Palin's Tanning Bed: The Evolution of a Story

By Al Giordano

Bill Conroy and I have filed a new story on Narco News: Palin's Private Tanning Bed in the Alaska Governor's Mansion.

The investigation began as the result of a comment posted here by a reader (you know who you are; uncloak if you like and share the credit!), a comment I didn't approve because it made a rather fantastic claim: that one of the first things Governor Sarah Palin did upon taking office was to have a tanning bed installed in the Governor's Mansion for her use.

Given, it's not as big a deal as her policy positions and other mighty matters, but it offers a new piece of hard information about the nominee that nobody knows: Who would of thought that for all the hype about hunting and fishing and outdoorsy-ness, the governor is really a pioneer of the Great Indoors?

Still, we had to make sure the story was true and backed up by the facts. Too many bloggers - upon receipt of that tip - would have posted it, probably even exaggerated it, only to have a claim backfire if the facts behind it couldn't be readily documented. We've seen that dynamic at work too much in the past two weeks.

And so we worked the phones, researched, developed and talked to sources in Alaska and found that not only is the tanning bed story true, but by pulling at that thread it lead to others about authenticity, ethics, energy conservation, public health policy and who this person really is.

It's a small thing - sort of like that $400 haircut that chipped away at the credibility of a previous aspirant to national office - but from small matters sometimes come bigger truths.

Anyway, you get to be among the first to read it. Let us know what you think.

Update: A reader popped this into my mailbox overnight, the text of a May 2007 proclamation by Governor Palin declaring it "Skin Cancer Awareness Month." The parts relevant to this story are in bold:

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world and its incidence is increasing at the highest rate of any type of cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 1.3 million new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. Melanoma-the deadliest form of skin cancer-kills one person every hour in the United States and is the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women ages 25-45 and second most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among men of this age group. Skin cancer is caused, overwhelmingly, by over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and from tanning beds. It is largely preventable. In fact, 95percent of skin cancers are preventable if we properly protect ourselves from UV rays. Eighty percent of one's lifetime sun damage occurs before age 18. It is imperative that we instill sun safety behavior among our children at an early age and thus incorporate sun safety education in our public educational system. The Cancer Crusaders Organization, an award-winning nonprofit skin cancer education facility and the proud home of the National Skin Cancer Awareness Symbol, strongly urges all Americans to become proactively engaged in efforts to protect children and young adults from this common, yet preventable, disease.

The Organization further asks for the enthusiastic and proactive support of our educators, health professionals and leaders to support initiatives and other such efforts to encourage sun-safe practices among our community, and thereby significantly reduce skin cancer incidence and mortality throughout the United States and thus improve the overall quality of life.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim May 2007, as:

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

in Alaska, and urge all Alaskans to become proactively engaged in efforts to protect our children and young adults from this common, yet preventable disease.

Dated: May 4, 2007

Printed on 8/29/08 at 6:40:28 PM by 69.178.10.29

Note the time stamp at bottom: this was posted to the Alaska governor's web page on August 29 of this year - the day McCain announced Palin would be his vice presidential pick - more than 15 months after it happened, as part of an eleventh hour attempt to flesh out the governor's online resume. Interesting.

Update II: The Anchorage Daily News picks up our story:

Does Gov. Palin really have a tanning bed in the mansion? We don't know for sure, but take a look at this report from The Narco News Bulletin...

In fact, it came to our attention that there was a mention of the Governor's tanning bed in the same Anchorage newspaper's political gossip column, "The Ear," back in 2007:

"Ear has a copy of a work order for installation of a tanning bed at the Governor's Mansion. No, darlings, we didn't pay for it, the Gov's office assures Ear. Sarah bought it, used, as a gift for her daughters, they say. We are told electricians had to fiddle with outlets to make sure it runs properly."

Don't they read their own newspaper? That one flew under everybody's radar.

