- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 22, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Most of the media hate Sarah Palin. Given the hyperfocused offensive targeted at her, the simple conclusion is that the left-wing establishment views the former Alaska governor as the greatest threat to the current Democratic monopoly on power in Washington.

Certainly Mrs. Palin’s book tour is generating a lot of enthusiasm across the country, with thousands of admirers flocking to each stop. The book itself, “Going Rogue,” was locked in at No. 1 on best-seller lists for weeks before it was officially available for sale. Mrs. Palin’s appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” attracted the largest audience the program has enjoyed in two years.

Given the critical media assault, Americans wouldn’t have a clue that her new book discusses weighty policy issues such as the benefits of the free market and lower taxes, the limits of government regulation, “cap and trade,” foreign policy and states’ rights or that Mrs. Palin has a Facebook blog providing excellent critiques of the government takeover of the health care industry. CBS squawked that the book was the work of a ghostwriter, as if that would be a novelty for a politician. Associated Press devoted an unprecedented 11 reporters to “fact check” Mrs. Palin’s book.

The wire service did not conduct similar reviews for accuracy of recent books by liberals, such as the late Edward M. Kennedy, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. (when he was a senator), Barack Obama (before he was president) or autobiographies by Bill or Hillary Clinton. Nor was such a thorough examination conducted on recent political books by Republicans Rudolph W. Giuliani or Newt Gingrich. We are still waiting for the same media outlets to dismiss President Obama’s speeches on the grounds that they are ghostwritten.

Newsweek managing editor Dan Klaidman declares that “there have been these questions about her gravitas, about her seriousness.” If Newsweek’s argument isn’t convincing, the magazine’s choice of a cover photo of the former governor in very short jogging shorts was meant to add to the overall impression. Newsweek must have been desperate to get that picture showing her somewhat scantily clad because the publication broke a contract that the photo would be used only in the runners magazine for which it was taken. Mrs. Palin is an avid runner, and the shot was appropriate for its companion story in Runner’s World.

Newsweek’s headline on the cover is equally bizarre. “She’s bad news for the GOP - and for everybody else, too,” it states somewhat hysterically. Time magazine apparently also tried to get hold of this racy portrait. Not to be outdone in sexist innuendo, MSNBC’s “Morning Meeting” host, Dylan Ratigan, resorted to the trick of doctored photos by showing Mrs. Palin’s head juxtaposed on a supersexy female body clad only in a bikini or an exceedingly short skirt and open blouse. Where is the outrage from feminists?

Mrs. Palin has a tough job ahead to try to overcome this media onslaught. But all the attention should inspire the former governor, too. Her political appeal scares the left, which is quite an endorsement.

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