Palin-Smearing Baltimore Sun Columnist Whines Readers Being Mean to Her

Susan Reimer, columnist for the Baltimore Sun, is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that people took exception to her tactless bashing of Governor Sarah Palin in her September 1 column, "A woman -- but why this woman?" In fact, Reimer is so upset that people where exercised enough to drop her a note, give her a call, or write an email about her baseless smearing of Palin that she says in her September 5 column that she feels "frightened." Do you want some cheese and crackers to go with that whine, Reimer?

On Monday, I wrote a column criticizing the McCain campaign for what I saw as a cynical attempt to gather in unhappy women voters by naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin his vice presidential candidate and for exploiting the poignant story of her youngest child to appease the Republican Party's pro-life base... And then the storm began.

Reimer was shocked to find that her substance free, lie filled attack on John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin generated "More than 8,200 comments were posted to the column on The Baltimore Sun's Web site. I received more than 700 personal e-mails and about 50 phone calls."

Even worse for Reimer, her gutter scraping column was read by Rush Limbaugh and Brit Hume and was linked by Drudge as an example of the outrageous treatment that Palin has gotten at the hands of feminist media elites like Reimer.

One would think that a columnist such as she would be thrilled to get so much attention. After all, isn't she ostensibly one who wants to see her opinion reach as many people as possible, people who just might per chance find themselves in agreement or -- fingers crossed -- actually persuaded by the power of her words?

Not so much, I guess...

A handful of people wrote to say that I had captured exactly their reaction to the Palin nomination. But the rest of the responses were vehement or venomous... And more than 316,000 people viewed the column on The Baltimore Sun Web site. That number - more than 100 times the attention I normally receive - actually frightened me.

She was "actually frightened," you people! Give me a break. What? Is she crying? There's no crying in journalism.

She ends her self-actuated pity party with the following paragraphs.

The things that were said about me, my personal appearance and my children - as well as Barack Obama - were beyond the bounds of decency, and many were said in language that might only be seen in a bathroom stall.

Generally, the comments were not made behind the veil of anonymity the Internet can provide. The writers signed their names. And they revealed what I think has become the bare-knuckles nature of our national conversation.

So much pent-up anger, so much barely concealed hate was released in those e-mails and those postings. I wonder where next they will find a vent.

It is still two months until the presidential election. Things could get really rough out there.

Well, Susie, I have to say it: Welcome to our world. No, not that world where everyone is surly, mean-spirited and foul mouthed. I am talking about that world where your political opponents are so filled with hatred that they don't even consider you a human being. THAT is the world that liberals like yourself (as your September 1 column proved) have created to express how you feel about Republicans in general and conservatives in particular. Is it so surprising that a similar treatment is meted out in return to you by your opponents?

I'll speak directly to you, now, Ms. Reimer. Let's review the hatred and lies in the September 1 column that got you so much fan mail, shall we?

So. This is what being pandered to feels like... John McCain picked Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and mother of five, to be his running mate to woo women like me.

So, the assumption you made is that McCain couldn't possibly have made the choice of Palin unless he was cynically "pandering" to get women to vote for him? Gee, Reimer, did you feel that Hillary was a "pander" to you? You are way old enough, so I wonder what you were writing about Geraldine Ferraro. Was she a mere "pander," too?

Of course, this is not a fact based claim. It is your feelings we are subjected to. Are we supposed to reject the sexist meme that you women are guided solely by your "feelings" and not logic when we read this line of garbage? If so you are making it awfully tough to do so!

Does McCain think we will be so grateful for a skirt on the ticket that we won't notice that she's anti-abortion, a member of the NRA and thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution?

His selection of Sarah Palin is insulting on so many levels that I am starting to feel like the Geico caveman.

First of all, it is a direct and knowing lie for you to make the claim that Governor Palin ever proposed that "creationism" be "taught alongside evolution" in Alaska's schools. But, further, this bit shows you have no clue whatsoever about politics. Palin's pick was not made to gather up extremist haters from among the ranks of the liberal wing of socialist elites in America -- you know, like you for instance. Palin's pick was needed primarily to solidify the conservative base of the Republican Party. If she appeals to some women that don't necessarily fully identify with your wing of Europhiles, Reimer, well that is just a plus for McCain.

No one on this planet with any knowledge of American politics imagines that the Palin pick was intended to persuade dyed-in-the-wool, kool-aid-drinkers like yourself, Reimer. McCain suffers from a lack of conservative chops and Palin was put on his ticket to mollify an increasingly dissatisfied conservative base. You obviously have no clue what is going on, do you?

Then, Reimer, you attack Palin's special needs baby?

You want to look good to the evangelicals? Choose a running mate with a Down syndrome child.

Why in God's name would you think anyone would pick a running mate merely because they have a child with a disability? Even more ridiculously, what possible contortion of your tiny little brain would prove to you that Evangelicals will only vote for someone with a special needs baby? Do evangelicals have a long history of forcing candidates with special needs babies onto political tickets, Reimer? If so, can you name even one other time this may have happened?

Didn't think so.

Naturally, when you then go after other conservatives imagining that their endorsement of Palin must be one based on evil intentions... well, how could you have expected that to sit well with the readers?

