WaPo 'On Gardening' Feature Blasts Sarah Palin's Wooden Fence

It seems no section of the newspaper is free of bias and/or political cheap shots.

Take today's Local Living section of the Washington Post, whose "on gardening" feature writer Adrian Higgins blasted "Sarah Palin's... wrong to the landscape"* in the form of the 14-foot-tall wooden fence she erected between her Wasilla, Alaska, property and an adjacent lot rented by author Joe McGinniss:

Do bad neighbors make bad fences? I've seen a few fences in my time, but none quite as defiantly ugly as the one now shielding Sarah Palin and her family from what she suggests are the prying eyes of her new neighbor, an author named Joe McGinniss. 


As a prop in the theater of contemporary politics, the screen is a masterstroke. This billboard of a fence looks like the heroic, makeshift response of a woman protecting her besieged family from a loathsome spy. Writes Palin on her Facebook page: "Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?" This, in turn, spawned ugly and threatening responses against McGinniss. "She's pushed a button, and unleashed the hounds of hell," McGinniss told NBC's Matt Lauer.

However genuine the motives behind the fence, from a design, horticultural and sheer aesthetic standpoint, it looks like a disaster.

Higgins did eventually get back to his area of expertise, explaining why overly tall fences are bad for backyard gardens. And Higgins did crack a joke at the expense of D.C.-area local government bureaucrats who disapprove of tall fences.

All the same, Higgins's swipe at the Palins was gratuitous, a needless intrusion of politics into a generally apolitical section of the paper.

*"Sarah Palin's fence didn't have to be so ugly," was the online article's headline.

The above photo by Mark Thiessen of the Associated Press was included with the Higgins article along witha caption reading, "You betcha, a two-tone and 14-foot-high fence is a bad idea."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.