LN:  You know, Brad, there I am, reeling at the new issue of Newsweek with Palin and her BOOBS on the cover, although I did find comfort in this hysterical post Gryphen did on that. Then I find myself sitting in a doctor’s office opening yet another Newsweek winner. This issue features Princess Diana at 50. Their artists have melted her face, plumped out her hips and even created a Facebook page for the Queen of Hearts. Tina Brown tells us who she thinks Diana would be at a half-century, who Diana would have reconciled with, how she would have felt. What cheek. Talk me down. 

BS: I subscribe to Newsweek, but it’s getting harder to justify the expense. As you suggest, the magazine is getting fluffier, more like People magazine – and who am I to say Tina Brown, the top editor, is wrong in a financial, let’s-boost-the-circulation sense for going in that direction. The magazine has been hemorrhaging money for years. 

But, you know, she could have gone in a different direction. It was in April, as I recall, just after she took the reins at Newsweek (and merged it with the Daily Beast online operation) that she lured Andrew Sullivan from The Atlantic. I thought, foolishly it seems, that his move there signaled that the magazine would become more hard-hitting, and might even go after Babygate. 

In fact, I contacted Newsweek about the time Sullivan went there, and I pitched the idea of the magazine publishing my spiral-of-silence article. Being lazy, I did so using some online send-us-your-comments box, so my pitch may never have gone up to the decision makers.  

But my pitch went something like this: This is your chance to do something fantastic – break the damn spiral of silence surrounding Babygate and make Newsweek stand for powerful, tell-it-like-it-is journalism. They had a chance to do that. Would that have made good business sense, Laura? Or is there no market for that anymore? 

LN: I applaud your effort. And I am chagrined at their short sightedness, yet not surprised. Some have said that USA Today was the downfall of modern intelligence or the appetite for news, what with its short stories and colorful layout.  Newsweek now seems to have completed the trajectory into inanity. A mocked up Twitter page for Diana? Why stop at that?  How about @JackieOh! with more than a million followers.

Truly, I’d like to think that your comment got lost in the shuffle. You and I both know how difficult it is to keep up with my blog. Yet, they make room to create stories, how about making room to finish reporting on one. And let you do the heavy lifting, Brad.

I wish I had an answer for you. It goes back to that “ick factor” which is shorthand for all the reasons no one wants to touch this baby story. It will piss off the people who want short articles and big BOOBs on the cover. And it probably isn’t cost effective for the legal eagles that have to protect the rag, excuse me, magazine, and thereby protect their phony-baloney jobs, as Mel Brooks would say.

BS: I was aiming for a high-brow tone to my comments, sort of intellectual and refined – a Masterpiece Theatre kind of tone – but since you have brought up BOOBS twice (those capital OO’s remind me of something … I was very young … and hungry …), WTF were they thinking at Newsweek? Who’s the bigger whore in this transaction – Palin, for thinking she can seduce the male electorate into voting for her by thrusting her inflatable hooters at us from the magazine’s cover … or Newsweek, for thinking American men are so puerile and horny that inflatable hooters on the cover will make us to reach into our pockets and grab our limp … wads of cash.

(Remind self … Masterpiece Theatre … Masterpiece Theatre …)

LN: Since when did it become important or integral to a story to have multiple photos of the subject reclining on a dock or standing in a field? What does that say about the subject or the topic at hand? Nothing. It says “we’re about titillating the audience.” That’s all. And that’s sad.

BS: So the cover and the semi-masturbatory photos (meaning you can’t get off on them unless you have a water balloon fetish) and puff piece article should be a giant embarrassment for everyone connected with Newsweek.

But something caught my eye. The writer said that in August 2008, when the McCain campaign introduced Palin to the public, she’d been accompanied by four of her five children, “including their youngest, Trig, who’d been born four months earlier with Down syndrome.” I can see no reason the writer would cast that in the passive voice other than a deliberate effort to avoid naming Sarah as the birth mother.  

So the writer must know the truth and he’s trying to avoid repeating the lie about Trig’s birth. And that’s certainly progress on the Trig front. On the other hand, the writer did say Trig was born four months earlier, thus sticking with the probably fictitious April birth date given by Palin – but hey, you can’t have everything.

Still, word of the hoax seems to be getting around. Earlier this year, when Tina Fay was four months pregnant and barely showing, Bill Maher sent out this line on Twitter: “When Tina Fay commits to a role, she really commits!”– an obvious reference to Palin’s amazing six-week barely-showing pregnancy.

So if the media are taking baby steps toward Trig truthfulness, maybe they are not totally hopeless. Anything else in Newsweek strike you as a hopeful sign, Laura? 

LN: Truthfully? I don’t have much hope when once again, Mrs. Palin says her husband is a registered Independent when I believe it’s been solidly established that he was a member of the AIP.  But it appears that the stenographer at Newsweek did their job and took down Palin’s facts as she determines them.

A final thought on Newsweek and Palin: even though Newsweek has never caught up with Time magazine in circulation, it distinguished itself as a worthy rival with innovative approaches to the news. For example, in recent decades it did some outstanding reporting on social ills and pushed for solutions. It was thus an early practitioner of “civic journalism.” Osborn Elliot, the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University when I was there, was most responsible for those achievements at Newsweek. He died in 2008.  Even though I considered him a pompous ass, I can’t help thinking he must be turning in his grave to see what “journalism” has come to today. And here’s where I can say I agree with Palin on something: mainstream media has become irrelevant. It’s not doing its job. It’s not failing in the way she thinks. But in the way its not reflecting on what she says and does. It’s become shallow and stenographic.

BS: These are perilous times financially for many publications. Despite my unkind words for this issue of Newsweek, I understand that there needs to be experimentation, that the next decade may be a time to try out new business models in journalism.

Maybe the Benjamin Day for our times will soon appear. Benjamin Day started the first penny newspaper in the U.S., in New York City, in 1833 – his competitors sold papers for a nickel or more.

And guess what: the new factory workers, and immigrants, and housewives – people who had never read newspapers before – started buying these penny papers as they were hawked by newsboys in the street (also an innovation). And all those new readers attracted advertising – which became the key to how the penny paper could be sold so cheaply. And the penny papers, which hired reporters who dug up lots of sex and crime and man-bites-dog stories (also innovations), drove out the stodgier, more expensive papers.

Benjamin Day found the financial formula that would serve newspapers, and magazines, very well for 175 years or so. But now it’s time for another Benjamin Day (or more likely, Bertha Day) to appear.

LN: And they probably will. But I don’t think it’s Tina Brown. Don’t get me wrong: I want to write like her when I grow up. I think she’s a fabulous journalist. Her book on Diana was spectacular and gripping. But a story about what would Di do on Facebook? Not so much.

BS: Taking the long view, I’m not despairing about the sad state of journalism today. I think we need to wait for this new-fangled Internet thing to sort itself out. Then the Steve Jobs or Bill Gates of the news biz may transform journalism, except “he” is likely to be a “she,” since women are more and more rising to the top in our field.

And that’s why Palin with her inflatable BOOBS is so depressing. The Playboy bunny is dead. Someone should tell Sarah. Like maybe the press baron that runs Fox, Rupert Murdoch.

