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Palin and the Press: Symbiosis Defined

Writes Michael Shear at the NYT‘s The Caucus:  Palin Dismisses the Media, but They Come Back for More

Sarah Palin has apparently decided that she can treat the media any way she wants — and they will be there regardless.

And she might not be wrong.

[...]

After playing a cat-and-mouse game with the press for more than two days, Ms. Palin and her pursuers were both holed up in the same hotel; Ms. Palin on the fourth floor, reporters above and below. Even as check-in continued, Ms. Palin, dressed in workout shorts and wearing sunglasses, slipped back in from a quick, late-afternoon run. She made a beeline for the elevators.

It was a surreal situation given the fact that Ms. Palin and her advisers had shown an almost complete contempt for the press corps and its usual rituals. But the grumbling among the press corps notwithstanding, reporters and camera crews continued to follow her across three states and hundreds of miles over the long holiday weekend.

This is all quite the amusing situation, but the whole affair proves two things for sure:   the press loves Palin, and Palin loves the press (despite the protestations about the “lamestream media”).  She is a media creature.  There can be no doubt about it.

This is symbiosis, plain and simple.

Indeed, if the press hated Palin the best way they could damage her would be to ignore her.

And, if Palin wanted to be left alone, then she wouldn’t make public announcements about her travel plans and then tour in a huge, brightly colored bus.  Indeed, the following laughable:

Do you want the press to be here, one reporter asked?

“Well, I think I don’t have a choice,” Ms. Palin said, laughing and adding a bit about not wanting to disrupt the lives of the regular people in the towns she visits.

Just as this is, likewise, laughable:

Do reporters who are trailing her feel used and manipulated?

“Ya think?” said one NBC producer who was among those who waited for hours on the lawn at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, when the bus tour stopped there, only to have Ms. Palin slip away from the tour without making an appearance.

Jay Newton-Small, a reporter for Time who has spent years covering Ms. Palin (and has traveled to Alaska many times for interviews with the Palin family), was among those left guessing what her itinerary might be.

“Congratulations, Sarah Palin, you have turned the Washington press corps into a bunch of paparazzi stalking your every move,” Ms. Newton-Small wrote on Sunday.

Please.  Both sides are willing participants.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. After the Trump fiasco, one would have thought the press had learned a lesson

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  2. @Doug:

    The thing is, I don’t think that Trump was a fiasco for the press (indeed, quite the opposite: the gift that kept on giving).

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  3. ponce says:

    the press loves Palin

    Did the press love Britney and Paris when they were exiting cars sans underwear?

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  4. Rob in CT says:

    The mother of all love-hate relationships. :)

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  5. I basically agree with this, but I’d sum it up with an analogy. Michael Wilbon has a piece up on ESPN describing how “The Decision” wound up driving the NBA to new heights in television ratings.

    So, in this analogy:

    Palin’s antics:political new ratings::”The Decision”:NBA TV ratings.

    There are a few obvious caveats to this though:
    1. Love him or hate him (count me in the latter group) LeBron is actually competent enough to win a championship and – agree with his choices or not (and I don’t) – humble enough to recognize the need for competent people surrounding him. But it’s questionable whether Palin is even sufficiently competent to get into the playoffs (ie, the general election) on her own, much less whether she has the humility to surround herself with the type of support she would need to actually win a championship (ie, the general election).
    2. “The Decision” wound up being a gateway that introduced people to a superior product, being the 2010-11 NBA season. I, personally, watched more pro basketball than I have in all the years since Jordan retired combined because of the caliber of play – and if the ratings are any indication, I’m far from alone in this. Palin, meanwhile, is introducing people to the mediocrity of American politics. I doubt the media’s Palin coverage is getting anyone interested in politics beyond the Sarah Palin Reality Tour.

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  6. jukeboxgrad says:

    Palin and the Press: Symbiosis Defined

    Hey, guess what I said just yesterday:

    Palin and the press have a highly symbiotic relationship.

    Great minds etc.

