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  • Thursday, September 04, 2008

    I've got to hand it to the Republicans...

    I wish the Democrats could manipulate the spin at the same level as the Rs. The Rs do know how to do it quite well.

    This whole Palin thing typifies their strategery. To wit...

    I was wrong to think that the Rs were trying to woo the female vote simply by adding a woman to the ticket. Oh no, that's much too simple. The Rs are trying to woo female voters by stirring up the gender issue and then defending Palin against the alleged sexist attacks. That way, the Rs look like the good guys, especially when compared to the Ds, who didn't do squat to defend Hillary against the sexist media attacks.

    Ya' see, the Rs are creating the story about the evil east coast media machine beating up on poor Sarah. Every time you hear a Republican operative speaking, s/he brings it up. They are very disciplined at sticking to message. Poor Sarah. It's not fair that the media is investigating her. It's sexist to criticize her. Would they do this to a man? It's out of bounds to subject her family to any scrutiny whatsoever. (Never mind that she absolutely invites voters to buy into her "compelling personal history" as somehow further proof that she has what it takes to be veep by touting her role at a hockey mom, parading her kids around, etc..)

    It doesn't matter that the MSM have not done anything the Rs are accusing them of. The investigations and stories have been on legitimate grounds. The media is just uncovering the hypocrisy and lies spewed from the Rs. Hillary, on the other hand, was called a "bitch" and "shrill" and told to go home and iron shirts and all sorts of nasty nasty in the media and by the punditry -- and that was clearly sexist. Palin has not been subjected to any of this. The closest anyone has come to a sexist question is asking how she will manage having such a large family -- including two children who are exceptionally in need of parental support -- while campaigning full-time and, if elected, as veep. I don't think that's sexist, but it might border on it if you think that a mother has a special role to play in the raising of her children. If, on the other hand, you think a father or a nanny can do it or that it's legitimate to ask about a potential veep's time management skills or how she will prioritize demands on her time, then it's fair game (so long as it's not done in a "your place is in the kitchen" kinda way).

    Anyway, so the Rs are ginning up the "sexist" story.

    Make no mistake: they are not highlighting it; they are creating it. And the media is buying into it by defending themselves against the accusation.

    Bad move, media.

    The media doesn't need to defend themselves. They need to call out the Rs for this artful dodging. Please, please, please, someone call this one for what it is. The Republicans are using the media. They are saying that the media's portrayal of Palin is sexist (to deflect people from focusing on the real story: her qualifications, or lack thereof). Then they are staunchly defending Palin against the alleged sexist treatment.

    In doing so, the Republicans are changing the story from Palin's abysmal qualifications while also trying to win the votes of those who were so offended by the media's/Democrats' handling of Hillary by showing what "good guys" they are, not letting the media get away with "it". Clearly, the Rs are trying to set up a foil to the Dems and show in stark relief how they came to their female candidate's defense, while the Democrats didn't (thereby showing how sexist the Dems must be). The Rs think that women will be swayed by this "knight in shining armor" defense that was so lacking by the Dems.

    Problem is -- women who supported Hillary aren't so naive as to think that the Republican party is somehow better on women's issues than the Democrats just because the Republicans created this bru-ha-ha in order to make themselves look better.

    Problem is -- there hasn't been a sexist attack against Palin by the media (unlike Hillary, who was absolutely subjected to it). It has all been created by the Republican spin machine.

    Problem is -- Palin's credentials and qualifications and any official actions she took or authorized as a public official are absolutely fair game. This attempt by the R machine to define the story as sexist is a red herring. The Rs want to control the stories about Palin and paint her in the "reformist" light that serves their message. But the truth is interfering with this message control, so since they can't change the facts, they are going to attack the messenger (typical R tactic) and say the reporting is sexist. And hope that women swoon at the chivalry of the Republican party in defending their "gal".

    Media, please stop buying into the Republicans' hands. Don't let them get away with this little tactic (ya' know, when you can't assail someone's actions, attack them personally instead). Do your job and investigate what is fair game when it comes to Palin and all politicians. Call out the Republicans for trying to create this story to somehow set up a dichotomy between how the R's have defended their candidate but the D's didn't.

    (BTW, you should definitely read the story that I linked to above -- and here again and this one too. Good stuff!)

    End rant.

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