LN: Maybe he will, except I hear he’s busy in meetings in London and will probably be grilled by Parliament next week. Maybe when he’s done getting filleted by the tabloid masses, maybe then he’ll tell Palin to pack it in and go home. 

Tell us what you think, readers, about this issue of Newsweek and Palin’s glamour shots, and also about the state of journalism today. Brad and I want to hear your views and react to them.

 


Comments

Banyan
07/17/2011 20:19

Laura and Brad,

Another great post! Thank you!

I agree about the dumbing down of American journalism and culture amply on display in the current Newsweek.

But I thought I detected a sly commentary in the lay-out of that cover.

The big article headlined at the top of the page (above Sarah's picture) is "Murdoch's Watergate" by Carl Bernstein. (For you younger readers, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward revealed the Watergate scandal back in the 1970s.)

My first quick glance at the cover left me with the impression that Palin -- and her false front -- might have something to do with Murdoch's downfall.

Perhaps I am being overly charitable toward Newsweek (which I stopped reading long ago), but I'll bet they were trying to send us a not-so-subliminal message.

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KarenJ
07/17/2011 20:51

Don't forget, Laura and Brad, Tina Brown attempted to redeem that Newsweek BOOB cover with this over the bsanner: "MURDOCH'S WATERGATE by Carl Bernstein".

I've heard that article was worth the price of the magazine...

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Viola-Alex
07/17/2011 20:51

I think you two are creating a new NEWS format, as comedy duo. ala Stiller/Meara, Martin/Lewis, Coogan/Brydon. Tina, are you paying attention?

Seriously, what's wrong with the NYT and Tina is their silly pandering to the "youngs." The youngs don't have leadership, and the olds aren't doing what they do best, so that the youngs can innovate. Even The New Yorker is at fault. They're all so busy trying to hook the young demographic, they've lost their integrity. Not unlike an old man chasing a young girl.


@Laura, I worked with Osborne Elliot's brother Jock at Ogilvy and Mather. They're both REELING in their graves. The advertising I wrote in the 70's had more facts, more conscience than journalism does now. We were taught by David Ogilvy to tell the truth and respect the buyer.

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diz
07/17/2011 21:46

I'm never surprised when a magazine does a puff piece on a candidate but I have to agree the photo pictorial was beyond comprehension??? Especially a series of posed photos that were taken on the same day. Had they used several shots of her at different ages or different backdrops it wouldn't have seemed so desperate. I think $P must have something on TinaBrown to have gotten this approved because there's nothing in Paylin's future that will benefit Brown or NewsTweak.

Can you just imagine the hue and cry if they had done a TeenPeople like treatment of one of the male prez candidates in tee-shirts and cargo shorts???

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Allie
07/17/2011 22:03

Yeah, who wears gray with brown? I guess the same person who wears boobs with brown.

It sounds like some of the serious writers from NW are at Bloomberg.

You know, I have been thinking about you guys said about babygate in the MSM and Andrew's switch. Well, Andrew has an ongoing piece called the Odd Lies of Sarah Palin. Plus, he has been willing to seriously explore babygate. So perhaps babygate isn't impossibly far from the MSM!

We better stay busy around this joint!!! :)

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clf
07/17/2011 23:47

Why would luring Andrew Sullivan away from blogging at the Atlantic signal a move to more hard hitting journalism for Newsweek?

Sullivan is one of the most popular bloggers on the web, which is why Tina wanted him. He attracts more eyeballs to The Daily Beast.

But his blog features reader accounts from the marijuana closet; a weekly guess-the-location-of-this picture contest; views from reader's window's; links relating to gay marriage, gay bullying or Dan Savage; embedded videos of cool or creepy ads;embedded music videos; poetry; links to cute stuff about dogs; quotes of the day; awards for quotes (such as the "Malkin" award); a face of the day; stuff about the Pet Shop Boys; embedded charts; AND the occasional commentary by Andrew (usually tirades about gay marriage, his personal faith, how great it is to get stoned, the Arab Spring or Sarah Palin).

The blog features NO JOURNALISM. Andrew Sullivan does. not. break. news. That is what journalism is.

Andrew Sullivan aggregates content from the web and offers his opinion. That's not journalism. It's links and opinion.

Regarding Babygate, Sullivan has done nothing other than raise the issue and kvetch that other media haven't dug up the dirt on Palin. He wrings his hands ands says "But why isn't anybody covering this?"

That's not journalism.

If Andrew was a journalist, he'd leave his two adorable beagles and his pretty boy husband in Provincetown for the summer and head up to Alaska to find out the truth about Babygate for himself.


Many young people these days, having been raised in the age of Fox News, think that Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart are journalists. They do not know the difference between journalism and entertainment/opinion.

It's sad that to see that apparently today's journalism professors don't know the difference either.

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07/18/2011 06:39

Brad & Laura - I don't think we're going to stop attractive people from having an advantage over less attractive people. It works for men as well as for women -- hasn't the tallest presidential candidate won a hugely great percentage of the time? Alas, that's how our species works.

What interests me - and you mentioned it a little - is the earthquake in the fortress known as Murdoch. What are potential repercussions in the US? This may offer an opportunity to get a lot of stories told that have been quashed because people were too frightened to come forward - perhaps on the subject of the Palins, perhaps on the subject of others.

Wouldn't it be great if Fox News could be shut down?

In the meantime, there's ample evidence that some of these people are very nasty, and both of you should be cautious.

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anon
07/18/2011 06:49

What is galling today is that Palin gets what she wants written or said about her and the media just goes along...."The Last Word" with LOD is right on the money with his rewrites . Do you think the media will wake up now that'The Defeated" is defeated at the box office and the Bus to Nowhere had no one really, except the media? Most of the American people have seen through Palin and have known for a long time her support has been a rabid small group,many are paid to troll the news and inject their script, will the MSN continue this charade? I hope they gave Levi the same catwalk they gaved Bristol.

I cancelled "Newsweak" a long time ago, bloggers have set the tone and direction for many of us.People do not trust MSN any more, that is an area to be worked on before going forward.

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rubbernecking
07/18/2011 08:03

In the history of investigative journalism, how many stories were driven from the top (publisher) vs the rank-and-file beat journalist? Aren't the topics of investigative journalism usually a hard sell?

It seems highly likely that someone willing to dig deeply into the 2 weeks before 4/18/08 will find interesting material. Get every photo and newsreel from Juneau. Track down airline and airport employees. Get every newsreel taken in Dallas during the RGA. Even guys like McGuiness with weeks in AK don't seem willing or able to do this, for whatever reason.

Newsweek's failures in babygate are comically minor compared to NYT's failures on WMDs, the rewriting of environmental laws on behalf of Haliburton, the white-washing on torture, and on and on and on.

P.S. Weiner was so unambitious. Real stars get their sexy poses professionally shot and posted in glossy pseudo political news coverage.

