An Irishgirl abroad — New York life through a European lens

Sarah Palin [whatever]-gate

Posted in US politics by Frieda on June 13, 2010

Palin on 'On the Record' (Fox news)

As a member of the ‘liberal elite’ eastcoast media, you would expect me to side against Sarah Palin in any argument. And let me be clear, although I’ve had phases of fascination with Ms. Palin (she is SO popular — what can we learn from that/her?) I do detest her politics.

But I’m disappointed in the media’s recent kerfuffle over her. The debate surrounds the question of whether Palin has had breast implants: if you closely peer at the multitude of photos that websites are posting on the subject, you can almost detect a marginal increase in their size; though ultimately it’s hard to tell.

A while back I became a ‘fan’ of Smart Girl Politics on Facebook. Now, these are Republican women activists, who say they are dedicated ‘to effecting change at the grassroots level.’ Although I’m not Republican (bien sûr) I think that it’s salutary to know what the other side is thinking, and even to learn from them if possible, subscribing to an idealistic notion that if both sides listened to each other more, American politics might not — just might not — be so terrifyingly polarized.

On Friday a Smart Girl Politicker posted, ‘deciding it’s easier to ignore Sarah Palin’s role in yesterday’s primaries, the media instead focuses on … her chest?’ linking to an article in the Boston Herald, written by a woman, that begins, ‘Hey Sarah Palin, I can see your cleavage from my house!’ The Herald piece is so snarky and gratuitously anti-Palin, minus any substantial political content, that I felt some sympathy. However nasty you think the woman is, her breasts should not be the point.

Further, sticking ‘Sarah Palin’ and ‘breasts’ into a newspaper article just ends up lending weight to Palin’s criticisms of the media. In the short-term such articles may get a gazillion hits, but in the medium and long-term it’s a liberal-elite-media own goal.

The story’s all over the web of course. On Gawker I watched Palin defending herself on Fox news. With a trickling (Alaskan?) waterfall in the background, evocative of religious bookmarks or the cheesiest of greetings cards, Palin says ‘boob-gate is all over the internet right now because there are I guess a lot of bored, idle bloggers and reporters out there with nothing else to talk about’ (er, I guess so!). But she makes a serious point: ‘They need to grab a shovel, go down to the Gulf, volunteer to help, clean up and save a well or something instead of reporting on such stupid things like that.’

I’m going to stop here, as I’m feeling chastised. On this one, I’m with Palin.

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