Thursday, July 09, 2009

Why Is The Media Still Reporting On Sarah Palin?

Since losing the 2008 election, Republican vice presidential nominee and (former) governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has been featured in Vanity Fair, her husband was profiled in Esquire, her daughter has been on the cover of People, and her former son-in-law-to-be was in GQ (also with her naked grandson). She's been on TV seemingly more times than President Barack Obama. Despite not accomplishing one thing in her entire political career, despite not even being a member of the government any longer, Sarah Palin is still very much in the spotlight.


The question becomes more baffling when you consider the contempt Sarah Palin has for the media establishment. Just check out these quotes:
“This is to provide notice to ... the Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law" -Palin's lawyer, in a letter to media organizations.

"It's a sad state of affairs in the world of the media today, mainstream media especially, if they're going to rely on anonymous bloggers for their hard news information. Very scary. Reporters, especially, not taking one extra step to get to the facts and report the facts, but instead continuing to spread things that are not true. Is it political? Is it sexism? What is it that drives someone to believe the worst and perpetuate the worst?" - Palin in an ABC interview

"The response in the main stream media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans." -Palin on the reaction to her resignation speech
Okay Sarah, we get it. You hate the media. So... stop using them to spread your message. Whatever it is. Apparently, your only message these days is "I hate the media."

Or better yet... why doesn't the media just simply stop reporting on Sarah Palin? She doesn't like the media? Fine. The media will leave her alone. They won't report on her or her family anymore. Her press conferences will go unattended. Her photo-ops will go un-photographed. Palin thinks the media is a bunch of liars? Okay, so they won't say anything at all.

I'm sure Palin will love that.

The truth is, Palin loves the media. The media made her into whatever she is today. If it wasn't for the media, Palin would still be someone no one in the lower 48 states ever heard of.

No, rather, Palin can't stand criticism. She can't stand any bad words against her, even if they're true. It's something that Republicans seem to have in common. If you never criticize them, and accept every word they say as gospel, you're a patriot. But point out the sky is blue, and not orange like they claim, and suddenly you're worse than Osama Bin Laden.

Palin needs the media to survive. But if she keeps biting the hand that feeds her, how long until they tire of her and turn the other way?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Did Michael Jackson Molest Anybody?

Michael Jackson's kids
Jackson's Kids

The recent outpouring of grief and support for pop star Michael Jackson in the wake of his death has caught some people by surprise. Isn't this someone who most people dismissed as "Wacko Jacko," a child-molesting weirdo who endangered and warped his own strangely conceived kids? Someone whom, admittedly paid a sum of money to a boy in 1993 to settle molestation charges? Someone whom media pundits like Nancy Grace and Shepard Smith called a "Teflon monster" and "not guilty by reason of celebrity" when he was acquitted of kidnapping and molesting a child in 2005?

That's what I thought. Sure, I dance to "Billy Jean" like everyone else, but I wouldn't invite Michael Jackson to babysit.

But watching clips from the memorial service at the Staples Center, I have to say, I started to wonder. Just how real were those allegations? Part of what made me wonder was watching 11-year-old Paris Jackson, the pop star's daughter, give an emotional, raw, and very real statement about her father's death. This wasn't some f-ed up kid... this was someone who seemed very much like a normal 11-year-old who'd just lost a loving father. In fact, in her brief appearance, she displayed a maturity and dignity well beyond her years. Seeing her, and the rest of Michael Jackson's brood for the first time, it was suddenly a lot more difficult to demonize the singer. Suddenly, calling him "Wacko Jacko" seemed wrong. Just because the New York Post says it, does it mean it's true?

Another thing that caused my opinion of Michael to waver is simply watching the media. Its impossible to turn on the television and not think that these news guys are completely loony. The 24-hour blanket coverage, the over-analysis of everything from the cars Jackson's family rode in to interviewing the journalists who made their careers exploiting Jackson's weirdness... it was all too familiar. The media decides on a storyline and runs with it... even if their story doesn't fit all the facts. They've spent a week deifying a man they once demonized. They've reduced the molestation charges to a footnote, whereas before, they defined Jackson as a pedophile. If the media is capable of turning on and off the demon switch at will, then how are we supposed to know where the truth lies??

I mean, read this. Some guy analyzing all of Jackson's public statements about the molestation in 1993. Is his analysis fair? The guy says over and over that the words "I am innocent" aren't the same as "I didn't do it." Really? Are we taking Jackson to task because he didn't use the right vocabulary?