(When James Dobson, the conservative Christian radio host who fancies himself a kingmaker, jumped up to say that the selection of Palin means he can now "pull the lever" for John McCain, I almost felt sick. I don't know what I'll do if she trots out the story of her 5-month-old baby to shore up the Republican base.)

Well, now you know how conservatives feel when your favorite named celebrities endorse a Democrat. When people such as Michael Moore, Ed Asner, Al Gore, Barbra Streisand, Noam Chomsky, Madonna, George McGovern or other such empty headed celebrities or stomach turning extremists of the far left announce a political favorite, we conservatives get that self-same "sick" feeling.

But, here is a difference. James Dobson is a man of God, wouldn't hurt a fly. Can the same be said of any of your favorites?


Palin's personal story is very compelling, but it reads more like a movie pitch than a resume for national leadership.

And your column reads more like unintentional humor than serious commentary. Palin's life story is not a "movie pitch." It is REAL. As in not fake, but actually a lived life. Do you know the difference?

Then we get this trenchant bit of political analysis:

She makes John McCain, Naval Academy graduate, fighter pilot and prisoner of war, look like just another grouchy, old, rich white guy... Oh. Right. He is.

Is this what passes for serious commentary with the hoi polloi these days? If so, the level of intelligent discourse there is in serious decline. Mencken, T.S. Eliot, and Edmund Wilson should be spinning in their graves.

Then, without even the slightest bit of ability to compare and contrast, you go for the easily discredited experience attack.

Under the circumstances, the decision to choose this woman over the likes of, say, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison looks less like a stroke of genius than a stroke. It looks crazy. It looks wacky.

Barack Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, for heaven's sake. And the best McCain can do is a woman who minored in poly-sci at the University of Idaho?

Do you really want to play the experience game between Palin and Obama?

Well, then, let's compare and contrast.

Palin was a mayor of a town with a budget of close to 13 million dollars and sported several hundred employees. She left the job still quite popular with her voters and moved on eventually to the Governor's mansion with a budget of 11 billion dollars and 15,000 employees. There she has approval ratings in the 80 percent range as we speak.

She has managed billions of dollars, fought for and managed that budget, and guided its formation through the legislature. She has also dealt with many thousands of employees.

So, let's see what our "community organizer," Barry Obama, has been up to for roughly the same number of years. Well, he had a tiny office with but a few staffers as a state senator in the Illinois state legislature and as a Senator in Congress has a budget of about 4 million dollars. He also has a staff there of less than 100 people. Further, he's not had to fight for his budget among voters and the legislature, either. He was just handed it when he walked into the office on the first day.

And that is the full extent of his budgeting experience. That's it. Finis.

Speaking of employees, do you want to talk about Obama's "change" and "fairness" on that count? It seems all his female employees make less than his male staffers in Congress.

The average pay for the 33 men on Obama's staff (who earned more than $23,000, the lowest annual salary paid for non-intern employees) was $59,207. The average pay for the 31 women on Obama's staff who earned more than $23,000 per year was $48,729.91. (The average pay for all 36 male employees on Obama's staff was $55,962; and the average pay for all 31 female employees was $48,729. The report indicated that Obama had only one paid intern during the period, who was a male.)

Is that the kind of "fair" guy that you think would be good for your fellowets in the shemale, man haters club, Reimer?

You wrap up your presumptuous proclamations with the sentiment that Palin will be "in over her head" as vice president. And you posit that she won't be able to match up well against Obama's pick of Joe Biden for VP.

Palin might do just fine during the campaign. And she might do an excellent job of going to diplomatic funerals. (Which McCain once said is the only job description for the vice presidency.)

But it is more likely that she will be in over her head, and all the women McCain thinks he is courting will be cringing for our sister instead. And then we will be furious at him for setting one of us up to fail.

It isn't just that Palin might look bad campaigning against the likes of Biden or Obama.

It's that she already looks bad compared to the likes of Hillary Clinton.

Let me say this about the horribly comic pick of Biden made by your messiah.

Joe Biden has been in Congress as a Senator since 1973 -- that's 35 years in case you don't have your calculator handy, Sue -- and he has not once been made a minority or majority leader. Isn't that a bit odd? For a man that is supposed to have so much "experience," a man that is claimed as such an integral part of our foreign policy and government, the fact that he has never been considered enough of a leader to be offered the office of honor among his peers has to be wondered about. I mean isn't it a bit strange that all his many hundreds of Senatorial colleagues have never bestowed the favor of their vote for him to become their leader after so many decades amongst them?

Seriously. Think about it. Doesn't that singular fact say something quite stunningly bad about your "experienced" man in the VP slot on the Obama ticket?

In any case, I don't think you'll have to worry much about Sarah Palin's ability to handle herself with slow Joe Biden, Ms. Reimer.

To close my discussion with you, Reimer, I have to ask: don't you see the hatred that you expressed for this woman? Don't you see that your snide comments about her Down Syndrome child and your abhorrence with every American that votes Republican -- which is half the electorate, by the way -- just might raise a bit of ire out there? Can you really be so shocked that your spittle specked rage was met with a bit of resistance?

If not, well, you really aren't as smart as you might like to imagine.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

Media Bias Debate Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Baltimore Sun Journalistic Issues Susan Reimer Sarah Palin