Today on its Web site and in its printed version, the Chicago
Tribune reported on the large crowds greeting former Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin on her book tour. More than a thousand enthusiastic admirers greeted
her Wednesday in Grand Rapids. Another thousand were
in line at 7:00 a.m. today for a book signing scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
in Noblesville, Indiana. Hundreds more gathered in line hours ahead of
her appearance at a Ft. Wayne Meijer store.
The vision of Sarah Palin being cheered by so many common people in
such common towns as Grand Rapids and Ft. Wayne and in such common
venues as a Meijer store must be just too much for the deep thinkers at
the Chicago Tribune. Palin Derangement Syndrome kicked in. Bad. They
had to provide their own version of what's happening.
"All this rightist hoopla is all so predictable," writes
the newspaper's former national editor, Charles Madigan. In the first
part of the piece he decries criticism of Barack Obama's how low can
you go bow to Japan's emperor and anti-Obama sentiment from the right:
Their congressional caucus, their blurting mouthpieces,
their nattering nabobs of neocon nonsense, their Limbeckians (sounds
like Jonathan Swift, doesn't it?) their addled and confused tea
baggers, their Michelle Backmanians, they are all coming from the same
place, a losers fantasyland where there is no reality other than what
Then he moves specifically onto Palin, who "will make a whole fishing trawler full of money from her book." He ends:
Palin's following will gobble up her book and it will
become as much a bible as that King James version, Sarah's version of
what happened. They will love her forever. She will become a talk show
host where she will also blast Obama for bowing before foreign powers
and being a closet socialist.
That part of America has become so predictable, it's hardly worth
paying much attention as it continues shouting, primarily to itself.
Then we have the PDS symptoms exhibited by columnist Steve Chapman in "Sarah Palin and the conservative descent." He didn't care much for the book:
But the priorities of "Going Rogue" are striking poses
and attitudes, not making actual arguments about the proper role of
government. The book is meant to create an image, or maybe a brand --
folksy but shrewd, tough but feminine, noble but beset by weaklings and
traitors, ever-smiling unless you awaken her inner "Mama Grizzly Bear"
by scrutinizing her loved ones. No one could be more pleased with her
than she is with herself. Reading the book is like watching Palin preen
in front of a mirror for hours as she tirelessly compliments herself
for courage, gumption, devotion to family and maverick independence.
Sarah Palin just doesn't have the requisite "gravitas" apparently. But he can think of someone who does:
You could almost forget that for well over a year,
Republicans have ridiculed Barack Obama as lighter than a souffle, an
inexperienced upstart who owes everything to arrogant presumption and a
carefully crafted image. But Obama wrote a 375-page book, "The Audacity
of Hope," that shows a solid, and occasionally tedious, grasp of
It is hard to imagine Palin (as opposed to a ghostwriter) producing
anything comparable. Almost as hard as it is to imagine that modern
conservatives would expect it.
Leaders who can think? That's so 20th century.
Today's Tribune also includes
a Sarah Palin paper doll. One reader's reaction: "I bet a lot of the
editorial writers at the Trib would LOVE a Palin BLOW UP DOLL better!"
These are dark days in much of the mainstream media. Despite the
most adamant admonitions from the superior people in the press, those
common people in their common communities persist in liking and
trusting Sarah Palin. So when the news is bad, as it is today, the
only thing they can do is provide "balance" by slamming her elsewhere
in their pages.
They can assert that Palin's America is "hardly worth paying much attention," yet they simply can't stop obsessing on it.