Day By Day

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Respecting Sarah

You may have noticed that the coverage of Sarah Palin in the mainstream media has in recent days become much more sympathetic. Suddenly, all sorts of folk from Chris Wallace to the New York Times editorialists have discovered previously undiscerned virtues and seriousness in the former Governor of Alaska. To some extent this may be part of the normal news cycle -- reacting against the hysterical Palin derangement that had been so prominent a part of news coverage for so long. It might also be recognition on the part of major news organizations that in their frantic rush to snoop through Sarah's e-mails they may have gone several steps too far and need to re-establish some credibility. But I suspect something far more prosaic is at work.

In recent weeks we have heard time and again from all quarters that Sarah Palin is a formidable character but that she has absolutely no chance of being elected president. What that means is that the political power brokers in both parties have come to a consensus -- she is not a threat to Obama. This removes the most obvious need to destroy her. But, it is also recognized among Republicans that a successful candidate (most likely Romney) will need the support of her fans, and so it is in their interests to speak nicely of her and them. Witness the over-the-top negative reaction to Ed Rollins' trash talk regarding Palin. At the same time Democratic strategists have decided that they would love to have the Republicans nominate Palin because that, in their minds, would ensure a second term for Obama. So leading Republicans want to play nice with Sarah and Democrats are trying to boost her to the nomination and the newly-favorable press coverage simply reflects the perceived interests of the the political power brokers who, despite all the assertions of press freedom, really do set the agenda for the mainstream media.

No comments: