Privacy And Palin

More

A reader writes:

The argument against any kind of reporting on candidates' personal lives has always been that private life should remain private. Why should I care if some guy has an affair, etc.

Here's why this isn't off-limits. The McCain campaign has made the existence of this child a central part of its PR rollout of Palin, in particular highlighting the fact that Palin chose not to abort the child even though she knew the baby had Down Syndrome.

The campaign has made the entire story of this pregnancy and birth a part of its narrative to portray Palin as a morally superior being who is therefore deserving of the second-highest office in the land. 

There is a serious possibility that this narrative is completely false, that, in fact, Palin's daughter became pregnant, and that she decided to take the following steps:  first, hide the pregnancy by withdrawing her daughter from school; and second, pretend that the child was hers, in the process lying to everyone around her, including the public and her staff.  If she did this, one must then ask, why? Certainly, it was preferable to an abortion.  But why couldn't she simply admit that her daughter got pregnant at sixteen?  Palin could have served as a wonderful role model of family support for a pregnant teen, and obviously she would have helped to raise the child.  Instead, Palin sent a message that her daughter was shameful, and that lying is better than the truth.

Even if one could excuse this behavior as a misguided effort to protect her family, what happened next is beyond the pale. Knowing full well the truth, Palin allowed the false version of this story to be used as part of a PR campaign to dupe voters into viewing her in a completely false light.

What this says about her is that she believes that when you get into a situation where there might be public embarrassment, the best thing to do is lie (apparently, the same thing she did with Troopergate). That, to me, seems relevant to voters making a decision in November. 

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down