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  7. jwest says:

    In ancient times, prospective candidates groveled to the press in order to curry favor and gain air time to increase name recognition. Media figures were able to manipulate the public by over-publicizing and distorting unfavorable aspects of candidates they disliked, while hiding the flaws of those who shared their ideological preference.

    Now that we are in a new digital age the old paradigms are not only dying, but the public is cheering on the torture and humiliation of what used to be a powerful institution. Human nature tends to provide for a feeling of enjoyment when those who are corrupt and disgusting are made to pay a price for their crimes against truth. Tapping into that schadenfreude is political gold.

    Palin will run against the media, not Obama. Taking a page from Aliniski, Palin will isolate and demonize the liberal press, focusing the public’s animosity toward lying, condescending elitists and shredding their credibility. Individual media personalities, being first and foremost creatures of self preservation, will turn against each other in the hope of being associated with the populous side of the battle. Egotists engaged in a bloodsport of cannibalism and self immolation, 24/7 in HD. This will be fun.

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  8. Pug says:

    God, don’t the wingers ever tire of the Allinsky BS? Nobody ever heard of Alinsky until right-wingers started talking about him incessantly. It’s not like he was some kind of left-wing hero. Nobody even knew who he was. Same with Noam Chomsky.

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  9. jwest says:

    Pug,

    The elderly hippies who populate the majority of tenured professorships throughout the country and their handpicked protégées can quote Alinski and Chomsky verbatim in their sleep. No democrat has ever risen higher than driver for retired aldermen without knowing Alinski frontwards and backwards.

    This is their Bible.

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  10. Liberty60 says:

    jwest-
    You seriously think this? Where do you get such information?

    Back to the matter at hand, this just reinforces the point that Palin doesn’t want to be President, she wants to be the martyr who ran and was cruelly betrayed, thereby becoming the eternal celebrity she really wants to be.

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  11. @jwest:

    The elderly hippies who populate the majority of tenured professorships throughout the country and their handpicked protégées can quote Alinski and Chomsky verbatim in their sleep.

    I have spent a rather substantial portion of my life on college campuses and I had never heard of Alinsky until his work became a talking point in the 2008 campaign cycle.

    And, I hate to further bust your bubble, but Chomsky is not held in the widespread high esteem that you think he is in the academy. Does he have his fans? Yes. Is he mainstream in the academy? Not even close.

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  12. Alex Knapp says:

    jwest,

    Saul Alinsky was a libertarian who voted and supported Barry Goldwater in 1964.

    Just sayin’.

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  13. jwest says:

    Steven (with a “v”),

    You’re a professor of political science and you had never heard of Alinski until 2008?

    That’s just sad and wrong. It explains some things, but still, how could you possibly teach or write about anything political without being fully versed in the primary operating manifesto of the democrat party for over 40 years?

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  14. Kit says:

    My brother works for a local TV station, so I’ve heard enough stories from even a small media market that I’m going to side with the producer in the last block quote without disputing your overall point, which is accurate. Palin is good for ratings, but the producer is a low to mid-level employee of an organization who probably is told where to report and what to film. If I were him, I’d resent being ordered around to follow someone who clearly believes that governing can be boiled down to platitudes about common sense and wants fame and power but not the costs that go with it (or the intelligence to use fame and power well).

    Despite the producer’s grumpiness, though, his bosses certainly are caught in the Catch-22 that made Paris Hilton famous – she had some tangential connection that made her worthy of being on the news at one point in time, and now acts in such a manner to keep that coverage of her going as well. Which, I suppose, is the sign of both Palin and the media being without too many scruples when it comes to how they’ll make their next buck. Business is business, afterall.

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  15. george says:

    The elderly hippies who populate the majority of tenured professorships throughout the country and their handpicked protégées can quote Alinski and Chomsky verbatim in their sleep. No democrat has ever risen higher than driver for retired aldermen without knowing Alinski frontwards and backwards.

    This is their Bible.

    Okay, I’m not a Democrat (or a Republican), but I’ve never heard of Alinski until this thread. Chomsky on the other hand I’ve heard a lot about – not sure the Democrats like him that much though, as he seems to be very critical of both Democrats and Republicans.

