sure he meant to say "pregnant" in there, but he continued on: "The ambition of going on a national ticket, and her love and consideration of her daughter, being known once and for all as ‘Aren't you the daughter who was pregnant of the vice presidential candidate in 2008?'" Yes, this will be remembered for a long time, Mr. Shields. NOT.



It gets worse, as Shields stresses his concern for Bristol: "The question of how it affected her daughter is not open to question. It has made her daughter a front-page item for the country. That would not have been the case if Sarah Palin had said to John McCain, ‘thanks but no thanks. This is a private time for my daughter, an important and terribly difficult time in her life.' I really can only imagine the painful time that girl is going through, not simply to be known and introduced to the nation this way, but also being conflicted about what this pregnancy could do to her mother's career and all the rest of that. So I don't think there's any question the impact it was going to have upon her."



The flip side of this might be related to Shields' second to last sentence, "but also being conflicted about what this pregnancy could do to her mother's career and all the rest of that." He makes no mention of the other side of that "conflict." What would Bristol feel if her mother declined this opportunity because of Bristol's pregnancy? Might that not be more traumatizing, in the long term, than the brief glare of the "media assault" she, and her future husband are enduring right now? I heard this point from another commentator, on another show, but I don't remember who it was (except that it was a woman). I just want to give her credit for a thoughtful point of view, but one that Sheilds totally ignored.



There are far worse examples of bias in the MSM coverage of this non-story. I picked Shields' remarks because of their phony concern for "the daughter," diverting attention from the slam at the Mother/candidate. I found myself yelling at the TV while watching this, and later found a link to some of Shields' quotes at Newsbusters.org. There are more examples at their website, which you can judge for yourselves.



Gov. Palin does not have a "broken family," as an online commenter suggested elsewhere. It's just gotten larger by two members: Bristol's baby, and future husband (Levi "I'm a f-in' redneck" Johnston). Watch how the media attempt to exploit them, and Bristol, to discredit Gov. Palin. If the left-wing media didn't already realize it, let me say it clearly: Your coverage is being "vetted" by the public, and it's being rejected. This will end up hurting the candidate that you so obviously support, through no fault of his own. You forget that your power is a double-edged sword; you expose your "in the tank" coverage of Obama by your completely "out of the tank" coverage of Palin. Media popularity can be destroyed as easily as it is created, by public opinion.



I hope Gov. Palin kicks your liberal media asses, in her speech. I almost feel bad for Sen. Obama, because your sins shouldn't be visited on him. In big league politics, though, that's the breaks. Let's see what the Governor "brings to the ticket," besides conservative enthusiasm. I'll continue to bloviate on other criticisms of the GOP VP nominee, and why they'll continue to backfire on the liberal media, not to mention the most liberal Dem nominees since Carter/Mondale.



Who's being "vetted" here? Not just Gov. Palin, that's for sure.

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