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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No more silent nights: Sarah Palin and media share sentiments

Posted by James McPherson on December 23, 2008

Apparently Sarah Palin’s biggest regret of her recent bid to take over Dick Cheney‘s job was she was “not allowed” to spend “enough time with the media.”

Of course Palin has been everywhere in the media since the election, but was kept under largely under wraps during the campaign itself. John McCain talked more about “Joe the Plumber” than he did about his own running mate.

Yet despite the fact that both McCain and Palin complained about the press treatment of her during the campaign, Palin now wishes she had spent more time with the media. On that, I suspect most people in the media agree with her.

Still, now she’s getting almost as much of airtime as her northern neighbor, Santa Claus. Perhaps tomorrow or the next day she could wish us all a Merry Christmas by singing a favorite children’s holiday song about Rudolph (a name, interestingly, that originally meant “famous wolf shot from a helicopter”) while somebody butchers a reindeer in the background.

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2 Responses to “No more silent nights: Sarah Palin and media share sentiments”

  1. Mike Ingram said

    So Jim, does this make you more critical of Palin or of McCain? Or of Palin’s media handlers? I agree with your earlier post that folks who eat turkey should know from whence it comes. It would also have been better for Palin to have some more saavy media types working with her. Seems to me that McCain’s people have some degree of responsibility here.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the posts this year!
    Mike

  2. James McPherson said

    I also think Palin’s handlers–who probably answered to McCain’s people–were most at fault. If they had let her speak early and often, each inevitable verbal misstep (a Biden specialty, of course, and something that every politician will encounter) would have been less important and she would have looked far less defensive.

    Since she was an unknown, they should have better told (and let her tell) her story right away while she was exciting and new, rather than letting her be defined so much by the opposition and the media (which admittedly sometimes were the same thing, though not as often as conservatives portrayed, I think).

    In my view, if her people didn’t like one interview (and no one likes everything about any interview, unless it’s a Dem being interviewed by Chris Mathews or a Republican being interviewed by Sean Hannity), then she should have done 15 more, rather than backing off and complaining about the bias of the one already done. Thye actually managed to improve Katie Couric’s reputation as an interviewer, and then anything she said was naturally looked at first to see if it confirmed already building beliefs.

    And of course I can’t pass up the opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of the other side, myself. 🙂 Thanks for your comments throughout the past few months, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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