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Karen
07/18/2011 08:04

My mom brought this issue with her on a camping trip we took in upstate New York. She thinks Sarah is an idiot but had no idea about Babygate, even though she is a news junkie (mostly Fox, CNN and NYT). Anyway, the big lies were these: Not Laughing Out Loud at the mere 24,000 nutjobs who continue to contribute their social security checks to her vacations to fight socialism, the lie about Todd being an Independent not a registered member of the AIP, the out-and-out lie about all of her ethics investigations being thrown out with no findings. And what really struck me that Laura pointed out is how glib the reporting was overall--no challenging on anything she said at all, just stenography. No criticism, no one to dispute her. No pushing on HOW she can continue as a FOX contributor on Quaaludes while at the same time insisting "I Can Win because I Have a Fire In My Servant's Heart or Belly" when Newt, etal were kicked off. And don't get me started on the ridiculous photo shoot with the mismatched sweatshirts and pants (remember Geranimals? Always knew what to wear with what.) What a hot, sloppy mess.

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Brad Scharlott
07/18/2011 08:05

@clf: I accept your criticism that I was overly optimistic in hoping that Sullivan's move to Newsweek might signal a harder-hitting journalism.

But I was naive enough to think Tina Brown, by selecting Sullivan, was also going to adopt his desire to get to the bottom of Babygate. But you're right -- of course it was all about eyeballs and money.

Still, you are unfair to say Sullivan has never functioned as a journalist: in l'affaire Trig, he has made the calls reporters have failed to make such as to Mat-Su medical center and to obstetricians and then reported his findings.

One of my implied points in this article in that the older definitions of journalism may need revising in this new Internet age. The blogger/journalist is a kind of journalist.

Josh Marshall at TalkingPointMemo.com is a great example. I even put him in my first draft of this post as being such an example, but was afraid I was getting too long-winded and therefore dropped that.

As a professor of journalism, I am acutely aware of how the field is changing, and how people who like to think of themselves as experts, such as professors, are pretty clueless of where we are going to end up.

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molly Malone
07/18/2011 08:05

I wonder if some of the media reluctance to take on Palin may be due to fear of retaliation by the Murdock news empire which. as we have recently discovered, is far more powerful and far-reaching than many of us suspected.

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Sunshine1970
07/18/2011 08:07

I have a 6 month free subscription to Newsweek. When this issue showed up in my mailbox, I hid it so my neighbors wouldn't see the cover. Once I started to read the magazine (this past weekend) the first thing I did was tear out the entire Palin section, then ripped it up and put it in my recycling. I thumbed through the pics, disgusted. A true political candidate wouldn't stoop to this nonsense. The pics belonged in People, not Newsweek. Eight pages of fluff. EIGHT!

I read the article by Carl Bernstein. A much more interesting article, but only THREE pages (Think it was three pages...maybe only two...?) THAT one should have gotten the front cover and EIGHT pages, but it's not as sexy as Palin and her inflatable BOOBS, unfortunately.

The only thing I can hope for is Palin seems to sell. So, maybe by default Bernstein's article was read by more people than it otherwise would have.

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The other jk
07/18/2011 08:17

I have to try and believe that the ludicrous pictorial of Sarah Palin in Newsweek was actually an extension of Bernstein's takedown of Murdoch (as in, witness one of the jokes Murdoch has played on us).

As far as the Diana at 50 goes, I have no words....

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jame
07/18/2011 09:22

An excellent take on this horrible (laughable, even) attempt by Palin to try to 'sell herself' just one more time.You two are 'right on the money' in more ways than one in suggesting that Newsweek should be ashamed. Please continue your careful investigations in service to both good journalism and our country, so that Palin and other charlatans and pretenders can be exposed for who and what they are. Hopefully, whatever is left of journalism will wake up in the process of reading it.

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Conscious at last!
07/18/2011 09:24

This is a wonderful discussion-

But on the funny side- We have a magazine cover with Sarah and her false boobies and the top headline over it reads:
MURDOCH'S WATERGATE :))))

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Viola-Alex
07/18/2011 09:33

I just finished reading a Bush family expose, Family of Secrets, by Russ Baker(investigative journalist WaPo, LATimes, NYT, New Yorker and contributing editor for Columbia Jouralism Review.)

In it, he posits any number of shocking things (albeit reluctantly) supported by documents he uncovered--

Including the idea that Watergate was a setup to get rid of Nixon, and that Bob Woodward was a plant to get the story out, aided in part by WaPo executives who were Yale associates of GHWB.

If that's true, and reading Baker's account, it is more than plausible--

--then what in God's Name do we Have left? Watergate has been our ultimate journalism myth, and if it's not true, then is there any possibility of journalism as a noble endeavor?

Brad, do you know this book?

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Mhurka
07/18/2011 10:32

The cover caption should have read -I can win with these two honkers. (LOL).

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anon
07/18/2011 11:02

Headline should have read
"Boys in the Hoodie"

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Brad Scharlott
07/18/2011 11:12

Viola, a commenter about a month ago mentioned Baker's book, so I looked at it on Amazon and read some of the comments. The premise that Nixon was engineered out of the White House by Bush seems at least plausible. And maybe it makes more intuitive sense than the idea that two plucky young reporters toppled a presidency.

The stakes of the presidency are so high, you have to wonder how far people are willing to go. Was Palin truly ably to do the hoax with just her own moxie and help from family and a few others? Palin with a DS baby was so perfect a complement for the McCain ticket, counterbalancing his weakness among the fundies, you have to wonder if the Republicans were just super lucky such an improbable candidate appeared , or ...

It's pretty unsettling to contemplate.

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lilly lily
07/18/2011 11:24

I thought Watergate was simply the Republicans bugging a some randy Dems phone to get the goods on Dems and call girls.

I always wondered about the connection with John and Mo Dean

Sarah trotting out her fake girls is beyond ludicrous. LOOK, look, I have a big pair of hooters. IDIOT. Doesn't she know people are on to that little bit of her game? SEX may sell, and she certainly has a photoshopped pair with decollatage in the photos displayed of her on google.

Bosoms sell. I was at Sonoma Williams standing opposite a young woman who was spilling out of her blouse while watching a cooking demo. Her racoon eyes, and bosom were her advantages, plus youth. Otherwise a dumpy nothing. But who could take their eyes off the display if you were standing opposite? A man had stared at me nonstop the week before, and I was thinking WOW what he missed, because I was covered up to the neck.

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FrostyAK
07/18/2011 11:52

On the Murdoch scandal: The whistle blower conveniently ends up dead.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/18/995862/-News-Corp-phone-hacking-whistleblower-found-dead?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

On ALL print media and most audio-visual media in the US: When I was growing up we were all appalled by the "propaganda" that was rampant in Soviet Russia. How could the media and the government LIE to the people? The difference between that and what we have now is that the Russians KNEW they were being lied to.

At this point in time, I get my news from blogs and media in other countries. Brad, can you point to ANY source of real journalism in the print or audio visual mainstream media in this country? What I see totally disgusts me. I know you don't teach your students to be just stenographers.

$P could not have pulled off all of the crap she has, including Babygate, without the collusion of people much smarter and much more highly placed than she is (or ever will be). Murdoch and Malik were known to take her under their wings.

My hope is that Murdoch and his empire go up in flames, taking with it the half-term half-wit from Wasilla.

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mir i druzhba
07/18/2011 11:52

I was in the former USSR with my husband during some of the critical early stages of the Watergate drama. We were informed by our Intourist Guide, and others we met there, that Watergate was a plot engineered to take Nixon out of office because he favored "detente" with the Soviet Union.

