With Her Press Boycott Sarah Palin Continues Her Attack on Democracy

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Since 2009 when Sarah Palin boycotted all, non conservative political media, her behavior has been picked up on by Republican Tea Party candidates like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul with the result being that voters are now expected to make a decision on these candidates without much information, which can only lead to disastrous consequences for our democracy.

After proving that she was not ready for primetime during the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin did what any paranoid egomaniac that is unable to see her own shortcomings or take responsibility for her own mistakes would do, she blamed the media. Remember that in her book, Going Rogue, Palin accused Couric of, “badgering” her and having a, “partisan agenda.” This is the genesis of Palin’s blame the media mindset. Other Republicans saw that Palin was rewarded for her blame the media self victimization shtick, by the right wing crowd, and it was no time until other gaffe machine candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle followed Palin’s lead in 2010.

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An often overlooked element of Palin’s media boycott strategy is the effect that it has on the flow of information. Palin’s paranoia has resulted in her only appearing on friendly media outlets, or ones that pay her, like Fox News. David Weigel summed up how Palin controls the flow of information last year, “The problem is that Palin has put the political press in a submissive position, one in which the only information it prints about her comes from prepared statements or from Q&As with friendly interviewers. This isn’t something most politicians get away with, or would be allowed to get away with. But Palin has leveraged her celebrity — her ability to get ratings, the ardor of her fans and the bitterness of her critics — to win a truly unique relationship with the press. She is allowed to shape the public debate without actually engaging in it.”

This strategy is a problem for our democracy. When political candidates refuse to talk to the media, they are also refusing to talk to the people. There is a line between a campaign or a political leader’s desire to control the message, and the suppression of information. Republican candidates, like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, who refuse to talk to the media are hiding from voters. How can voters make an informed decision when candidates refuse to be questioned? The answer is that they can’t.

Candidates who don’t answer questions from the media, if elected will turn into officeholders who deem themselves above being held accountable by the media or their own constituents. Information is the lifeblood of democracy, and when candidates can pick and choose what questions they will answer it changes our democracy for the worse. Palin, Paul, and Angle all love to talk about freedom, but the ultimate hypocrisy is that they don’t believe that the press is free to ask them questions.

A true leader does not hide from unfriendly questions. President Obama has given interviews to Fox News, even though he knows going in that they are his harshest critic. If the President of the United States can do it, then why can’t Sarah Palin? Can you imagine the howls from the Right if Barack Obama only appeared on MSNBC? Why does Palin, along with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle get a free pass? Sarah Palin is undermining a fundamental lynchpin of our democracy, and what is most frightening is that most people and members of the media don’t notice or care.

23 Replies to “With Her Press Boycott Sarah Palin Continues Her Attack on Democracy”

  1. I disagree she not only undermining herself at a chance to win anything and so is anybody else trying her track. The American people will not put up with this garbage; if Fail’n wants to run for POTUS, she will have no choice but go on traditional news programs. 70% of the population still gets their news from the nightly news programs local and national. Fail’n will see as the teabaggers crash and burn do to a lack of coverage that she will need to change her tactics or end up being nothing. The local races maybe able to get away with it even in a state race you could have a chance but state wide for a position in the federal government no way. Even not board certified Rand Paul is going to need all of the MEDIA because if you don’t give them a story you want they will report on a story that you do not want.

  2. I think the key to Sarah Palin is in one single sentence that you wrote:

    A true leader does not hide from unfriendly questions.

    Sarah is not a true leader. She never has been. She cannot deal with anyone who doesn’t agree with her or as we saw with the Bill O’Reilly interview, she gets angry when she is cornered with facts. She considers any question that is questioning her statements or her supposed “facts” an unfriendly question, or “gotcha media”.

  3. Another great post!

    I think Dave Weigel is correct that Palin has leveraged her celebrity to win a “unique relationship with the press.” For now, at least.

    It won’t work as well with folks like Paul, Angle etc.

    However, I think that Palin’s leveraging has an expiration date, and it will backfire on her at that point with a vengeance.

  4. I think it is a lot easier for the media to treat her like the sideshow that she is when she is not running for president. It all changes in 2012.

  5. Regardless of the fact that Palin only appears on friendly media, she still has a very long track record of lies, blunders, and misstatements that will come back to haunt her if she decides to run for president. It would be a totally different ballgame then, and she would have to appear on all media and finally answer much tougher questions than she faced with O’Reilly.