We sent written questions this morning to Roger Wetherell inquiring about the press release ("Skin Cancer Awareness Week") above, and also about that 2007 Anchorage Daily News item (specifically asking whether the Governor permits minors-of-age to use the tanning bed, as the newspaper reported; something that medical professionals and organizations, in our story, warn against, and a practice some call to ban).

Mr. Wetherell replied:

"You will need to obtain those specifics from the governor's press staff."

Oh, snap!

Comments

Read it already. Good job.

Happened to see the story when I checked for "recent posts" (the advantages of site membership!)

Good research, and thanks for the object lesson in what to do with a hot tip. The bit about getting off the fone asap made for a fun 'read between the lines' item.

(as an aside: Clientele is how the word should be spelled. I think you have it currently as cliental)

It adds to the NYTimes story about her governing style. There's another story about her mayor-times I haven't read. But also good in this time when ANY reporting is good b/c we all know so little.

re pregnancy

Al a place to go with this is to a physician or tanning salon to see if they warn pregnant women from using them. I personally after reading many research books on the affects of high and low frequency electrical wave interference with brain function and cell development would be very leary of using tanning beds with a woman carryign a fetus. well, see what you can find. of course Sarah's recent baby had dvelopment problems.

MSM backlash

I catched a glimpse of a long segment called "Sarah Palin Revealed" on CNN tonight that was negatively chronicling her time as mayor and Governor.  And some of the late night talk shows pounced on the foreign policy flubs she made during the Gibson interview.  The honeymoon with Sarah Palin is coming to an end and the post-RNC bounce has started to recede.

lol

love it

 

keep at it.  I DUGG it, and hope everyone else does too

aren't there special lights that can be used for SAD?

Why use a tanning bed for that purpose? I can definitely understand that some people might need special lights to help deal with seasonal affective disorder in Alaska. My mom worked in Anchorage for a couple of years (several decades ago) and she found it very difficult to get used to the very short winter days (sunrise at morning coffee break, sunset at afternoon coffee break!). But why use a tanning bed for this purpose? I noticed that point came up a couple of times in the story as people were trying to spin the whole thing but I thought it was pretty weak!

Who knows, maybe this will become a big story but I found it most useful as an illustration of the process of journalism.

Can we get this to Keith O? Are you cross posting at Kos?

What can I say? WOW! She really is Britney Spears.

On a side not and I'm sure you have heard, the banks are imploding and tomorrow the market will fall! September 15, 2008 is the official day that McCain and the Republicans will lose this election-and with stories such as this piling up around them, Americans will be forced to see the truth.

Dugg it

Digg it: 

http://digg.com/politics/Palin_s_Private_Tanning_Bed_in_the_Alaska_Gover...

And not to diminish Al and Bill's work, but I also sent a link to Wonkette because I usually appreciate their "take" on such issues.

Excellent investigative

Excellent investigative journalism, Al and Bill.

 

Please don't cross post it anywhere (I will post links to it with an excerpt in some places) this story will get around,  make 'em go to narconews to read it, they might read something else too (and learn something),  while stopping by to read the Palin piece.

From Little Things Big Things Grow

Al, your final phrase reminded me about how central to this whole campaign and movement are the little things that we too often forget or discount. 

In honor of all the little things that are growing into truly marvelous "big things," I encourage everyone to check out the following videos of Paul Kelly and Vincent Lingiari's classic song about the beginnings of the Native Title movement in Australia. 

* From the 2006 Make Poverty History concerts. 

* From the 2007 Live Earth concerts. (Yes, seriousness about the environment remains the touchstone of this campaign and movement.)

* The GetUpMob's remix commemorating Australia's transformative election of Kevin Rudd, which led to the extraordinary 2008 Australian Sorry Day and Official state apology for the Stolen Generations and Australia's racist policies towards Aborigines. This video is seemingly influenced by will.i.am's great Obama video remix. 

