A favorite tactic of the mainstream media is to cite supposedly nonpartisan organizations to advance the point they're trying to make. An example of that was shown on CNN's American Morning today. Anchor John Roberts set up the segment:
ROBERTS: Coming up now at 18 minutes after the hour. Sarah Palin returns to Alaska today. But her homecoming bittersweet as her eldest son, Track, deploys for Iraq tomorrow. And since Palin was nominated for vice president, her career and her personal life have been under the microscope.
CNN's Jessica Yellin joins us live this morning from Anchorage, Alaska.
Yellin, the network's Capitol Hill correspondent, spoke of how Palin juggles family responsibilities with her career. She wrapped up the piece:
YELLIN: Palin supporters insist her experience as a working mother means she'll represent American women. But some women's groups are critical. The Non-Partisan National Partnership for Women and Families gives Alaska a D minus when it comes to its parental leave policy. For example, there's no guarantee a paid leave for new parents.
DR. VICKI LOVELL, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH: I think there's a contradiction there between Governor Palin's professed values about supporting families and then what we actually see in the state of Alaska where there aren't adequate supports for families who are welcoming new infants.
YELLIN: Now, John, Palin, herself, never took much maternity leave. And as for the state law, her defenders say, well, she's had other priorities in office, like championing a natural gas pipeline and seeing to it that Alaskans get money back from a tax on oil companies.
So how nonpartisan is the National Partnership for Women and Families? Check out its board of directors. Cheryl D. Mills's name stands out. She "gained national prominence for her defense of President Clinton during the 1999 Senate impeachment trial." Linda Bergthold is a blogger on the leftwing Huffington Post, with a recent contribution titled "The VP Choice that Lost the Presidency for McCain."
The next three board members listed, Ranny Cooper, Linda D. Fienberg, and Nikki Heidepriem, have made numerous contributions to the very partisan EMILY's List - whose "chair" is also on the board - and to various Democratic candidates. Dr. Vicky Lovell of the Institute for Women's Policy Research sees a contradiction between Palin's words and actions. That's a real surprise, especially coming from a Hillary Clinton contributor.
Not everyone believes that it's a legitimate function of government to meddle with private sector personnel policies. But I won't hold my breath waiting for CNN to find a "nonpartisan" group supporting that view.