After Sarah Palin, during a televised interview, said North Korea when she meant South Korea (me, I always mix up North and South Carolina)—an obvious slip of the tongue, since she had correctly identified our ally among the Koreas previously in the same interview, multiple media reports decided the gaffe was newsworthy, or at least another opportunity to show the American public that the former Alaska governor is, as they believe, an idiot. Palin, who is nothing if not feisty, took to the New Media with a Facebook post pointing out that equally egregious flubs out of the mouth of President Obama had been ignored, and listed some of them, including the time Obama raised the number of states to 57, momentarily confusing them with ketchup.
Good for her. No American politician in recent memory has been so outrageously victimized by media double standards and bias, and Palin was the perfect messenger to point the finger at this long-standing and despicable weapon in the journalist’s bias and favoritism arsenal. Few beneficiaries of the practice will ever condemn it, of course (one courageous exception: Virginia Senator Jim Webb ), and the cries of outrage from Fox News commentators are strategically ignored by the mainstream media perpetrators so they can be categorized as the right wing defending its own (stupid) heroes. All politicians making the rounds of endless interviews and speeches make mistakes, but usually only the mistakes of politicians the news media want to caricature as dummies are routinely derided. Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, George W. Bush and now Palin have been favorite targets, because every mis-spoken phrase or fact supports a media agenda of discrediting conservatives.
It’s really pretty clever, when you think about it. A Palin gaffe is “news” that the public “has a right to know,” because it “proves” she’s incompetent. An Obama gaffe, however, proves nothing, since everybody knows he’s “brilliant,” so it isn’t newsworthy—just a verbal mistake, like a hiccup or a burp. And what were the odds that one of the politicians so abused would actually cry foul, and prove the foul by listing Presidential errors that were shrugged away? The odds just changed.
Whatever Palin’s flaws, being a patsy and a passive victim are not among them. No fair person can deny that she is in the right this time, and if there are any editors with integrity any more, and I have begun to doubt it, they may consider retiring the selective reporting trick. Finally, one of the targets won’t play by the old rules and it is about time.
They might also consider apologizing.
P.S. That goes for Fox, too. You can’t make fun of Joe Biden’s verbal howlers every day and ignore Sarah’s, though I have to admit, Joe’s are usually funnier.