Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sarah Palin vs. the Media

Sarah Palin has battled the media since the early days of her vice presidential candidacy. There's something about attacking the "elite media" and the "liberal media" that seems to set very well with small town conservative voters - and Palin used that to her advantage.

Palin and her supporters have continued to slam the media for being unfair to her, even after the end of her campaign. Palin recently claimed Katie Couric and Tina Fey "exploited" her during the campaign. But has the media really been biased against her?

For starters, we can instantaneously dismiss the notion that conservative media outlets - including Fox News, New York Post, Washington Times, National Review and Weekly Standard - have been anything but kind to her. It's also safe to conclude that liberal outlets as the Daily Kos, The Nation and some of the evening commentators on MSNBC haven't been her biggest fans.

But was Katie Couric being unfair when she asked Palin - a journalism major - what newspapers she reads (and Palin couldn't come up with any)? Or whether she could come up with a Supreme Court Case besides Roe v. Wade (she couldn't)? Was Charlie Gibson too mean in asking a vice presidential candidate a question about the Bush Doctrine - the biggest foreign policy shift the US has taken in well over half a century (and she didn't know what it was)?

Even Mike Huckabee said Couric was "extraordinarily gentle" with Palin.

It is true that Palin was often attacked by the media, but it seems that this transpired as it became very clear to a majority of Americans that she was out of her depth and unqualified for the vice presidency. Prominent conservatives and Republicans such as Kathleen Parker and David Frum echoed these sentiments well before November 4.

So my question for the class is: was the mainstream media (forget the ideologues on the fringes) inherently biased against Sarah Palin from the start, or were they simply doing their job and reflecting the sentiments of the country she was running to represent?

No comments:

Post a Comment