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  16. @jwest:

    You’re a professor of political science and you had never heard of Alinski until 2008? That’s just sad and wrong. It explains some things, but still, how could you possibly teach or write about anything political without being fully versed in the primary operating manifesto of the democrat party for over 40 years?

    That is a ludicrous assertion

    And sorry: I have absolutely no reason to take you as a expert on either politics or the state of art of political science. In honesty, I don’t take you as an expert on anything because a) I have no idea who you are, and b) you have never actually demonstrated any specific knowledge of a given subject.

    Thanks for the chuckle, though. ;)

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  17. jwest says:

    The world according to Alex:

    Saul Alinski and Doug Mataconis – two great American Libertarians.

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  18. @Kit:

    I am sure you are correct in terms of the resentment. And I am sure that they feel manipulated (and, for that matter, I am sure that Palin feels they are out to get her).

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  19. Terrye says:

    I am a conservative, and even I am getting tired of Palin and the never ending coy soap opera.

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  20. ponce says:

    Now that we are in a new digital age the old paradigms are not only dying, but the public is cheering on the torture and humiliation of what used to be a powerful institution.

    If that’s so, jwest, why have Palin’s approval numbers continued to plummet even after she “took control” of her own message?

    You’re a professor of political science and you had never heard of Alinski until 2008?

    Shorter jwest,: Anyone who doesn’t watch Glenn Beck’s rants am not smart!

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  21. Alex Knapp says:

    jwest:

    “An even more surprising revelation is that Alinsky admired Sen. Barry Goldwater, whose libertarian objections to the proposed 1964 civil-rights act he shared. Countervailing power from organizations, not decisions made by courts, Alinsky thought, was the only way to achieve permanent change.”

    “According to von Hoffman, though, Alinsky had nothing but contempt for activists who gladly took money from the government, and hence his own group did not work within or for the government’s War on Poverty programs.”

    “What he wanted was not revolution — despite his radical rhetoric meant to appeal to the New Left — but “democratic organizations which could pose countervailing power against modern bureaucracies.” Thus, in von Hoffman’s view, Saul Alinsky was a radical, but a Tory radical or a radical conservative: a man with a libertarian sensibility who supported all the little men fighting against any large structure, whether it was the government, a corporation, or organized labor.”

    From that liberal rag, National Review.

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  22. Rob in CT says:

    I’m yet another liberal who had never heard of Alinksy (and I did take some polysci in college, though it wasn’t my major). I had heard of Chomsky, but have always regarded him as a fringe guy – interesting, but outside the mainstream.

    The notion that these fellas are “the bible” to Democrats strikes me as absurd. I’m not a Dem politician, so I suppose I can’t say for sure, but it sure seems like an unsupported claim. jwest wouldn’t do such a thing, would he?

    ;)

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  23. @Rob:

    I had heard of Chomsky, but have always regarded him as a fringe guy

    A fair assessment, and one that most in political science (even those who are left-leaning) would share.

    Are there people out there who think that Chomsky hung the moon? No doubt, but they are far fewer than our esteemed expert on the academy, jwest, would have all all believe.

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  24. Wiley Stoner says:

    You ever hear of Hillary Clinton. She was a know Alinskyite long before she ran for President. It is a tool of the left to deny the truth. If Alinsky supported Goldwater, that was before his conversion to communism, circa 1966. Viet Nam and all. Pinheads who were not there were taught by those who would hide the truth. Mao and Che were both murderers. Yet they are idolized by you on the left. Taylor read Rules for Radicals and then tell me the man was a libertarian.
    If the press treated Palin fairly she would probably be more open to them. After all, I’ll bet she never dated something 3 years off. Most of you have somehow transformed what you saw on SNL with Tina Fey what Palin really said. That is what you get when you get your news from Comedy Central. Do like the rest of America and watch Fox.

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  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’ve worked for multiple democratic political consulting firms, and have worked both as a gopher and a director on multiple campaigns nationwide. Only once have I ever heard Alinski referred to in a professional manner, and that was during a discussion of the history of political organizing.

