Tuesday, October 7, 2008

From sea to shining sea

Malcolm, usually inherently suspicious, missed one point until now. He should have remembered, having blogged the link previously.

He was amused that the Miami Herald was engrossed by the personality and background of Sarah Palin, from the diagonally opposite corner of the States. Mrs Mooseblaster is now on a two-day "swing" through Florida, hoping to pick up $3 million for the strapped McCain coffers, and so incurs even greater local interest

Yet the Herald seems to have a down on Mrs Mooseblaster. This might be a recognition that Florida is not showing appropropriate reverence for the McCain-Palin ticket: Fox/Rasmussen has them now falling fully seven points adrift -- and southern Florida is far stronger for Obama than the State as a whole.

That would not explain Carl Hiaasen's brilliant demolition stomping over the Mooseblaster reputation, before the Veep debate. Hiaasen escalates from:
the same right-wing gasbags who've trashed Hillary Clinton for 16 years have morphed into sensitive souls when it comes to their own hockey-mom candidate. Each unsettling news revelation about Palin is automatically decried as a sexist smear.
via permutations of the formula:
If Palin were a male candidate, Democrat or Republican, she'd be taking heat for ...
Each jab punctuated with a reprise of those grimy moments of the Mooseburger rise to fame and fortune. This concludes with:

If Palin were a man, she'd be questioned closely about her professed aversion to pork-barrel government spending, since she has happily pledged $500 million of her state's money toward a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline.

Speaking about that as-yet unbuilt project, Palin got on stage at the Wasilla Assembly of God and told churchgoers: ''God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies in getting that gas line built, so pray for that.'' As you might imagine, this is a popular clip on YouTube.

A male candidate would be ridiculed -- no, make that crucified -- for suggesting that the Lord has taken a personal interest in natural-gas extraction. Luckily for Palin, the Sarah Rules censure such commentary as anti-religious...

Wondrously, though, Palin has yet to face any questions about her weird anti-witch inoculation at the hands of one Pastor Thomas Muthee in 2005. It's sort of creepy to watch, but who knows -- maybe this stuff really works for future vice presidents. Maybe Spiro Agnew should have tried it.

That is pure, delicious vitriol.

[The YouTube video mentioned is essential viewing. The Mooseblaster doctine is that gas pipe-lines and the US mission in Iraq are "God's plan":]

Today's Herald editorial pursues Hiaasen's central point:

She doesn't hold news conferences and has kept interviews to a minimum. She doesn't field questions from her own donors at fundraising appearances, as Sen. John McCain does. As a campaign strategy, running against the media may ingratiate her to the party faithful, but it does nothing to reassure doubters and undecided voters.

A news conference is an effective way to communicate. Gov. Palin should be eager to show that she is ready to compete in the same arena as other candidates by taking part in this time-honored ritual. Her reluctance adds to the appearance of a lack of transparency in her campaign.

This disturbing pattern includes the ongoing ''troopergate'' investigation in Alaska involving her firing the public safety commissioner. McCain-Palin spokesmen call it a political trick designed to undermine the campaign. How could that be when the investigation began well before she joined the GOP ticket?

The Herald is a modest operation, but a successful one: less than half-a-million circulation for the fat Sunday edition -- but still in the top two-dozen best-selling dailies across the Nation.

And the stinger?

Behind the Herald stands the McClatchy Company, the third-largest newspaper operation in the US -- which also owns the Anchorage Daily News. Malcolm enjoys reading between the lines of that journal, as its decent liberal regard for the truth and the facts compete daily with the fervour of the local Alaskan Republican norms favoured by its readership.

Today's gem is the coverage of Senator Ted Stevens, up on corruption charges: a distinguished Attorney General of the US, Alaskan of the Century, indulging in a foul-mouthed rant against the FBI agents who were charged with investigating Stevens and others.

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