Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Republican Presidential candidate Andy Martin analyzes Sarah Palin’s Tucson video

Martin says the national media have “declared war on Sarah Palin.” Martin suggests the media’s attacks may be endangering Palin. Martin says Palin’s Tucson video was poorly produced; she needs better staff work and a more expert team of advisers.

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Republican Presidential Candidate Andy Martin on the liberal media elite’s “War Against Sarah Palin”

Martin says the media’s relentless attacks on Palin may be endangering her

Martin says Palin’s video on the Tucson tragedy was poorly prepared

(NEW YORK)(January 12, 2011) Sarah Palin released “two” videos today, laminated together as one. My remarks are in two parts, first analyzing the "war” against Sarah Plain that is an ongoing trope of the nation’s media elite; second, I address the somewhat disappointing Palin remarks on their own merits.

Unfortunately, all of Palin’s comments were overshadowed by the ill-advised insertion of the term “blood libel” in her remarks.

First, the “War Against Sarah Plain.” Almost from the moment she was chosen as a vice presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin has been the target (can we still use the word “target?”) of a vile campaign orchestrated by the nation’s liberal media to demonize and destroy her. Although I was surprised by the choice of Palin, I felt that Senator John McCain had to choose a woman as his running mate. He chose Palin. Mission accomplished (ohhh).

Palin is what we used to call a “self-made” person. She didn’t inherit wealth. She didn’t inherit social position. She didn’t marry wealth. And she didn’t have wealth fall on her by accident through the invention of some electronic gizmo or by penning a bestseller. Instead, Palin literally worked her way up from high school student, to college graduate, to wife and mother, to local and then state politician. No, Palin was not schooled in our elite institutions or inculcated with the values of our “governing” organizations in New York and Washington. She is truly “self-made.” Which is why ordinary Americans identify with her. The fact that Palin is who she is, and that she is not the product of a family legacy or the invention of the entertainment media, makes her someone whom the American people instinctively like.

Unfortunately in 2008 McCain, who ran one of the most haphazard campaigns in history, frittered away Palin’s authenticity, her natural energy, and her own sound political instincts. McCain forfeited the White House because of his own incompetence, not Palin’s. Nevertheless, the national media, who always loved McCain for being the "anti-Republican" Republican, have willingly shifted the blame for his abysmal campaign from McCain to Palin.

McCain could have sat Palin down after he appointed her and schooled her in a couple of minutes. “If you don’t know the answer, say ‘I don’t know.’ Tell the truth to the best of your ability. It is easier to remember the truth than a lie.” End of grooming. Instead McCain and his minions bollixed up Palin and sought to “compensate” for her national inexperience first by hiding her from the media, and then throwing her to the wolves. Can I still say this was the political equivalent of a “blood sport?” Or is that term now also verboten? Can we “throw people to the wolves” or is that too violent for our new national “civility?”

Palin’s political instincts were better than McCain’s. She wanted to tackle (too violent, again?) Obama head on and expose the fraudster for what he truly was. McCain was willing to undermine his own campaign by pulling his punches (a forbidden expression in the “new civility?”) and by allowing Obama to paint McCain as a confused old man, which in truth he was.

No sooner had the shooting stopped in Tucson than leftwing operatives such as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann were goading Palin to come out and speak. I was perhaps the first presidential candidate and political writer to condemn Olbermann and his cohort for trying to pin the blame for Tucson on Palin, Bill O’Reilly and other conservative personalities. The murders at Tucson were a crime, not a political event.

Since Saturday there has been a rising crescendo of left-wing attacks on Palin for not speaking out. Finally, Wednesday, she spoke (I analyze her remarks in part two below). But no sooner had her video been released than the media increased the volume of their attacks on Mrs. Palin.

Let me ask a question, and please feel free to respond. If, as we know, vile rhetoric and exaggerated attacks can cause a person to be targeted by the mentally deranged, is the media’s War Against Palin endangering her and exposing her to “revenge” attacks by extremists?

I think there is a serious possibility that by relentlessly demonizing Palin the media elite are endangering her and her family. The level of vitriol directed at Palin far exceeds that “targeted” at anyone else in political life except President Obama. Palin is still a private citizen. Madmen usually gravitate to attacks on persons who are being vilified in the media. I am concerned that media attacks on Palin are increasing the possibility she could be threatened.

It is hypocrisy of the worst sort that in decrying the violence of political speech, the media are trying to demonize Palin and possibly energizing mentally unbalanced persons to attack her because of the media’s antipathy for her. The media could be making her the next target of some madman or woman. I think the media need to declare an end to the war against Palin and start realizing their attacks could be triggering a new round of violence.

Now to Palin’s video itself. I have been involved in every aspect of radio and TV over the past forty years. I thought Palin’s remarks were disappointing. Putting aside the “blood libel” remark, Palin was too cheery and too botoxed for a solemn occasion. President Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg for mere minutes. Lincoln’s words endure; Palin’s will not. Lincoln’s remarks were simple and direct. A heartfelt message of mourning was all that Palin should have delivered. Instead, Palin’s advisers got her to deliver a Chamber-of-Commercy speech full of boosterism and self-congratulation for America, when solemnity and only solemnity was called for.

Although Palin has worked on TV, she has seemingly forgotten the lessons she learned there. “Sincere” remarks which do not appear to be heartfelt will not endure. President Ronald Eagan understood the distinction.

Ironically, in his remarks tonight Obama is likely to make the same mistake as Palin. See today’s “second column.”

Palin’s video did not call for and of her facial gestures. Her mannerisms were inappropriate to shared grieving. Palin’s latest team of “advisers” is diluting Plain's genuineness and undermining the integrity of her “brand.” Palin is authentic. Obama is not. But today, Palin sounded like Obama, and like Obama will probably sound tonight (see my second column today for criticism-in-advance of Obama’s Tucson production).

Finally, the use of the term “blood libel” was bizarre. The term has an unfortunate history. The “first use” of the blood libel term passed without major comment in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. So we now know that words which, when uttered by someone else, are noncontroversial can become “libelous” when used by Palin. Is there any better evidence of the media’s “war” against Sarah Palin?

Bottom line: (i) the media are endangering Palin by demonizing her. The media are rapidly making Plain into the Governor George Wallace of the current generation. (ii) In my opinion, Palin’s remarks were poorly written by her speechwriters, instead of being spoken by the heart by Palin herself. If I were advising Sister Sarah (as I call her) I would say, “Sarah, be yourself, and don’t let them put words in your mouth. Speak from your heart.” (iii) The insertion of the term blood libel may have been an accident by an inexperienced speechwriter, seeking to appeal to the religious heritage of the principal victim of the shootings Representative Giffords. Obviously, the words backfired. The speech was not properly tested.

With all of her supporters, and all of her advisers, this speech was obviously not focus-grouped in advance. That’s why and how the libel error slipped in.

Governor Palin, lock and load. The media have declared war on you. In the meantime, you need a new team of advisers. You won’t make it to the White House with writers that slipped the term “blood libel” into your remarks.

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ABOUT ANDY: Chicago Public Radio calls Andy Martin a “boisterous Internet activist.” Andy is the legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He promotes his best-selling book, “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [] and his Internet movie "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” []. Martin has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois for over forty years. He is currently sponsoring See also
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