The Media's Constant Palin Hyperbole

July 27th, 2009 12:46 PM

A recent CBS report by Scott Conroy and director of political coverage Steve Chaggaris is typical of the hyperbole to which the Old Media is prone when "reporting" (by that you can read dramatizing) Sarah Palin's political doings.

This report is not as chock full of it as some others that have utilized over-the-top phrases and rhetoric to beat down Palin, but there are a few here that ring typical of the sort of backdoor slams that the Old Media constantly over use in its Palin coverage.

We start with the opening line:

In a fiery speech that felt more like a partisan campaign rally than a formal transfer of power, outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin reflected upon her administration's most significant achievements and shared her vision for the country's future. But the address was most notable for Palin's remarkably blunt swipes at her favorite nemesis: the media.

What does "felt more like a partisan campaign rally" as opposed to a "formal transfer of power" mean, anyway? It is a colorful way of intimating that Palin overstepped herself at the ceremony, of course. It's a way to slam her as gauche without directly saying so.

The last line is also a perfect example of the nonsense we get from the Old Media where it concerns Palin. The CBS pair wrote, "But the address was most notable for Palin's remarkably blunt swipes at her favorite nemesis: the media." Yet, this supposed notability of Palin’s "blunt swipes" at the press is belied further in the story where it maintains that Palin's swipes at the media have become "close to a daily ritual."

So, the question in my mind is this: how can the swipes she took at the ceremony be "notable" if, according to CBS, she's been doing this since her stint as the GOP vp nominee over six months ago? In fact, there can't be much "notable" about it if it has become so entirely ubiquitous.

Naturally, the reason they use the "notable" rhetoric is to convey to the reader that Palin's behavior is something to raise an eyebrow about. This is just one of the tactics the media uses against her, an effort that is becoming "close to a daily ritual" -- if I may steal a quote.

And speaking of the "daily ritual" business, the CBS piece says the following:

Palin's relationship with the press deteriorated further during her vice presidential campaign, and upon her return to Alaska, she has made her condemnations of the media something close to a daily ritual.

Something "close" to a daily ritual? My guess is that you won't even be able to find daily public comments on any subject from Palin since she ran for vp, much less a daily attack on the press. It may have been frequent, even common that Palin slapped the press in her public comments and statements, but a "daily ritual"? That is simply hyperbole. She has not daily swiped at the press.

The CBS report also ignores the history of the press of attacking her children and seems to imply that the only example of it was when Late Night host David Letterman recently made a sexual "joke" about her youngest child, Piper.

Her now several weeks old public feud with David Letterman over the late-night comedian's failed joke about one of her daughters was apparently still smarting, as she leaned forward into the microphone and added angrily, "One other thing for the media, our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone."

This minimizes Palin's hurt feelings over the constant media attacks on her children as a mere spat with some TV show host. But Palin has over the past half year suffered constant media attacks on son Trig and daughter Bristol as well as her husband and other family members. It all serves as an understandable impetus for her suspicion and anger at the media. But did the CBS pair note this history to show why Palin's suspicions might be justified? Not at all, the better to make her seem shrill and out-of-control, naturally.

In the end, this CBS piece serves as a great example of the loaded rhetoric that the Old Media use against Palin as they report the news. It shows the sneaky language they use to minimize, belittle, pester, and scoff at Governor Palin, for sure.

(Photo credit: