What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 16, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

Well it's about time. Almost exactly a month after his favored party and his favored candidate for President lost, and lost badly, in what he called an electoral "landslide," and six weeks after both her disastrous debate with Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden and her equally disastrous interview with Katie Couric, Jack Kelly finally speaks out about Sarah Palin.

Guess what? In this week's column, he endorses her for President in 2012.

No, I'm not kidding.

In the course of the column, he blames her bad luck and her bad press on the media. He begins:
The week before the election, the Obama campaign ran a television commercial attacking the Republican candidate for vice president. To my knowledge, this had never been done before.
According to the Washington Post, this is the ad:

But if you look at it, it's not completely about Governor Palin, is it? Strikes me it's more about McCain's bad judgment in choosing Palin than it is about Palin herself.

But again, look at Jack's text. WHAT had never been done before, Jack? A campaign ad critical of Sarah Palin or a campaign ad critical of a Vice-Presidential candidate? Or a campaign ad critical of a Republican candidate for Vice-President? It's not clear. And as it's from an experienced columnist at a major American Newspaper, shouldn't it be?

In either case, what difference does that make?

Next up, he blames the big bad media for her bad press:
Within days of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's selection by John McCain to be his running mate, there was speculation in the news media that maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome; that Trig was really daughter Bristol's baby; that Sarah was a fundamentalist who believes dinosaurs and humans coexisted; that she once belonged to a secessionist party; that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.

None of this was true, but this was how the news media introduced Ms. Palin to people in the lower 48. No vice presidential candidate has ever been subjected to such a torrent of abuse.
It's difficult to argue against such statements. WHO IN THE MEDIA said that "maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome"? Jack doesn't say. WHO IN THE MEDIA said that Trig was actually Bristol's baby? Again, Jack doesn't say. I know more than a few bloggers said it, but is Jack now lumping us all in with the Main Stream Media?

Jack's more than capable of quoting someone verbatim. He even does it in this very column. But by leaving it vague, he's left it to the readers to fill in the blanks with some imaginary "reporting" of such. ("I didn't read anything like this, but Jack Kelly says so, so it must be true. I must've just missed it.")

News to Jack: Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist. The church she attends was described in Newsweek this way:
Except for the national spotlight, Wasilla Bible Church resembles thousands of conservative evangelical churches across the country. Its statement of faith says its members believe that the Bible is the "inspired, inerrant word of God."
It's that last part: that the Bible is the "inerrant word of God" that makes her a fundamentalist. It was her husband who belonged to that seccessionist party - she just addressed its convention this year. Jack didn't tell you that, did he?

And Jack's spinning things just a tad in discussing the book banning. Jack writes:
...that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.
Not exactly true. While no books were ever banned, Palin did inquire (three times, as it turned out) whether the local librarian would be OK with "censuring books if asked to do so." When the librarian said "no" that librarian was duly fired for disloyalty. After what must've been a fierce public outcry the librarian was reinstated the next day.

Something else Jack didn't tell you.

And I gotta say that I found this paragraph unintentionally funny:
A star athlete and beauty contest winner who hunts moose and worked as a commercial fisherman, Sarah Palin has a remarkable personal and political story. But it's a story the news media largely ignored in favor of spreading malicious gossip.
I mean , given Jack's own history of spreading the gossip, it's high hilarity for Jack to suddenly see the light of journalistic fairness. For instance, did you know that William Ayers could easily have written Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father"? (Ayers's later autobiography and Obama's book share some nautical metaphors, so IT MUST BE TRUE.) Or that William Ayers and Barack Obama may have met at Columbia a full decade before either has admitted? (Obama was at Columbia in the early 80s and Ayers was at Columbia in the early 80s so IT MUST BE TRUE.) Both those bits of information came from the well-worn typewriter of Jack Kelly.

Neither has a shred of evidence to support it (beyond the rantings of the far right fringe). Can someone say to my friend Jack that he's also "spreading malicious gossip"



Bram Reichbaum said...

I couldn't BELIEVE Jack doubled-down on Sarah Palin this morning. If there was ever any doubt he's in the double-super-secret Illuminati cabal of the right wing, this erases it. Unfortunately, the rest of the Republican party is probably going to brighten up by 2012.

Then again, maybe not. We're rooting for you, Jack!

Clyde Wynant said...

Seriously. If Ms. Governor Palin is all they have to talk about...then they have nothing to talk about at all. Her "fall from grace" came not from the voices of the media, but from the comely woman herself, who can barely do anything other than spout talking points. Whether the "AfricGaffe" is true or not, the reality is that, having witnessed her inability to answer simple questions ("What newspapers do you read regularly?") we were all more than ready to assume the worst about her. And it turned out to be true. May she fade into the Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle mist of hopelessly lost souls.


BTW, as a bit of shameless self-promotion, my comment on Frank Rich's NYTimes column topped the "Editors Selections" today.


Maria said...


EdHeath said...

Actually, its interesting (Clyde) that you bring up the Frank Rich piece. Personally I don’t appreciate the Southern white-bashing (having been born in the South and having from and still living there) by a New York newspapermen in his essay, but Rich’s point that the party appears to have little to offer in the way of specific or even general programs or even ideas dovetails nicely with the fact that Jack Kelly could name little to recommend Sarah Palin, except in the negative. She got a raw deal from the media, so she should be considered for national office (hunh?). I didn’t think all the whispered innuendo about her was fair; I thought it was silly to say that Trig was Bristol’s baby or something weird and so obviously untrue as that. That said, I thought that intense media scrutiny was at worst unsurprising, since she had sprung onto the national scene with literally no warning.

But all the Republicans have had nothing to say about this banking and finance sector crisis. There are solutions that involve using market like tools, but there is no way of saying the government has no role, and so far the Republicans have been trying to simplistically stick to the play book. Even the occasional intellectual like (presumably) Phil Gramm, who has that PhD in economics, has not done more than defend his own record.

Not that the Democrats are overflowing with ideas. But they now have the luxury of calling on academics in economics, since they are the party nominally in control. Let’s hope they listen to intelligent counsel (not a guaranteed thing) and do the right thing.