November 16, 2009 / Leadership, Uncategorized

Why the Palin “Hate Affair” Will Backfire


I’ve been watching with great interest as of late the amount of hate stories written about Governor Palin. Oh yes, we are a country that loves our drama. And we are certainly a country that can, at times, be accused of going to extremes. But one thing is certain about our Palin Hate Affair – the biggest winner will be: Sarah Palin.

With Palin’s public re-emergence today on Oprah, the media’s Palin Hate Affair got fully underway. Sarah is, amongst other things, a cancer of the GOP, dumb, and heck, even fodder for a musical.  Newsweek sees nothing wrong with using a picture from Runners World for their cover story. MSNBC is well, being MBNBC, and showing their inner-misogynist so familiar to us from 2008.

And somehow the extremism of the Palin Hate Affair reminds me of another recent political extreme: the media’s love affair with candidate and then President Obama.  The problem for Obama, as I recently wrote at The Daily Beast, is that all great love affairs come to an end. And quite inadvertently, our media set up Obama for an epic fall from grace.  How could Obama possibly live up to branding image that our media was so willing to propagate?  Simply impossible.

There is another side to the Palin Hate Affair that also feels quite familiar – it’s called misogyny.  This should also be familiar territory after the way Secretary Clinton was treated in 2008.   As Katie Couric noted just after Hillary dropped out: “Senator Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I’ve ever seen” and undoubtedly this hurt her chances at becoming the Democratic nominee.  Sound familiar?  Would we ever envision Newsweek putting a picture of Mike Huckabee or Tim Pawlenty on their cover in a pair of running shorts – I mean, c’mon really!

And just like with Hillary, the Palin Hate Affair would not be complete without a gang up by a group of women who consider themselves to be “feminists” (whatever that term connotes these days).    These “feminists” are contributors to a “antidote” to Going Rogue called Going Rouge–Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare.   If you read the list of women experts contributing here’s what you’ll find:  most of them hated Hillary too.  Check the list and google their writings for 2007 and 2008 and you’ll find every excuse possible as to why supporting the DNC’s first viable woman candidate for President was not the right thing to do.  Who’s crying now?

Here’s the thing about extremes — what they lack in longevity they make up for with excitement.  Sure our media is having one heck of a time turning Sarah Palin into a modern day Sarah Good;   but at some point there will be period of examination and discovery.  A mea culpa of having stepped over lines whose consequence will be a judgment of keystrokes.   As as Sarah Good’s final words words to her accuser would predict his demise; so to, will this extreme come to an end.  And the unwitting winner of the sympathy vote will be:  Sarah Palin.