One more Sarah Palin thing, because something has to be said about Newsweek.
I was going to blog about the Runner’s World spread, but that was the weekend that Palin resigned from the governorship of Alaska. Her fitness regimen ended up not making the cut. Anyway, Newsweek somehow selected one of the pictures for the November 23 cover. Probably for purely commercial reasons, not to reflect a party bias.
Although I do find it rather incredible to think they’d make a similar decision about a democrat.
Palin herself has a problem with it. Darn, there goes that fantasy of her attending her own inauguration ceremony in a Supergirl costume. From her Facebook page:
The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this “news” magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention – even if out of context.
– Sarah Palin
I see the objection. It isn’t against her being shown as casual, or come-hither, or bookish or leggy. It has to do with what is appropriate in what setting.
It also has to do with relocating things. Newsweek, it seems, didn’t have permission to use this. Palin posed for the picture “among friends,” one might say. Kinda. Her comments for Runner’s World were entirely apolitical (hilariously, a couple of readers objected anyway since they didn’t subscribe for “that political stuff”). Newsweek placed the picture before a decidedly more hostile audience.
What’s the message here? That if Palin is President, she’ll spend all her time jogging and posing for pictures? I can certainly see more than a few Newsweek readers picking that up…the ones who are inclined to. Which is probably most of ’em. Still and all, the thought makes me chuckle. The nightmare of having a President who spends all the President’s time posing for pictures. Oh heavens to Betsy. Perish the thought. What’s that like?
Dr. Melissa Clouthier adds:
After this post got fed to Twitter, I got into an argument with a leftist feminist there about this cover. She brought up Hillary Clinton. She believes that Sarah Palin did this to herself by posing for Runners World. What serious politician or man would pose for that sort of cover?
What serious newsweekly would put a degrading picture, say of Obama frolicking in the surf or Bil and Hill dancing in the sand for the camera, on the cover of a magazine? Only conservative politicians need worry about being portrayed as trivial and sexy (Sarah), mean and old (McCain), mean (Cheney), mean and stupid (GWB). A Democrat gets gravitas-portraying treatment.
And that’s why conservatives view the press as biased. They don’t even attempt, even feebly, to hide it anymore.
Another Black Conservative has an interesting thought:
I am beginning to think that I was right when I said that the Oprah interview humanized Palin. It is going to be much harder to disrespect Palin like the left did before without pissing off new people. Perhaps this book tour and all the interviews on the lamesteam media will produce a Sarah Palin 2.0. It will be interesting to see Palin’s approval ratings after the book tour.
Neptunus Lex, perhaps committing an infraction of protocol, audibly notices the elephant in the room:
[O]ne only has to look here, where Newsweek greets Palin’s newly published memoir with a provocative photo from a running journal and asks “How do you solve a problem like Sarah,” a header that literally begs the question, while demonstrating both political and gender bias and undoubtedly souring the faces of envious, shrewish, muumu wearing, lemon-eating scolds across the country. [emphasis mine]
Yep, there it is. That was undeniably the effect of it; and I’m pretty sure there was a fair strength of effort in that direction as well.
There certainly is some resentment there. And looking really good in running shorts while being a 45-year-old mother of five, probably has a lot to do with it.
However, it must be said — lately, winning elections seems to have a lot to do with figuring out who you can write off, not who you should go chasing for their vote. Case in point, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care one bit what He has to do to get my vote. He doesn’t and He shouldn’t. I, and millions like me, have been gutterballed. It seems to be working out very well for Him.
Sarah Palin should do the same. Women who dislike her because she’s good looking, aren’t ever, ever, ever gonna like her.
And hey. Let’s be completely frank about things. If you’re answering polls saying Hillary is qualified to be President, and Palin is not — whatever the bee is that is up your butt, I do not want you deciding anything. Let me repeat that: Anything. I do not want you taking my customer service calls, I do not want you making my coffee, I do not want you running a leaf blower on the sidewalk an hour before I go walking on it. You have just-plain-poor decision-making abilities. Stay home.
Regarding Sarah’s comment. She would have been ahead-of-the-game keeping her mouth shut. Just let everyone argue about the magazine cover; maybe make it privately known that she disapproves of it, to sort of nudge the national conversation off in the direction of the permission Newsweek gained to use the photo, or lack thereof.
Good-lookin’ women showing their legs when they run for President? Hey…if you don’t know whether I’m for-or-against, you must not have been reading this space very long. Not saying I don’t see where she’s coming from, because I do. Yes, it’s sexist. But sometimes a subtle critique can be much more effective.
Anyway: Why so much attention riveted on the photo? Check out those headlines:
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?
She’s Bad News for the GOP — And For Everybody Else, Too
Good grief. You see my point. The photo, inappropriate as it is, is nuthin’. Nuthin’. Melissa’s right. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore.
Update 11/19/08: Ah hah…as I figured.
What on earth was Sarah Palin thinking when she posed in a pair of teeny-tiny gym shorts for a photograph that ended up on the cover of Newsweek — a cover she has called “sexist”? Perhaps she was thinking that her image would only appear in the magazine she was posing for, Runner’s World, and nowhere else, at least not for months and months. If so, she had good reason — since, as DailyFinance has learned, the photographer who shot the picture violated his contract by reselling them to Newsweek.
That photographer, Brian Adams, could not immediately be reached, and his agent, Kelly Price, declined to comment, saying, “I keep all of my clients’ business private.” But a spokeswoman for Runner’s World confirms that Adams’s contract contained a clause stipulating that his photos of Palin would be under embargo for a period of one year following publication — meaning until August 2010. “Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with its cover image,” the spokeswoman said. “It was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s stock agency, without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission.” The spokeswoman declined to say whether Runner’s World intends to respond to Adams’s breach of contract with legal action.