The point is that we don't know WHAT the little thing is that will bring the Change We Need. What we do know is that in the same way that Australia was welcomed back into the communion of responsible and serious nations after the fall of the absurdist Howard regime, so to will the USA be welcomed back into this communion of nations with the election of Barack Obama. 

a small correction

Palin took office on Dec. 4, 2006 (odd yes, but that's the date), not early 2007.

Interesting, also because of McCain's incidences of skin cancer

It's my inderstanding that tanning beds are just as bad as far as skin cancer is concerned.  BTW, help make the medical drs. video (urging McCain to release hsi medical records) go viral!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvesa49zSIM

Also, did Gov. Palin not spend most of her time away from the mansion, for which she claimed the per diem intended for travel?! 

Daily Kos

I wrote a diary linking to this story on DailyKos.  Mixed reaction from the crowd over there (whose political instincts seem wrong from A to Z, but I love the place still, alas).  

In anycase, this is exactly the kind of mocking, nonsense that Republicans use to take down Democrats, especially populist Democrats.  

Remember John Kerry botoxing and windsurfing?

That's just one example (and not meant to imply that Kerry was a populist), but I love the story and think it could very well tarnish her "small town" image.

Al - did the bed use taxpayer money?

Just a quick question - if this bed used taxpayer money, then it's an even bigger issue.

 

I was wondering why you hadn't posted much over the weekend; now I know why. Great work -  you must have spent literally hours on this story - you are a true journalist, and this revelation is going to last (unlike the DKos strategy of flinging random stuff at a wall and see what sticks).

 

Oh, by the way - there's a hilarious anti-Chicken Little diary posted over there right now, and you're mentioned at the end. Field Hands in need of some humor might want to take a look (I thought it was really clever/funny):

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/15/02310/7200

 

 

 

You just never know

...what might stick.  Thanks for doing honest work on it so we know it's true - assuming people care anymore.

 

Regarding the financial markets, this is getting to be pretty scary.  The whole thing is about ready to implode and who knows what all the fallout will be.  In relation to the election, I actually am not so sure this will steer people to the Dem candidate.  Yes, the Repubs have done a spectacular job of not regulating these markets but my gut feel is that people will turn to who they know in a time of crisis.  Could be bad all around.  We shall see.

Please read the story

Blue_SD: We don't know who paid for it (but there is an official on record confirming that new electrical wiring was paid for by the state).

We have to be very strict adhering to documented facts on this one. Please swat down anyone that tries to make bigger claims than those documented by the story. The story will shake the trees and more info will fall.

Thanks, Al - I was confused by that

I was confused at the fact that the official's claim that the state paid for the wiring, but not the bed. But now that I think about it, I guess it is somewhat probable that Palin could have used her own salary to pay for the bed and the state upgraded the wiring so problems would not occur.

In any event, this story is going to be very big, very soon. I wonder if Palin's tax returns would have any insight on this tanning bed. But she hasn't released them, so it's a moot point.

Given that she billed the state of Alaska for staying at home, it wouldn't surprise me if she paid for this bed on their dime, too. But we should wait until more facts come out.

I'm all for banning Ted

(Stevens, that is)

Sorry, but I don't think this will help.

I'm sorry, Al, but I don't see how this story is helpful.  I thought the point was to stay away from Palin altogether and focus on McCain--how does this, looking at whether or not she bought a used tanning bed, accomplish that goal?  Why wouldn't this entirely play into a. a campaign about image, not issues, which Obama is bound to lose, and b. the ridiculous but dangerously attractive theory that the media is out to "get" Palin?  I understand the haircut analogy, but in Edwards' case he already had the "trial lawyer" anchor around his neck.  People were predisposed to dislike him, while they are (unreasonable as it may be) predisposed to like a hockey mom with five kids, one with Down Syndrome; this just feels like piling on.

