If the press is going to robotically follow the lead of the right-wing media and spend time actually dissecting Obama's bow over the weekend before Japan's Emperor Akihito, and if the press is going to legitimize the notion that perhaps all kinds of (evil) motives can be interpreted by the common act of protocol, and that maybe Americans can learn all sorts of things about how Obama views America's role in the world from the passing action, than why hasn't the press turned its attention to this week's Newsweek's cover which features Sarah Palin in an apparent breach of protocol?
This is just Boy Scout/Girl Scout 101: you simply do not use the United States flag as a casual prop draped over a chair and lean up against for a photo shoot. Ever. And for a politician to do it, and an overtly stars-and-stripes one like Palin, is really rather shocking.
Yet here where are in the media's unofficial Palin Week when all-things Palin are deemed to be hugely significant, and Palin's apparent etiquette gaffe goes mostly unmentioned. Why? Because the press only cares about what right-wing noisemakers are crowing about. (i.e. The bow.)
UPDATED: Palin (writing in the third person) is reportedly upset that Newsweek used the photo, which was from an older Runner's World issue, because it featured her in a running suit. The fact that it featured her apparently disrespecting the flag is of no concern. The media continue to remain mum.
UPDATED: Conservative pundits now want to talk about the Newsweek cover...to show how biased and sexist Newsweek is. They want the issue of the Newsweek cover to become a thing. But so far, crickets from the right-wing press regarding the fact that Palin trampled etiquette and inappropriately used the United States flag as a photo prop.
UPDATED: Question for CBN's David Brody: Did somebody force Palin pose for this photo? Just asking.
From Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden's November 17 column (emphasis added):
So far it's a memorable trip. He established a new precedent for how American presidents should pay obeisance to kings, emperors, monarchs, sovereigns and assorted other authentic man-made masters of the universe. He stopped just this side of the full grovel to the emperor of Japan, risking a painful genuflection if his forehead had hit the floor with a nasty bump, which it almost did. No president before him so abused custom, traditions, protocol (and the country he represents). Several Internet sites published a rogue's gallery showing how other national leaders - the prime ministers of Israel, India, Slovenia, South Korea, Russia and Dick Cheney among them - have greeted Emperor Akihito with a friendly handshake and an ever-so-slight but respectful nod (and sometimes not even that).
Now we know why Mr. Obama stunned everyone with an earlier similar bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, only the bow to the Japanese emperor was far more flamboyant, a sign of a really deep sense of inferiority. He was only practicing his bow in Riyadh. Sometimes rituals are learned with difficulty. It took Bill Clinton months to learn how to return a military salute worthy of a commander in chief; like any draft dodger, he kept poking a thumb in his eye until he finally got it. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, seems right at home now giving a wow of a bow. This is not the way an American president impresses evildoers that he's strong, tough and decisive, that America is not to be trifled with.
But Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy '60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to "hope" for "change." It's no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of "the 57 states" is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his November 16 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
On Page 5 of her memoir, Sarah Palin displays a bit of that maverick flair the media was all atwitter over last year:
I had certainly gotten off on the wrong foot with the Republican Party by daring to take on the GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich, and then incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski. Party bosses weren't going to let me forget that I had broken their Eleventh Commandment-"Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican" -even if Murkowski did have a 19 percent approval rating, his chief of staff would later plead guilty to a felony charge, and it appeared corruption was growing at a breakneck pace.
I didn't have time to waste embracing the status quo and never had it in me to play the party's game.
Yeah, what's with those losers who "play the party's game and running around saying things like this:
But remember one thing -- it came from the West, I know, but I'm still singing it -- the greatest thing that's happened for the Republican Party is, when the chips are down and the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails and everybody goes to work, and that is: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.
That is, of course, Ronald Reagan, whose name is basically synonymous with the term "Eleventh Commandment."
It's sort of funny that Palin would take on the most popular figure in the history of conservative politics - the attack on the Eleventh Commandment cuts against a book otherwise full of praise for Reagan. Two pages before, she writes that she "became aware of the impact of common sense public policy during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. And from pages 391 to 394 alone, Palin writes:
It certainly seems curious that the one Reagan precept Palin is unwilling to accept is the Eleventh Commandment. And it doesn't bode well for Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, et al.
Did we mention conservative Ziegler is a really, really big Palin fan?
From Mediaite [red color original]:
In an exclusive to Mediaite, Ziegler reviews Sarah Palin's new book Going Rogue, which comes out tomorrow. Due to rights and clearance issues, the review will be published Tuesday at 12:01 am.
Excerpts from his review include:
"For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime."
"I strongly believe that if every Republican primary voter reads this book, Sarah Palin will win the 2012 nomination in a landslide, whether she wants it or not.
The real Sarah Palin is alive and well, and now you have the chance to finally find out who she is and understand why millions of her fans are so devoted to her, even when she is just a private citizen who cares deeply about her country.
BUCHANAN: When I went into New Hampshire, I went down to a basement store, and they said "Get rid of the Florsheim shoes and the blue suits and the red ties. We're gonna go get you what we call North Country Clothes: brand-new sweaters that look very old and all that stuff." You saw me up there, Andrea.
