Palin Facebook Post Sparks Blogger Spat

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This isn't the first time Dave Weigel, one of the Washington Post wunderkinds, has managed to irritate the conservatives he was hired to cover. Last time the anger was over Weigel calling "anti-gay marriage" advocates "bigots." This time, Weigel's chosen an even bigger target: Sarah Palin.

  • 'Sarah Palin's Strange, Unprofessional and Paranoid Grudge' reads Weigel's blog post headline over at The Washington Post. He takes exception to a Facebook post of hers complaining about investigative reporter Joe McGinniss, whom Palin claims is "overlooking [her] children's play area." Weigel calls Palin's targeting of the reporter "despicable." (Read Atlantic Wire coverage of responses to Palin here.)

Has McGinniss gone to an extreme to get a story? Well, we don't have his side yet--not that this has prevented every other media outlet from typing up Palin's Facebook post like some lost Gospel. But assuming he's rented the house near the Palins for some period of time, assuming the Palins know he's there and that he's writing a book, then what, exactly, is wrong with this?

Politicians don't have veto power over who gets to write about them, or how they research their stories, as long as they're within the bounds of the law. It's incredibly irresponsible for them to sic their fans on journalists they don't like.
  • Dave Weigel's Odd Conservative Coverage Acknowledging that Weigel "seems like an affable enough guy," and saying they "trade emails," RedState's Erick Erickson compares his inside-the-conservative-movement coverage to the Post "put[ting] Weigel in a gorilla costume to infiltrate some gorillas in the mist." The problem, he says, is that "he stumbled into the wrong camp and is now reporting on activity completely unrelated to what actually matters. Never mind that the Washington Post's online coverage of conservatives reflects a view that gorillas are more civilized than conservatives. And never mind that Weigel's reporting is clouded with the groupthink." He thinks Weigel's post on Palin is ridiculous given the "rather stalkerish vibe of this reporter [McGinniss]." Finally, he points out that since Weigel "has admitted he voted for Gore, Kerry, and Obama," his "but I'm a registered Republican" protest is "roughly equivalent to an atheist quoting the Sermon on the Mount to get passable clearance into a revival."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.