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August 16, 2011

Palin's Oversensitivity to Bad Media Comes Back to Bite Her

I understand that Governor Palin has been taking fire from asshole reporters for three years now. I get that her life is basically a media circus. Part of that, of course, is that she wanted the attention. But wanting attention and wanting what the media did to her are two different things. So I understand she's a bit shell-shocked.

This, though, is not appropriate behavior.

What happened was that Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller, one of the rising stars among political scribes and a meticulously careful and wonderfully polite, fair-minded young man (an aside: I've known him since he was in junior high school), wrote a perfectly fine story about Palin's current stances vis-a-vis the presidential race. In it, one of the things she said was that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, well, of course she would endorse him over Barack Obama.

Fox Nation picked up the story and, in its own headline (not Pappas', not the Daily Caller's, but its own headline completely apart from anything Pappas ever wrote) played up the "Romney endorse" angle in a way that apparently did not make it clear that the endorsement might be in the general election, rather than the primary campaign. (The headline is no longer available at Fox Nation, so I can't say exactly what the wording was.)

Anyway, the Palin team pounced. Specifically inviting over reporter Kasie Hunt from Politico so she could hear the exchange, Palin called Pappas' cell phone and began berating him in a very scolding manner for writing a headline suggesting she supports Romney. Pappas didn't even know what she was talking about. When he tried to say that neither he nor his editors had written such a headline, she said she didn't have time for this, that she needed to go back to the "real people" at the State Fair, and hung up on him.

Palin needs to get a grip. This was both sloppy staff work and rude behavior from Palin. One of our frequent gripes with the President is that he's a thin-skinned whiner who can't handle the attention that comes with national office. I get that Palin has had a hard time. It will not be any easier from the Oval Office.

She had a proper option here. If Palin honestly believed Alex had written, incorrectly, that she endorsed Romney then she should have asked for a correction and, whether she got one or not, issued a statement making her position clear. Of course, if she'd taken this level-headed approach, her misperception about Alex's piece would have been cleared right up when she asked for the correction. Yelling at someone on the phone was probably cathartic, but it wasn't presidential.

On the topic of Things Not Presidential: This? Also not very presidential. Accusing public servants of being "almost treasonous" because they have a different view of monetary policy plays well for Ronulans, but then again we expect so very little in the way of good behavior from Ronulans. Hearing it from a legitimate candidate like Perry surprised me. Particularly since, if he is elected, Perry's term will overlap with Bernanke's term.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:32 AM

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