    In the relatively insulated world of Alaska, she got away with a lot. But here in the lower 48, she has handed potential rivals a trove of damaging ammunition that has been recorded for all time. The same is also true of Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. They are now trying to walk away from their “positions,” but as with Palin’s, they are well documented. It was hilarious to see Sharron Angle get uncomfortable with a reporter asking questions, and then walk away. No rational, thinking person could possibly believe that the three aforementioned “politicians,” or anyone like them, would have anything of value to offer.
    They would be even more horrible as public servants than they are at campaigning.

  6. The Caribou Bimbo is nothing more than a media hog and money hungry hussy. She cares NOTHING about America, just lining her pockets with corporate money. She is doing all she can to make her fortune before the rug is pulled out from under her, and that is coming. The Bimbo is a quitter, and a lier. If she thought she was under pressure being a governor, just think what she would do if she was president. I can see it now, three weeks into her being president (God forbid), “I am resigning my presidency because I am under just to much pressure from those gotcha media types, and everybody is talking about me, AND I miss skinning mooses”!!

  7. Forget, for a moment, Palin’s awful track record of lies, vindictiveness, incompetence, etc….isn’t her attempt to manipulate legitimate access by the media a usurping of the U.S. Constitution’s “freedom of the press”?

    She calls it “gotcha journalism”, but isn’t that the important role the Founders expected the press to play in our country’s politics?

  8. You know, I may disagree with your last sentence. News Media’s like CNN talk today about what the nightly polls said the people want to hear. I dont think they give a rats butt about what Sarah undermines. They would go down to the last viewer thinking they are pleasing everyone.(I’m not disagreeing with your premise of undermining) If Sarah hits the news then she gets talked about.

    The news media that gets stiffed by her should ignore her. Even senators with unpopular views go on outlets other than Fox. But if Sarah wants to run, let her run on Fox only.

    I totally agree with Anne about everything coming back to haunt her. And agree with something I think you told me a while back Jason. I think it was you that said when the time to go up in power such as Mitt and McCain, the GOP will jerk the rug out from under her. No one can listen to that voice and remain sane. The two opinions go together. She has too much baggage and she wont get the nomination.

    The only wrench in the works is the media. CNN practically picked our candidates for us in the last election. In the televised debates they only asked questions of Ms Clinton and Obama. They threw the others under the bus. And the same with the Rep candidates.

    I think the best idea is a government tv channel available on all systems. All debates would be on that channel with each candidate answering the same questions. Of course the questions would be asked by Robbie the Robot who could care less who got the nomination.

  9. @Shiva,

    They also asked questions of McCain in his 2 debates with Obama, and he tanked. He showed his anger and he made it quite clear in his answers that he often didn’t know what he was talking about. Remember the famous moment when he called Obama “that one?” As for Palin, when she and Biden debated, she said she was not going to answer the questions in the conventional way. Instead, she thought her phony folksiness with the winking and you betchas!! would carry the day for her.

    The GOP has created a big dilemma for itself by enabling Palin in her self-deceptions. She has some of the most rabid supporters who choose to ignore her lies, incompetence, and vindictiveness. Instead of offering any rational, intelligent defense of her, they resort to the silliest, most juvenile insults by calling her detractors things like
    godless Commies, feminazis, and in particular saying “liberal” women are just jealous because she’s “hot.” Apparently, it eludes them that there are conservatives who don’t like her any better. Oh, that’s right!! That’s because they aren’t “true conservatives.” If she doesn’t win the GOP nomination, she might run as a Tea Partier. Either way, if she loses, her supporters are going to be some of the biggest sore losers in US history. I see her as a big problem for the GOP whether she is their nominee or not. But I am not sympathetic because they’re reaping what they have sown.

    To your last point, I like the idea of a government TV channel with everybody being asked equal questions with a someone without a dog in the fight to ask them.

  10. The voice of god Sarah hears is actually her partially-formed evil twin who lives in that football shaped thingy on the top of her head.

  11. Palin is simply following the same M.O. she’s had since her days as Mayor. She routinely called the newspapers in Alaska if they disagreed with her or printed something negative about her, not just as Mayor but as Governor! She spent hours looking for items about herself. I was interested in her but the snark in her very first convention speech directed at then Senator Obama turned me off completely. She’s recently added the words, city manager to her verbal resume’ yet she had to hire a city administrator to handle things for a city of 5k while Mayor of Wasilla. Her petty behavior from complaining about the police chief trying to intimidate her to the ridiculous decision to side with the business owners to keep the bars open late despite an increase in DUI and serious accidents shows she’s only looking for votes, she’s not one who really cares about the well-being of others.