In my opinion, we'd be a lot better off focusing on McCain and leaving the tanning beds and moose hunting to National Enquirer.  Let Palin fade (pardon the unfortunate reference given the article's context) into the background; save the big stories for the top of the ticket.

Just my two cents.

It might not be

Greg - It's entirely possible that you're right. This story - as it says in the text and as I say here - is not the most important matter out there. "Stipulated" is the word we use in the story.

That said, I can tell you that this story is 100 percent documented, and carefully so, and therefore won't backfire.

On the other hand, it is also possible that it will spread like a media virus in interesting ways, and shake the trees on some of the other matters it touches upon. We'll see.

The story doesn't attempt to demonize its subject, or call her a bad person, or attack her character or her family: it simply brings out a new piece of factual information that helps flesh out a more informed picture of America's newest celebrity.

Okay.

Fair enough, Al.  It's obviously something which reflects bad judgement by Palin on all sorts of levels, as you point out, but the media is starting to get those examples of her lies, lack of knowledge and intellectual curiosity, etc. out there anyway.  I just have this image of someone reading this story and thinking "come on, who the hell cares whether or not she bought a used tanning bed?" and tuning out future legitimate attacks on Palin's record as a result.  And I still think an election about Palin is a loser for Obama--he's running against McCain, and needs to keep the focus there.  But if you think this isn't likely to backfire, I guess it can't hurt.

Of course, from Palin's point of view, who needs to go to any other country when you've got a tanning bed?  Makes the whole need for a passport sort of moot, since we only travel for tans anyway.

/lackofintellectualinterestoff

Tanning Bed Al?

I respect you Al.  I come here during the day at work to check for sound information about progressive issues and ways in which you view the campaign of our soon to be next President of the United States, Barack Obama.  I think this story is kind of cheezy to report and far below the pedestal that I place you on good judgement.  It would kind of be like reporting that Obama is going to remove the bowling alley in the WH and exchange it for a basketball court.  I don't think this is so news worthy.  Just my opinion.

Good save

The last two paragraphs saved the article for me.  It doesn't strike me as an analog to the $400 haircut, though.  Palin's not running as a blue-collar hero; she's a hockey mom, proud to be living the American dream.  She's certainly into her own looks, which have obviously been a big factor in her popularity, including the girl-love of regular women.  Not that I'm a bitter faded middle-aged woman or anything...

Laura, I've become very familiar with light therapy, and yes, it works fabulously for SAD.  However, tanning beds are not considered to be any substitute for bright light therapy, which uses a brighter light and doesn't emit UV rays.  Dawn simulators start at around $50, and light boxes start at $150, but that's a whole lot less than a tanning bed, no matter how well used it was.

Similar to McCain Houses Story

You can start hearing "Do you have tanning bed in your house".

This story can enforce the "Out of touch" story line.  

Thumbs up on this post & the article

I am of those who believe Presidents and Veeps have to be held to a higher standard.  None will achieve being beyond reproach, but they have to at least look like they're trying to lead by example.  I mean, my goodness, the likes of Brit-Brit and Paris switched to safe, healthy spray tans long ago.

I agree with Al that there is bound to be more where this came from (proverbial tip of the Alaskan iceberg).

Saw "Baked Alaskan" in a comment on DKos, I think. Could make great late-night comedy fodder (imagine a pitbull on a tanning bed).

By the way, that pic of McCain on the cover of Newsweek was just hilarious--What is with that "Ain't I Precious" pose? LOL

A lot of ink has been spilled on Obama's former tobacco habit; turnabout is fair play.  Having an occasional smoke is normal; Installing a private tanning bed in your mansion--not so much. 

I'll be checking for updates.

 

 

 

Si somos americanos, seremos buenos vecinos;
compartiremos el trigo,seremos buenos hermanos --
canción de Rolando Alarcón

Todos somos americanos.-- Barack Obama

Appreciate the article, Al

Good work.  And it reassures me a tad from concerns I've had about your total emphasis here on voter registration, foot work, etc.  While you've educated me a good deal on that subject (after 40 years of political activism), my gut has been telling me that ignoring/greatly minimizing the media impact may not be such a safe/certain strategy to winning -- especially when the stakes are this high.

