Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why should the media apologize?

Yesterday, I wrote a post asking whether John McCain was in danger of losing the favorable media coverage in his campaign. Ever since the media has been investigating vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's past, and her record, the McCain campaign has been attacking the media, even accusing the media of sexism in their reporting of Palin's record.

Well, the Politico's Roger Simon addresses the McCain campaign's accusations of media sexism against Palin:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — 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.

It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn’t be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols.

Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head Wednesday night (and several in the audience wish she had hit some reporters on the head instead) when she said: “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”

But where did we go wrong with Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways:

First, we should have stuck to the warm, human interest stuff like how she likes mooseburgers and hit an important free throw at her high school basketball tournament even though she had a stress fracture.

Second, we should have stuck to the press release stuff like how she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere (after she supported it).

Third, we should never have strayed into the other stuff. Like when The Washington Post recently wrote: “Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body. … Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints.”

Why go there? What trees does that plant?

Fourth, we should stop making with all the questions already. She gave a really good speech. And why go beyond that? As we all know, speeches cannot be written by others and rehearsed for days. They are true windows to the soul.

Unless they are delivered by Barack Obama, that is. In which case, as Palin said Wednesday, speeches are just a “cloud of rhetoric.”

Now I know that there is some sexism within the media against Sarah Palin, as Shakesville's Melissa McEwan has documented. But the McCain campaign is even more disingenuous here. The McCain campaign is using sexism to attack the media for actually doing its job in investigating Sarah Palin's qualifications--something the McCain campaign completely failed at. The McCain campaign does not want the media asking these questions about Palin, but rather than debate the media on Palin, the McCain campaign takes the easy way out in whining about how the bad media is attacking Palin because she is a woman. This is another example of the hypocrisy that exists within the McCain campaign.

And finally, here is McCain supporter and former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman stating that the media has not been sexist to Palin. From YouTube:

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