    This childish behavior with the media will come back to bite her if she should decide to run for President. She’s almost in a Catch-22 situation. If she doesn’t run, she loses credibility and the attention of her supporters. They’ll turn to those who are actually running and support them. If she does run, she’ll lose and lose her credibility. Either way, we win!

  12. I have often wondered if she has any perception of how stupid, ignorant, and immaturely childish she seems to the rest of the normal people? She is still the junior high school mean girl …. while the rest of us all grew up, and have relatively normal lives.

    She is obviously angry and miserable all of the time. I have never seen her actually “smile” for real (other than to show the veneers the GOP donors paid for). She always looks hard … and nasty.

    If I ever met someone with her emotional and mental issues, I don’t think I’d pursue any type of friendship with her.

    And at some point, she will be required to step up to the plate and the rubber will meet her road…..and everyone will know that the Empress has No Clothes (or brain). She simply is not competent to run for Public Office of any kind.

  13. The misgivings about Palin are by no means cofined to the left. There are plenty of conservatives who recognize the serious shortcomings in someone who wants to be a leader. Do NOT think for one moment that a Republican opponent would hesitate to use the considerable amount of her self-inflicted ammunition against her.

    She has had 2 years to change her image by buckling down and studying to address the reasons she and McCain lost. Instead, she has opted for easy celebrity. She has also indulged in the luxury of making inflammatory political statements against the president without having been held accountable. Some of the remarks have in fact bordered on sedition.

    At 46, she is not a victim of anything but her own stupidity and arrogance–both of which blind her to her own incompetence except as a shallow demagogue who smiles and winks. Besides, people generally get back what they give out, and she is a case study in both ignorance and intolerance.

  14. I dont think this is about lifeblood of democracy or her deeming herselve above being held accountable by the media or her constituent. This is about your lamestream hypocrites media that now loosing viewers left and right and the only way to get some of those viewers back is to interview her or the other GOPs like Angle and Paul. You people and your media were trashing her like if she murdered one of your family member and now your pissed because she doesnt want to talk to you. Are you kidding me. Get over your selves. Not everybody thinks that low the way you people think.

  15. Who cares whether she wants to talk to us? Most of us don’t want to hear that screechy voice or her whining about being a “victim” when most of her wounds have been self-inflicted. She inserts herself into issues she has no clue about, in a constant bid for attention. She tells lies that are as stupid as they are malicious. Unfortunately for her, they are lies that are easily discredited. She is closer to 50 than to 40. At this stage in life, she is long past the point where there is any excuse for this kind of behavior, especially for someone aspiring to leadership. Even if she never aspired for that leadership, she is still a mother and is providing a poor example for her children.

    Your comments about the lamestream media are hilariously ironic, since it is that same media that has done so much to keep her in the limelight
    she gravitates to. She is widely disliked because she is divisive and willfully ignorant. Did anyone hold a gun to her head and force her to blame the “liberal media” when a South Carolina conservative claimed he had an affair with Nikki Haley, whom she endorsed? Did anyone make her write notes on her hand while mocking the president for using teleprompters? These are just two of the many things that have caused her to be an object of well-deserved contempt. And someone who likes media attention has no right to complain when the media accurately reports something stupid she has said or done. That goes with the territory.

  16. Oh God, again with that ever-popular right-wing whine “U LIBRULS SAY THAT WE’Z ASPOSED TO B TOLERANT, SO HOW CUM U MAKE FUN OF US WEN WE SAY REALLY STUPID STUFF?”

  17. See, there’s the problem with Palin. It’s the soundbites and the catchphrases and the buzzwords like ‘lamestream media’. The brilliant snarky lines she heard elsewhere.

    But she’s not going to run for President and I’ll put real money on it (and I know plenty of conservatives, and while most of them are smart enough not to take me up on it, I can sniff out a couple bucks, I’m sure). The reason that she’s not isn’t because she’d lose to Obama. It’s not about losing, its about placing blame. If she goes against Obama and loses, its the media’s fault, its the moderate GOP’s fault, its George Soros’ fault.

    If she runs, she’ll lose the GOP primary and THAT she’ll have a tough time explaining without alienating her base.

    Hell, she could NOT run and say ‘I didnt bother running because the media would trash me or the blogosphere wouldnt let it happen.’ As long as there’s someone to blame for her failure, she’ll try anything. But if all she has to blame is herself, she’d rather stay home counting her money.

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