We dismissed it as laughable Soviet propaganda, and still joke about it.

But now I'm wondering...

And yes, Brad, this is all horribly unsettling to contemplate, to the extent that most people would rather just shut off such speculation then contemplate changing their comfortable view of the world. But I think we are all about to lose our innocence, like it or not.

I just heard that one of the main sources for evidence for the phone hacking scandal in the UK (linking the scandal via Coulson to Cameron) has just been found dead. "Not suspicious" say the police.

Reminds me of the strange "suicide" of David Kelly, another whistleblower a few years back who was trying to tell the world the truth about WMD.

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DebinOH
07/18/2011 12:19

Well, if you read everything I have said about the LSM you will see that I agree with SP (only this once I hope). Are there any true reporters out there? I don't even watch my LOCAL news stations anymore because it is like watching Entertainment Tonight. Not that CNN doesn't do that as well.

As far as SP Newsweek cover and the article, it is as bad as the ludicrous movie she is in at the moment. No substance at all. I can't even believe that they printed this. Could you seriously imagine Hilary Clinton doing this? My god it is like we are voting for who has the best boobs.

I will tell you quite honestly if it weren't for the initial anti-Palin blogs I would have shot myself.

It is disgusting that comedy shows tell more of the truth than anyone else. Stewart and Colbert should get news awards not comedy awards. I wouldn't have survived without them either.

Can you tell I am surrounded by 'rill mericans? ;)

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Brickian
07/18/2011 12:43

@clf - I love Andrew Sullivan's blog and have read it almost daily - often many times daily - for seven years.

Perhaps it was due to my immersion that I never thought about it quite that way. I think it's completely fair to say Andrew's blog isn't journalism on the whole. Picking up the phone every now and again does not make what he does journalism. I'll probably continue to read Sully's blog for as long as he writes it but facts are facts. And I'm curious as to what he'd say about that -- I have a strong feeling he'd agree.

I have zero respect for Sarah Palin as a politician. I think she's unserious and dishonest. She irks me. Re: the wild ride, she either lied about it, is telling the truth and acted incredibly, incredibly irresponsibly, or pulled a gobsmacking hoax. Absent definitive proof and present the wackiness Palin has exhibited, I must hold out all those possibilities.

But as I've said here before, the capricious bitchiness that crops up on this blog from time to time - and it happens increasingly often it seems - is dismaying and robs this endeavor of its credibility. Brad, calling Palin a whore was beyond. You're a man!!

Both of you: yes, she looked ridiculous in the shoot. But going on and on about her breasts -- please!!! What was she supposed to do, bandage them down? Picking this woman's body apart is beyond. The top isn't even that form-fitting - she looks to me to be a C-cup with a narrow-enough waist, same as me, and, same as me, her boobs will stand out in any top that isn't billowy around the breast area. Was she supposed to change into a looser-fitting top upon inspection out of fear that catty bloggers might point fingers at her, or that men wouldn't be able to control their erections? Please. That notion should be offensive to any woman. The top looks fine.

Facts are facts: Palin is a very attractive woman. You think you hate her now, I shudder to think what kinds of comments people would make if she didn't wear glasses. When she flaunts her looks she should be called on it. And thus there *is* something to call her on in the Newsweek shoot. Leaning back on the dock and such? All fair game. But here breasts?

It annoys me to have to come to this woman's defense in any way, but the constant picking at her because she's attractive is beyond. And that's what it is.

I can see from the responses that I'm in the minority here, but it's worth saying anyway: Almost in spite of myself, I'm trusting your analysis less and less because of the MeanGirls (and Guys) tone of your posts. This woman is easy to ridicule and she deserves to be ridicule for a lot of the things she does...but there's something a bit extra here. :-(

I know it's not the first time I've made this comment about tone; it'll be the last.

Just sayin' :-)

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Allie
07/18/2011 12:50

I just want to mention that AIP stands for Alaska Independence Party, so for Todd to claim to change his voter registration to an Independent is well within the scope of the Palins' understanding of what truth is, isn't it?

@ V-A What was Bush's motive for bringing down Nixon? And, does Baker cover the guns and drug running?

IMO, investigative journalism is right here in the blogosphere. Thank you Laura and Brad. The MSM is for stenography. The conservative media is for memeography.

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07/18/2011 13:51

I have long appreciated Sullivan's style, his ability to cull various topics, keep them going from time to time, bring us into other worlds, and hear other voices, even if it's derivative. I'm not sure he ever posited himself a as an investigative journalist. Rather as a collective voice or conscience. I think other people have trudged up to Alaska to work on this story. Hopefully we'll find out what McGinniss learned as well as the "Fred" that Gryphen referred to.

When I think of the phrase others have used: Palin Porn, I think of this Diana debacle as Royal Blasphemy. She didn't deserve this, nor did her memory or her children. For Tina Brown to talk of being at a fundraising event at Althorpe, and then to presume to be in Diana's head, it was a horribly disrespectful and tacky endeavor.

I'd like to do a post one of these days on where we are all finding our information. It would be good to share those sources with one another in some sort of a coherent format.

I'd like to hear more about the Baker book. For now, I agree that in the old CCCP (USSR) people at least knew where they stood. Their outraged was silenced. Ours is being expressed in new ways every day - especially as events in Great Britain unfold.

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FrostyAK
07/18/2011 13:59

Alaska elections- you can register one of 4 ways to vote in AK:
Repub

Dem

Undeclared

Independent

Many have registered as independent thinking it MEANT undeclared. Not all of those people are even aware of AIP and it's connotations. AIP was founded by Joe Ziegler, with the only platform of AK seceding from the US. We KNOW the paylins are well aware of said connotations, and have had a very cozy relationship with AIP for years.

On $P's boobs in Newsweek - her chest size varies as much and as often as the "pregnant pics" did. She obviously put on her water or air bra and puffed out her chest for those pinup pics in Newsweek. When one flaunts their fake boobs in such a way, they are fair game for comments - ANY kind of comments, IMO.

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rubbernecking
07/18/2011 13:59

I think NYT has done good work on Wikileaks, illegal wiretapping, and the News of the World hacking. Jane Meyer and Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker have also published hard hitting, well-researched pieces.

Here's an interesting article about how the Guardian and NYT may be working together of some of these investigative pieces: http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/the_news_corp_scandal_is_a_tri.php

Investigative journalism is also often ignored. Barron's investigated and published a Madoff expose in 2001--SEVEN YEARS before his sons turned him in. The Nation sent an investigative reporter to Somalia to research secret CIA rendition sites. But the CIA investigation gets less coverage than a stupid "expose" about Michelle Obama eating fries at Shake Shack.

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Viola-Alex
07/18/2011 14:05

@Brickian: Interesting. You made me pause and think. If we had a similar photo of Mitt -- with casual unbuttoned shirt and showing the belt-line of casual breezy trousers sitting on his hip -- I know I'd think WTF. There is no context to the photo but Palin's looks. And according to Laura, inside there are more photos of a similar vein. Politicians usually show us rolled up shirt sleeves and earnest expressions to signify their gravitas. Maybe this is more along the lines of those glossy Reagan portraits where he looked like somebody's handsome uncle?