    Of course maybe I’m just really out of the loop, since despite all of my above connections to the democratic party, I’ve never received my Official Democratic Bible (TM), with I’m sure loads of Alinski knowledge.

    Really it seems to be jwest and only jwest talking about him.

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  26. jwest says:

    I’m sorry Steven, but there was an audible gasp across the internet when you admitted not even knowing of Saul Alinski prior to 2008.

    This stunning lack of knowledge begs the question of how you ever attained a degree and most sadly, how you have been teaching the subject. Although I don’t agree with you on a number of topics, I’ve never considered you the enemy. Let’s hope this moment of candor of yours doesn’t affect your livelihood.

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  27. @jwest:

    I literally LOL’d after reading that.

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  28. @jwest:

    This reminds me of the interchange you had with Jukeboxgrad the other: utterly devoid of anything other than wild assertions. You have any evidence of your position? I ask knowing the answer, but what the heck.

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  29. JKB says:

    I don’t know that Palin loves the press. She may simply find them useful. I’ve known several women who played me like a fiddle all because I desperately wanted them to play me like a trumpet.

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  30. george says:

    You ever hear of Hillary Clinton. She was a know Alinskyite long before she ran for President. It is a tool of the left to deny the truth.

    Hilary Clinton also knew her grade one teacher long before she ran for President – that doesn’t make her grade one teacher famous. Seriously, you’re spending far too much time on internet political blogs; I’ll bet almost no one you talk to at work has heard of Alinsky. Maybe if he runs for President instead of advising someone running that might change …

    Chomsky on the other hand a lot of people have heard of – there’s name recognition there.

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  31. Jib says:

    I heard of Chomsky in CompSci compiler courses. He did some good work in linguistics that computer programmers used in the development of compilers. Although I think the linguistics field has moved on and he is no longer considered important, his work was important in the history of computer science and therefor had material impact on many Americans lives. Chomsky’s politics were never taken too seriously by many people, a kind of Glenn Beck of his time, he fired up the left wing conspiracy nuts but not many other people.

    Alinski I had never heard of until Obama ran for president but that he could come from the left side of libertarianism makes a lot of sense. All though the wing nuts will never see this, Obama’s policies are not orthodox liberalism, more in common with pre-Great Society democratic thought than what come into the left during the 60’s. I guess that would make Obama a neo-New Dealer which does fit a lot of what he is doing.

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  32. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Evidence? You want evidence that most professors of political science in the country are well versed in Saul Alinski’s writings and philosophy?

    This is sad. I’ll bet Joyner is still trying to catch his breath concerning your stunning admission. Its one thing to be ignorant of subject, but to revel in that ignorance when you hold a (seemingly worthless) credential in the field is truly incredible.

    Let me suggest you take a sabbatical to catch up on the basics before you waste the time of students paying good money for a real education.

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  33. @jwest:

    Nice posturing.

    But, as is normally the case, utterly devoid of content.

    It is ok, btw, to occasionally admit that perhaps you were mistaken.

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  34. Joel says:

    Chomsky is widely considered to be a great linguist even by those who disagree with him. When it comes to politics and history, however, he’s mostly seen as a hack and ignored. The idea that many professors take his non-linguistic stuff seriously is ridiculous (and I have a History degree).

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  35. @Joel:

    I would consider that a fair assessment.

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  36. ponce says:

    Evidence?

    Funny, we were just discussing in comments yesterday how odd it was that every fringe right loon knows who Alinsky is but few normal Americans do.

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  37. wr says:

    Steven — I was deeply concerned to read that you are now one of jwest’s enemies. Please be sure to take all precautions, now that this great and powerful figure has targeted you for elimination or worse. Clearly, this is a man of huge influence in the world, commanding an army of followers who will now seek to do you harm.

    Oh, no wait. He’s just some sad troll on the internet, isn’t he? Never mind…

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  38. @wr: It is concerning, to be sure. I may have to give up writing.

    @jwest: Click.

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  39. CB says:

    Its one thing to be ignorant of subject, but to revel in that ignorance

    and with that, jwest jumps the shark. seriously, steven, just ignore the guy. or is that too much of an alinsky tactic?

