Friday, February 19, 2010
More and more people are catching on, even those who have professed no affinity for Governor Palin, like Jamie Weinstein. In "Palin vs. Edwards, a case study in media bias," Weinstein highlights the double standard the governor has had to deal with since entering the national scene. He does so by contrasting the way the media has treated her with the treatment John Edwards received. He states that the bias needs to be acknowledged, but even that's not enough. Following that acknowledgement, says Weinstein, it needs to be corrected.
And no comparison best illustrates the double standard the media has with Palin than how they treated another former vice-presidential nominee, Sen. John Edwards.
When in 2004 John Kerry picked Edwards, whose entire resume in public life at that point consisted of six years in the U.S. Senate, to be his vice-presidential nominee, few questioned whether Edwards was qualified for the post.
Search "Edwards is unqualified" in Lexis-Nexis from the time Edwards was tapped by Kerry through Election Day 2004, and you get 11 results. Do the same for Palin and you get 174 results - and the search period is nearly two months shorter for Palin, because she was picked by McCain much later in the 2008 election cycle.
We now definitively know just how much of a liar, cheat and phony John Edwards is. But if the media had been one half as interested in exposing Edwards as a fraud as they have been in excoriating Palin, perhaps it would not have taken the National Enquirer to discover the truth that has led to the downfall of a politician who had a very real chance of becoming President.
One of the media's favorite attacks against Palin revolves around her failure to tell Katie Couric what magazines and newspapers she regularly reads. The clumsy answer was an early flash point that led many to scoff that the Alaskan governor didn't read anything at all.
But guess who doesn't read very much either? That would be John Edwards, if you believe John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's new book "Game Change." According to their reporting, when a friend inquired if John Edwards read a particular tome, his wife, Elizabeth, apparently found the idea of her husband reading laugh-out-loud funny, saying, "Oh, he doesn't read books."
Yet this impression of her husband as an anti-intellectual "hick," as Elizabeth reportedly referred to him, never became a common undercurrent during his his 2004 campaign for vice president or his later run for President.
So why did Palin get painted so quickly as a bombastic dunce and Edwards escape without such a negative characterization?
It probably has to do with the fact that most members of the media bought Edwards persona. They liked his world-view.
Given his latest shenanigans, it is now clear just how terrible a pick Edwards was. Yet there is little question that the mainstream media had been far more critical of Palin than Edwards when the two were picked to run for the same post, albeit in different election cycles.Thats a bias that needs to be acknowleged, then corrected.
Read the full article here.