When I bitched about the cover to a journalist friend, he laughed and said Remember when they put that formal portrait of Nancy and Ron Reagan on Vanity Fair? The liberals had a heart attack.

Tina may have pimped Sarah. But Being the pimpee is never a good thing.

@Allie - Bush and his cronies had lots of reasons for pulling Nixon down, one of which was that they could. He wasn't them. There are lots of drugs and guns in the book. Not sure which ones you mean.



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Scout
07/18/2011 14:32

@brickian - I too am an Andrew Sullivan fan despite the fact that he often irks me. If what he does is labeled news aggregating, so be it, but he does a good job of it, draws from many sources to present facts and then offers his commentary. So yes, he is not a traditional journalist per se, but he does practice a certain form of modern journalism. He brings events and stories to the attention of people who might otherwise not be aware of them.

As for your defense of $P's water bra and tight sweats outfit, I will agree she looks fine. For someone who is famous for being famous - a la Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, that is. However, she is not presenting herself as what she'd like us to believe she aspires to be: presidential. So for Newsweek to present this mess of a "story" as if $P were A Very Serious Candidate juxtaposed with this cheesy Glamour Shots photo valentine is seriously dishonest and of value to nothing but the bottom line. I'm not a prude either but I expect the POTUS and anyone who truly aspires to the office to conduct themselves appropriately. This cover and the centerfold pictures inside do not convey a person who understands the gravity of the office of POTUS.

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Brickian
07/18/2011 15:29

@Scout and Viola-Alex: totally - points well taken

And now that I've read back my comment the tone seems a bit self-righteous and over-the-top, and I'm laughing at myself. lol

And Laura and Brad, I still love you. :-)

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Brad Scharlott
07/18/2011 15:42

Brickian: I appreciate your comment and apologize if the tone offended.

In my defense, I called Newsweek a whore also, hence was clearly speaking figuratively. And for good measure made fun of men, myself included, referring to the limp things in our pockets.

Plus I made fun of my tone with the Masterpiece Theatre schtick.

Humor is hard to do. I invite others to let me know if that sort of cutting up offended you, or if it made you smile, or whatever.

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Lidia17
07/18/2011 15:43

I bought "Family of Secrets" but have not read it yet. I'm afraid to raise my blood pressure that much.

I can believe Nixon was taken down. He was quite paranoid, and had a chip on his shoulder because he was not one of the upper crust. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you, as the famous saying goes.

I never thought to connect that feeling of inferiority and paranoia to the Bush family, but at this point, I know these monsters (not just the Bushes, but Murdoch, the Kochs, the Cheneys and Roves of the world) are capable of anything. ANYthing.

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Lidia17
07/18/2011 15:50

@Brickian, as you well know, the most offensive thing about Palin's boobies on the cover of Newsweek is that anyone who is paying attention knows that, in that photo, she is sporting FAKE BOOBIES.

I've heard this "I dislike SP, BUT…" chime so many times now that it is as familiar to me as the ersatz "Winchester Cathedral" doorbell chime.

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07/18/2011 16:01

Hey Brad, for what it's worth, I think you're very funny and I'm very glad you have these conversations with me. I also think you're very smart and hecka articulate (as today's youth like to say). And you write good :-)


Watching Murdoch situation unfold. Perhaps we should have an open thread about it Wed? Not sure how to approach it all. Story is changing so fast. And it's so critical to this very tiny story we've all been following that as so many of you have conjectured simply must be part of a larger power play.

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Lidia17
07/18/2011 16:14

@Brad, I am losing count now of how often you have apologized to apparent trolls. WE NEED NO APOLOGIES FOR WHAT WE THINK AND BELIEVE!

Sheesh. Over at Joe McGinniss' joint we are supposed to apologize for believing the photo evidence and our own eyes!

Too "subjective"!!, it's said…

Doesn't constitute even a single "leg to stand on", says he.

BULL. SHIT.

I am sick of this bullshit.

A woman does not go from a flat belly to a basketball pregnancy in the course of one month. QED, Palin faked her pregnancy.

All you shithead trolls--deal with reality for once in your sick, pathetic lives!! Find another Queen to worship, because Palin is rotten, rotten, rotten to the core. But I suppose that's what attracts you maggots to her in the first place.

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Viola-Alex
07/18/2011 16:25

Brickian-- aw, thanks for listening. My daughter was once chastised for wearing a tank top to school because her breasts were too large. Flat girls had no problem with tank tops. AND it was a girls school! I hear you.

Laura -- great idea on the Murdoch thread. I don't trust that it's all good news yet. He's a wily bastard.

Brad -- I'm so glad you're a part of this. It's a risky world on the blogosphere.

Finally, I have a hard time thinking of bloggers as investigative reporters. I think of them as synthesizers and editorialists, even populist or public journalists. Or maybe noisy greek choruses.

In regards to Trig-Gate, an investigative journalist doesn't wait for tips, but makes them. He/she bugs people, asks hard questions, even runs the risk of stalking sources. An investigative journalist after the Trig story would need to knock on the doors of:

CBJ
Dar Williams' partner
families of the Wasilla ministers who died in car crashes in AZ and AK, just in case
Shailey Tripp
Frank Bailey
ex-Uncle Mike "Taser"
Sherry, Levi, Sadie, Keith
Andrea Gusty
and so forth

That's tough stuff. Hard, expensive work.

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Stryker
07/18/2011 16:43

RE - Todd's registration. He registered as a member of the fringe Alaska Independence Party, not as an Independent. SarahPalin addressed their convention but was registered as a Republican. Her sympathies are well known.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/members-of-frin.html

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Up
07/18/2011 16:49

when the Spiral of Silence article was released I sent it to NPR's On the Media but was rebuffed. Other pitches I've made to talk shows to cover Palin were met with a "maybe after she's a serious contender.". The same station did a segment on her June bus tour.

I'm frustrated by the unwillingness of many in the media to confront fallacies and question any part of a candidate or potential candidate's record.

Re the Bushes, I'd never heard the Nixon allegation. It fits with a story I read in the 80s about a journalist who died under mysterious circumstances pursuing a story about GHWB, guns and Iran contra affair. I have never been able to find another reference to that death.

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stryker
07/18/2011 16:50

And from Yahoo Answers - courtesy of Talking Points Memo re: Todd's involvement with the AIP.


Why doesn't Sarah Palin discuss AIP, where her husband Todd was a member?


"If Palin is going to say this, it is now perfectly legitimate to point out that she repeatedly courted a secessionist group founded by someone who openly professed hatred of the American government, cursed our flag, and wanted to secede from the Union. Sarah's husband, Todd Palin, was a member of this group, which continues to venerate that founder to this day, for years." (TPM)

And this little roundup of Palin interests:

http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=sarah_palin_1

She's AIP and Dominionist - a very dangerous combination and not healthy for our country. Think it would be interesting to dig deeper about the Voglers and Todd's ties to the Alaska Citizens Militia?

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ginny11
07/18/2011 18:40

Brickian said: "Was she supposed to change into a looser-fitting top upon inspection out of fear that catty bloggers might point fingers at her, or that men wouldn't be able to control their erections? Please. That notion should be offensive to any woman. The top looks fine."

