Diagnosing The Odd Relationship Between Sarah Palin And The Media

The American media and Sarah Palin have developed an odd symbiotic relationship, and it's unlikely to change anytime soon.

Ross Douthat has an interesting column in today’s New York Times examining the strange, sometimes obsessive, relationship between the American news media and Sarah Palin in light of last week’s over-the-top reaction to the shootings in Arizona. As Douthat notes, and I’ve argued elsewhere, the efforts by some in the media to tie Palin and others on the right to Loughner’s actions, whether explicit or implicit, were silly and absurd and Palin was at least somewhat justified in feeling upset about them. Nonetheless, as Douthat notes, there was even in this episode evidence of the symbiotic relationship that Palin has cultivated with the same media she denounces:

For their part, the media manage to be consistently unfair to the former Alaska governor — gossipy and hostile in their reportage, hysterical and condescending in their commentary — even as they follow her every move with a fascination bordering on obsession. (MSNBC, in particular, should just change its name to “Palin 24/7” and get it over with.) When commentators aren’t denouncing her, they’re busy building up her legend — exaggerating her political acumen, overpraising her communications strategy, covering her every tweet as if she were the Viceroy of Red America, and spinning out outlandish scenarios in which she captures the White House in 2012.

Palin, meanwhile, officially despises the “lamestream” media. But press coverage — good, bad, whatever — is clearly the oxygen she craves. She supposedly hates having her privacy invaded, yet her family keeps showing up on reality TV. She thinks the political class is clueless and out-of-touch, but she can’t resist responding to its every provocation. Her public rhetoric, from “death panels” to “blood libel,” is obviously crafted to maximize coverage and controversy, and generate more heat than light. And her Twitter account reads like a constant plea for the most superficial sort of media attention.

Of course, there’s a reason that the media, and especially the cable news media, focuses on Palin so intensely. It’s because she’s a hot-button topic that draws in viewers and ratings. Cable news thrives on controversy and sensation, whether its the endless, obsessive coverage of stories like the Natalie Holloway case or the week-long focus on the shootings in Tucson. The same goes for Sarah Palin, especially on a network like MSNBC (which is consistently the lowest-rated news network on cable) where the viewership is likely to be anti-Palin. The problem that cable news always faces, though, is that there’s usually never enough actual news on a given topic to fill up all the hours in a given day, so a lot of airtime is given over to what they laughingly refer to as “analysis,” which basically just amounts to a couple people sitting around a table giving their opinions based on the flimsiest set of facts possible. Add to that the ideologically driven shows that air in the evenings, where the coverage of Palin focuses on the most negative things possible in an effort to tie all Republicans to her. Put it all together and you have the media’s Palin obsession.

It is, however, a two way street.

As Douthat notes, Palin seems to cultivate the controversy that follows her, and to get some degree of joy out of the gasps of outrage that come from the left as a result, but I think he misses the real reason behind it. As one blogger puts it:

Palin clearly craves good publicity, but I actually don’t think she craves bad press — at least not for its own sake. I think she goads the mainstream media into saying negative things about her because that generates positive coverage of her in the movement media — fanboys and fangirls rush to her defense. If she really just wanted publicity and wasn’t particular about what kind it was, she wouldn’t be so controlling — she’d be all over the media, allowing everyone access to her, and she’d let the chips fall where they may. But she controls the stuff that gets her bad press as carefully as she controls the stuff that’s intended to be positive — she designs the former so that it will delight movement conservatives even as it infuriates the mainstream. It’s all about garnering praise.

Both Steven Taylor and myself have noted in the past the manner in which Palin carefully controls the media’s access to her, and how she is careful to utilize media formats (such as tonight’s appearance on Sean Hannity’s FNC show) where she is unlikely to face serious questioning or criticism. At the same time, she is the only political figure out there right now who can generate hours of discussion on the news with one Tweet or posting on Facebook. Whether she’s actually running for President or not — and I think how the events of the past week affect her reputation in the public will play a large role in deciding that — she is still proving quite adept at keeping that speculation alive. Which is exactly what she wants.

