In an effort to break away from my recent obsession with Words With Friends (here), I thought I would start this holiday morning by reading the New York Times Magazine. I started with the July 3rd issue’s letters to the editor. They were all about Sarah Palin and the June 19, 2011 article in which Bill Keller writes about Palin, trying to divine the factors that contribute to her disdain for the media.
Of course it was not possible for me to stick one toe into the Palin pond without ending up face down and about to drown in the inch of water that is the Palin saga. I haven’t paid attention to Palin for the past couple of years, but The Sarahscapades still give me cat scratch fever. The statement below got me reading about her again (full article here):
Palin’s disdain goes beyond the bitterness of a public figure who has been burned by the press…Perhaps one key to Palin’s dislike of the news media is a streak of intellectual insecurity, or a trace of impostor syndrome. Her best defense against being found shallow is a strong offense.
Another factor, I think, is that the humiliations she has endured in the media have been unusually invasive—including, at the lowest point, speculation that Palin’s youngest son, Trig, was actually born to her daughter, Bristol, and borrowed as a campaign prop.
If we’re pointing fingers, Sarah Palin’s Lies (at palindeception.com) and Palin’s Deceptions (at palindeception.blogspot.com) have done a good job of trying to ferret out what happened. (Shout out to Palingates over here as well.) There are probably others. Again, I quit paying attention to Palin shortly after the 2008 election and carried on not caring when she quit being Governor to pursue a career in reality television.
Until today. I won’t drag you point by point through what I’ve read today. Let’s just fast forward to Bristol Palin’s appearance on Good Morning America, June 27, 2011. You can see it here. BP is on the publicity circuit to publicize her new book, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far.
In the interview, Bristol is forthright: She is a single mother with a son to support. This is why she appeared on Dancing With the Stars, and she says as much. (Presumably it is also why she wrote the book.) Bristol will star in her own reality show later this year.
1. Minute 2:00 — A photo is shown of Bristol holding both Tripp and Trig. For those of us in the ‘Bristol is probably Trig’s mom’ camp, this was gasp-worthy. Certainly someone is making intentional decisions about the photos that will be seen during the interview. Bare minimum, if you are trying to fuel the rumor machine about Trig’s parentage, this was the photo to keep it going. (The Scout noted that Trig bears a resemblance to Levi Johnston. You make the call.)
2. Minute 4:45 — Robin Roberts mentions that Bristol writes in her book that she was “thrown under the campaign bus” — with little help from the McCain team. Bristol confirms this.
Let’s have a quick look at Sarah Palin’s Lies:
Make no mistake here. What the McCain campaign did was nothing short of genius. Faced with some very reasonable questions about the circumstances surrounding Sarah Palin’s giving birth in April of 2008, they managed to diffuse the entire controversy without ever releasing a single piece of information about Sarah Palin or the birth. Instead, the story was re-framed to be about a seventeen-year-old girl, and then, immediately became off-limits because, conveniently, families and children of candidates are off-limits. That they were able to get away with this switcheroo is astonishing. It seems to occur to almost no one that it was the McCain campaign that threw Bristol “under the bus” to begin with. (emphasis mine)
Back to the interview, minute 4:45. There’s the same “under the bus” language. Language that apparently made it into the book.
Kudos to those who prepared the GMA interview questions for doing their homework. Duly noted.
Sarah Palin has a loose, difficult relationship with facts, whether they are the facts of her own family history or the facts of America’s history. Bill Keller pointed out that Sarah wants our attention. Well, count me in, because once again she got my attention. I will have to choose another reprieve for myself after today.
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Trash-or-Truth Talkin’ Super Bonus: Todd Palin’s paramour says she gave Sarah Palin a massage in early 2008 (here! over here!). Paramour’s surname is Tripp. You just can’t make this stuff up.
A photo of the Firth of Forth on this fourth…