No, she was supposed to have NOT DONE A FASHION-MODEL-LIKE PHOTOSHOOT AT ALL! As a woman, I AM OFFENDED by her transparent attempts to use her physical/sexual appearance to promote herself as a politician and PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!
If you cannot see that WE point out how SHE uses her attractiveness/sexuality to promote herself politically, and that is the ONLY REASON we point out ANYTHING about her looks...then I have to say you are either not seeing what Palin is really all about, or you are just a concern troll. And I don't make the CT accusation lightly, because I've been accused myself when I took an unpopular position on the Palin-critical blogs. So I'm going to assume that you are JUST NOT SEEING what Palin is doing here! She is getting people like you to defend her!
Just for a moment, imagine if ANY OTHER female politician were to do a FASHION-MODEL-LIKE photo spread in order to promote herself politically. Really. Just try. You can't, can you?
Now, who is making Palin's "attractiveness" and sexuality...her BOOBS...the issue? It's not us. It's her.
If Palin were nothing more than a celebrity, and this were a celebrity-watch blog, and we were all making fun of her latest photo shoot....then you could call us catty, jealous, mean-"girls".
But she is trying to present herself as PRESIDENTIAL while doing a photo-spread as if she's a fashion model!!! For chrissakes!!! WAKE UP!!!!

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Lidia17
07/18/2011 19:33

ginny11, you should appreciate the humorous Bill Maher take on Sarah's conquest of Newsweek (if you don't mind the bad language).

http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2011/07/bill-maher-explains-why-liberals.html

Apparently the only figure to have appeared more frequently on Newsweek covers than Sarah Palin is… JESUS!

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Ivyfree
07/18/2011 19:33

"I just heard that one of the main sources for evidence for the phone hacking scandal in the UK (linking the scandal via Coulson to Cameron) has just been found dead. "Not suspicious" say the police.

Reminds me of the strange "suicide" of David Kelly, another whistleblower a few years back who was trying to tell the world the truth about WMD."

A few years ago, there was a story in the news about six bombers flying across the country carrying nuclear missiles. They weren't supposed to have been moved. About a month later, I read that six pilots had all died... in car accidents and mysterious illnesses. I tried to verify, but my investigative skills aren't very good. I read it, and the commentary was that it was statistically impossible for all six pilots to die. They were all young(ish), fit, professional military men. How could they all die within such a short space of time?

I could never find any verification.. but it left me deeply uneasy.

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07/18/2011 19:58

I finally looked at IM (my browser doesn't like Gryphen's site, so I don't usually go there), and you know what Sarah's pictures remind me of? Anthony Weiner's crotch shots... and Chris Lee's shirt-off mirror shot... The same exhibitionist tendencies.

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FrostyAK
07/18/2011 20:34

From the point of view of someone who has endured $P since city council days, I am going to give a bit of advice.

$P glories in the clashes of commenters on the blogs. It feeds her enormous ego. So if someone makes a comment that we don't like, or feel is utterly ridiculous, we have 2 choices. One, we can ignore the comment altogether. Or two, we can make counter arguments without attacking anyone. I know it is difficult with this blog interface to address a specific comment, but we have been doing surprisingly well so far.

Now you can tell me to shut the hell up and mind my own business... :-)

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Ottoline
07/18/2011 21:41

Brickian -- Yes you definitely have a tiny minority view, and it is one I share. I wince every time I read someone calling Palin a vulgar name or ranting about her poor taste or sexuality or call her ugly. For three main reasons.

1. What matters is her unsuitability for office, one aspect of which is lying (i.e., the baby hoax), but actually it's far more because she has abysmally little to offer except her charisma that foments the hysteria of the dispossesed -- the very ones Obama was criticized for (privately!) saying are bitter and turn to guns and fundie quasi-religion in their backwater pockets of generations-old poverty. There is little need to discuss Palin's unsuitability for office because almost everyone agrees on it and it's also been amply documented. Her looks, sexuality, poor judgment, vulgarity, dysfunctional family, cosmetic surgery -- all would be unimportant if she were fit for office. And yet we rag on and on about it, and it's unseemly, rude, vulgar for us to do so -- and yes it detracts from our credibility to focus on such trivial issues, and to take delight (it seems) in the rant. (By the way, I have been guilty of this too, I am ashamed to say.)

2. My second reason to agree with you is that the real problem is not Palin but her enablers. The dispossessed enable her for reasons that are easy to understand, and I sympathize with the causes of that dynamic but of course we can't let it rule us. The fat cats enabling her is a different matter. We still don't know the exact details of who picked her and why, but we have a pretty good idea of the lines of force: the fundamentalist right along with moneyed interests who would have been far better served by McCain/Palin as POTUS than Obama. Who gave Palin $7M (book advance)? Rupert. Who gave her a hi-paid gig with Fox? Where do all the other perks come from, and why? We have a pretty good idea but we lack the nuts and bolts facts, unsurprisingly. THIS is what we should be ranting about, and often we do. But to care about wigs and boobs and big or bad shoes as if those things mattered v much just cheapens the importance of the rest of it, which truly is a threat to our freedom and prosperity.

3. Bill Maher recently had a really good commentary that would have been suitable for sending to my friends who are unaware of the Palin issues: he did a pithy, great job with lots of important content. But I could not forward it because Maher has ruined his credibility with people I consider truly decent and good: he has used too many gratuitous 4-letter words and other obscenities as a regular thing. Some people, me included, still find that unnecessary, ridiculous, and cheap, and whomsoever speaks like that immediately loses credibility with me. My teen boys tell me how old-fashioned that is, that EVERYONE talks like that nowadays, and they seem to be right. But I don't like it. Someone just called Palin a cunt on one of these blogs. That's the kind of talk Track exhibits. We don't have to follow his lead. Such talk conveys almost zero information. And strategically, what purpose does it serve? Don't we have more meaningful words to describe with accuracy, data, and politesse what we dislike about Palin? Whether she sets herself up for it or not, we don't have to stoop to that level. And why accentuate the tin-foil hats that any mention of a Palin hoax conjures up? Let's stay away from Photoshop and embrace maximum politeness.

I read "Family of Secrets," and it's like so many supposed expose' works: it offers a set of tantalizing dots that seem to connect but don't quite make it, due to lack of enough concrete info. And it's believable to me because I try to put myself in the shoes of a Bush or a Murdoch: Not many people at those exalted heights, and sure they mostly know each other and have common interests and secrets. The secret Yale society Scull and Bones, the secret meetings at the Bohemian Grove, etc., etc. Of course they want to maximize their positions of power and wealth. Of course they don't care about the middle class or our issues. Of course they can get away with a lot, rarely getting caught. So they do what their entitled giant egos prompt them to do. Not a new problem for us human beans. Makes perfect sense to me. But is there proof in that book? No. Do we think something might have been a little fishy in JFK's death? WMD? 9/11? McCain and Palin? Bush's election over Gore? Yup. Yes indeedy. Will we ever know all the details? Not if the perps can prevent it. And they have a lot of resources to keep it away from us.

Okay, that was MY rant du jour. Just my opinion.

