Palin's Popularity vs. Media Mania - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Palin’s Popularity vs. Media Mania

Monday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh pointed out the most evil, mean-spirited act Sarah Palin has ever committed: She didn’t include an index in her new book, Going Rogue.

Elite journalists don’t read political books, but instead skim the index to see if their names are mentioned, Limbaugh explained to his national radio audience. Therefore, Palin omitted the index to exact revenge on her tormenters by forcing them to read her book. To her liberal enemies, this was a deed as inhumane as her moose-hunting.

Rush played an audio clip of MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell complaining about “Sarah’s index-and-footnote free, score settling campaign memoir.” The same network’s Andrea Mitchell — apparently having assigned some flunky to read the whole book — recited on her show the only page of Going Rogue (p. 397) where Palin mentioned Mitchell.

What is it about Palin that sticks in the craw of liberal journalists? Perhaps the same thing that has always annoyed them about Rush Limbaugh: Sarah Palin doesn’t need their help, and all their efforts to harm her appear impotent.

Her media enemies cite polls to demonstrate that the former Alaska governor is unpopular. Yet her book is a bestselling blockbuster, while anti-Palin outfits like CBS, MSNBC and CNN are the least-popular TV news organizations in America. And as far as Republicans are concerned, Palin is infinitely more popular.

At this point, Palin controls her own destiny. She is independent, and has no need to court the approval of the media “gatekeepers.” She’s the hottest topic in political news, and if the New York Times or the TV networks want a piece of the action, they have to play by her rules. They’re so used to dictating the rules — every book must have an index! — that Palin’s rogue refusal to follow their rules is even more offensive to them than her good looks, her handsome husband, and her five children.

The Associated Press reportedly tasked 11 staffers to fact-check Going Rogue. How many AP reporters fact-checked Barack Obama’s books? Maybe the number wasn’t zero, but it sure as heck wasn’t 11.

If the AP ever decides to start fact-checking what is written about Sarah Palin as rigorously as it fact-checks what is written by Sarah Palin, maybe they’ll be doing a service to journalism. As it is, they’re just another tiny cog in the massive anti-Palin machine that also includes Media Matters and every liberal’s favorite “conservative,” David Brooks. (ABC’s “Good Morning America” ran a clip of Brooks calling Palin a “joke” as evidence that “even conservatives” are against her.)

Newsweek devoted its latest cover story to attacking Palin — a refreshing change of pace from Newsweek‘s weekly cover stories praising Barack Obama. According to Newsweek, she’s a “problem” in need of a solution, perhaps because she looks good in shorts.

There seems to be a media competition at work, a sort of championship tournament. Every reporter, anchor, and pundit in America is engaged in a frantic effort to be the hero who fires the silver bullet that slays the Republican werewolf from Wasilla.

Whether or not Sarah Palin is the last, best hope of the GOP, she is inarguably the worst nightmare of crusading liberal journalists. Not since Oliver North showed up for a key congressional hearing in his Marine Corps uniform has the Washington press corps been so spectacularly vexed at its inability to destroy an intended victim. Her mere survival makes her Evil with a capital “E.” The only way Republicans can save Palin from this incessant maelstrom of media hatred is to nominate a Limbaugh-Coulter ticket in 2012.

The result of this constant Palin-bashing is exactly the opposite of what the bashers intend. Possessing an amazing ability to enrage liberals, she causes them to expose their own nuttiness, as when Andrew Sullivan — Patient Zero of the Palin Derangement Syndrome media pandemic — accused her of being “obsessed” with him.

In one of those million-to-one coincidences that have attended Palin’s skyrocket ascent, her collaborator on Going Rogue is Lynn Vincent, with whom I co-authored on Donkey Cons. Lynn is a veteran journalist whom I first met when she recruited me to the staff of the Jacksonville (Ala.) State University student newspaper.

This connection caused the werewolf-hunters to cry “A-ha!” and to engage in what one blogger dubbed “second-degree guilt-by-association.” In the process of trying to prove that Lynn is a hatefully homophobic racist, however, they exposed the awful truth: She has gay friends and relatives, and attends a megachurch with a black pastor.

Given the mindless ferocity of liberal hatred focused on Palin, she can never expect the media to treat her with the reverential deference that Obama customarily receives from reporters. All she asks is that they stop “making stuff up,” but even this seems too much to ask, causing her critics to accuse her of “whining.”

Fortunately, she won’t need any favors from CBS or CNN to reach thousands of Americans face-to-face in the coming weeks, as she embarks on a national book tour that is sure to attract massive crowds at every stop along the way. Palin announced the schedule, as she announces everything else, on her Facebook page, which has a readership larger than Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC audience.

Why do they hate her? Because Sarah Palin is guilty of a sin for which liberals can never forgive a Republican: She’s more popular than they are. And everybody knows it.

Robert Stacy McCain
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