Douthat offers some advice for both sides in this toxic relationship:

To the media: Cover Sarah Palin if you want, but stop acting as if she’s the most important conservative politician in America. Stop pretending that she has a plausible path to the presidency in 2012. (She doesn’t.) Stop suggesting that she’s the front-runner for the Republican nomination. (She isn’t.) And every time you’re tempted to parse her tweets for some secret code or crucial dog whistle, stop and think, this woman has fewer Twitter followers than Ben Stiller, and then go write about something else instead.

To Palin: You were an actual politician once (remember that?), but you’re becoming the kind of caricature that your enemies have always tried to make of you. So maybe it’s time to turn off your iPad for a while, and take a break from Facebook and Fox News. The world won’t end if you don’t respond to every criticism, and you might even win a few more admirers if you cultivated a lighter touch and a more above-the-fray persona. Oh, and when that reality-TV producer sends you a pitch for “Sarah Plus Five Plus Kate Plus Eight,” just say no.

It’s good advice, but for the reasons noted above, I don’t think either side is inclined to follow it.

FILED UNDER: Politicians, Sarah Palin, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. this woman has fewer Twitter followers than Ben Stiller

    On the one hand, true. On the other, Ben Stiller’s tweets aren’t followed by Fox, CNN, MSNBC, other media outlets and bloggers. The issue not the number of followers, but rather whether the right people make those tweet and FB postings into news.

    Palin has done an excellent job of using both Twitter and Facebook that other politicians/personalities have not yet fully understood/realized how to do.

    The upside is that it is a smart use of new media. The downside is that as it is currently being uses helps her create here media bubble.

    Indeed, one of the reason that her tweets are so well-covered is that they have the quality of dispatches from the bunker.

  2. john personna says:

    You know, you really could have done this piece without the need to flog your dead, and morally corrupt, horse.

    the efforts by some in the media to tie Palin and others on the right to Loughner’s actions, whether explicit or implicit, were silly and absurd

    To believe this we have to ignore the analysis by actual political psychologists.

  3. john personna says:

    (It is really sad. I guess Doug thinks that by ignoring the experts, really loudly, in a long series of posts, he can drown them out. He is, metaphorically, shouting with his fingers in his ears.)

  4. anjin-san says:

    This goes to the question of is Palin a politician, or a celebrity? Some sort of 21st century hybrid?

    I don’t see her ever holding political office again. There is nothing to shoot for except the Presidency, and she simply does not have the discipline or focus to run that marathon. More likely she will play the “will she or won’t she” game until the 11th hour, and then bow out wearing a cloak of victimhood. She will parlay the media attention in millions of dollars, and legitimate candidates will come crawling to her for support. Not a bad deal for a small town gal.

    Madonna was no more that a decent pop singer, with fairly average looks. But she was a brilliant marketer, and she rode her combination of talents a long, long way. Palin is not a heck of a lot different.

  5. @anjin-san:

    I will go with hybrid at the moment.

    I would note that she can still be a politician and not ever hold office again.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Steven.. Agreed. I think she sees her role as a kingmaker, not someone who has to go through the hard work of getting elected and the day to day hassle of actually holding an office. As a (highly) paid media star and political speaker, she kinda has the best of both worlds.

  7. ponce says:

    I don’t know if it will never change.

    I’d say the media is getting as bored with Palin as they get with a reality show star once they are off the air.

  8. JKB says:

    The longer Palin is in the game, the more depleted the Dem/Left coffers will become. They have no history of controlling spending and she will incite them to put it all on the table early. Stimulus in action, all those ill-gotten gains from being an Obama supporter will be returned to the economy proper. Then she can drop out, retain her media control empire and whomever the Republicans nominate will stroll to the White House.

  9. PD Shaw says:

    john personna, your posts on this issue have been full of insults and ad hominem attacks in the apparent goal of increasing the tenor of debate. Physician heal thyself.

    And if you’re looking for a real doctor, I would suggest not seeking the treatment of a political psychiatrist.

  10. anjin-san says:

    > the more depleted the Dem/Left coffers will become. They have no history of controlling spending

    Perhaps you could detail the GOPs history of controlling spending for us.

  11. john personna says:

    The hybrid thing, separated from the extreme culture angle, is actually very current.

