Sarah's Well Timed Sandbag

BlogHer Original Post

I've been trying to get thoughts together this morningon what I want to write. I missed half a day yesterday cleaning and working and stuff, so I missed a host of great stories. I could have roasted Anna Quindlen (way too easy). I could have toasted Alec Baldwin (really, I should have mercy on a 30 Rock cast member if anything...I don't know a single person who watches that show). I could blog about how the New England Patriots have finally met Karma and discovered that she is a beeyotch. Or I could blog about how a 2006 debate between Sarah Palin and her Democratic rival for the Alaska gubernatorial election reveals that she is not anti-contraception as so many people have decided without consulting her, or how quickly consulting or -- of all places, Newsweek -- would prove that she never actually managed to go all Farenheit 451 on a bunch of Alaska public libraries:

Palin never asked that books be banned; the librarian continued to serve in that position; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication.

It's true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla's librarian, on at least two occasions. Emmons flatly stated her opposition both times. But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla's local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin "was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons' position would change if residents were picketing the library.

Turns out Sarah requested the librarians -- who was a big supporter of Sarah's political opponent -- resignation before she ever broached the subject of a potential book boycott. There was no list. There was no public backlash. And that mystical "list" of books that was "pulled from the minutes of the Wasilla Library board?" Well, that list actually contained four Harry Potter books, none of which were published at the time that Phantom Sarah was complaining about the service standing in the way of purging Wasilla of offending reading material (the list was copy and pasted from a list on the Florida Institute of Technology's website).

According to FactCheck, which has the resources and time to look into these things, Sarah was never a secessionist, never supported Pat Buchanan (seriously, how could anyone? The man's worse than Ron Paul), didn't want Creationism taught in schools (or at least didn't pursue it as governor, though she seems to subscribe that that nonsense "teach the controversy" stuff), and contrary to popular belief, did not use her position as governor of Alaska to hand over control of Alaskan womens' uteruses to the state government, where policy could be enacted to force women to get pregnant, carry the children to term, and then become the slaves of a group of women who were compliant in sexism and whose husbands ran an international Theocracy. Margaret Atwood did not base The Handmaid's Tale on the Palin regime.

So...I guess the only thing left to write about is why Palin won't face the media. Initially, I thought this was a bad idea. If they're lying about you, I say get on television and let them have it. Throw a fit on The View, make an appearance on Chris Matthew's show and give him a tingle up the other leg. Maybe organize a death match between Sarah Palin and Andrew Sullivan. If it wasn't such a one-sided, easy-to-predict matchup, I'd pitch that one to CNN myself. But then I got to thinking.

If there was one rag on the planet that would have no political agenda, it'd be US Weekly. I've seen this boycott thing going around and frankly, I'm all for it. Next time, I'll surreptitiously read OK! while pretending to peruse a copy of The Economist in a Borders magazine section, and then I'll go back to my happy life, free of worry about what the editorial position of a magazine that routinely prints pictures of half naked celebrities with black bars over their private parts is. At least with a respectable rag like Playboy, they take the pictures themselves. US Weekly has to buy them. Plus, its not like US Weekly employs, like, Garrison Keillor or something. People leave US Weekly in bathrooms.

But it doesn't change that even US Weekly hates Sarah Palin. Media bias on this "issue' has worked its way down the great ladder of useful publications past Seventeen to the magazines people use to occupy their time in the grocery store and at the gynecologists. How could Sarah Palin ever hope to get a fair shake from the media if they can't even do gossip stories on her without injecting personal commentary?

So far, McCain's camp has taken the right tack. And why do I say "McCain's camp?" Because its not Sarah Palin who is avoiding the media coverage.

Palin's handlers initially had suggested it would be a while before she did interviews. Now, there will be several.
Photo: AP

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will speak at her son’s Army deployment ceremony on 9/11 and spend two days with ABC News crews later this week as part of a McCain campaign plan to increase Americans’ comfort with her as a leader.

Campaign and network officials had said on Sunday that her first television interview would be a sit-down with Charles Gibson of ABC’s “World News.”...

Until now, Palin has been "sequestered," as Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.), her Democratic counterpart, put it on NBC's "Meet the Press" — delivering rousing speeches, but not giving interviews or holding news conferences or answering questions on the fly. She was the only one of the four national candidates not to appear on a Sunday show this weekend.

“Once you start, you don’t stop,” a Republican official said with a chuckle. “That doesn’t mean you run the faucet on high. But once you turn it on, you don’t really ever turn it off.”

Not too shabby of an idea, if you ask me, to sandbag Sarah until they get her perfect. In this business, you can't risk your candidate making a misstep, especially when the other side is just dying to use the quip in their campaign commercials, or use it to pull out a very strategic public relations blitz. For example, how fast are they ready to roll with something that can be interpreted as "sexist?" And how motivated will the now Stone Cold Hillary Clinton be if she's personally attacked by the woman who actually managed to eek her way onto a party ticket. And its not like the Obama campaign is the only one we need to worry about. Apparently, we're just waiting for the People Magazine hit squad to arrive.

First the media tries to eat her alive, setting her up for a knockout punch on the night she was set to accept the nomination, and now their "issues" with Sarah Palin allow her and her camp to excuse her from interviews until they find someone who they deem acceptable, and put any and every control on the interview possible. They certainly aren't going to loose her on the world and allow her to be eaten alive by Keith Olberman, or make the talk show circuit and end up blowing the lid off something on Martha Stewart. She'll be handled by Charlie Gibson who has too much of a career behind him to risk looking stupid by pulling out a Daily Kos article and mercilessly grilling the girl.

Personally, if it had been me, I might have been a little more malicious. Forgo the traditional networks and work hard at booking some of the more "non-traditional show," like, for example, Sesame Street itself. Lets force Diane Sawyer to ask the tough questions in a town hall full of well-sculpted carpet.

But don't take my word for it (I learned that one from another fantastic venue for Sarah Palin, Reading Rainbow). Check out these other fine ladies for a fix on whats going on in the world:

Sharon at Changing World Views talks about how Sarah Palin is shaking up even the journalists at the normally conservative-friendly Fox News.

Ginny at View from the Pews pens a piece about how its Sarah Palin's challenge to the status quo that's really sending journalists for a loop.

And finally, CityMama, of one of my daily reads (yes, I know its not my political affiliation), MOMocrats takes the McCain camp to task for picking a soft-ball interviewer for the Palin rollout.


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