Saturday, February 5, 2011
(photo use courtesy of Ron Devito)
We'd all like to know what Governor Palin's 2012 intentions are. But is that any reason to write lies and misrepresent people? If you're The New York Times the answer is yes, apparently.
In an article entitled "Palin Keeps Position Clear and Intentions Vague," Jeff Zeleny takes on her speech last night at the Reagan 100th birthday celebration given by the Young America's Foundation. His article is mostly just a thinly veiled complaint that Governor Palin hasn't yet filled him in on what road she will take in 2012. His title alone bespeaks his real beef, but he gives several other indications (emphasis mine).
She did not, however, provide any fresh clues as to whether she will join the Republican fight to challenge President Obama or simply offer commentary from the sidelines.
Before arriving here on Friday, Ms. Palin has been unusually out of public view in recent weeks, stoking curiosity about her political intentions. But to an audience of conservative leaders, along with several top-shelf Republican contributors, she did little to suggest that she is preparing for a presidential campaign.
There is, of course, outsized curiosity surrounding Ms. Palin. And in recent weeks there has [been] growing frustration from many Republican activists that she is not making any obvious moves toward deciding whether to run.
Even though none of the prospective presidential contenders have formally declared their candidacies, there is a robust amount of behind-the-scenes activity under way, particularly in the courtship of advisers, activists and contributors. Yet Ms. Palin stands alone in her approach, employing an unorthodox style that offers few clues as to whether she plans to enter the race.
Deal with it, Zeleny. You will find out what the Governor's intentions are when she chooses to reveal them. And let's be honest: had she made some grand announcement, the title of your article would have been "Palin Usurps Reagan Centennial to Promote Her Own Ambitions." He then would have gone on to excoriate her for being so self-indulged that she failed to recognize that the night's event wasn't about her but about Ronald Reagan. Come on; you know I speak the truth.
While crying over having to wait to find out what every one of us wants to know, he somehow misses parts of her speech. He writes:
For Ms. Palin, a speech on Friday evening to a conservative group that gathered to pay tribute to President Reagan offered an opportunity to connect herself to the most iconic figure of the Republican Party. Yet she did not use the appearance — one of the highest-profile Republican platforms in months — to move beyond familiar criticism or attempt to prescribe a new or specific remedy for what she sees as missteps in the Obama administration.
Stacy Drakes succintly addresses this:
Mr. Zeleny either didn’t listen to the speech, or he has a problem identifying anything outside of a new government program as a “specific remedy.” Governor Palin offered many remedies to ills that face our nation. She mentioned domestic energy production, for one. She mentioned cutting corporate tax rates. She also talked about cutting government “back down to size,” and cutting overall spending. She discussed reforming entitlement programs, reducing over-burdensome regulations, and ending the cronyism that is corrupting our system. Perhaps Mr. Zeleny should listen to the speech again, or learn that not every solution comes by way of more bureaucracy.
Finally, Mr. Zeleny's day's work wouldn't be complete if he didn't promote the diva meme. He does so by criticizing Governor Palin for not stooping so low as to actually mingle with the guests who attended the Reagan Centennial. He's wrong, however. He incorrectly reports:
Presidential contenders, regardless of their celebrity, are put through a gauntlet of rituals that require a delicate air of patience as they deal with their admirers. Prospective candidates, particularly if they are courting supporters, routinely sit through dinners and mingle with guests. But in her case, Ms. Palin entered the room only for her speech and left immediately after.
The appearance here was marked by tight security and rigid rules, with guests admonished to stay in their seats when she arrived.
Too bad he is annoyed by the level of security, but with haters threatening her life as they do, he'll just have to get over that. As for not taking time to court supporters, either he wasn't paying attention or he's blatantly lying to his readers. Governor Palin agreed to participate in a photo shoot after the speech, and that is exactly what she did, posing with each guest. She may have left the room, but she did not leave the building. She spent time availing herself to the people who came to hear her, see her, and spend time with her. As always, she was gracious to all who were in attendance. Kate Obenshain, vice president of Young America's Foundation, announced the photo shoot immediately after the Governor's speech, so I'm not quite sure how Jeff Zeleny missed it. Of course, he most likely didn't miss it. It's just that reporting, "After speaking to the crowd on issues vital to the future of America and shaking hands with attendees, Governor Palin then spent over an hour posing with people" wouldn't have fit his narrative, now would it?
I wonder if The New York Times will correct the record. I doubt it, but maybe they'll surprise me.