Today on its Web site and in its printed version, the Chicago Tribune reported on the large crowds greeting former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on her book tour. More than a thousand enthusiastic admirers greeted her Wednesday in Grand Rapids. Another thousand were already in line at 7:00 a.m. today for a book signing scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in Noblesville, Indiana. Hundreds more gathered in line hours ahead of her appearance at a Ft. Wayne Meijer store.
The vision of Sarah Palin being cheered by so many common people in such common towns as Grand Rapids and Ft. Wayne and in such common venues as a Meijer store must be just too much for the deep thinkers at the Chicago Tribune. Palin Derangement Syndrome kicked in. Bad. They had to provide their own version of what's happening.
"All this rightist hoopla is all so predictable," writes the newspaper's former national editor, Charles Madigan. In the first part of the piece he decries criticism of Barack Obama's how low can you go bow to Japan's emperor and anti-Obama sentiment from the right:
Their congressional caucus, their blurting mouthpieces, their nattering nabobs of neocon nonsense, their Limbeckians (sounds like Jonathan Swift, doesn't it?) their addled and confused tea baggers, their Michelle Backmanians, they are all coming from the same place, a losers fantasyland where there is no reality other than what they think.
Then he moves specifically onto Palin, who "will make a whole fishing trawler full of money from her book." He ends:
Palin's following will gobble up her book and it will become as much a bible as that King James version, Sarah's version of what happened. They will love her forever. She will become a talk show host where she will also blast Obama for bowing before foreign powers and being a closet socialist.
That part of America has become so predictable, it's hardly worth paying much attention as it continues shouting, primarily to itself.
Then we have the PDS symptoms exhibited by columnist Steve Chapman in "Sarah Palin and the conservative descent." He didn't care much for the book:
But the priorities of "Going Rogue" are striking poses and attitudes, not making actual arguments about the proper role of government. The book is meant to create an image, or maybe a brand -- folksy but shrewd, tough but feminine, noble but beset by weaklings and traitors, ever-smiling unless you awaken her inner "Mama Grizzly Bear" by scrutinizing her loved ones. No one could be more pleased with her than she is with herself. Reading the book is like watching Palin preen in front of a mirror for hours as she tirelessly compliments herself for courage, gumption, devotion to family and maverick independence.
Sarah Palin just doesn't have the requisite "gravitas" apparently. But he can think of someone who does:
You could almost forget that for well over a year, Republicans have ridiculed Barack Obama as lighter than a souffle, an inexperienced upstart who owes everything to arrogant presumption and a carefully crafted image. But Obama wrote a 375-page book, "The Audacity of Hope," that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of issues.
It is hard to imagine Palin (as opposed to a ghostwriter) producing anything comparable. Almost as hard as it is to imagine that modern conservatives would expect it.
Leaders who can think? That's so 20th century.
Today's Tribune also includes a Sarah Palin paper doll. One reader's reaction: "I bet a lot of the editorial writers at the Trib would LOVE a Palin BLOW UP DOLL better!"
These are dark days in much of the mainstream media. Despite the most adamant admonitions from the superior people in the press, those common people in their common communities persist in liking and trusting Sarah Palin. So when the news is bad, as it is today, the only thing they can do is provide "balance" by slamming her elsewhere in their pages.
They can assert that Palin's America is "hardly worth paying much attention," yet they simply can't stop obsessing on it.