MITCHELL: I know, you were authentic, Pat.
Old sweaters are not more "authentic" than Florsheim shoes and blue suits. Nor are they less "authentic." They're both just clothes. Yet Andrea Mitchell thinks that Pat Buchanan wandering into a New Hampshire store and, on the advise of some unspecified "they," discarding his typical outfit in favor of new sweaters that are designed to look old was a mark of authenticity.
(It goes without saying that if Al Gore told precisely the same story Buchanan told, he would not be praised as having been "authentic.")
And just a few minutes ago, Politico's Andy Barr was on MSNBC, talking about the AP fact-checking Sarah Palin's new book:
This fight with the AP she's got going on is kind of funny ... It seems like they really took that slam from her personally, and in that fact-check they're really maliciously going after her, kind of point by point.
"Maliciously"? This is the state of modern political journalism: When a news organization fact-checks false claims by prominent Republicans, a reporter calls it "malicious."
Me? I'd call it "journalism."
Last week, The Hill ran an article claiming "The healthcare battle appears to be helping Republicans running for the Senate," based on "the first major Senate polls since the House passed its healthcare bill on Saturday."
But the polls -- one in Ohio and one in Connecticut -- were largely conducted before the vote had even occurred, and none of the candidates polled actually voted on the House health care bill, as none of them are members of the House of Representatives.
It was, in other words, rather dubious for The Hill to suggest those polls reflected public reaction to the House health care vote that had not yet occurred.
Today, the Washington Independent's David Weigel reports that a new Delaware poll -- conducted entirely after the House health care vote -- shows Democrat Beau Biden surging ahead of Republican Congressman Mike Castle. And Castle voted against the House health care bill (and for the Stupak amendment.)
According to the pollster, the shift "may be a result of negative publicity [Castle] received in the state after casting a 'no' vote for President Obama's health care reform bill in the U.S. Congress."
Remember: The Hill used two polls conducted largely before the House health care vote happened, and not involving anyone who serves in the House, to suggest that House passage of a health care bill is helping Republicans.
Now that there's a poll conducted after the vote that shows declining support for a Republican who voted against health care reform in the House, I wonder if we'll see an article in The Hill suggesting that opposition to the House bill is hurting Republican candidates?
There exists no better example of the conservative media's culture of victimization than Sarah Palin. In the eyes of the right-wing media, she's infallible. If she stumbles in an interview, it's the fault of the overly aggressive and biased interviewer. If she gets caught in an obvious falsehood (e.g. Bridge to Nowhere), they painfully contort both facts and logic to show that she's actually right. In short, Palin can do no wrong, and it's all the vicious liberals' fault.
Armed with that worldview, NewsBuster Scott Whitlock went after Good Morning America's Kate Snow this morning for having the temerity to "repeatedly fact check" Palin's new memoir. Things quickly degenerated [emphasis in original]:
Snow began the piece on Palin and her book Going Rogue by pointing out that "the blitz has begun and so has the fact checking." She then launched into a series of supposed corrections:
KATE SNOW: In her book, Palin says top aide Steve Schmidt yelled at her over the phone. "The force of his screaming blew my hair back. How could anyone be so stupid?" But, staffers say there was no yelling, just an e-mail saying "Who set this up? Are you kidding me?" And then there's Saturday Night Live. In her book, Palin says she wanted to appear on the show. "Let's go on and neutralize some of this and have some fun." But, in an e-mail Palin writes "These folks are whack. What's the upside in giving them or any celebrity venue a ratings boost?"
The 2008 campaign is over. Why is GMA relying on anonymous e-mails from disgruntled staffers to rebuff Palin? (Secondly, is it possible there could have been both e-mails and yelling?)
"Anonymous e-mails from disgruntled staffers"? Of the two e-mails Whitlock referenced, one was written by Palin herself. He highlighted it in the transcript. ABC let Palin do the debunking for them.
But even when Palin exposes herself as a liar, the right-wing won't have any of it.
Headline pretty much sums it up:
GOP Critics Blast Obama Administration Decision to Try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City
At ABC News, the fact that partisan GOP politicians who ran and lost during the 2008 campaign, and might do so again in 2012, are attacking an Obama administration initiative is news. So ABC News gives Rudy Giuliani and noted national security/terrorism expert Sarah Palin all kinds or space to record their attacks regarding the planned 9/11 trial.
On and on and on the article goes, quoting partisan Republican politicians (for 17 paragraphs) who don't like the idea of having open court trials in the United States. But here's the real kicker in the article; here's the real tell that tips you off to ABC's skewed perspective [emphasis added]:
Yet, Democrats defended the decision.
Excuse me? Republican unleash a partisan attack on the president, yet Democrats defend the White House? What kind of loaded language is that? The "yet" clearly implies that ABC thinks the GOP is dead-on in its analysis and that it's somehow odd or newsworthy for Democrats to defend the administration's decision.
Does ABC News think that just because Republicans "blast" the administration, Democrats should not defend its decisions? Did ABC ever run an article during the Bush years, detailing how Democrats blasted the GOP White House, and "yet" Republicans still defended it?