Palin Cover Encourages Conservative Whining

Newsweek Palin

The picture of Sarah Palin on the cover of Newsweek has elicited some selective outrage from the right. In a post entitled Newsweek Photo of Palin Shows Media Bias and Sexism, David Brody begins “For all of you who live in a dream world and think the mainstream media isn’t biased, get a load of the latest cover of Newsweek…”

This is far more a case of conservatives loving to play the victim than anything meaningful. Max Blumenthal has written far more on how Palin plays on such victimization:

By emphasizing her own crises and her victimization by the “liberal media,” Palin has established an invisible, indissoluble bond with adherents of that subculture — so visceral it transcends any rational political analysis. As a result, her career has become a vehicle through which the right-wing evangelical movement feels it can express its deepest identity in opposition both to secular society and to its representatives in the Obama White House. Palin is perceived by its leaders — and followers — not as another cynical politician or even as a self-promoting celebrity, but as a kind of magical helper, the God-fearing glamour girl who parachuted into their backwater towns to lift them from the drudgery of everyday life, assuring them that they represented the “Real America.”

The cover is somewhat sexist but if  Sarah Palin did not want to be shown in pictures of this nature she should not have posed for this photo. Sure Newsweek could have used a number of other pictures available of her but Palin’s own behavior encourages covers such as this. Her winks and use of sex appeal are part of her act. Besides, as Steve M. points out, such sexist cover shots are hardly limited to conservatives.


A sexist photo or article hardly proves media bias in any one ideological direction. You can also ask Hillary Clinton about this.

The claim by David Brody that this cover proves any sort of liberal bias on the part of Newsweek or the mainstream media is also contradicted by this report of what appears to be anti-Obama conservative bias at Newsweek. It is possible to show some examples of bias in all directions, but there is hardly any case to support the conservative myth of the mainstream media having an overall liberal bias. The myth of a liberal media is just another example of conservatives claiming to be victims.

Update: Sarah Palin is also attacking the picture on Facebook.

A Closer Look At Polls on Health Care Reform

The polls on support for health care reform must be taken with a grain of salt. Most recent polls such as the Washington Post-ABC News poll show a fairly even split. Many people are expressing opposition to things which are not actually in the proposed legislation based upon the scare tactics of the right wing. Steve Benen notes that a recent CNN poll broke down reasons for opposing the legislation. This showed “one in 10 oppose the bill because it is not liberal enough.” Steve concluded:

Most of the time, it seems as if the conventional wisdom assumes critics of the reform plan are necessarily on the right. But the CNN poll helps prove otherwise — 46% support the reform bill, and another 10% would like it if it were more liberal.

Republicans tend to look at these evenly-split polls on health care and assume opponents of the bill are with the GOP. That’s clearly not the case.

The same poll, by the way, shows President Obama’s approval rating holding steady at 55%, and Democrats leading Republicans on the generic-ballot test by seven points.

The Prisoner Concludes Tonight (Fortunately)


We’re two-thirds through the remake of The Prisoner on AMC and Patrick McGowan is undoubtedly rolling over in his grave. I’ll wait until the mini-series concludes to give my final judgment on it. At this point it is clear that it has not maintained the underlying meaning of the original and it is no where as entertaining to watch. At least it does have me curious enough to see where it is going to make sure I watch the final two hours tonight.  If it was planned as a series going over several weeks, as the original was, I doubt it would hold on to an audience.