    As I mentioned, there is even a SciFi book exploring the trend. In Canada they outlaw celebrity, as the US descends into some kind of reality-politics ruin.

  12. john personna says:

    I’m just frustrated, PD. Do me a favor and read this:

    Jerrold Post, director of political psychology at George Washington University and author of Political Paranoia, said the alleged mental instability of the suspect did not mean that vitriolic political rhetoric played no part.

    “It was intended to be metaphoric. Having said that, there may be an emotionally unstable person who takes that quite literally,” he said.

    Dr Post, who worked on political violence at the CIA, said violence could be triggered by the broader atmosphere of heightened rhetoric and those Tea Party activists who carried weapons at rallies to show their literal adherence to the second amendment defence of gun rights.

    “Although the acts and the costumes, including carrying weapons, is meant to be symbolic … the audience is very heterogeneous,” he said. “And within that audience is going to be some who can be incited to carry out that act, particularly if their own life is falling apart.”

    You may find the whole article at the Financial Times, or by google-searching “Attack prompts jolting retreat to civility”

    Now, how should I respond to this “big lie” campaign to ignore that?

  13. john personna says:

    (rather than going one-deeper, the second quote should have gone one shallower.)

  14. John,

    These experts who seeks to diagnose the actions of a criminal with obvious mental illness without actually worrying about whether there’s any evidence that he could have been influenced by the “harsh political rhetoric” that you seem to be on a one man crusade against are little more than an example of just how nonsensical the field of “political psychology” actually is.

    Academics in ivory towers don’t impress me much when they don’t bother to pay attention to reality

  15. there is even a SciFi book exploring the trend.

    Oh well now you’ve convinced me. Did you also know that there are time travelers who come back in time and influence our history? I read it in a SciFi book once.

    Seriously, you aren’t helping yourself here

  16. anjin-san says:
  17. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “Of course, there’s a reason that the media, and especially the cable news media, focuses on Palin so intensely. It’s because she’s a hot-button topic that draws in viewers and ratings.”

    I have often suspected OTB of using this very same reason for its coverage of Palin. So, how about it, Doug?

  18. john personna says:

    “Seriously, you aren’t helping yourself here”

    Really? I talk off the cuff, show I’m relaxed, just make a pop-culture reference to show that there is a pop-culture awareness, and you think that’s bad?

    Your 14:59 post doesn’t make sense to me. People who study political paranoia obviously have their data sets, don’t they? We can look at Post’s book. It covers examples across the political spectrum.

    And I do think it’s sad now that you and PD need to attack an entire field of study to hold your position.

    You’ve both said things like “how nonsensical the field of ‘political psychology’ actually is.”

    Is it really an ad hominem for me to say, in response, that you should be ashamed of yourself?

  19. john personna says:

    (Geez Doug, the web lives a long time. You’ve not got that little toe hold in history as the guy who just reached out and attacked the field of ‘political psychology’ because it told you something you didn’t want to hear.)

  20. John

    I am quite honestly astounded and stunned that you simply choose to ignore the actual facts about Jared Loughner in order to pursue your agenda of blaming “rhetoric” for his actions, and to boost the reputation of a dubious field of study.

  21. john personna says:

    What facts Doug?

    Do you now have his reading lists and tv logs?

  22. John,

    No I am “attacking” you for relying on a bunch of academic texts while ignoring the facts. If ignoring the facts is also common in the field of “political psychology” then, well, it is entirely worthless.

  23. john personna says:

    That 15:15 post should really, really, embarrass you.

    If you have no shame, what can I do, eh?

  24. John,

    Over the past week there have been several interviews with the close friends he had left by the time he went off into a world of his own delusions. That 60 Minutes piece I posted last night is the most in deptb one to date and included an interview with Secret Service agents who had interviewed dozens of political assassins currently in prison. Their conclusions about the role that “political rhetoric” played in those cases, and most likely Loughner’s, are far different from those of the academics you rely on.

    I would tend to trust actual law enforcement on this on before I would a guy who probably never left New Haven while writing his book

  25. The fact that you aren’t even bother to consider the actual evidence in this case is what should embarrass you.

    If there is empirical evidence in this case to back up these academic theories, let’s see it.

