NY Times Tap-Dances on Palin’s Reputation
By Don Feder
Monday September 15, 2008

It’s characteristic of The New York Times to do attack pieces on conservatives thinly disguised as news coverage..

And so, it comes as no surprise that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, was treated to the Times’ special slash-and-burn technique, in a September 14 story (“Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes’”)

Please understand that in the annals of American politics, there has never before been an instance of a governor rewarding his/her supporters and criticizing opponents. Usually, friends are shunned and foes celebrated.

The first sentence is a dead giveaway to The Times approach here: “Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maximum that all politics is local, not to mention personal.” Read: Palin bears grudges and settles scores.

As Governor, Palin is portrayed as resentful of criticism, vindictive, arrogant and ill-informed – with a penchant for secrecy.

Reporters Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell feel they have to keep driving home the point. Thus, about a quarter of the way through the piece, they reiterate the initial allegation, “But interviews make it clear that the Palins (Sarah and her husband) draw few distinctions between the personal and the political.”

Again: “But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor Of Wasilla and the governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics – she sometimes calls local opponents ‘haters’ – contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.” Emphasis added.

Touching on just a few of the highlights of this carefully crafted attack piece, Palin is accused of huddling with her state budget director “and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.”

During the Clinton years, The Times found nothing extraordinary about the president’s wife making cabinet appointments, picking judges or being in charge of health care reform – when Hillary wasn’t a federal employee and – other that a brief stint as a staffer with the Watergate Commission – had no experience in government.

Back in 1995, as a city councilwoman, The Times informs us, Palin objected to the local library in Wasilla carrying the book “Daddy’s Roommate.” which the paper described as a book that “helps children understand homosexuality.” In fact, it glorifies homosexuality and indoctrinates children.

At some candidates’ forums when she ran for governor, the Times noted that Palin “flipped through handwritten, color-coded index cards strategically placed behind her nameplate,” implying that she was so poorly versed in state issues that she needed the equivalent of a crib-sheet – just like President What’s-his-name whose intelligence the media constantly disparaged, until he won the Cold War and saved the U.S. economy.

These are some of the highlights of a hit-piece that could have been produced by a trio of pit bulls with word processors. It’s a classic example of the way The New York Times uses news coverage to savage Republicans and advance Democratic prospects in the coming election.

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