It's the Right-Wingers Who Are Unloading the Harshest Critiques About Palinâ€™s Bizarre Departure
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Shocking, I know. But the maneuver left the right-wing foot soldiers completely exposed. For instance, Brent Bozell's NewsBusters whined that biased reporters on ABC, CBS, and NBC had called Palin's Friday press conference "bizarre." But as Media Matters' Jamison Foser asked, what other adjective could journalists have possibly used? "Bizarre" perfectly captured the jaw-dropping media event staged on the banks of Alaska's Lake Lucille in Wasilla.
And sure enough, "bizarre" was the exact word conservative Times columnist Ross Douthat used to describe Palin's presser:
But last Friday's bizarre, rambling resignation speech should take her off the political map for the duration of the Obama era.
For some reason though, NewsBusters didn't write up Douthat for a liberal media bias infraction. In fact, the website was forced to give a pass to conservative Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer for calling Palin's move " erratic" and " delusional," and to Karl Rove for admitting to being "perplexed" by Palin's unorthodox "no más" move. And that wasn't the half of it from the conservative chorus:
- "Giving up on an executive job a year and a half early isn't the best way to persuade voters you're ready for the more demanding rigors and scrutiny of the White House. ... Some Alaskans, including many of her admirers, can be forgiven if they conclude she bugged out when the going got rough." [editorial, The Wall Street Journal; 07/07/2009]
- "If this is geared for her run for the presidency in 2012, it is one of the most politically tone deaf decisions that we've seen." [GOP consultant Stuart Roy, ABCNews.com; 07/05/2009]
- "She dashed her chances of winning the 2012 nomination. ... Forget about Sarah Palin as the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 and probably ever." [Fred Barnes column, The Weekly Standard; 07/05/2009]
See the glaring contradiction here? How can it be the so-called liberal media's fault that Palin gets bad press when conservatives were out front giving Palin bad press? How can right-wingers argue that liberals are obsessed with taking Palin down, when it's conservatives who are elbowing each other to reach the front of the get-Palin crowd? In other words, shouldn't the question be: Why do conservatives hate Sarah Palin so much? (And, is it because she's so pretty?)
Of course, the right has been propping up this media straw man on Palin's behalf for months now. Back during the campaign, The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger penned an angry column titled, " Hatin' Palin," in which he bemoaned the "stoning" the former VP candidate has had to withstand from "the media." "The abuse being heaped on Sarah Palin is such a cheap shot," he lamented.
Of course, Henninger wouldn't say so, but it was GOP pundits who seemed to be unfurling the most "abuse" at Palin: conservative commentators such as Peggy Noonan, George Will, David Brooks, David Frum, and Kathleen Parker -- who all came clean about Palin's glaring deficiencies as a candidate. In fact, Brooks went so far as to call her a "cancer" on the GOP, while Noonan claimed Palin's candidacy symbolized a "new vulgarism in American politics." Yet Henninger played dumb and pretended "the media" were guilty of taking pot shots at Palin.
And so it is today: Right-wing media activists are trying to whip up righteous indignation at how nasty and unfair the liberal media are being toward Palin and her decision to step down as governor. Truth is, conservative commentators are the ones unfurling the harshest critiques.
In other words, when it comes to fighting the GOP's bruising Palin civil war, leave the press, and liberals, out of it.