  26. PD Shaw says:

    I’m not going to belabor this point because I don’t want to assist in further thread drift, but

    I believe Loughner is probably schizophrenic, which means the reality he experiences is different from the rest of the world. It also means that there is an extensive body of published research on the causes and factors contributing to psychotic deterioration and break. I listed the consensus views in a previous post, none of which were exposure to political discourse. A large factor is marijuana use, attention to which seems non-existent compared with the concern with polite discourse.

    Dr. Post’s background is giving personality profiles of foreign heads of state and their populations to spooks. I don’t see anything in his background that would gives his opinion any particular insight into schizophrenia.

    My wife is a therapist and thinks people who give flyover diagnosis are grossly irresponsible. I think this is rather unfortunate, since it places substantial constraints on public discussion of mental illness, but I agree that one should be skeptical of whether claims made by such TV experts represent mainstream views.

    I might add I was a research assistant for political psychology professor as an undergrad. I will say no more.

  27. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Ross Douthat has an interesting column in today’s New York Times examining the strange, sometimes obsessive, relationship between the American news media and Sarah Palin in light of last week’s over-the-top reaction to the shootings in Arizona. As Douthat notes, and I’ve argued elsewhere, the efforts by some in the media to tie Palin and others on the right to Loughner’s actions, whether explicit or implicit, were silly and absurd and Palin was at least somewhat justified in feeling upset about them. Nonetheless, as Douthat notes, there was even in this episode evidence of the symbiotic relationship that Palin has cultivated with the same media she denounces:”

    Oh, Isn’t that just grand: A resident NY Times “Conservative” lectures the rest of us and the media on how to approach Gov Palin – barely a week after his left wing newspaper and columnists tried to pin the tragedy on her. Let’s get a key fact straight up front: Douthat is not true “Conservative”; He is a mealy mouth faux libertarian who works for the New York Times for goodness sakes. Yes, the NY Times that tries to ram their Liberal ideology down the rest of our throats at every turn. Douthat is a phony “token” and evrybody knows it.

    His “YES, BUT” spin is phony and transparent as well. You know how that “Yes, But” spin works: State an obvious fact followed by jaded opinion. Sort of like, “Sure Palin didn’t cause the killing, BUT she is a dimwit and should go back to her igloo in Alaska anyway”. True Repubs don’t pay much attention to Douthat just as they ignore “Conservatives” like Joe Scarborough. They know those folks work for left wing entities and that color their judgement and opinion. These people know who their employees are so they will happily bash true conservatives to appease their employees and make sure they are able to participate in the echo chamber where everybody believes the same thing.

  28. jwest says:

    The public editor of the NY Times (somewhat) apologized for the twin errors of the liberal press wrongfully declaring Rep. Giffords dead and for overlaying a template of right-wing rhetoric being responsible for Loughner’s actions. He blamed the mistakes on the fast pace of the news cycle and the pressure to get information out to the public first.

    As innocent as this poor reporting seems on its face, it does beg the question of why these particular errors were made as opposed to other mistakes associated by applying liberal templates on situations.

    You will note that at no time during the entire Arizona shooting incident did the NY Times, ABC, NBC, CBS or any other liberal news outlet speculate if the people in the shopping center were eating corpses, raping babies or shooting at the rescue helicopters. Apparently, the templates they felt comfortable applying to New Orleans didn’t fit their view of a predominately white district in Arizona.

    Is this proof that the MSM is racist?

  29. @Smooth Jazz:

    Like with your comments on my two thread yesterday, you aren’t actually making an argument, you are just ranting.

    What’s your point, aside from the fact that you don’t like Douthat, the NYT or Joe Scarborough?

  30. Jay Tea says:

    There is nothing to shoot for except the Presidency, and she simply does not have the discipline or focus to run that marathon.

    Oh, keep porking that chicken, Anjin.

    First up, great choice of metaphor. Palin is a runner. During her run for the vice-presidency, she was the “cover girl” and gave a lengthy interview to Runners World magazine. Her first son is named “Track,” for heaven’s sake.

