Weekend reading – part 2, more about Palin


  1. Palin Media Avoidance Watch – Day Seven“, Jake Tapper (ABC News Senior National Correspondent), posted at Political Punch, a blog of ABC News, 5 September 2008
  2. About Palin:  “No Interviews Till She’s Ready“, Marc Ambinder, blog at The Atlantic, 5 September 2008 — A follow-on to the above story.
  3.  Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain“, Rasmussen Reports, 5 September 2008 — Quite amazing.
  4. Sarah Palin’s Big Sleazy Safari“, John Dolan, The Exiled Online, 5 September 2008 — An example of the clear writing with a viewpoint that makes The Exiled Online a rarity in the media world.


I.  Palin Media Avoidance Watch – Day Seven“, Jake Tapper (ABC News Senior National Correspondent), posted at Political Punch, a blog of ABC News, 5 September 2008 —

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the Republican ticket one week ago, and she has yet to answer questions from reporters.

… Yes, some of the comments from the punditocracy about her have been untoward, even sexist, but given the importance of the job she accepted Wednesday night in her nomination speech, it’s entirely reasonable for voters to expect Palin to answer questions from journalists about her positions and her record.

Time magazine’s Jay Carney tried to get McCain spox Nicolle Wallace to answer this question the other night.  Watch HERE. {a partial transcript follows}

… So what does that mean, practically speaking? Will the woman seeking to be a heartbeat away from the presidency avoid talking to the media? Obama sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly Thursday — hardly friendly terrain. Is Palin willing to do the same?

II. About Palin:  “No Interviews Till She’s Ready“, Marc Ambinder, blog at The Atlantic, 5 September 2008 —

A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won’t submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she’s ready — and until she’s comfortable — which might not be for a long while — the media will have to wait. The campaign believes it can effectively deal with the media’s complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: “Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters.”

Not out of the question are appearances on lighter, fluffier television shows. But — not for a while.

III. Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain“, Rasmussen Reports, 5 September 2008 — Excerpt:

Note: Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

A week ago, most Americans had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 37% hold an unfavorable view of the self-described hockey mom.

“The figures include 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of Palin and 18% with a Very Unfavorable view (full demographic crosstabs are available for Premium Members). Before her acceptance speech, Palin was viewed favorably by 52%. A week ago, 67% had never heard of her.

“The new data also shows significant increases in the number who say McCain made the right choice and the number who say Palin is ready to be President. Generally, John McCain’s choice of Palin earns slightly better reviews than Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden.

“Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%. …

IV. Sarah Palin’s Big Sleazy Safari“, John Dolan, The Exiled Online, 5 September 2008 — An example of the clear, no bs writing that makes The Exiled Online a rarity in the media world.

Most people had never heard of Sarah Palin when she was named Republican VP nominee. But I’d been hearing her name all too often, because I belong to a group called Defenders of Wildlife-and in her time as governor of Alaska, Palin has used her position as governor of Alaska to ruin the Alaskan wilderness in every way she could.

Her most recent “victory” came on August 26 when Alaska’s voters defeated Measure 2, an initiative that would have banned hunting wolves from airplanes for sport.

Palin organized a campaign against Measure 2, and funded it with $400,000 of state money. For most of us, the idea of zooming around in a private airplane over snowbound wilderness just for the chance to spot a terrified wild dog and blow it apart with a high-powered rifle is insane. But there’s a whole culture out there in love with the idea. Palin did her part by playing the tired old Alaskan pioneer card, saying that lower-48 naysayers who dared to object to the idea of divebombing wildlife didn’t “understand rural Alaska.”

… To get an idea of Palin’s core constituency, just go to the homepage Safari Club International, one of the groups that fought hardest against Measure 2-and is now gloating loudest over this proud victory:  “Safari Club International.”  Even the name is a little skewed-“safari”? When was the last time you heard that word? Most people are trying hard to forget the “safari” era, when rich white jerks had themselves carried into the African wilderness by nameless black servants, at vast expense, to kill animals they could barely identify.

But for Palin’s core constituency, “safari” is still the dream. And Measure 2 would have interfered with that dream, the dream of strafing social canids from a Cessna. Alaska politics runs on the vast opportunities for graft offered by a small, easily manipulated constituency addicted to subsidies and self-delusion. Alaskans like to imagine themselves the last pioneers, hardy individualists, etc.-which makes them classic suckers for Republican propaganda. And they also like the petty cash that trickles down to them from the mining companies, timber companies, and hunting guides who make the real money. Palin, an undistinguished parttime sportscaster on a local TV station, was a perfect non-threatening mouthpiece for the companies that want to gouge as much oil, ore and timber from Alaska as they can-while it lasts.