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  40. Liberty60 says:

    I’m sorry Steven, but there was an audible gasp across the internet when you admitted not even knowing of Saul Alinski prior to 2008.

    So thats what that was!

    Here I was, watching a Youtube video of a talking dog doing important work, when precisely at 16:07, an audible gasp swept across the Internet.

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  41. anjin-san says:

    his work was important in the history of computer science and therefor had material impact on many Americans lives

    Well no wonder these guys hate him. He was smart.

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  42. Saul Alinsky may have claimed to be a libertarian, but any reading of his work would very strongly contradict that. So how many times will you keep saying that? And he said he voted for Goldwater, that’s important because, um, well, why is that important?

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  43. And some people admire those who are just plain smart, no matter how venal or amoral they may be.

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  44. mattb says:

    Chomsky is widely considered to be a great linguist even by those who disagree with him.

    Just a note on Chomsky, I know a lot of linguists (in particular socio-cultural ones) who just wish he’d STFU. And that’s on the lingusitics.

    Likewise, I’ve been studying for quite a while under a bunch of ex-hippies and activists… only one has ever mentioned Alinsky in about eight years, and across two different schools.

    That said, like Steven I appreciate the LULZ in hearing people lecture about what topics should be common knowledge for PhD’s in any field. That and think of Mark Twain’s comment about fools and keeping quiet.

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  45. bains says:

    This is all quite the amusing situation, but the whole affair proves two things for sure: the press loves Palin, and Palin loves the press…

    No. It only proves that the media is obsessed with Palin. You are the one equating obsession with love. Palin is thoroughly playing the media IMO.

    She is a media creature.

    No. Your beloved caricature of Palin is a media creation. One that they have gained sustenance from (read ratings, page views, and papers bought), and one they seek to perpetuate. Aside from all their protestations, they – the media – need to make money too and what better way than to sell visions of a scary monster hidden behind a loving, politically active and attractive mother… duntDunDAAN… who happens to be a spawn of the evil side.

    There can be no doubt about it.

    Only if you are predisposed to enjoy the caricature that the media has foisted. “I can see Russia from my house” is such a honest quote ,snark…. and one that your media seems so disinterested in debunking.

    This is symbiosis, plain and simple.

    ??? I suspect you, and this site’s legions of “centrist” commentors (and a number of it’s contributors as well) “misunderestimate” just who is working who.

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  46. jukeboxgrad says:

    “I can see Russia from my house” is such a honest quote

    Aside from a comedian who was obviously doing comedy, who in “the media” ever presented that as a “quote” from Palin?

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  47. @Bains:

    Answer me this: what would Palin be without the media?

    To claim that she is a media creature (I didn’t say “creation”) strikes me as wholly noncontroversial.

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  48. An Interested Party says:

    This will be fun.

    Indeed, especially when she loses…

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  49. bains says:

    Aside from a comedian who was obviously doing comedy…

    Surely you know just how many folks view Comedy Central as actual news…

    That, in and of itself, speaks for how your side “wins” votes.

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  50. anjin-san says:

    I see most of what Palin does as a branding exercise. She is living in what is for her, the best of all possible worlds. People stand in line to kiss her ass and tell her how great she is. Oh, and they also give her money. Lots of it.

    Let’s face it. Finishing on term as Gov. of a sparsely populated state was too much work for her. Running for President is very hard work, though I am sure the “only Sarah can save America” meme appeals to her inner narcissist, who lives, in her case, quite close to the surface, if not on it.

    At the end of the day, she will probably be content to simply continue to fleece the rubes…

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  51. Jay Tea says:

    Doug said:

    After the Trump fiasco, one would have thought the press had learned a lesson

    As Buck Murdock said, sometimes irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

    J.

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  52. bains says:

    Answer me this: what would Palin be without the media?

    An utterly unproductive question. What would Obama be without the media?

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  53. anjin-san says:

    What would Obama be without the media?

    Well, he has a pretty good day job…

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  54. ponce says:

    I know a lot of linguists (in particular socio-cultural ones) who just wish he’d STFU. And that’s on the lingusitics.

