James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Popular Palin’s ‘presidential’ pardon puzzles press (again); Obama proposes jobs even for some people who never worked for Clinton

Posted by James McPherson on November 22, 2008

Though a few potential candidates have apparently been scared off by the vetting process (or perhaps by the idea of being forced to take a pay cut, or just by the realization that things are so screwed up they have little chance of keeping  their political reputations intact), Barack Obama continues to work on choosing staffers and what is shaping up to be a conservative cabinet.

He also used his radio program today to propose a sweeping jobs program that would create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. That sounds great on its face, and I like the focus on rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, green technology, and possible public works programs.

Still, considering that we’ve lost more than a million jobs in the past year with no end to the layoffs in site, while the nation’s population continues to increase, I can’t help but wonder if it might take 2.5 million jobs just to put us about where we would have been in 2011 under growth that not long ago would have been considered “normal.” (For the record, I don’t consider constant growth to necessarily be a positive, but that’s a separate issue too complicated to get into for today’s post.)

By the way, I wonder if the 10 or 12 people listening to the broadcast were surprised to hear something substantive. After all, politicians usually use Friday and Saturday to release news they don’t want heard. John McCain’s announcement that he had chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate was one notable exception, though some Republicans delusional enough to think McCain had a realistic chance of beating Obama now wish no one had noticed that announcement, either.

Speaking of Palin, one apparent problem with the “land of the midnight sun”: It is apparently impossible for some losing political candidates to “go softly into that good night,” even long enough for the winner to take office. To quote another Dylan Thomas line, Palin continues to “rage against the dying of the light”–the little red light indicating that a TV camera is on, that is.

Like it or not, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Palin, as she reportedly is considering requests from almost every media organization you’ve ever heard of. Palin has become the new Paris Hilton, and many of those media types undoubtedly are hoping she’ll say or do something dumb–as she did this week when, after “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey, she submitted to an interview while two other turkeys apparently were killed on camera behind her. The good news: They weren’t shot from a helicopter.

In the interview Palin also notes that she’s “in charge of the turkey” for her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, despite a recent pro-Palin ad campaign that touts moose stew as an alternative to the traditional bird. Below you can see Obama’s radio address, followed by the Palin story. Watch both, and reflect on how lucky we are that the right one will be in the White House.

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7 Responses to “Popular Palin’s ‘presidential’ pardon puzzles press (again); Obama proposes jobs even for some people who never worked for Clinton”

  1. dannie said

    It’s time to end all racism. Now that Barack Obama was elected behind a 95% black vote, blacks have now reached the highest office in the world. On Jan 20th, 2009, all black only organizations must be ended otherwise they become racist

  2. Bernard Coleman said

    Scared? They bloody well be! High public office with its responsibility and perks do not come cheap! Come on, media! It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t! Obama is doing the absolute right thing to ensure losers, criminals and selfish folks who cannot rise above the law, and are lacking the impeccable ethics worthy of high public office, do not get into the inner circle to do more of the same damage that has been inflicted upon the public in the past, with impunity. Here is a man who wants to clean up America from the top down. Let him be!

  3. johnrj08 said

    Those who watched the turkey interview given by Sarah Palin must have asked themselves why it was covered by the national news services. How many interviews does this person have to give, butchering the language and, now, a few fowl, before people accept the fact that she makes most high school cheerleaders sound like they have a doctorate in English Literature. Every time she opens her mouth, she confirms the fact that she cannot speak a single coherent, complete sentence, and is unable to articulate the suffix “ing”. In this particular interview, she tries to sound politically adroit in her nauseatingly folksy way, but comes off like Leo Gorcey from the old Deadend Kids serials. Of course, the turkeys being slaughtered in the background aren’t the issue. It’s the idea that she was so totally oblivious to what was going on right behind her and how it was so disconnected from what she was talking about– “a little levity”. It was a classic metaphor of her world-view. A cosmic lack of awareness. If Palin ever wants to be taken seriously in national politics, the first thing she’ll have to do is go back to high school and take a few English and public speaking courses. Maybe some world and U.S. history classes would help, too. A couple of semesters studying world georgraphy wouldn’t hurt, either. Unfortunately, there is no course that will correct her intellectual impairment. And the college that gave her the degree in Journalism should lose its accredation immediately. This woman is a walking traffic accident and right now the whole country is rubbernecking, hoping to catch her next slaughtering of the language.

  4. m wells said

    They should continue to do sound bites on her. You are bound to hear something stupid. She makes me laugh every time. Sometimes you forget its really her and not Tina Fey. The scary thing is that some people saw no problem with her bing President. That means there are that many more nuts out there.

  5. DJR said

    Palins not scary, what’s scary is a person who studies lines and researches answers for hours seeking the political correct idea. Maybe someone needs to go to the mid east and tell them their all jerks, killing children, destroying societies, enslaving women and children. Maybe you need to think that political maneuvering isn’t working and someone ought to say get up, get busy, Gods running the show! Maybe city folk need to get a job that requires breathing the outside air they’re always worrying about and see that life is not in your mind.

  6. justus said

    I can’t believe she’s still in the news. I also can’t believe anyone would seriously consider Palin for President or Vice-President of any country. It’s time to move on and maybe if she’s ignored she will go away. All they’re doing is making fun of her, is she too stupid to see that or does she not care?

  7. […] hit bookstores next month, rather than next spring. Perhaps this Thanksgiving will go better than last year’s for […]

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