O.J. Simpson drove away in his Ford Bronco... that made people pretty sure he was guilty. Michael Jackson paid a settlement to one accuser... that made people pretty sure he was guilty. But of the hundreds who slept over at the Neverland ranch, only three ever said anything happened. None ever testified against Michael. In the 2005 case, jurors agreed there wasn't enough evidence to convict, and the mother of the boy had successfully extorted money from a department store a few years earlier. Back in 1993, one boy told police he'd only testify is someone else did. The boy whom Jackson settled with (conflicting reports say it was his lawyers, not Jackson, who made the settlement) accused his own father of abuse:
NY Daily News - The accuser, now 26, says his ex-dentist dad Evan Chandler "struck him on the head from behind with ... (dumbbell) weight ... sprayed his eyes with Mace or pepper spray, and tried to choke him" last year, according to court documents filed in New Jersey.
The father even sued Jackson to fund an album called "EVANstory." Seriously.

So the accusations aren't that strong. You'd expect that somewhere in the outpouring of Jackson support, if there were victims of the man, they'd come forward. Why allow the deification of a man if you know him to be a monster?? It's surprising that none has come forward, even anonymously, to "tell the truth."

We don't know what happened in Michael Jackson's bedroom. But I know what I saw yesterday. And it was three kids who look really really upset to have lost their dad. By the accounts of those who actually knew Michael, and haven't just relied on FOX News and Nancy Grace, he was a doting father and someone who never would have harmed a child.

Did the media kill Michael Jackson before they deified him? It's within the realm of possibility.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Palin's Bailin'

Sarah Palin Calls It Quits

After a busy 4th of July weekend, I'm back to comment on some recent news. No, not Michael Jackson. Nor the beloved Billy Mays (whom I met in person 2 weeks before he died). But rather, Sarah Palin. I had feared that somehow, with all the endless media attention, Republicans would actually take her seriously, and the mockery of the American electoral process that began when John McCain tapped her as his Vice Presidential nominee would continue.

Luckily, Sarah Palin did a great job of torpedoing her future and freeing up the Republicans to find someone actually qualified for the highest offices in the land. Although, they don't have a lot of choices.

According to Sarah Palin, she couldn't sit back and let the media tell everyone how unqualified she was to govern. So, to show everyone that she can govern, she quit being governor.

"It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down [and] plod along," Palin said. "That's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out."

Yes, Sarah. Doing your job is the "quitters way out." What do winners do? According to Sarah, they quit.

Now, I'm sure somewhere in Sarah Palin's comely MILFy skull, this logic makes sense. And maybe somewhere in America, there's a person drunk on moonshine and high on crystal meth who thinks, "Gee, that Sarah sure proved to me that she's presidential material." But in the rest of America, the America where people are struggling to find a job that pays $125,000 dollars a year (like Sarah's did), and can't afford to quit in order to prove they're not quitters, that sort of logic doesn't fly. And so ends the tale of Sarah Palin, public servant, and so begins the story of Sarah Palin, joke.

Of course, Sarah became a joke during the 2008 campaign. This merely adds punchlines. "Sarah took 'quit while you're ahead' a bit too literally."

The most insane thing is Sarah's primary reason for quitting. The media. Apparently, their criticism was too much to ignore from the statehouse in Alaska. And this woman wants to be President!?!?! The most powerful person in the world!?!?!?! The person who wants to become the most powerful person in the world QUITS when people say bad things about her!?!?!?!?!?!

Can you imagine....
November, 2012

PALIN: My fellow Americans. Since you elected me as your President two weeks ago, the media attacks on me and my family have been unending. Just this morning, I read an editorial in the New York Times saying that I should have been tougher on Kim Jong Il after he bombed Pearl Harbor, and my plan to distribute guns to schoolchildren was "deeply flawed." These elite media critics also say that my husband is unqualified to be appointed Secretary of Defense, and that my daughter Bristol is in over her head as my chosen Secretary of State. I can no longer keep my head down and ignore these vicious, baseless attacks. Therefore, I am resigning the Presidency of the United States, effective immediately. I'd like to wish good luck to your new President, my former vice president Bubbles the Chimp.

PRESS: Mr. Bubbles, care to comment?

BUBBLES: (sticks out tongue) Pbffft...

PRESS: Adorable.
I'd like to thank Sarah for stepping so gracefully aside. If only more terribly unqualified leaders would quit their posts and let somebody else give it a try.

How about it, New York State senators?

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