Thursday, June 16, 2011

David Cohen: Some liberals finally start to feel Sarah Palin's pain

A journalist’s job is to find the smoking gun. The problem in this case was that there was no smoke.
Former Bush administration official David Cohen, is of the opinion that disgraced former Democrat Party vice presidential candidate and one time presidential hopeful John Edwards was only half right when he lamented that we have become two Americas. We are divided, not by class but by ideology. The America in which the corrupt legacy media resides is in Liberal America:
Liberals outnumber conservatives in journalism by about four to one, despite being outnumbered in the country as a whole by about two to one," It appears that the profession of journalism, which has become admirably more diverse over the years in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual preference, values every type of diversity but diversity of thought.
Thus the world of journalism has come to resemble that of Hollywood in terms of ideology. When a journalist who leans to the right is "outed" as holding conservative views, it is as much a surprise as when we learn that a Hollywood actor is a conservative. It is even more of a "bombshell," as Cohen observes, when a Hollywood liberal or two stands up against the excesses of their journalistic fellow travelers, but that's what happened as part of the fallout from the media's great email fishing expedition in Alaska:
The Sarah Palin email saga produced exactly one bombshell: The mainstream media actually managed to elicit sympathy for Sarah Palin from the showbiz elite. From Jon Stewart’s brilliant rant to the supportive tweets from Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Palin found defenders in quarters where she had previously found nothing but ridicule and scorn.


Any fair-minded person would be appalled at the media’s grotesque over-reach in this episode. The problem is that very few of us are fair-minded about people with whom we disagree politically. We all preach civility when it suits us, but almost exclusively to castigate our political opponents for their lack of civility. As for those on our side who launch personal attacks on the other side, well, those attacks don’t sound so bad to us because our guys are brilliant and witty and, by golly, they’re right on the underlying substance.

That’s why the recent expressions of sympathy for Palin by Stewart and others on the left is significant. Palin-haters, after all, routinely mock her as an idiot, call her the vilest of names (“dumb twat” was Bill Maher’s eloquent contribution to civil discourse), and even poke mean-spirited fun at Palin’s children — including her toddler with Down syndrome — as a way of attacking Palin. While the ugliest slurs against Palin have on rare occasions drawn grudging criticism from the left, the typical liberal reaction to anti-Palin vitriol is a polite rewording of “the bitch deserved it.”

It really was a breakthrough, then, for the likes of Jon Stewart to be able to recognize that certain behavior can cross the line — even when it’s directed at Sarah Palin. Will partisans on the left and the right now be better able to feel each other’s pain? Not likely. But it’s strange to think that for one brief shining moment, Sarah Palin — that most polarizing figure in American politics — helped bring us all just a little closer together.

We disagree with Cohen on one point. The most polarizing figure in American politics can be found in the White House, when he's not on the golf course or jetting away on Air Force One for one of the ten vacations he seems to need every year. The basic theme of the Barack Obama for President campaign was to bring Americans together around the common values of liberty, equality and justice for all people - the original promise of the USA. How did that work out for us?

- JP

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