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Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

In a League of Her Own, Palin Swings Away at Couric, Fey and Kennedy

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on February 8, 2009

New York Times 

January 13, 2009


In a League of Her Own, Palin Swings Away at Couric, Fey and Kennedy



A modern film version of “The Women,” Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play about class distinctions and resentments, came and went in New York a few months ago, leaving a trail of unflattering newspaper reviews.

Now we have a real-life update involving some of the city’s most prominent women: Caroline Kennedy, Katie Couric and Tina Fey. A central role is played by an outlander named Sarah Palin. Somehow, we suspect that the critics would be equally underwhelmed.

If you happened to be preoccupied over the weekend with lesser matters — war in the Middle East, the crumbling economy, the New York Giants’ collapse — you may have missed clips from an interview with Ms. Palin that made their way to YouTube. No one can accuse her of going gentle into that good Arctic night now that she is back on her regular job as Alaska’s governor.

Ms. Palin talked last week with a conservative filmmaker, John Ziegler, about bias that she perceives in the news media. She seems convinced that it explains why her campaign as Senator John McCain’s running mate failed. She bristled with resentment, some of it rooted in what she saw as class-based favoritism. This is where Caroline Kennedy comes in.

Ms. Kennedy, of course, has offered herself as a replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton once Mrs. Clinton gives up her Senate seat to become secretary of state. Senate hearings on the State Department appointment are scheduled to begin Tuesday. Short of Mrs. Clinton’s testifying that she really did run a serpentine course to avoid that nonexistent sniper fire in Bosnia, she is probably a shoo-in for confirmation.

It means that Decision Day on picking a successor is fast approaching for Gov. David A. Paterson. No name on his list looms larger than Ms. Kennedy’s.

Enter Ms. Palin. She was asked if she thought that a news media “class bias” had created a double standard in how she and Ms. Kennedy were being treated.

“I’ve been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope also,” the governor replied. “It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out. And I think that as we watch that, we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.”

Let’s leave aside an obvious difference between the women. One is looking to become a backbencher in a 100-member club. The other wanted to be the proverbial heartbeat away from controlling America’s nuclear launch codes.

Sticking to the class issue, it’s hard to imagine that the born-to-privilege Ms. Kennedy feels that she has received kid-glove treatment from reporters. Her qualifications for the Senate have been sharply questioned. And she has been pounded, you betcha, for the scores of “you knows” that rendered her inarticulate in recent interviews. To rework a line used by The Daily News in a different context years ago, it seems that with Ms. Kennedy, the syntax of the father has not been visited upon the child.

THAT Ms. Palin was unaware of the Kennedy coverage makes one wonder how she gets her information. Articles about Ms. Kennedy’s stumbles had circulated for a week before the Ziegler interview. What newspapers and magazines does she read?

Hold on. Isn’t that what Katie Couric asked in her CBS interview with Ms. Palin during the campaign? It was a softball question, hardly a gotcha moment. But the governor turned this, too, into a class issue. “To me,” she said, “the question was more along the lines of, ‘Do you read? What do you guys do up there?’ ”

She gave Ms. Couric the back of her hand. “Katie,” she said, “you’re not the center of everybody’s universe.” You almost could hear those words coming from one of Clare Boothe Luce’s characters.

Ms. Palin was similarly peevish about Tina Fey’s impersonations of her on “Saturday Night Live.” There was “some, perhaps, exploiting, that was done via me, my family, my administration,” she said. Yet she was more than happy to have done some, perhaps, exploiting of her own. She did, after all, do a star turn on what she referred to familiarly as “S.N.L.”

All this brings to mind another women-focused film, “A League of Their Own,” about female baseball players during World War II. In it, the team manager played by Tom Hanks chews out a fumbling player so harshly that she is reduced to tears. “Are you crying?” he asks in outrage. “There’s no crying in baseball.”

He might well have added as a corollary: “Are you whining? There’s no whining in politics.”

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