At some point, covering Sarah Palin becomes a disease…
I should probably apologize up front, because this is one of those posts you can’t make without talking briefly about stuff that you’re pointing out isn’t your concern. So yeah, like the person who thinks people should be tolerant of one another regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation — and thus falling into the clever trap of being intolerant of people who don’t — I get that overly clever people will note I’m opening the very can of worms that I argue should be closed. So be it.
And with that out of the way…
So, there’s this woman who goes by the name of Sarah Palin. Perhaps you’ve heard of her? Ran for Vice President a while back? Became the cultural touchstone of True Conservatives and Real Americans alike for a while? Hosted shows with incoherent ramblings on FOX News, tried her hand at being a reality TV star, had some books ghostwritten, saved Christmas from Pinkos like me that still shop at stores where people say “Happy Holidays!” in December? Any of this ringing any bells?
You’ve probably seen the name Palin a lot in the news recently. Only the thing is, it’s not really Sarah who you’ve been reading about, so much as her children and her extended family. Apparently, the “Palin clan” had a party last month, and some people at the party got into a fight. Things got rowdy enough that the police came and told everyone to settle down, but not so rowdy that any charges were filed. In other words: pretty much every party I went to back in college. Two of the younger Palins (doesn’t really matter which ones) were described as being intoxicated.
And here’s the thing: This isn’t news. And if you’re reporting it as such, then you’re not being a journalist.
This story is getting enormous play by pretty much everyone. Even Josh Marshall’s TPM, which is one of the last news/politics sites I have any respect for at all, now has pushed the number of stories it’s published about about the Palin brawl into double digits. (As a comparison, during the same time period they did just one story on the Michael Dunn conviction, just one on DeShawn Currie’s being accosted in his home by the police, and — as best as I can tell — zero on the news that Oregon’s governor John Kitzhaber (D) and his fiancé have been caught using his office to skim a little somthin’-somethin’ for themselves.)
Look, I agree that anyone running for public office should be under all manner of scrutiny by the press. But Sarah Palin isn’t running for any public office. She isn’t even doing one of her patented coy book tours where she teases us that she might. And neither are her kids and extended family. Because of that, this story has zero relevance to anyone whose last name isn’t “Palin” and/or wasn’t at the party that night.
Look, I get that everyone wants to think of Sarah Palin as being a sad reality star wanna-be who inexplicably hit the fame lottery a few years ago. Hell, that’s the way I feel about her. But here’s the thing, news media: If Sarah Palin is nothing more than a vapid, white-trash, B-list celebrity who degrades herself and her family in order to be on television, then you’re nothing more than a trashy celebrity gossip rag for spending so much time covering this story with the zeal you are.
 Apparently the news media has collectively decided that from now on, the Palin family must always be referred to as a “clan,” despite the fact that the entire brood is too America, Fuck Yeah! to be considered Scottish, and too socially conservative to let their men wear kilts.
I love the way this looks and feels
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