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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Snark? or just Stupid?

This is a follow-up observation to this clip, but it's something I thought about after I had already posted. Does it seem to anyone else like Sarah Palin has a really big chip on her shoulder? She is completely snarky when asked why she had never left the country before, getting defensive that well, she had to work for a living, she didn't have parents that handed her a passport and a backback! Then when asked what newspapers she reads, and can't answer, she later acts like it's an insult, "oh, what, you're saying that Alaskans don't read newspapers?" Huh? Seems to me she immediately jumps on the snark to avoid the having to explain herself, her choices and especially her flubs. Yeah, she'll be a great leader, able to work with those with vastly different (and sometimes maddeningly different) cultural values, since she can't even keep her calm? These interviews have been opportunities for her to quell the criticisms already being made of her with well thought-out responses. Instead, she got snarky, acted stupid, then got snarky again while being "interviewed" about the interview by Faux News.

Answering the question of what newspapers you read is not insulting in any way. You don't think journalists of all people are going to ask that sort of question? It seems to me it wasn't a political question at all, but more of a flavor question. People want to know more about Sarah Palin. Does she sit down and read the NYT/WaPo/WSJ every morning with her latte and biscotti, or does she get her news from cable television or the internet? Journalists certainly asked Bill Clinton what he read. They even asked Dubya what he reads (I believe the answer was "the funnies"). But I guess if you ask that of Sarah Palin, it's sexist, classist, elitist, insulting to the state of Alaska which she apparently feels gets an unfair shake reputation-wise by the continental 48***, and deflective of what Katie should be asking Palin, which is how she feels about someone else's tax plan (rather than her own candidate's tax plan), or someone else's comments to the media. Anyway, Palin has blamed Katie Couric and brought into question her (and Charles Gibson's) journalistic integrity. This pisses me off the more I think about it.

I know it's just something small, but it really bugs me. How a political leader carries him or herself is extremely important in relations with other countries. Sigh. Constantly blaming others for your own ineptitude is not a good reputation-builder.

You know what I would have respected in the follow-up interview with Faux News? If she would have said something along the lines of: "Doggonit, I know that interview wasn't good. Not being in national politics before, I'm just not used to these types of interviews. I was expecting the hard-hitting questions about our ticket's policies, that's what I had prepared for, but instead, I ended up getting flustered during easy questions of a more personal nature, because I just didn't expect them. I was nervous. All politicians get nervous, they all have bad interviews from time to time, especially in the beginning when they're just learning to play the game. The more comfortable I get with interviews, the better I will be at answering questions I'm not expecting, and letting the American people get to know me and what I stand for. You betcha."

And you know what? I would accept that. I can only imagine what a blathering idiot I would sound like, if I were sitting down talking to Katie Couric on national television. Considering how many times I've sounded like a blathering idiot while in class because I got called on, got nervous, and wasn't expecting the question, I can totally relate. But that isn't the professor's fault for, you know, doing his or her job. It's my fault, for blathering like an idiot, because much like Palin, I'm supposed to be prepared for any question thrown at me. Only, me sounding like an idiot doesn't actually matter, because I'm not the one running for Vice President of the United States. (President of the International Law Society at Mediocre Law School can sound like an idiot all she wants, thank you! You betcha!)

*** Sidebar on this point... I'm from a southern state which has a rather redneck reputation among our northern neighbors, including one that we don't actually wear shoes. Seriously, in high school, some people who we went on a class trip with from another state, expressed concern that we wouldn't be wearing shoes. (Yes, we wear shoes.) Sarah Palin's indignation that a journalist is implying they don't get newspapers in Alaska because she was asked what papers she reads, is as stupid as me getting upset that someone asked what brand of running shoes I wear. And no, my answer is not "all of them."

1 comment:

LL said...

Once again, totally nodding along to what you're writing and wanting to copy and paste it into my blog.