Sarah Palin’s video today accusing her critics of “blood libel” only goes to prove one of two things. She is either tone deaf to the criticism that deadly provocative words are not only unsuitable for political debate but offensive to many, or, as I think is the case, she is profoundly ignorant. Not to have vetted her words before recording them (so she can’t claim she “misspoke”) demonstrate that she is an intellectual lightweight, at best.
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
Few of us speak in beautifully crafted paragraphs with nary an “uh,” “um,” “you know” or the ubiquitous “like.” Few journalists include such utterances when quoting folks—unless they are trying to convey something more than the subject of the sentence quoted. I recently saw a quote by Sarah Palin’s daughter in which she said the word “like” four times inside of about 25 words.
"I remember sitting on the couch with one of my best friends and Levi, and I just couldn’t spit it out. I was like, ‘Mom, Mom.’ I was bawling my eyes out. She was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I was like, ‘I’m pregnant.’ And she was like" — Bristol stops and mimics a gasp — "Oh my God. Holy crap. But once that part was over with and Tripp was here, it was just like, this baby is a blessing."
The quote, I’m sure, was meant in part to embarrass her for her speaking style.
But since so many people use such phrases, including “you know,” often, it sticks out when a reporter includes the phrase when it adds no meaning to the sentence. For example:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview that Obama "wanted to make sure as much as possible that if people had plans that they liked they got to keep them and balance that with, you know, some overall protection for consumers."
“You know” adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence. Are you telling me that every time someone utters that phrase, Washington Post reporters print the quote with the phrase? If not, when is it proper to include it?
While Will’s column is more about the futility of populism, his last graph puts a knife in today’s journalists.
Political nature abhors a vacuum, which is what often exists for a year or two in a party after it loses a presidential election. But today’s saturation journalism, mesmerized by presidential politics and ravenous for material, requires a steady stream of political novelties. In that role, Palin is united with the media in a relationship of mutual loathing. This is not her fault. But neither is it her validation.
In fact, it is to MSM’s advantage to make Palin credible as she is a ratings draw. So they will not ignore her; they will give her attention that any other female politician who deserted her constituents would not get, especially if they weren’t as attractive physically as she is.