The left wing media continues its smear-job on Sarah Palin. They are getting more sophisticated in their attempts to marginalize the Governor of Alaska. Instead of the blatant can a mother of five be a Vice President? There is now Sarah Palin is seducing her audience. Have you ever heard the media describe Barack Obama as seducing his audience, or John McCain? Of course not. This is simply more of what we have been getting since McCain announced the Alaska Governor as his choice less than two weeks ago:
Korda: Is Sarah Palin “seducing” her audiences? By George Korda
Monday, September 8, 2008
There is language being used by some segments of the news media toward Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that very likely wouldn’t be tolerated if she were not a Republican and a conservative. For example, here is the lead of a Sept. 4, Associated Press story about Gov. Palin: “With a forceful speech that served as her introduction to millions of Americans on Wednesday, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin seduced many on television who had spent days doubting her candidacy.” The use of the word “seduced” is more than interesting. The first two definitions in the Encarta Dictionary of the word seduced are: 1. Encourage somebody to have sex. 2. Lead somebody astray. Not until the third definition does it say “win somebody over.” It’s doubtful anyone reading the story would think first of the third definition. Why use such language? To paint a picture unflattering of the person being profiled. Other descriptions of Palin that would have been more appropriate were charmed, convinced, proved herself, reached out, engaged, presented herself, persuaded, converted, or swayed. But seduced? What would the reaction have been if an AP story written by a man (as this one was) suggested that Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or even Gloria Steinem had “seduced” an audience? One can only imagine what would happen to a Knoxville reporter if he were to say that a female candidate for local office had succeeded in “seducing” a group of listeners. In both cases there would be almost certain outrage at the blatant sexism. That’s but one example of the oft-cited double standard that is being applied to Palin, history’s first woman Republican vice presidential candidate. Before and after Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention, there was a great deal of discussion in the media about who had written her speech. The underlying message: she didn’t write her own speech; it was composed by someone else. No other candidate is being scrutinized similarly. Apparently at least some members of the media may have recognized – belatedly and briefly – that they were in part participating in a propaganda exercise as opposed to reporting on events. In a post-Palin speech CN N discussion, anchor Anderson Cooper remarked that while there was a lot of conversation underway about Palin’s speech being written for her, he could not recall any controversy or questions about who had written the acceptance speech for Joe Biden, the Democrat vice presidential nominee. And CNN correspondent John King reflected on how the Republican National Convention was referred to as being right-leaning, but that there had been no similar discussions about left-leaning organizations that had a major influence on the Democrat convention. The double standard category blazed as there was wondering aloud among some liberals as to how a woman with five children, one of the special needs (Palin’s baby is a Down’s syndrome child), could take time away from her family to serve as Vice President of the United States. Champions of women’s liberation and the “free to be me” culture were suddenly bemoaning the fact the fact there might be nights when mommy wouldn’t be there to tuck her kids into bed. They’re making themselves look ridiculous. If not silly, some Republicans certainly sound as if they’re stretching to prove a point when they defend Palin’s experience. When GOP representatives explain that she is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard, it may be true, but really now. No one is going to associate a governor with no military experience with a combat commander. Furthermore, governors don’t share comparable duties with the President of the United States. A governor doesn’t order National Guardsmen into battle against aggressors from neighboring states. On Monday, Sept. 1, on the Hallerin Hilton Hill show on WNOX-Newstalk 100, Hal asked me how I would answer the question about Palin’s experience. I said Republicans shouldn’t go into nauseating detail running down a laundry list of everything she’s done. High the high points, I said, and turn the question around on the questioner. That is, state that Palin was a mayor of a city and is the governor of a state. She’s been responsible for budgets in the billions of dollars and employees numbering in the thousands. Then present this challenge to the questioner: in his entire career, name one thing that Barack Obama has run? What has he ever led? Finish it with a declarative statement that clearly Obama’s experience doesn’t compare with Palin’s. A couple of days later Newt Gingrich used such an approach on an MSNBC reporter. By the time Gingrich was finished, the reporter said something like he wasn’t going to argue the point. How the media deals with Palin over the next two months will be fascinating in that with each attack on her there will be a growing awareness among the electorate – helped along by Republican spokespeople and conservative talk radio – that the same intense scrutiny is not being applied to Sen. Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s running mate. If Democrats try to explain it away with the fact that Biden’s a known quantity, it won’t wash. Outside of inner-Washington politics, no one really knows him. Apart from his couple of failed runs for president, he’s a blank slate to most Americans. Considering the success of his presidential attempts, he’s a blank slate anyway. Sarah Palin is making a difference with the Republican base, with attention to the campaign, and with John McCain’s fundraising. Because of her, when double standards – media and otherwise – raise their heads, they’re going to be seen in more focus – with potentially greater effect – than any presidential race in living memory. George Korda is political analyst for WATE-TV. He hosts “State Your Case” Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. on FM 100, WNOX and appears on the “Hallerin Hilton Hill” show regularly on WNOX. He is president of Korda Communications, a public relations and communications consulting firm.