… She has served the oil, mining and hunting interests from the minute she won the governorship. This summer, she showed herself willing to poison whole watersheds, and destroy a huge, lucrative salmon fishery, by opposing Measure 4. 4 aimed to stop the proposed Pebble Mine, a huge operation, from discharging huge amounts of cyanide and mining waste into streams which flow into Bristol Bay, site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Of course, Sarah Palin did her best to ensure the mining interests won. At first she had a bit of a problem: under Alaska law, the governor isn’t allowed to take a position on ballot initiatives. Palin squirmed her way around that rule in classic Republican style, by speaking as a private citizen, with true George W. Bush eloquence: “Let me take my governor’s hat off just for a minute and tell you personally, Prop 4-I vote no on that.”

… Perhaps the saddest aspect of Palin’s disgusting record on environmental issues is the fact that it’s hardly even being mentioned in the debate about her nomination. Most of the focus, for an audience of suckers weaned on celebrity gossip, seems to be about her mothering skills, her daughter’s pregnancy, and whether she was Miss Congeniality or just a runner-up in some beauty pageant. The fact that she makes her living helping to wipe out whole species, poison productive watersheds, and play to the stupidest great-white-hunter fantasies of her constituency hardly even seems worth a mention.

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

8 thoughts on “Weekend reading – part 2, more about Palin”

  1. Palin Rumors

    I’m pretty sure the reason for the wolf killing is to keep the population of moose and elk(i think) healthy…
    Fabius Maximus replies: You must be kidding. Moose and elk were healthy long before humans arrived in Alaska. They do not need our help.

    Wolves are hunted in order to maintain large populations of animals for hunters to kill.

    The website you mention is slick propaganda, mixing easy rebuttals of the weirdo rumors with plausible rebuttals to the more complex actual concerns — conflating the two in a misleading manner.

    Note the rebuttal to the rumors about Palin avoiding interviews with the mainstream media. It points to “media interviews” on her schedule. However, no names are given — so this tells us little. Are they with the “Weekly Standard” or the NY Times? We will know soon!

    Even more absurd is the rebuttal to “Troopergate.” The question is not what should have been done to the Gov’s brother-in-law. That had already been decided by an objective process of the State. Elected officials should not interfere in these matters to help their relatives; that is one reason we have a civil service system.

  2. This is the best parallel yet why we should be afraid of Palin. I did not think about this, but when I saw her on stage with McCain and all the children, it bothered me. One, to tell young women, have many children and be successful without all the responsibilities, hard work and the impact on our planet! But this story below, WOW.


    Where Have I Seen Sarah Palin Before?“, by Arash Kamangeer, posted at Antiwar.com, 6 September 2008

    I grew up in Iran and immigrated to US to avoid living in a theocracy. Lately though, the trajectory of US politics is something to worry about, not only to me, but also to many others in my predicament.

    Wednesday night at the Republican convention was an especially poignant moment. I was watching Sarah Palin deliver her acceptance speech. As I was watching her, her family, and her adoring fans in the Republican convention, I could not overcome a feeling that I have seen this scene before…

    Right after the Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Iran-Iraq war was started. To be fair, Iraq started that war, but the new revolutionary leaders of Iran saw the war as a godsend. They milked it for all it was worth. They labeled anyone against the war as a traitor or unpatriotic. Anyone who suggested that there may be a negotiated settlement was ridiculed and purged from power. Even Ayatollah Khomeini once said that this war is a blessing from God himself. You may see the parallels here already, but keep reading.

    One of the problems the government faced was opposition from legions of mothers whose sons had been maimed or died in the war. To confront this problem, the government-controlled TV would parade a mother whose son had died in the war in front of the TV on a regular basis. Invariably, this “show mom” would be carrying an infant child and a few other siblings with her. And invariably, she would say something to the effect that “I have given one child to this ‘sacred’ war, and I am ready to give the next one.” Almost always, there would be an adoring crowd who would follow her statements by chants of “Allaho-Akbar” (God is Great). And again invariably, her statements would follow by a not-so-veiled threat from her and the adoring crowd. She would say something like “I and my family would not tolerate traitors and betrayals to the faith and country”. Then the crowd would break into several standard chants such as “Death to traitors” or “War, war, until victory.”

    Sarah Palin was much better dressed than the average show mom paraded on Iranian TV more than 20 years ago. The show moms were typically dressed in a black veil. But that’s about the biggest difference. The rhetoric was eerily familiar. When she was finished, I knew I had seen her before. Only that it wasn’t her. It was her ideological predecessors at a different time in a different country.

    Now, I am not a politician. I just cannot understand the need to drag a child afflicted with Down syndrome in front of national TV at 10:00pm. Is that good for him? Or does the need to rally the base trump the needs of a child? Whatever the explanation, I am sure I have seen that child when he was carried in the arms of the Iranian show moms for the cameras. So much for family values.

    And then I wake the next morning and read that Sarah Palin is quoted as saying that the Iraq war is a “task that is from God.” It’s like déjà-vu all over again.

  3. yarrrrrr: “I’m pretty sure the reason for the wolf killing is to keep the population of moose and elk(i think) healthy.”

    Fabius Maximus replies: “You must be kidding. Moose and elk were healthy long before humans arrived in Alaska. They do not need our help.”

    You’re a fucking moron… Get over your Palin Derangement
    Fabius Maximus replies: This is a rare and valuable moment.

