Thursday, September 4, 2008

Media Defends Palin Coverage, Attacks Speech

Keith Olbermann describes Sarah Palin's speech as condescending, insulting, and dismissive of community activists:

Olbermann here see a lot of sarcasm:

Before the speech, Olbermann had a tough time figuring out who Palin was referring to when she talked about the media elite, and how she could care less if she's not in their good graces. This excerpt is from Geoffrey Dickens of

OLBERMANN: We're getting some of the excerpts now Andrea and I think it's fair to say there don't seem to be any excerpts anyway, any significant attacks on Obama or the Democrats, however guess who has been attacked? That would be probably us, as collective us. Let me read one before we go back to the floor at the Excel Center. "Why She Is Going to Washington D.C." is the headline on this excerpt.

"I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment, she says, and I've learned quickly these past few days that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, than some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little newsflash for all those reporters and commentators, I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion, I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."

Who those reporters and commentators might be she does not say, at least not in the excerpt. It will be interesting to see if they're named in that speech. There's no one I can think of, off the top of my head, who did what she is apparently complaining of tonight, but she will be doing the complaining herself.

Jennifer Harper, writing for the Washington Times today, said that the honeymoon period was short-lived and is over. She talked to some media experts about the Palin coverage:

Some say the press is clearly awry.

"It's completely fair to question Palin's experience, question her record, and question her judgment. Every candidate should expect that. But what's jaw-dropping here is how a supposedly feminist media elite can so abruptly drop all their principles and start questioning whether a mother of five can handle this job. They don't only look biased, but extremely partisan and opportunistic," said Tim Graham of the Media Research Center.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, agreed. "The choice of Governor Palin is exposing the rank hypocrisy of the 'enlightened' gatekeepers of the mainstream media."

"While some blame bloggers or Democrats for the most appalling rumors or smears, the mainstream media has also been eager to focus their obsessive coverage - not on Governor Palin's accomplishments - but her personal decisions as a woman. Decisions for which the media clearly have visceral contempt," she said.

A sympathetic public could ultimately favor Mrs. Palin, she added, faulting journalists who offer more favorable coverage to Sen. Barack Obama, and those who appear to think "that the Palins should have chosen abortion over giving life to a special-needs child or teenage pregnancy."

Phil Pedlikin, president of the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia, said the coverage of Mrs. Palin as the mother of a child with Down syndrome has been very mixed.

"We have found it frustrating that, even though Governor Palin has never suggested it, quite the opposite really, the emphasis of many reports has been on the 'burden' that she faces because her child has Down syndrome. Also, she is sometimes portrayed as a hero because of this additional 'burden.' We are not heroes because we have children with Down syndrome. Our children are the heroes," Mr. Pedlikin said.

In a column dripping with his own sarcasm, Roger Simon apologises for the media (well, NOT) in Politico:

On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

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