    Second, Palin lacks discipline? Look at the provocations she’s undergone. Andrew Sullivan demanding her obstetric records. Open speculation that her son is her own grandson, and some even speculated the product of her husband sleeping with their daughter. People showing up at her events with “SARAH PALIN IS A CUNT” T-Shirts. A smear artist writer moving in to the house next door from her, overlooking her back yard and her children’s bedrooms. Being hounded from office by assholes filing bullshit ethics charges that got dismissed, yet still ran up legal bills that totaled twice her family’s annual income and 40% of their entire net worth at the time. Tina Fey doing her damnedest to turn her into a national joke, to the point where most people think Palin actually said “I can see Alaska from my house!” (Palin actually said that you can see Russia from some parts of Alaska, an indisputable fact.) Untold lies about her actions, mainly fed by that open sewer that is Daily Kos and others of the professional left. And now, about a week of being called a murderer over the actions of a psycho who probably hated her, too.

    I’m not citing this as a “poor Sarah” list, but to make a point: no one could possibly deny that these charges and harassments and attacks (even if you think they are justified) would be incredibly stressful.

    And I don’t recall Palin EVER showing anger, or lashing out. The closest I can recall is her getting slightly peeved with Katie Couric. That shows great self-discipline.

    Palin has plenty of flaws. But self-discipline? That’s one thing she has in spades.

    J.

  31. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Like with your comments on my two thread yesterday, you aren’t actually making an argument, you are just ranting. What’s your point, aside from the fact that you don’t like Douthat, the NYT or Joe Scarborough?”

    Your statement that I am “ranting” is your opinion to be sure; Nothing more, nothing less. My point is an obvious one: Entities like the NY Times & MSNBC, and the people that work for them, cannot be trusted to provide a balanced perpective on Gov Palin – since they spend a considerable amount of time and resources trying to tear her down. That goes for even “conservative” employees of such organizations.

    99% of the people that those organizations share the same point of view, and it is understandable that the token conservatives there end up getting caught up in the echo chamber and conventional wisdom emanating from those organizations. This means that Douthat’s perspective is biased for all those reasons I mentioned. He may be a good writer and a decent guy; I would be more likely to listen to him if the organization he worked for wasn’t viscerally against the conservative subjects he is writes about.

  32. @SJ:

    Ok, so you are saying that you don’t like Douthat, Scarborough, the NYT and don’t trust them because they are biased.

    Ok, fine, but that really isn’t an argument in re: what they say.

    In other words, you are not presenting an argument, but rather stating you don’t trust these particular persons (which is why I used the word “rant”).

  33. @SJ:

    To make my point a different way: if I said that I know that you like Sarah Palin, and therefore are biased in favor, does that mean I can dismiss any positive thing you say about her/any argument you make about here because, after all, you are biased?

  34. michael reynolds says:

    It isn’t that there is not enough news to fill the 24 cycle. It’s that there isn’t enough bargain news, or even free news. Reporting actual news is expensive — foreign bureaus, actual reporters, satellite time. It’s not a lack of news, it’s about profit. Palin is free. Tunisia is expensive. So guess which one we get?

    So, where can we get actual non-Palin news? Where can we get news of actual, you know, news? From outlets that are not profit-driven: NPR and the BBC.

    When people complain about the pathetic quality of the news we get they should understand that they are criticizing the all-but-inevitable results of profit-driven mass media. I can’t recall the last time I heard about Sarah Palin on NPR and I can’t recall the last time I got through an American news network hour without her.

    If we could get the BBC to shut up about cricket I’d happily swap them for all three of our increasingly useless news networks.

  35. steve says:

    Christie’s words.

    “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will “never be president” if she avoids unscripted, spontaneous interactions with reporters and the public.

    “You have to look at it and see what are they like when they’re tested, what are they like when they’re not scripted, what are they like when they’re pushed,” Christie told The New York Times. “And I would contend to you that if Governor Palin never does any of those things she’ll never be president, because people in America won’t countenance that. They just won’t.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47551.html

    Steve

  36. ponce says:

    It’s interesting to read Andrew Sullivan’s blog from the day Palin was selected by McCain.

