Posts Tagged ‘the atlantic’
What a waste of media resources, and how predictable to anyone who paid attention to the fact that while almost 25,000 emails from Sarah Palin’s tenure as Alaska governor–but stopping before Election Day, 2008–would be made available for public consumption, almost 2,500 additional pages would be withheld.
And who decided what to withhold? The state of Alaska.
And who is governor of Alaska today? Palin’s fellow-evangelical Christian lapdog, Sean Parnell, who became governor only because Sarah quit in July, 2009.
Just the list of withheld emails was 189 pages long.
As conservative Paul Jenkins explained in the Anchorage Daily News last week:
It turns out state lawyers and folks in the governor’s office — where some, it turns out, worked for Palin but now work for Gov. Sean Parnell, who was Palin’s lieutenant governor — made the calls on those 2,415 emails. Not an impartial panel of citizens and lawyers, or folks lacking direct or indirect ties to the authors of the emails or any court. Just insiders.
Does anyone detect a smell of fish?
Notwithstanding that the state announced in advance that more than ten percent of the emails would not be disclosed, MSM–even including The Guardian, from England, descended on Juneau in a state of mindlessness that can only be likened to mass hysteria.
As readers of this blog will know, I don’t have much truck with Greta Van Susteren, but her description of this as a “colonoscopy” was apt.
Sarah can only be relieved by the result: no malignancy found.
Of course, in a colonoscopy, the patient doesn’t get to hide ten percent of the area under examination.
To me, the most disturbing aspect of this whole overblown farce is that those assiduous protectors of Palin’s privacy, who redacted ten percent of the emails, did not bother to cross out personal contact information for anyone who’d emailed the governor’s office with criticism of Sarah. As first reported by PoliticusUSA, Alaskan citizens who exercised their right of free speech now find their email addresses, telephone numbers, and home addresses made available to the same sort of vigilantes who came after me last summer for merely moving in next door to her.
Let us hope that no harm–even in the form of threat or harassment–comes to anyone whose privacy has been invaded by Palin loyalists who retain government positions in the Parnell administration, and who were responsible for setting critics up as targets.
Will MSM call Parnell to account for this lapse?
Don’t hold your breath.
Now that they’ve come up empty in their frenzied quest for scandal, representatives of MSM will retreat as quickly and quietly as possible, asking the editors who put them on this cold case, “What were you thinking?”
The answer is, they weren’t thinking. They were hoping for a quick hit, a tabloid headline that could parlay the public’s ongoing obsession with all things Palin into website hits that equal advertising dollars.
It used to be only the supermarket tabloids that operated in such a fashion.
Now we witness the singularly unedifying spectacle of The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, MSNBC, and even the Guardian hanging out their tongues in the hope that a tasty crumb might fall from Sarah’s table.
Sorry, folks. Move along, nothing to see here except a governor who was sensitive to criticism and worried about her public image as (see CNN) “she pushed to get landmark oil and gas legislation through the statehouse; [while] demanding that Exxon finish paying damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.”
There could be no stronger validation for the point of view (which, by the way, I don’t agree with) expressed by Joshua Green in the current issue of The Atlantic that Sarah was a strong and progressive governor before being blinded by the national limelight and running off the tracks.
The emails bolster Green’s argument in “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin” that:
“As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics.”
Or, as Molly Ball writes in Politico:
The emails from her governorship, released Friday, brought back the memory of a long-lost Palin: the popular, charismatic, competent woman of the people.
That’s like going in for a colonoscopy and being told that not only is your colon fine but you’ve got no cavities.
Nor could there be better advance advertising for Steve Bannon’s upcoming cinematic hagiography, “The Undefeated,” which will receive national release on July 15.
Note to MSM: Be careful what you wish for. Especially if it’s going to be redacted.
Pen a fantasy about how Sarah Palin could have been Barack Obama if only she weren’t so:
b) filled with anger, resentment and hate
d) stupid and uneducated
e) all of the above
and you tap into a deep vein of right-wing nostalgia for the Sarah-Who-Never-Was, which will prove of immense benefit to your personal brand and career.
I’m sure he felt he had a legitimate, counter-intuitive, against the flow argument to make. He’s proven himself to be an excellent and fair-minded reporter in the past. And nobody should knock him just because his first job in “journalism” was at The Onion.
It may be that with “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” Green is returning to his satirical roots. Although if you read some of the comments in response to my earlier post, “If Only Sarah Weren’t Sarah, She Coulda Been a Contender,” you’ll find some strong fact-based arguments against Green’s hypothesis.
In any case, I’m sure Green was perspicacious enough to sense the likely windfall that would result from a “St. Sarah, The Fallen Star” story.
And he’s knee-deep in peaches and apples already, as the huzzahs arrive from all the obvious right-wing shills:
–John Podhoretz in Commentary
–Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post
–Ross Douthat in The New York Times
This chorus sings in only one key: the key of sorrow, for the loss of a Sarah Palin who never existed outside the realm of their collective yearning, and who ever existed only as a figment of their collective imagination.