Update: The resident conservative of NPR, which I guess would be like the tallest building in North Dakota, doesn’t like Palin. And he’s found some exceptionally silly reasons…that’s the only adjective that seems to apply after a fair amount of this…
The rap on Palin is that she’s too shallow and inexperienced for the presidency — a conclusion that early Palin supporters like me came to during the 2008 campaign. Alas, for conservatives in search of a champion, there’s nothing in Going Rogue to challenge that conclusion. It’s like this: Palin spends seven pages dishing about her appearance on Saturday Night Live, but just over one page discussing her national security views.
This is the Republican Party’s great populist hope?
Sarah Palin is selling a personality, not a platform. That’s not dumb. She’s doing the best she can with what she has to work with. She quotes her father’s line upon her resignation this summer as Alaska’s governor: “Sarah’s not retreating, she’s reloading.” On evidence of this book, Sarah Palin is charging toward 2012 shooting blanks.
Palin’s selling a personality and not a platform.
Consistently since 1992, people have been getting elected on personalities and not platforms. Most notably in the election just passed. But we should hang it all on Palin like she’s in the process of inventing it. She’s not to be taken seriously unless she’s the only contender running on platform. And not even then. Like I said: “Silly” is the only word that applies.
Doctor Zero has a different take:
Newsweek advertised its cover story on the release of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” by asking, “How do you solve a problem like Sarah?” This headline was informed by the same journalistic standards that led the Washington Post to publish a book review by someone who admits she didn’t read the book – and then prompted MSNBC to invite this person on the air as an expert on the book she didn’t read. Newsweek apparently couldn’t be bothered to watch “The Sound of Music” all the way through, because Maria is the hero of the piece. The nuns singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” are singing about suppressing the very spirit that will help Maria save her family from totalitarian oppression. Considering Palin’s indestructible good cheer, if she runs for office again, I wouldn’t be surprised if she used “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” as a campaign song… and thanked Newsweek for the suggestion.
The careless, sloppy disdain of the Left’s reaction to “Going Rogue” is almost as strong an argument for Palin’s politics as anything contained within its pages. The absolute lack of care and competence from the government that ran up a $12 trillion national debt is astonishing. Months of dithering over Afghanistan strategy, with American troops under fire, ends with a painfully unqualified Commander-in-Chief wailing that he wants a new set of options…
The argument over whether Sarah Palin is “qualified” for the presidency is the opposite of the question conservatives should be asking. What we need to know is whether any other aspiring candidate has the essential qualifications Palin brings to the table. [emphasis mine]
“How do you solve a problem like Maria?” as a campaign song. I like it.
Sarah Palin is indeed a conundrum. A prevailing viewpoint is a powerful thing, and a durable thing too. It can survive its own internal contradictions, if it has some — for quite awhile. And our current prevailing viewpoint does have some.
It goes like this: Sarah Palin is to be summarily disqualified because she is a contender in a contest of personality, not quite so much of platform or position. BUT — right after she’s been so dismissed, and you address our current Commander in Chief, you shouldn’t be so bold as to ask Him any heady questions about platform-or-position, and most certainly not about how He came to a certain decision about a certain thing…instead, you should compliment Him on the gracious and dignified lilt to His voice. In sum: He gets to compete on appealing aspects to His personality, at the expense of any debate on substance. Palin is to be dropped from the running for any hint that she’s about to enjoy the same advantage, even if it isn’t at her instigation.
This is an unworkable contradiction, one that becomes less comfortable with repeated exposure, for all consciousnesses save for the most intellectually flaccid. If this is a vital underpinning for Palin’s still-considerable disapproval rating, and it is our impression that it is, don’t look for the disapproval rating to remain where it is for too long.
Update: Victor Davis Hanson has some interesting things to add:
[M]any conservative elites imagine that a Harvard Kennedy School degree is superior to multifaceted knowledge of .357 Magnums, chain-sawing, skinning game, and fishing, they will judge her only in terms of a traditional cursus honorum—spiced up with invective about creationism and Christian fundamentalism. (I have some experience with such snobbishness: when I used to speak before hostile university audiences, I was often introduced along these lines: “Mr. Hanson is a raisin farmer from Fresno State of Jerry Tarkanian fame.” [and therefore, presto, must be an idiot].)
If Sarah Palin thinks FDR was President in 1929, or that he could speak on non-existent TV, she is through; if Biden says that, it’s “just old Joe again.” If Obama does not know the first thing about our most prestigious medals, the language of Austria, or diplomatic protocol about presidential bowing, it’s because he is deliberately trying to be cool; if Palin did the same, she’s a buffoon hockey mom. That is the way it is, and her supporters should accept it, deal with, and overcome it.
Ridicule can be a powerful weapon. And how difficult would it be to deploy?
Liberal snobs and conservative snobs are wondering aloud about some kind of threat…some unstated threat…some avenue by which our nation will meet harm due to a President Palin’s cluelessness and lack of intellectual depth.
In the very same week in which the hysterics begin, Kalid Shiekh Mohammed is being brought to New York City to face trial and enjoy the same privileges and guarantees an American citizen would enjoy in civilian court. Because the “intellectually deep” folks in charge think that’s just a swell idea.
Priorities, snobs. Priorities. Maybe if some of you spent some time working for a living, you’d be organizing them better.