    Vizzini: I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.
    Man in Black: You’re that smart?
    Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
    Man in Black: Yes.
    Vizzini: Morons.

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  55. Jay Tea says:

    Dagnabit, I missed a “close italics” tag…

    J.

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  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    bains:

    Surely you know just how many folks view Comedy Central as actual news…

    Two things:

    1) Tina Fey is not Comedy Central.

    2) You ducked my question.

    One more time: Aside from a comedian who was obviously doing comedy (on SNL, not “Comedy Central”), who in “the media” ever presented that as a “quote” from Palin?

    What a nice example of projection, something Palinists do constantly. I guess this is your way of letting us know that you like to do what you are falsely accusing someone else of doing: making things up.

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  57. Joel says:

    “Just a note on Chomsky, I know a lot of linguists (in particular socio-cultural ones) who just wish he’d STFU. And that’s on the lingusitics.”

    My understanding is that while some people think Chomsky is wrong on linguistics, much of his work in that area is still considered to be foundational and of great importance even if it’s wrong. I know very little about linguistics though, so I’m just going by hearsay.

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  58. mantis says:

    Chomsky’s most important contribution to linguistics is Syntactic Structures, written in 1957. He has not contributed much of substance to the field in quite some time, and his work is not without critics (but what in academia is?).

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  59. bains says:

    Two things:

    1) Tina Fey is not Comedy Central.

    2) You ducked my question.

    Yes, Tina Fey is of SNL fame. But both fit the mold I was describing. Comedy shows that use politics as a foil.

    I did not duck, I sidestepped. Primarily because your question did not address what I said. Tina Fey’s skit was heard around the country, and used to besmirch Palin. The MSM did nothing to correct the error. In fact, plenty of “not ready for prime-time” media players (meaning guests on the Cables, bloggers, letter writers, callers to talk radio, etc.) regularly used misdirection, quite successfully I will note, so that audiences would think of the Fey parody instead of Palin’s actual and accurate quote.

    Someone with access to the formatting has an open html tag…

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  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    But both fit the mold I was describing. Comedy shows that use politics as a foil.

    There’s nothing wrong with “Comedy shows that use politics as a foil.” It’s something that probably goes back to the beginning of time. And anyway, that’s not what you said. You said “surely you know just how many folks view Comedy Central as actual news.” Are you claiming there are lots of folks who view SNL “as actual news?”

    I did not duck, I sidestepped.

    As if there’s a difference?

    Primarily because your question did not address what I said.

    I did address what you said. I pointed out that what you said was false. You said this:

    Only if you are predisposed to enjoy the caricature that the media has foisted. “I can see Russia from my house” is such a honest quote

    Still waiting for you to show us who exactly in “the media” has presented that statement as if it was an actual “quote.”

    Tina Fey’s skit was heard around the country, and used to besmirch Palin.

    Fey’s skit didn’t “besmirch” Palin. It mocked her. This is what happens to politicians who say dumb things (like “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska”): they get mocked. People who don’t like that should stay out of politics and/or avoid saying dumb things.

    The MSM did nothing to correct the error.

    That might have something to do with the fact that there was no “error.” Mockery is not an “error.” And “MSM” did indeed report what Palin actually said, which means that anyone who wanted to know could easily find out.

    In fact, plenty of “not ready for prime-time” media players (meaning guests on the Cables, bloggers, letter writers, callers to talk radio, etc.) regularly used misdirection, quite successfully I will note, so that audiences would think of the Fey parody instead of Palin’s actual and accurate quote.

    Since there were allegedly “plenty,” it’s odd that you’ve shown this many examples: zero.

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  61. To further what Jukeboxgrad is saying, the reason that Palin was mocked (and why the Fey quote has had so much traction) is because it was mockery based in reality.

    The interchange with Charlie Gibson that is relevant:

    GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

    PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

    GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

    PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

    These are nonsense answers.