Andrew Sullivan wrote a bracing response yesterday and today added:
Josh’s piece will serve as balm to the right. And it will allow them to believe that their choice of veep in 2008 was not an indictment of them or the media – but just an unfortunate decision by Palin to change her colors. The only problem with this argument is that it is manifestly untrue. But we know that Palin lovers, like Palin herself, must perforce be wedded to mountains of untruth.
The Hill says today that Sarah and Trump have become political kinfolk.
Guess which strange bedfellow benefits more?
Suddenly, Palin’s experience as governor of Alaska might look more impressive…Trump positions Sarah Palin closer to the establishment intelligentsia than otherwise possible….When presented against the backdrop of Trump and his orange mane, Palin might look more electable and serious.
The conservative base…could be drawn into the arms of Palin when confronted by the specter of Trump…Suddenly, mistaking “refudiate” for “repudiate” — as Palin did last year — seems far less noteworthy, and Palin herself more electable.
The Atlantic yesterday, The Hill today, whose upwardly revisionist view of Sarah’s past record and future prospects will we find ourselves blessed with tomorrow?
That Amazing Robert Hunt Illustration atop The Atlantic’s Palin Story//UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan on the illustration and the story
Robert Hunt is one of the most extraordinary illustrators of our time.
In fact, let’s skip the qualifiers and just call the man a great artist.
The Atlantic commissioned him to do the illustration that accompanied “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin” in their June issue (about which I blogged earlier today.)
Whatever one might think of Joshua Green’s article, there is no denying the power of the portrait. It’s Sarah Palin as she sees herself, and as her worshippers see her: in the Oval Office.
It turns out that The New Republic was also aware of Robert Hunt’s artistic brilliance.
They commissioned him to do a portrait of Barack Obama for the cover of their December 2, 2009 edition, which contained a number of articles highly critical of the president.
Hunt has a fascinating account of his interactions with the magazine as he worked on the illustration.
As he describes (and shows), he offered them several possibilities:
Which one did they choose?
Did they choose the one that showed President Obama looking the difficulties of his job straight in the eye?
Or even one that portrayed him in profile, pensive and deliberative, possibly humbled by his responsibilities?
No, The New Republic wanted an illustration that showed him cowed, defeated, turning his back and walking away.
And so of all the choices Robert Hunt offered them, this was the illustration they used:
I hope Robert Hunt will share on his blog his alternatives to the Sarah Palin illustration The Atlantic chose.
Whether he does or not, isn’t Robert Hunt amazing?
As for the editors of the mainstream New Republic and Atlantic, what subliminal message do you think they are trying to convey?
Take a look, side by side:
And Sarah complains about “lamestream” media?
MSM continues to roll out the red carpet for her, because MSM wants her to run against Obama next year.
He’ll be reelected, no matter who his opponent is. But MSM is increasingly desperate for readers and viewers.
MSM is sinking fast, and as a former psychiatrist of mine once told me, “A drowning man has no morals.”
MSM wants Obama v. Palin, because the alternatives are so dull. Without her, nobody will bother to read or watch and MSM numbers and dollars will continue their flight to alternative sources of news, opinion and entertainment.
Only Sarah can juice up the campaign: with Tea Party moronics, blatant racism and Christian Dominionist hate.
So MSM is trying to seduce her now in order to betray her later, after they’ve used her to improve their bottom lines, just as she’s used them to improve hers.
Frankly, they deserve each other, and may the worse whore lose.
But before the whole orgy really heats up, take one more look at Robert Hunt’s vision of President Obama that The New Republic didn’t want you to see:
That’s Mr. President.
Sarah is Ms. Pretender.
Andrew Sullivan tells it like it is.
That’s the thesis propounded by Joshua Green in the June issue of The Atlantic.
The magazine, however, went with the classier title, “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” and illustrated the piece with the striking image above of Sarah in full presidential mode.
“But over the past few months, Palin has begun fortifying her profile by visiting foreign countries and delivering speeches that extol her record as governor, especially on energy, as she did in March to an audience of international business leaders in India….She seems to be reintroducing herself.”
Given that I’m presently writing the last chapter of THE ROGUE I’m not going to critique Green’s piece, though I’m sure some will take issue with his conclusion that Sarah was a great governor of Alaska, who accomplished extraordinary things.
I find it interesting that during his week in Alaska Green spoke to the same people I talked to two-and-a-half years ago about Sarah’s accomplishments as governor–Gregg Erickson, Pat Galvin, Hollis French, Les Gara–and came away with conclusions very different from those I reached and published in my 2009 Portfolio cover story.
I will say that I hope Howard Kurtz reads Green’s story. In the current Newsweek, Kurtz writes about the end of the Sarah Palin phenomenon in a piece titled, “Is Sarah Palin Over?”
Kurtz says she’s toast. Green says she just might be a soufflé only starting to rise.
Maybe Andrew Sullivan, formerly of The Atlantic and now with Tina Brown’s Daily Beast-Newsweek behemoth could moderate a Kurtz-Green debate on The Dish.
Even Commentary compares Sarah to Daryl Strawberry.
Even while pining for what might have been, Podhoretz writes her off. But who will win his heart next?
Or can Sarah lure him back by offering lunch on the concrete block on Lake Lucille, the way she seduced his buddy Bill Kristol over lunch at the governor’s mansion in Juneau?