I see in your tanning bed story what you do and I hope it spreads far and wide.  She's quite the quintessential Republican and it is showing in dozens of ways.  Maybe this will be a way that connects with people.  As you point out, Edwards' hair cuts certainly did (actually for me it was the giant house with the built in school-yard size gym, or something like that, and Elizabeth's response of "Oh well, people know we've done well/made money". Phony shows.  Often in odd ways, but it shows. 

comment to September 15, 2008 - 12:32 am by henry dribble

Henry,

the baby has Downs syndrome. This is a wrong set of chromosomes (an additional Nr. 21), which happens during production of the germ cells - deep inside the body and well out of reach of the UV rays (it could even be the fathers sperm cell that carried the additional chromosome). So these tanning speculations are baseless.

If you want to speculate, you can point out that UV increases skin cancer incidence considerably.

Good story!

It is so completely not on the issues, but obviously we need to craft images. If Palin has a compelling public persona, not many people listen to the issues. So it is imperative that the outdoorsy, fight agains Washington corruption, hockey mom image gets corrections. The difference to the Republicans is that we stick to the truth - that is a large enough difference. So I think it is a good idea to send such stories out in the world to fend for themselves. Also, as Al says, maybe other fish can be caught this way.

Very interesting article.

Very interesting article. Thanks for providing more insight into just who the Palins are.

Just a couple spelling corrections:

"Who would of thought that for all the hype about hunting and fishing and outdoorsy-ness..."

"of" should be "have."

" by pulling at that thread it lead to others about..."

"lead" should be "led."

Sarah Palin's sister in law

I think Sarah Palin's sister in law owns a beauty parlour, although I read this on wonkette so take this with a grain of salt.

http://wonkette.com/402676/sarah-palin-even-lies-about-lipstick-maybe

 

To me what this does

It works well with the Gibson interview.

 

It can stick because now the meme about her is that she lacks substance and people don't associate tanning booths inside the home with substance.

 

McCain is reckless and out of touch and Palin is without any sort of substance.  Reinforcing how reckless and out of touch McCain is for choosing her.

A phonebanker's observations

I found this over at DKos today --

Short version:  People are scared about the economy.  They want solutions.

Attacking Palin won't get votes, but talking about Obama's plans will:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/14/142735/867/447/598584

 

vanity vs. acceptable behavior

My first reaction to things tells me a lot about my unexamined prejudices and biases. Edwards' $400 haircut and Kerry's botox strike me as expressions of vanity and excess only because they are male. Palin's tanning bed doesn't seem like a big deal b/c women are expected to put money into their appearance.

Protests at hospital on abortion

Good catch, but what I think would be more persuasive is telling me people about her involvement in anti-choice protests - and telling them that she opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest.

On the protests, see:

In 1996, evangelical churches mounted a vigorous campaign to take over the local hospital's community board and ban abortion from the valley. When they succeeded, Bess and Dr. Susan Lemagie, a Palmer OB-GYN, fought back, filing suit on behalf of a local woman who had been forced to travel to Seattle for an abortion. The case was finally decided by the Alaska Supreme Court, which ruled that the hospital must provide valley women with the abortion option.

At one point during the hospital battle, passions ran so hot that local antiabortion activists organized a boisterous picket line outside Dr. Lemagie's office, in an unassuming professional building across from Palmer's Little League field. According to Bess and another community activist, among the protesters trying to disrupt the physician's practice that day was Sarah Palin.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/15/bess/print.html

Truth hurts

The problem with the $400 haircut wasn't that the MSM reported it, the problem was that it was true. It was true and hurt our guy. Now, was it enough to disqualify him (then)? No. Was it a big misstep that allowed his opponents to open the crack in his facade a bit wider? Yes. 