    Further, the fact of the matter is that while she didn’t say “I can see Russia from my house” see did basically state that she had something worthwhile to say about US-Russian relations because “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

    When she was later interviewed by Katie Couric, she didn’t do much better (see here.

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  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, one of the reasons her statement (“you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska”) is ridiculous is that both Alaska and Russia are physically vast. So the fact that a remote, unimportant part of Alaska is not far from a remote, unimportant part of Russia has little or no strategic importance.

    Her statement implies that she’s too dumb to understand this. And her supporters who make a fuss about this also appear to be too dumb to understand this.

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  63. @Jukeboxgrad,

    Indeed. If you look at the Couric clip, she exacerbated that error by acting like there was a pending and active possibility of Russian incursions in the US airspace on the Alaskan frontier.

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  64. bains says:

    If you two are done with your love to hate palin fest…

    I did not duck, I sidestepped.

    As if there’s a difference?

    Yes, and you are playing stupid suggesting that there isn’t. One ducks when a fastball is thrown at your rhetorical head. One side-steps when another lays out a rotten egg hoping you will step in it.

    Still waiting for you to show us who exactly in “the media” has presented that statement as if it was an actual “quote.”

    I did. You just refuse to accept it. No surprise there.

    Fey’s skit didn’t “besmirch” Palin. It mocked her.

    If you read closely, you will note that I did not say that Fey’s skit besmirched Palin. I said Fey’s skit was used to bismirch Palin – and in a way that I have already explained.

    This is what happens to politicians who say dumb things (like “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska”): they get mocked. People who don’t like that should stay out of politics and/or avoid saying dumb things.

    Like Obama saying that there are 58 states? Or Biden talking about how Roosevelt went on TV to explain the market crash of 1929? Or Pelosi saying “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in the bill?”

    I’m not disputing that public figures make boneheaded statements, nor that those statements ought not be fodder for comedy. No, my issue is when the fourth estate enables allows an obvious distortion-for-humor’s-sake to be portrayed as fact. What is troubling to me (and should be to you as well, once you realize that a precident that you have encouraged to be set, will inevitably come back to haunt you), is that the media has been playing favorites for a while, and quite obviously so in the past decade. While we have had yellow press before, it was always honest about its agenda. Not so today, and certainly not so amongst its followers.

    Which brings me back to my original point regarding the media created caricature of Palin endlessly used as the straw woman. She has decided not to play by rules that are specifically designed to mock, belittle and marginalize, and that has the media in a tizzy. And if the media is in a tizzy, then all the willfully ignorant followers of that media are in a tizzy. Hence Steven’s post, and your replies.

    So far, the best argument I’ve heard against a Palin Presidency (not that I agree with the premise, just that it is the best I’ve heard) is that we really can’t afford to repeat the mistake we made in electing Barack Obama.

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  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    fastball … rotten egg

    Those are colorful metaphors, but either way, it’s evasion. And evasion is what you’re still doing.

    I did [show us who exactly in “the media” has presented that statement as if it was an actual “quote.”]

    The only person you mentioned was Tina Fey. No, she did not present that statement as if it was an actual quote. She’s a comedian, not a journalist. And SNL is a comedy show, not a news show. Keep trying.

    I did not say that Fey’s skit besmirched Palin. I said Fey’s skit was used to bismirch Palin – and in a way that I have already explained.

    Your passive language (“was used”) is a nice way to try to hide the fact that you have no examples. “Was used” by whom, exactly?

    Like Obama saying that there are 58 states?

    No, it’s not at all like that. No one thinks that Obama was actually asserting that there are actually 57 states. No one who is not an idiot thinks that Obama doesn’t know how many states there are. However, Palin really and truly thinks it’s important that a remote part of Alaska is not far from a remote part of Russia. Trouble is, it’s not. And she also thinks that this somehow demonstrates her foreign policy expertise. Trouble is, it doesn’t.

    my issue is when the fourth estate enables allows an obvious distortion-for-humor’s-sake to be portrayed as fact.

    And you’ve shown zero examples of anyone doing that. Unless you’re saying that someone should have forbid Fey from saying what she said. Or unless you’re saying that there’s something inherently wrong with repeating what she said.