    Sullivan started the day cautiously supporting her, moved to really liking her, but by the end of the day thought she would make a terrible VP for all the reasons we’re still debating today.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/change-over-exp.html

  37. Jay Tea says:

    Plus, ponce, his obsession with her uterus. Most people dropped the “Trig is Bristol’s son” bullshit when Bristol turned up pregnant way, way too soon after Trig’s birth to have been her son, but Sullivan is still “just asking questions.”

    I don’t like to stereotype, but damn, if there’s any man alive less likely to be an expert on the functioning of the female reproductive system, it’s gotta be Excitable Andy…

    J.

  38. anjin-san says:

    Jay, I see you have returned from your day job. We never finished our conversation from the other day. Remember? When I was sharing about the tragedy my family has experienced having a member who is paranoid schizophrenic? And you said I was probably making it up, because I say so many things that seem dishonest…

    As I said then, kindly show even one thing I have ever said that would lead a reasonable person to conclude I am dishonest. “I don’t like your politics” does not count.

    Or you could do what you did the other day, bravely turn tail and flee…

  39. wr says:

    Smooth Jazz — At least now we know. The only “balanced” view of Palin is yours: Oooh, she’s so pretty! She’s so sexy! She’s so smart! And yet so brave! And such a victim! Oh, Sarah, we all love you so! Oh, Saray, please let me love you! Please!

    Anything else is, of course, hideously biased.

  40. Jay Tea says:

    No, anjin, I didn’t say you were probably making it up. I just said I didn’t feel like taking you at face value. And besides, I don’t care for the “appeal to authority” argument, or the “you don’t know what it’s like to be me” position.

    And I got personal tragedies, too. Every one does. I got a couple that give me a really, really interesting perspective on some aspects of ObamaCare, but I don’t use them to make my points, because I prefer to use more catholic arguments. I don’t want to proclaim myself an expert on things, or be seen as demanding special treatment or deference.

    At the time you raised your issue, I had three choices. Apologize, and be seen as weak, and never live it down. “Run away,” as you described, and forfeit any chance of coming back. Or stand my ground and demonstrate that I wasn’t going to back down.

    So I chose the third one. And, as I said at the time, I will quite willingly repeat what I said. I’d rather not, as I would rather address the topic at hand (I do that every now and then), but if you want me to, sure.

    As to the topic: Glenn Reynolds is developing a new theory. The left keeps bringing up Sarah Palin as merely one of their many things they’d rather talk about than the tanking economy. They know that she’s pretty much guaranteed to suck up all the oxygen (witness how quickly and eagerly Doug is to bring her up — I think it’s been at least a few weeks since I made her the focus of a posting). So toss out a slam or a cheap shot on her, and BAM! — no one else notices the collapse of municipal bonds, debt paydown problems, unemployment, rising food and gas prices, anemic holiday spending, public satisfaction with the economy, and so on.

    Makes as much sense as anything else…

    J.

  41. sam says:

    “Glenn Reynolds is developing a new theory. The left keeps bringing up Sarah Palin as merely one of their many things they’d rather talk about than the tanking economy.”

    That’s plain silly. I think it reflects more Instapundit hubris than anything. The hubris is lodged in his belief that the public at large gives a shit what bloggers, left or right, have to say about anything. And even just looking at the blogosphere, it’s obvious he has his head up his ass. I don’t see folks like Kevin Drum or Matt Yglesias regularly pounding away on Palin. I don’t see the folks at Crooked Timber doing it. In short, there are a whole lot of left-of-center blogs that seldom mention her at all. As a matter of fact, the blogs I read that are most concerned with Palin are right-of-center blogs like this one and David Frum’s. Unless you want to say, as so many of her partisans say, if you’re critical of her that is proof-positive that you’re left-wing. Somehow I think you’re too smart for that crap.

  42. wr says:

    Jay — This is a lesson the right can’t seem to learn, but if you make an ass out of yourself, or if you act like a jerk, and then you apologize it doesn’t “make you look weak” — it makes you look like a decent human being.

    One quick question — if you had “run away,” who would have stopped you from ever coming back here again? You’re not at war, this is a blog’s discussion board.

    But I gues you wouldn’t be a right-winger if you weren’t constantly obsessed with fears about your own masculinity. That’s why you can’t act like a decent human being — because you’re terrified people wil think you’re gay.