The real question is, will the gutless MSM report this?

Palin's Tanning Bed

It's an excellent example of her bad judgment to have a tanning bed in a home with teen girls. Teen girls are especially vulnerable to the temptation to use tanning beds, and tanning bed usage before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%. Yikes. Makes me wonder if Willow and Bristol are allowed to use it. If not, how does anyone know if they sneak some radiation? It just seems insensitive to be a mom tanning in the bed while telling the girls they can't. Why get one if it's not good for the girls? All this stuff is relavent to the supermom question. Like, what kind of mom puts one of these in the house with 2 teen girls? Anyone who argues it's not fair to judge her parenting style is wrong. She's running on her mom status, and she's running for VP. This makes lots of stuff relevant.

Here's a great pitch to the undecided moderate/conservative: pregnant teens, special needs babies, and tanning beds in the home all require a highly available and engaged mom. Does Palin really have time to run the country when/if  McCain dies?

Rape Kits

Will you cover the rape kit story?  I am amazed its not covered more.  Joe Biden lead the way to make sure no woman anywhere in the US would have to pay for their own rape kit.  Palin, apparently, is for women having to pay their own rape kits and saved the tax payers of Wasilla thousands of dollars.  She is definitely NOT for women!

 

Joe Biden worked to take federal funding away from states who made women pay for their own rape kits.  This woman only shares an "X" chromosome with Hilary Clinton and nothing more!

tanning bed

Al, Just mentioned to my wife that Palin had a tanning bed installed in governors mansion.Her immediate reaction "sounds like Edwards 400 dollar haircut" I think a story like this says alot ,especially to women .It certainly will tarnish her "image"

no good - wait- good

My first thought was, "Big deal, so what?"  The same as several other posters above.

 

Then I realized something very important.  Most of us are really into p[olitics, particularly issues and how the candidates approach them.  Things like Edwards" haircut or a tanning bed or arugula or even, to some degree seven houses, aren't really relevant to us.

 

But we are not the people who will ultimately decide the election.  It is the people who aren't into politics and issues, who make their decisions on more visceral things, that will decide.  And this can, to many of those, effect their image of Palin.  And the more Palin loses support, the more the light is cast back onto McCain.

 

McCain is where he is for only one reason, Palin.  So yes, although hardly a big thing, as far as the real world is concerned, this tannign bed story can have an impact.

I have to say

I would never think this would amount to anything in the MSM, but then again, I wouldn't have blinked at a $400 haircut by a top politician. It seems... normal?

However, the way the working class becomes so disgusted by eliteism, who knows how this will play out - if at all.

Then again, with the high school and college kids "tanorexia" epidemic, perhaps this is just the kind of story she needs to pull away Obama votes into her corner. "Ugh I'm like totally super jealous! I wish I had one! Sarah Palin is like SO cool!"

The fickle minds...

 

 

 

Not sure

this is going to be a very important issue.  Our entire financial system is flailing and failing this morning.  I really think we need to focus on the economy.  I can see the tanning bed thing being used as a distraction just like the lipstick.  I want to talk about the economy not distractions.  Didn't one of McCain's advisors say the "crisis was over" just two days ago?  Didn't they say we are a nation of "exaggerators"?  It appears it was not an exaggeration, Lehman and Merrill Lynch don't freakin' exist anymore and AIG is begging for help.  WAMU is also in imminent danger...This is what we need to hit them on, not tanning beds...Just my opinion and I rarely disagree with Al BTW.

$10,000 vs. $400,000?

A $10,000 tanning bed? I can hear the pro-Palin females, young and old: "You go girl." Not, however, those brilliant, beautiful, articulate Alaskan women who rallied this weekend to say Palin doesn't speak for them. They planned so well and had ground rules everyone on this blog ought to read.

