Sunday, September 7, 2008

The smears continue

That The Atlantic, earnest purveyor of social commentary for over a century (and a magazine to which I have subscribed for about 20 years), has descended to new depths, allowing the shrill commentary of Andrew Sullivan to sully (hey, this is Palin Drone, and we like our puns!) its reputation, is a damned shame. Sullivan, erstwhile conservative, was an early blogger whose Englishman-comes-to-America schtick was refreshing for a time. However, he has worn thin as a commentator, with shrill denunciations of all with whom he disagrees in disparaging terms that frequently fail to engage the argument, opting instead for talking points and emotional outbursts. He tries to dress it up in language that suggests honest inquiry, but he has become one of the most dishonest writers out there who is not blogging at an overtly partisan web site.

Andrew's latest target is Sarah Palin, whose "muscular femininity" (to coin, I think, a phrase) may be the thing that has Andrew so out of sorts. I think, too, that with the likes of Frum and Krauthammer, there is a certain "not of the Beltway" alien-ness to Palin that he is having a hard time coming to grips with. I have heard it said that Reagan has returned, except he's now a she. Maybe. But I think the Teddy Roosevelt analogy might work better: a reformer outdoorsman at home hunting wild animals, raising a family, and being a leader.

So, Andrew is at it again, smearing Palin with innuendo in a manner that would make a sophomore co-ed blush (I won't grace Andrew with a link; if you want it, read Barnett's piece linked below). State just enough to create the false impression that Palin is implicated in the divorce proceedings of her husband's former business associate, but don't state it outright. Don't be a journalist, in other words, but a malicious gossip.

Here is an excerpt from Dean Barnett's take on the smearing of Sarah:

Thus, the method of the smear mechanism reveals itself – print a lot of speculative crap, all while maintaining a malign indifference as to whether or not you can prove said speculative crap. Actually nailing down a story before running it? That’s so 20th century, at least in the virtual pages of the Atlantic. Doing actual reporting to confirm life-damaging rumors before circulating them? Such quotidian tasks are obviously beneath an Atlantic blogger’s pay grade.

1 comment:

Daria said...

"Sully" their reputation...LOL!