Palinoia

By Megan McArdle

Y'all well know that I really don't like Sarah Palin.  In fact, more than one of you has yelled at me about this.  And I find the whole schtick about how the media is just a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her really grating.

That's why I really wish the media wouldn't act like, well, a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her.  I've coined a new phrase to cover the situation: Palinoia.  It's when you think people are out to get you, and then they do their best to justify your erroneous belief.

The Newsweek cover was a sexist embarrassment.  Hell, they wouldn't have highlighted an article about Hillary Clinton with that stupid nutcracker, yet there's apparently a photo of "Sarah Palin doll as slutty schoolgirl".  This is enormously disrespectful to someone who, like it or not, was a vice presidential candidate, and deserves to be treated the same way that her predecessors were.  If you wouldn't put a photo of Joe Biden in his running shorts on the cover, you should damn well extend the same courtesy to Palin, however much you dislike her.

Then there's the Associated Press, putting 11 reporters on the task of "fact checking" her book.  I put the words in quotes because the CJR notes that much of this herculean feat is not checking facts, but quibbling with interpretations or sentimental boilerplate about the hearts and minds of Alaskans.  But the deeper question is how come Palin's book gets a team of fact checkers, when books by other politicians get the standard gloss?

There seems to be an unhealthy obsession with tearing her down.  And really, guys, if you'll just back off a little, she'll do the job for you.  Have you seen that resignation speech?  How about we all act like she's a former governor and vice presidential candidate, rather than Public Enemy #1?  

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/11/palinoia/30447/