Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

You can’t play an honest media

Jerry Stratton, June 23, 2011

In today’s Top of the Ticket, Andrew Malcolm writes about the media’s latest gaffe and says that “the Republican former governor couldn’t ask for a more cooperative media… she plays the media so skillfully.”

I don’t think she’s trying to play the media. Not in the sense that the LA Times writer seems to believe. She’s not trying to make journalists act like idiots. She can’t be, because she’s telling them ahead of time what her plans are. They should have known that the SarahPAC One Nation bus tour hasn’t been canceled, because SarahPAC told them how it was going to go down:

Starting this weekend, Sarah Palin will embark on a One Nation Tour of historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America. The tour will originate in Washington DC and will proceed north up the east coast.

Further, sources to RealClearPolitics added:

The bus tour is expected to last several weeks and will be divided into separate geographical sections for logistical reasons.

So, here’s the timeline:

  1. Palin and SarahPAC announce a northeast tour to cover major historical sites, starting in DC and proceeding up the coast.
  2. The Palins travel from DC into Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
  3. Palin announces the end of the first stretch of the tour.
  4. Journalists speculate that this must mean the tour’s been canceled.

Even assuming for the moment that RealClearPolitics’s sources were real sources and not imaginary sources—and even assuming that the press couldn’t know that Palin’s been called up for jury duty—that’s some wildly off-the-wall speculation. The Palins completed the first stretch of the bus tour as announced. If there are going to be more stretches then they are going to be broken up, and it is now coming up on the July 4 holiday. What is even remotely surprising about the Palins taking a break to go home for Fourth of July celebrations in Alaska?

In order for Palin to “play the media” she would have to have utter contempt for the media—and the media would have to deserve it.

She’s playing the media only in the sense that she expects them to do basic reporting and when they don’t, she calls them on it. You don’t have to trust what people say publicly to be a journalist, but you do have to know what it was. For Palin to be playing the media in this instance, journalists have to not just be utterly stupid or dishonest, they have to be predictably stupid or dishonest.

In their defense, our media today is a beltway media, and they are used to dealing with beltway politicians who don’t say what they mean. An honest person gets into politics, and the media isn’t prepared to deal with that.

That’s not much of a defense.

“It’s not a publicity-seeking tour. It’s about highlighting the great things about America.”

In response to The Make-Believe Media’s New Normal: Whoever wins the election will be the new Sarah Palin. But they’re all acting like John McCain, obliviously unaware that the press might turn on them the moment they win the primary.

  1. The media’s lies work ->