Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Media digs claws into Sarah Palin

UK media has slated the vice-presidential candidate

Sarah Palin remains under a media spotlight as her crucial speech at the Republican convention approaches. From the moment Republican presidential candidate John McCain named her as his running mate the debate begun as to whether he had made a good choice. On CNN’s The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty said he questioned McCain’s judgement and added that he may have handed the Democrats the election. And this was before revelations that Sarah Palin’s unmarried daughter was pregnant. Attention also turned to the father of the baby, Levi Johnston, who described himself on his My Space webpage as a “f***ing redneck”. This was picked up by several British newspapers who emblazoned the details on their front pages. The Daily Express ran with the headline “The Vice Presidential Candidate, her pregnant teenage daughter and the redneck boyfriend” while the Daily Telegraph said the “Daughter’s ‘redneck’ boyfriend adds to Palin’s campaign woes”. It can’t be a comfortable ride for McCain as one salacious story after another emerges. And already some are looking for the beauty queen photos!

The Guardian, another British paper, revealed today that Palin had been involved with a party calling for an independent Alaska. Already a video has emerged on You Tube which clearly shows her calling for change and a “self sufficient state” while wishing all at the Alaska Independence Party convention good luck. This is despite denials by Palin that she belonged to the party. The AIP message “One Alaska” is in the direct contrast to the Republican slogan of “One Country”. Other revelations that have emerged about Palin is that she attempted to ban books from a public library, something that also sits uncomfortably in a country that promotes and celebrates free speech. All these stories are fuelling the tabloids who have accused her of being unable to control her children and of having more than just a few skeletons in her closet.

On Channel Four News, Jon Snow described McCain’s announcement as being “like a grenade with the pin removed”. Tonight’s address will be closely watched and picked apart by journalists across the US and here in Britain looking for further explosive material to plaster on their front pages in the coming days. McCain’s decision to choose Palin has certainly grabbed media attention, but perhaps not the kind of attention he expected.

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