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Ottoline
07/18/2011 21:55

Geez, with my bad rant, I forgot all about Newsweek. Yes, Newsweek is pathetic. I was hugely disappointed because I have had a lot of respect for Tina Brown, for her VF and NYer work. Talk didn't do it for me, though. I say this is a v poor start for the new business model she implied she was creating in joining Newsweek and Beast. I never read Newsweek unless it's free on the web. I bet Tina and Rupert are connected in some way that will prob never come to light. I don't think our reporters and writers are lazier or more dishonest than they have been in times past, but I do believe there is a corporate gag order on Palin baby hoax stories. Just like Obama said he would fire anyone who used that story in the election campaign. That was a good thing, but a gag order on this issue is just the tip of the iceberg on what else we don't get told. And yes, we are part of the problem -- the demand part of the problem. We'd rather read about tits and ass than deficit issues and the macro-economics of why our govt should be spending right now. Preferably on good things, but spending in any case, on no matter what. But who reads Krugman in the NYT when they can look at pictures of Palin.

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Brickian
07/18/2011 22:36

@ginny

Perhaps you should read my entire post again. I conceded your broader point about the stupidity and silliness of the shoot, and we're already aligned on a few of the other things you've asked me to "wake up and see". If any other female did a fashion model shoot, I'd call it "ridiculous" just I did the Palin shoot in my bost. That is different from picking apart her body. See the distinction? The shoot can (and should) be skewered on its own merits.

I don't know what a "concern troll" is but it doesn't sound nice. Just saying what's on my mind, that's all.

Don't read too much into the "girls" in Meangirls...you're over-parsing. I was just appropriating a movie title as a pop culture reference.

A lot of criticism of Palin centers around her looks. This one did. There are so many other, more substantive, demonstrably true things to critique Palin on: she's vacuous, she's a liar, she's exhibited a history of abuse to the people who have worked for her, she's unserious, she's self absorbed, she's lazy. What need of talking about how her boobs look in a photo? Now, if she'd worn some plunging neckline thing or had her boobs served up or hanging out, different story and totally fair game. But my impression from looking at her outfit is that she just showed up in a pretty normal top and there you go. And I just think we should refrain from picking apart her boobs if they're just doing her thing.

I think it's fair for you to be offended that she's using her sexuality to promote herself. I think its fair for you to consider that undermining. (I don't because if I ever ran for president, I wouldn't make a fool of myself like she is and don't think anyone would mistake us for being in the same league -- so her using her body causes no offense to me, though it shores up my belief that she's true to that laundry list of bad traits above.) It is literally the fact of singling out her boobs that makes me cringe. Now if you want to talk about her laying back on the dock and her come-hither look and so on...let's pour a cocktail and settle in because I could go on and on about that.

@Brad: Thanks and accept MY apology if I sounded self-righteous and for perhaps being dense about how you were using the word "whore" (still makes me cringe...but to your point the parallel with Newsweek makes a difference)

@Lidia17: Perhaps it's fitting that I have no clue what the "Winchester Cathedral" chime is (or perhaps it's ubiquitous but I've never known the name). What's wrong with "I dislike Sarah but"?...is that a critique? If so, guilty as charged and proud of it. Do people like me who try to stay clear-eyed exasperate you? Give that a little more thought...

And what in the heck is a troll?!? I live on the 9th floor, not under a bridge, and I'm just trying to dialog with you folks in good faith. Goodness!

Her boobs just might be fake. I'm pro-choice, she can do with her body what she wants.

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Brickian
07/18/2011 22:42

Oh and Laura - didn't know you were a J-Schooler! We share an alma mater. :-) I'm eager for your open thread because I have a mouthful to say about my time at Columbia. Not sure how you feel but from my perspective, the ethics piece was part of the curriculum but...apart from the curriculum. Meh - I'll gather my thoughts in anticipation of the thread.

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i'm disappointed in joe mcginnis
07/19/2011 05:26

his trig denialism, and his friendship with roger ailes, are factors in my decision not to buy his book - maybe my local library will get it

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Lidia17
07/19/2011 05:29

ginny11, you should appreciate this humorous Bill Maher take on Sarah's conquest of Newsweek (if you don't mind the bad language).

http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2011/07/bill-maher-explains-why-liberals.html

According to Maher, the only figure to have appeared more frequently than Sarah Palin on Newsweek covers is… Jesus!

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Rationalist
07/19/2011 06:38

Andrew Sullivan is a blogger. He has never claimed to be a journalist. He offers his opinions on contemporary politics and culture.

I get frustrated too because he's so frickin' smart I want him to function as a journalist.

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lilly lily
07/19/2011 07:03

Some here call us on commenting on a certain womans use of false breasts and boob enhancement lingerie.

That ISN'T unusual? To have a woman aspiring to to be one of the most important people in the current world order called on ridiculous physical enhancers.

So King Henry VIII wore a cod peice to signal his virility.

WHAT is the POINT with fake breasts popping out now and then to make a woman more attractive to men? I really don't know, but I think it is ridiculous. Absolutely unprofessional for a woman aspiring to the Presidency of the U.S.A..

Sarah the runner up in a beauty contest doesn't seem to know the difference between professionalism and calender poses.

Palin poses, nothing more. Always poses because there is no substance to her.

Some of us understand that difference and others act as if we are being catty.

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The other jk
07/19/2011 07:32

We all know, Brickian, that Sarah Palin didn't just show up in anything. Everything this woman does is carefully calculated, including inflating her chest to make her shirt tighter. Liken it to a male politician posing in tight jeans with a sock stuffed in his briefs in order to appeal to the ladies. Of course, that would never happen.

As all things Palin, the whole thing is patently ridiculous.

There's nothing wrong with wearing a padded bra, but you have to question the motives of someone wearing an obviously padded bra while posing "seductively" and claiming to be a serious presidential contender.

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jk
07/19/2011 07:53

@disappointed, I'm on the fence about this one. Do you know what the deal was with the leak of Bailey's book? Was it as outright unscrupulous as it sounds? The recent potshots at Levi are also off-putting, on top of what you mention.

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lilly lily
07/19/2011 07:56

Watching the Murdochs. Possibly the biggest scandal of decades.

Ironic that Sarah Palin and Rupert teamed up. Prime Minister Cameron may well go down. I hope Sarah Palin and her unholy alliance to Rupert will be brought out.

I have felt that way since his yacht, and jet showed up in Alaska years ago.

Her puppetmaster is bleeding and in deep waters now with the sharks circling.

Her turn will come.

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Laura Novak
07/19/2011 08:08

I agree with Frosty AK, and that has always been my intent: healthy discourse and mature disagreements. Trust me, you're not seeing the comments where I am called the C word, among others. Nor would I tolerate Palin being called the C word. I have no truck with that.

Let's keep our eyes on London today. You are all right that the trickle down theory may be in play here.

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comeonpeople
07/19/2011 09:13

If Palin wants to be taken seriously, she should be seen in photos wearing power suits, pumps and pearls, doing smart-like looking stuff. We know she's good at faking lots o' stuff!
Her mismatched clothing and seductive (so she thinks/hopes) poses make me think of the movie Napolean Dynamite and the awful glamour shots the female character liked to create. Now that was funny stuff! Sarah just looks like an idiot in these pictures.