    It would be kind of sad, if it wasn’t exactly the same kind of perverted thinking that leads righties to demand we invade and kill any country that isn’t sufficiently deferential to our manhood…

  43. anjin-san says:

    Jay – here are your exact words:

    > Further, based on past encounters, I don’t put absolute faith in your word on much of anything — especially that which I can’t verify

    Why inject this into the conversation at all, if not to call me a liar in a chickenshit manner? You opened the door, are you man enough to walk through it? Like I said, kindly show one single thing I have ever said that would cause a reasonable person to think I am dishonest. According to you, I have a fairly large body of work along those lines, this should not be a difficult thing to do.

  44. anjin-san says:

    > Sarah Palin as merely one of their many things they’d rather talk about than the tanking economy.

    The “tanking economy” Hmmm.

    In fact, the economy tanked in Sept. 2008, under a different President. Hell, tanking does not cover it. Think Cherynobel. We were close to a cascade failure in the banking system. Next stop, depression. (Please note, I do give Bush some credit for effective damage control once the crisis hit).

    The economy has been improving steadily pretty much since Obama took office. We are out of recession, and into positive, if weak, growth. The stock market has had a near historic winning streak. Corporate profits have soared. GM might just be out of the weeds, instead of dead and buried. Ford is doing reasonably well too. AIG is out of the woods. Capital is more readily available.

    Is there a long way to go? Of course. Are there large problems that remain unsolved. Yes. Does unemployment yet blow? Sure. Though there has been some good news in that regard recently too.

    “The tanking economy”. Nice talking point. Can you put any meat on the bone, or is rote repetition of the party line all you got?

  45. Tano says:

    “Glenn Reynolds is developing a new theory. The left keeps bringing up Sarah Palin as merely one of their many things they’d rather talk about than the tanking economy.”

    Glenn Reynolds is a complete hack. His hackery apparently makes it impossible for him to acknowledge the obvious. “The left” keeps bringing up Sarah Palin because they have a grand fantasy that her identity could be firmly established in the mind of the American people as the ideal expression of what American conservatism is – what the ideal Republican is. The hope is that the GOP will either enthusiastically nominate her for President, or at least be forced to do so by her popularity amongst their base – thereby not only ensuring Obama’s reelection, but giving him an excellent chance to join FDR, LBJ and Nixon in the small fraternity of Presidents who have managed to top 60%.

  46. ponce says:

    “Glenn Reynolds is developing a new theory. The left keeps bringing up Sarah Palin as merely one of their many things they’d rather talk about than the tanking economy.”

    Wasn’t it Glenn Reynolds who talked Sarah Palin into accusing Rep. Giffords of killing Cjhristian babies and drinking their blood?

    Talk about a guy desperate to change the subject…

  47. An Interested Party says:

    “As a matter of fact, the blogs I read that are most concerned with Palin are right-of-center blogs like this one and David Frum’s.”

    Exactly right…because it is the people at these blogs, not those on the left, who are scared to death of her running and winning the GOP nomination…

  48. floyd says:

    At least six Palin headine articles here in about a week…..
    Where’s that thar’ “Fairness Doctrine” when ya need it?
    Oh well “fair” is just a synonym to carnival around here anyway!(lol)

  49. anjin-san says:

    Seriously Floyd, if you don’t like the OTB editorial tone, why do you come here? Victim cred? I don’t care for Dodd’s postings, but I don’t continually bitch about it. We understand that the right does not want any coverage of Palin that is not Fox News approved. How could it be otherwise. When presented with anything other than fawning supplicants, she has a meltdown.

    Anyway, you could start a “The Sun Shines Out Of Glenn Beck’s Ass” blog or “Sarah is the Greatest Woman in the History of the World” blog or something. Everyone should have a hobby…

  50. floyd says:

    Anjin-san;
    It’s not so much the editorial tone that is objectionable … it’s the incurrigible peanut gallery which has no sense…. Not even of humor.
    [Although it does provide entertainment, if not elucidation]

    My blog hobby is you …, sometimes it is nearly exhausting watching you jump to conclusions!

  51. floyd says:

    Should have read “incorrigible peanut gallery”.