    Discussions on the FM site often go many rounds as we seek the truth in matters on the edge of what we know. This is a rare instance when we see someone confront facts that clash with his (or her) beliefs. Yarrrrrr responds with a commonplace: assign a label to the problem and a personal insult to the questioner — as Yarrrrrr appears to believe the combination eliminates the need for more thought.

    I believe the Palin nomination is a similar moment in this campaign, with yarrrrrr’s dilemma magnified a million-fold. Any natural-born citizen over 35 can enter the race to become President (with minor other requirements). McCain and Obama are the finalists under our rules, both reasonable candidates for this high office. But McCain’s choice of Palin is extraordinary (whatever its dynamics as a political decision), and forces his supporters to make stark choices. Do they make the mental gymnastics required to justify this decision, or make a de facto decision to help Obama (by either passivity or changing sides)?

  4. Can yarrrr’s second post be deleted? I enjoy the lack of personal invective here.
    Fabius Maximus replies: The rule on the FM site is that personal attacks against others are edited; repeat offenders are moderated. Comments are encouraged here; ad hominem attacks poison discussion. I usually leave comments directed at me in place, as they reveal so much about the person placing the comment.

  5. Update on the Palin Media Avoidance Watch

    It looks like ABC News has profited handsomely by their story about plans to keep Palin under wraps for a while.

    ABC News’ Gibson lands first Palin interview“, By DAVID BAUDER, AP, 8 September 2008 — Excerpt:

    Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has agreed to sit down with ABC’s Charles Gibson later this week for her first television interview since John McCain chose her as his running mate more than a week ago.

    Palin will sit down for multiple interviews with Gibson in Alaska over two days, most likely Thursday and Friday, said McCain adviser Mark Salter. The interview with Palin was confirmed Friday, ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said.

  6. Update: is Palin hiding from the Press?

    “No questions, please; Palin sticks to her script”, AP, 9 September 2008 — Excerpt:

    John McCain took a risk in picking little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, but now the campaign’s playing it safer. She’s sticking to a greatest hits version of her convention speech on the campaign trail and steering clear of questions until she’s comfortable enough for a hand-picked interviewer later this week.

    More than 40 million people tuned in last week to listen to the speech from Palin, the 44-year-old, first-term governor whom McCain announced as his surprise vice presidential pick just days before. Since then, that basic script is all anyone has heard from her publicly, and her only interaction with the media was a brief conversation with a small group of reporters on her plane Monday — off the record at her handlers’ insistence.

    Associated Press reporters were not on the plane, but an aide told the journalists on board that all Palin flights would be off the record unless the media were told otherwise.

    … Amid growing sniping from Democrats, the McCain campaign announced that Palin would sit down for her first interview this week, with ABC. It will take place over two days at her home in Alaska.

    And then? McCain campaign manager Rick Davis has said Palin will ‘agree to an interview when we think it’s time and when she feels comfortable doing it.’ ‘She’s not scared to answer questions,” Davis said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’

    So far, Palin has barely spoken with voters either. Since the convention, she and McCain have breezed through a Wisconsin ice cream shop, a New Mexico restaurant and a Missouri barbecue place, shaking hands with diners but not taking any questions. Photographers and television cameras have been allowed full view while reporters are typically kept too far away to ask questions or hear most of the conversations.

    Her public remarks essentially have been excerpts of her convention speech, delivered while introducing McCain at rallies.

  7. Update: Palin schedules another interview, with one of the most friendly people possible

    Fox News Release on Hannity’s Interview with Palin“, Mark Halperin, The Page, blog at TIME,

    FOX News Channel (FNC) will present a special interview with Republican Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin. The interview will be conducted by FNC’s Sean Hannity and will be presented on Hannity & Colmes in two parts on Tuesday, September 16th and Wednesday, September 17th at 9PM ET.

    Note: I cannot confirm this, and do not see this on Fox’s website.

  8. Update regarding the McCain campaigns plans to shield Palin from media interviews

    Excerpt from the transcript of a broadcast: “CNN ELECTION CENTER”, Aired 23 September 2008 at 20:00 ET. Cambell Brown, anchorperson, is speaking.

    “In just a moment, we’re going to have the very latest on the negotiations and how they will affect you. But, first, bear with me for a short rant on another subject, because, frankly, I have had it. And I know a lot of other women out there are with me on this. I have had enough of the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin. It has to end.

    “She was here in New York City today meeting with world leaders at the U.N. And what did the McCain campaign do? They tried to ban reporters from covering those meetings. And they did ban reporters from asking Governor Palin any questions.

    “Tonight, I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment. This woman is from Alaska, for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is confident. And you claim she’s ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.

    “If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters, just like Barack Obama did today, just like John McCain did today, just like Joe Biden has done on numerous occasions. Let her have a real news conference with real questions.

    “By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you’re not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chains you’re binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end.

    “Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So, let her act like one.

    “We’re going to have more on Palin’s cloistered day coming up in just a moment.”

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