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  66. bains says:

    I’ve shown plenty to support my case. That you refuse to accept it is not surprising. You are not unlike a birther or a truther. So certain in your belief that no evidence could shake you from what you so want to believe.

    Again, my contention isn’t what you are demanding. I did not say that the media was actively trying to say that the Fey parody was what Palin said, rather that the media did nothing to debunk that urban legend. It is why Barbara Walters started off a question thusly:

    On the business of “I can see Russia from my backyard…”
    ABC World News, 11-17-08

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  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’ve shown plenty to support my case.

    That’s true, if by “plenty” you mean “nothing.’

    You have shown zero examples to support your original claim (“the caricature that the media has foisted”). You’re doing a nice job of proving that you don’t understand the difference between a proven claim and an unproven claim. You saying that something happened doesn’t prove that something happened if you are unable to show a single example of that thing happening.

    So certain in your belief that no evidence could shake you from what you so want to believe.

    That’s funny, because “no evidence” is exactly what you have presented.

    I did not say that the media was actively trying to say that the Fey parody was what Palin said

    Then there must be another ‘bains’ in here, since someone using that name said this:

    Only if you are predisposed to enjoy the caricature that the media has foisted. “I can see Russia from my house” is such a honest quote

    That word (“foisted”) sounds a lot like “actively trying.” But I guess you are now “actively trying” to pretend that you didn’t actually say what you actually said.

    rather that the media did nothing to debunk that urban legend.

    “The media” reported what Palin said, which is all they were obliged to do.

    It is why Barbara Walters started off a question thusly: On the business of “I can see Russia from my backyard…”

    Nice job leaving out the next part. This is what she said:

    On the business of “I can see Russia from my backyard,” what you did say to Charlie Gibson was that there were places in Alaska where one could see Russia.

    So she did exactly what she should have done: tell her audience what Palin actually said. So she did indeed “debunk that urban legend.” Walters did precisely the thing you claimed she didn’t do. That’s why you left out the main part of her sentence.

    And if anything further needed to be said (to emphasize even more explicitly that Palin never said “I can see Russia …”), Palin was free to do so. But she didn’t. If she thought that what Walters said was clear enough, then why should anyone else have a problem with it?

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  68. anjin-san says:

    rather that the media did nothing to debunk that urban legend.

    I can’t remember if I have ever heard Palin say something coherent that was not scripted. I don’t see how it’s the media’s job to explain how the nonsense that Palin actually spouted is somewhat, but not too different from the nonsense attributed to her by a comedian. No mater how you slice it, it’s still balogna.

    There is a reason it’s so easy for comedians to get laughs with Palin material, just as there is a reason why it’s pretty hard to get laughs with Obama jokes. One is not a serious person, the other is.

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  69. jukeboxgrad says:

    I don’t see how it’s the media’s job to explain how the nonsense that Palin actually spouted is somewhat, but not too different from the nonsense attributed to her by a comedian. … There is a reason it’s so easy for comedians to get laughs with Palin material

    Sometimes it’s easy enough to get laughs just reading the nonsense Palin actually spouted, without bothering to make any changes to it. A lot of Fey’s comedy used Palin’s exact words. Complaining about this would be like what Gingrich did: saying that anyone who quotes his actual words is a liar.

    And hopefully everyone has already seen Shatner reading Palin’s goodbye speech.

    I can’t remember if I have ever heard Palin say something coherent that was not scripted.

    Her scripted material is often not much better than her unscripted material, as the Shatner example indicates.

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  70. anjin-san says:

    Robert Reich was talking about “no road back to the status quo” in late 2008. Part of what we are seeing here is the end of the post WW2 world. America has gone along, decade after decade, with 4-5% of the world’s population consuming what, 20-25% of global resources? In the meantime, marketers have convinces us that we need more, more, more.

    The Macmansion stuffed full of crap made in China with a huge SUV parked in the driveway was the zenith of American consumerism. Once you reach apogee, the fall back to earth can be pretty steep and swift.

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  71. Ryan Spires says:

    No love for Chomsky? :(

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