  52. An Interested Party says:

    Actually, what is really entertaining are the various Chicken Littles around here who bemoan how everything is falling apart, whether it be how Christians and their religion are being attacked, or the horrors of how things will be when white people are no longer the majority in this country, or how the culture is falling deeper and deeper into a cesspool, or how the Democrats have destroyed the economy, and, of course, how poor dear Sarah Palin is being viciously treated by a bunch of meanies…though all of this is quite humorous, very little of it is presented with a sense of humor…well, when your world is coming to an end, I guess that isn’t very funny…

  53. anjin-san says:

    > it’s the incurrigible peanut gallery which has no sense…. Not even of humor.

    Which is pretty much what the folks on the “left” think of their counterparts as well. Learn to look at the world from something other than the lens of your own viewpoint and experience.

    Oh wait. If you could do that, you would be a Democrat 🙂

    Homeward the new road meanders
    Washed out the old road as to what did I bring
    Flowers, a verse about springtime
    Perchance in the treeline she’s awaiting for me

    Homeward these shoes worn to paper
    Thin as the reason I left here so young
    Homeward and what if I see her?
    There in the doorway I walked away from

  54. anjin-san says:

    Name the writer…

  55. sam says:
  56. Jay Tea says:

    Currently on the front page of OTB:

    Poll: Obama Gets High Marks For Arizona Response, Sarah Palin Bombs With The Public

    Diagnosing The Odd Relationship Between Sarah Palin And The Media

    Did Chris Christie Just Take A Verbal Swipe At Sarah Palin?

    Kristol on Palin’s Speech (and Hume on her Presidential Ambitions)

    Poll Shows Palin Speech Helped Her Image (or Did it?)

    The End Of Sarah Palin?

    Palin’s Missed Opportunity

    Sarah Palin Blasts Media For “Blood Libel” Against Her Over Arizona Shootings

    Eight articles, just about her. Including five after Doug pronounced her politically dead and irrelevant.

    She really does live, rent-free, in certain people’s heads…

    J.

  57. floyd says:

    “Oh wait. If you could do that, you would be a Democrat :)”
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Anjin-san;
    I was … At 20 I campaigned for McGovern, In High School , the side of my Studebaker read
    ” Save America, Impeach Nixon”
    Heck I still have some original McGovern campaign buttons.

    I removed that rose colored “lens” to which you refer, and found that the “Democrat Party” had rejected all of it’s principles and I could no longer support them…

    When they purge the radical left from their midst, I’ll give them another look.

  58. anjin-san says:

    > Democrat Party

    Since there is no such think as the “Democrat Party” except in the minds of people who have outsourced their thinking to Limbaugh, Beck & Co., I am afraid I can’t take your claim to have a broad prospective very seriously.

  59. Jay Tea says:

    Let’s see… anjin gets bent out of shape when someone drops the “-ic” from “Democratic Party,” but has no problem using the term “teabaggers.”

    Consistency much?

    J.

  60. anjin-san says:

    Jay C.

    Please show were I said, “Teabaggers”

  61. anjin-san says:

    Jay?

  62. floyd says:

    Anjin-san;
    Since there is no such “think”(sic) as “Limbaugh, Beck & Co” except in the minds of people who have abdicated thinking altogether, I find I can’t take your petty insults very seriously.{lol}
    On this broad perspective thing…. Am I to assume you subscribe to the concept? (LOL)

    I do recognise ,however that you ,like most Democrats today , insist on maintaining the “ic” factor in the “Democrat Party”.

  63. anjin-san says:

    Floyd,

    Glad to see you are on typo patrol today. Were you a hall monitor in high school when the other guys were out chasing chicks?

    So your position is that there is not a small group of elite right wing media based opinion makers, Limbaugh and Beck among them? Ok. I guess. The moon landing was a hoax, btw.

    > On this broad perspective thing…. Am I to assume you subscribe to the concept? (LOL)

    Guess you have not seen my postings today where I was praising Sec. Gates, a Bush appointee, or calling Carol Mosley Braun, a Democrat, to task. Or my recent post praising the character of President Eishenhower or the intellect of President Nixon, and the tragedy of his downfall.

    Why do the hard work of reading when you can jump, or perhaps leap, to conclusions?