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Conscious at last
07/19/2011 09:37

When we choose to read, watch or listen to "the news" or "op/eds," WE are still "in charge." We can determine how to integrate the information into our "being." Accept or reject are only two of our choices-- there are many other gradations. Once we know a bit about the source, we can employ our own interpretive skills.

The latest scandal re: Murdock is like a long simmering infection that has boiled over-- momentarily. I think of this situation the way I understand Herpes- ya usually can't get rid of it once ya got it. The best strategy is avoidance.

Most of the news shows on TV are somewhere between info-tainment and toxic-misinformation injections. Much of the print media is similar. We can bemoan this fact endlessly. But we can also take charge by carefully choosing what we expose ourselves to.

We can also participate in creating something new, paving the new pathway-- which is how I understand this blog and other high quality ones like it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I, too, shy away from nasty sniping at one's appearance. But this is different from calling Mrs. Palin a whore-- a media whore to be specific. What is a whore- someone who would "sell themselves" for money or trinkets. This is EXACTLY what SP does. The magazine cover and inside photos that this post highlights offer a clear example. We see Palin using the "excuse" of politics to sell sex while she uses sex to collect money for a faux political campaign. I cannot think of a better way to describe Palin-- she is, indeed, a media whore.

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Viola-Alex
07/19/2011 09:43

Murdoch accosted while speaking; defended by young wife. King Lear, anyone?

http://news.yahoo.com/man-rushes-rupert-murdoch-hearing-160244558.html

maybe not. I always felt a bit of sympathy for Lear. . .

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lilly lily
07/19/2011 10:21

I know what you mean. Despicable as they are I always feel a twinge when anyone is cornered.

Have been watching the hearings. A grey suited woman (lawyer) saved Murdoch from the shaving cream custard? pie.. The Wendy Murdoch lept up gave him a swat.

Now Rebekah Brooks is being as shifty as Murdoch and son.

It is riveting in a way. Murdoch will never recover from this humilitation

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FrostyAK
07/19/2011 13:11

$P is a publicity/attention whore, there can be no doubt about that. She sexualizes just about everything she does to get that attention/publicity.

I found this article of interest in putting forth the possible reasons for that observable phenomenon.

http://sarahpalinhasaserpentsheart.blogspot.com/2011/07/sarah-palin-sexual-abuse-victim.html

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Ivyfree
07/19/2011 14:44

"I, too, shy away from nasty sniping at one's appearance. But this is different from calling Mrs. Palin a whore-- a media whore to be specific."

I wouldn't limit her.

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lilly lily
07/19/2011 17:51

Actually I'm glad to be diverted from Palin by the Murdoch clan and their mess.

an interesting change from one pathology to another.

Wendi Deng Murdoch is quite the manipulater. A Dragon Lady, go into Wicki and read about her personal climb up to Rupert Murdochs level. A scheming other woman using older men. Wendy would make mincemeat of Sarah Palin. Smarter, and absolutly ruthless like Rupert.

In the midst of a heat wave, who wants to think of Sarah Palin?

Time for a summer break.

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Mic Mac
07/19/2011 19:37

Tina Brown nearly destroyed The New Yorker during her hiatus, before she was given the boot. She's an airhead, an example of incompetence that rises to the top by virtue of continually moving the rotten pea under many cups. Someday she will run out of cups, but what can I say? The system often supports lack of talent in equal part to actual talent. Always has been this way, in private life as well as public.

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lilly lily
07/20/2011 10:48

I think the press is over its peculiar crush on a certain Alaskan candidate for a place at Hooters Hall of Fame.

Considering the flop of the "Undefeated", the aborted trips to Africa and England, her Paul Revere word salad, isn't it about time the media (outside of Faux) realized the woman was a big fat zero?

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Molly
07/20/2011 14:48

Would Sarah Palin sunbathe topless. That is the question!

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rubbernecking
07/21/2011 08:23

Most commenters are here because they don't believe Palin gave birth on 4/18/08. From there, our agendas diverge.

Some people want a very narrow focus on Palin's unusual pregnancy. The goal is to convince a large audience (outside this blog) that Palin's for-profit birth story is false and that it's in the public interest to know. I'm in this camp; let's call it Camp 1.

Some people believe we have sufficient proof of Palin's fake pregnancy. These people are focused on proving someone else, likely Bristol, was pregnant and gave birth. Like Camp 1, they also want public acknowledgement that Palin's birth story is false but they also want to uncover what the true birth story is. They believe knowledge of the bigger story will help convince a wider audience. Let call this Camp 2. I think this is the majority Camp.

Finally, some people believe the blog should discuss serious crimes they believe were committed by the Palins and their associates in the cover-up of the fake pregnancy. This group targets the press, medical staff, Christian groups, and AK government workers. Let's call this Camp 3.

I think most of the arguments in the comments are clashes between groups acting in good-faith. We clash because we have different goals and we are appealing to different audiences. I clash with Camp 3 (Serious Crimes). This group irks me because I feel they are creating unnecessary enemies in pursuit of leads that can't be reasonably proven or disproven to a wider audience. Likewise, Camp 3 detests me because I am actively trying to squash discussions they believe will uncover good information and bring justice to wrong doers. I think Camps 1 and 3 are also writing for different audiences. Camp 1 wants to convert people outside the blog. Camp 3 probably believes that Camp 1 is naively pursuing an audience that will never change their minds about the fake pregnancy. Camp 3 prefers to strengthen the convictions of those who already dislike Palin.

Arguments about boob jokes are similar. Some commenters will believe these jokes are offensive to the audience they are chasing. But if you don't think the audience is worth chasing, you won't be worried about offending them.

Laura, you are clearly working hard to accomodate different viewpoints and approaches. In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to move in the direction of Camp 1 but I have no desire to sabotage you if you've chosen another direction. I'm not sure where you stand. To the people in Camp 3, you drive me bonkers most days but I also know you keep the story alive. My grievance with you is not personal. I just think your zeal is taking the investigation in a bad direction.

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07/21/2011 09:05

Rubbernecking, thank you for taking the time to write what seems to be a thorough assessment. As a blogger, there's only so much I can do in a day and keep up with all my other work. I'd love to be able to go in so many directions and follow through on so many excellent suggestions. Alas, I am a one man band, and hence have been fortunate to rely on so many great commenters who also provide excellent guest posts.
I think as long as everyone maintains a civil level of discourse, the differences of opinions can coexist.

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lilly lily
07/21/2011 12:22

I'm not in any of those 3 camps with any agenda, other than showing up a flawed and dangerous Palin as unfit for the office of the Presidency of the U.S.A.

Anything that show her peculiar and to my mind mental derangements and lack of smarts, strange affiliations for her backing, odd behavior including bizarre choices of clothing and her on again, off again bosom enhancements are to my mind something that points to a woman who is unfit for that office.

At this point I accept the main lines media avoidance of the pregnancy issue. If they won't talk about it, so be it...

Let the blogs do their work. Eventually someone will find definative proof, but it won't bother some, simply because they will say she did it out of love for her daughter.

So I'm for the buckshot route.

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