“That is the safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become a Republican!”
In the light of this pig-ignorant comment coming out of Russell Brand, a so-called comedian at the recent MTV awards, some of you might be wondering if his opinion is shared by others in the UK.
Considering the incredibly biased coverage of the whole election by outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian, it is no wonder I encounter such ignorance about Gov. Palin. What is most appalling is the fact that many media outlets in the UK seem to be perfectly happy to repeat all the Daily Kos-spewed lies about her as if they were fact.
Comment pages online are filled with people repeating the various lies word for word. One finds oneself posting the link to the Palin debunk site.
It is not like they have to look very hard at her to work up a lather in their urban, patronizing minds. All the things that make Sarah Palin attractive to Middle America are the things that disgust the media establishment in the UK. In fact, they could not quite believe the outcry after Obama’s claim that Midwesterners cling to their “guns and God” when times are hard.
The media elite do not seem to allow for the fact that a presidential candidate is trying to get elected and that ignoring “normal” Americans in its vast middle is a really ineffective way to win. They are, needless to say, all aflutter about her hunting and fishing antics. The pictures of Gov. Palin with guns, whether in Iraq or otherwise, seem to drive them into a froth.
However, the most amusing meme going on in the UK press is the one that the selection of Palin by McCain is an affront to the world. It is best illustrated in a piece for the First Post by Peregrine Worsthorne, in which he opines:
Did he consult the allies? Of course not. For even with the little knowledge that was available to him he must have known all too well that her qualities and talents were strictly for local consumption, and almost provocatively off-putting for the rest of the free world.
This opinion has been expressed in other places like the Guardian in a similar way. It’s a bit of the opposite to the meme that the world demands that the U.S. elect Obama. There is a belief that this sort of rejoinder might actually move the American public to do what the BBC and the Guardian want.
Could anyone imagine the outcry if any American member of the media were to suggest that political parties in the UK need to consult with the American administration before picking their leader?
Mary Riddell had this to say on the announcement of Palin as the choice: “I find Palin’s God-and-guns fundamentalism terrifying.”
This is part of her editorial for the Daily Telegraph, a so-called right-of-center paper, which has been of late filled with mewing pieces about Obama. Vicki Woods, another one of their columnists, also added to the attacks on Palin with this column.
Now the trashing of Palin by the BBC, the Guardian, and the Independent is to be expected. The Guardian especially saw a complete piling on. There is a firm hint of racism from Sarah Wildman:
She talked about her army-bound son (deploying to Iraq, it was emphasized, on September 11), and her small-town roots. All of which were meant to outline real Americans — from the heartland, not the liberal coasts; from the small towns, not the cities. In other words, longtime Americans with deep roots and not recent immigrants, Americans who never have cause to doubt the American dream.
Her religion is a common theme of those who have a go at her.
This is the type of comment that keeps creeping up in comments sections, this time of the Independent in response to an admittedly rather fair piece:
After she starts her own inquisition of those of a different religious persuasion than her (or NO religion at all), burns/bans books like the good little Nazi she is, mandates HER creationism be taught in public schools, and hunts down and shoots all of the non-straight (or even the straight ones who do not follow her biblical “bedroom laws”) citizens of this country like just so many of the moose she’s bagged (all in the name of Jayzus, of course), etc., etc. WHAT’s NEXT on her agenda??
And it is not just Gov. Palin who gets trashed in the UK media. Alaska and her husband are coming in for vicious barbs as well, like this one:
Even the drunk-driving ticket he picked up when he was 22 just adds to his standing as a “true Alaskan.” Everybody drinks in Alaska.
Bucking the trend are people like Bruce Anderson, Janet Daley, and onetime sufferer of Obamaitis Dan Hannan. Bruce Anderson’s praise of Palin, like this, was met with vitriol in the comments:
She comes back from the wilderness to the checkout queue in one of the cheaper supermarkets, swapping stories about price increases with all the other housewives. Sarah Palin has a quality which will guarantee her a high place in politics. She is an extraordinary ordinary person. In old Europe, no one can understand her success. In America, her story has great political power. She is the most important vice-presidential candidate in American political history.
Heady stuff from the always-eloquent Mr. Anderson. Janet Daley has picked up on the Margaret Thatcher meme and uses it to defend Palin against some of the more vicious attacks on her character:
Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs. Palin is coming in for both barrels of left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery. Where Lady Thatcher was dismissed as a “grocer’s daughter” by people who called themselves egalitarian, Mrs. Palin is regarded as a small-town nobody by those who claim to represent “ordinary people.”
Dan Hannan, MEP (Con.), has this to say on his blog:
Mrs. Hannan — who, in an unpolitical way, is a much better conservative than I am — is especially enthusiastic about her, and has joined the growing band of people who have lost patience with my fondness for Obama.
And, of course, the Sun had to opine on such a momentous choice. Now one could argue that the fact that she is a rather attractive woman might have inspired such praise. But in times like these Palin must take it where she can get it:
She was an electrifying mix of passion, energy, optimism, and plain speaking. The exact opposite of the slippery, two-faced, depressing bunch of third-raters who parade on our Westminster stage.
The paper referred to her speech at the RNC in a headline as “the mother … of all speeches.” And they have managed to shy away from some of the saucier comments about her feminine attractions.
Overall, the vast majority of media coverage in the UK of Sarah Palin has been neutral sneering to downright nasty. One thing that has become apparent, again, is the complete inability to grasp the realities of American politics in the British media. They don’t seem to understand that politics in the U.S. are nothing like that in the UK or the rest of Europe. Like it or loathe it, nevertheless it is still a fact.