I don't give a rat's ass if someone wants to burn themselves up in a tanning bed; stupid is as stupid does.

But I do care that Palin spent $400,000 just to fund a propaganda campaign in support of aerial hunting of wolves, not to mention the costs of the hunts or the bounty for wolf legs. I'm still reeling from the tone and, quite frankly, lack of information (not to even go into lack of insight) from the last post. And I'm supposed to care she has a tanning bed?

Enough!

 

 

Pretty OT

but does pertain to energy issue [what doesn't, these days?]  I was shocked to hear Venezuela and Bolivia both just expelled our ambassadors & are recalling theirs!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/14/231249/344

As someone admittedly ignorant re: South America [except what I've learned here], I'd like to know your thoughts on this, Al.

Can't wait for the MSM to pick this up

Thanks, Al.  Expect the MSM will pick up this 'hook' and add to it.  Great angle for a story on how superficial this person is.  Also all the conflicts: bad role model for teenagers, skin cancer, frivolous.

Thanks too for doing it on Narco instead of The Field.  More attention to the REAL news we want people to be reading.

All around great teaching tool for all of us too.

Low outrage

The tanning bed does fit in with Small, Vain Sarah rather than Small Town Sarah and is a good character tidbit. She seems to approach public office through the small lens of her family. The issues she pursues with the most energy benefit her family, such as the sports complex in Wasilla for her sporty family, the extra petro income for every child in her large family, trying to fire her sister's ex, including her husband in official emails, and multiplied funding for special needs children after her Down's syndrome child was born. We need a leader who operates at least part of the time from the moon, that is from a vision of the whole world, and of the movement of history, rather than from a secret tanning bed in Juneau, Alaska.

So Many Threads To Pull

Elizabeth, I share some incredulity at the tone of discussion around the wolf-slaughter thread. When we were talking about the politics of the ad's placement, things stayed cool. But, the issue is intense and pressed a lot of buttons I suspect a lot of folks didn't think could be pressed so easily--especially here. (I include myself in this, of course.) But now, the wolf slaughter actually serves as an interesting image to juxtapose with the tanning addiction--if that is what the AK Governor suffers from. Both are incredibly energy-wasting activities; that's a great part of Al's article, I think. Both are about a rather desperate effort to not only create but to maintain some image of hyper-masculinity or hyper-femininity that speaks to a subtle awareness of hollow vapidness. But, now, imagine the cognitive dissonance! Sarah Palin. By day, wolf torturer and moose skinner/eater! By night, tanning bed maven. Yes, some people will surely be titillated by either or both of these utterly absurd (for a VP candidate) images. But the juxtaposition will also cause some heads to explode by sheer dint of the cognitive dissonance these bookending images inspire.  It all fits too well into the sad and sick joke that is the McCain campaign. 

All that said, the Governor's instincts to abuse power, appoint cronies, squander tax dollars, govern theologically, and deceive the public remain the real concerns where she is concerned... but once a fabric of deceit starts coming undone, there are just so many threads to pull! More blood in the water.

 

How is it that one day you lambast

everyone for their Palin obsession as hurting Obama, then the next day you release this?  You tell us how our frivolous attacks are creating sympathy for Palin, and then you attack her for having a tanning bed?

Tanning bed in governor's mansion

I thought Palin rarely goes to Juneau, prefering to do business from an office in Anchorage that she  commutes to from Wasilla-remember the per diem for 315 nights in Wasilla? That would make the diehard right not believe this story. How about a story investigating how just 4 years ago her aspiration was to be a newscaster? For that job she would be good, as she loves the media. She needs to be cast in that light-as a lightweight.

give people permission to like Palin

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/09/dems-must-give-voters-explicit.html This link to 538 gives the most strategically savvy advice about Palin I have yet seen. As a therapist, I often work with people in abusive relationships. It sounds counterintuitive, but my first order of business is not to tell them to dump the person (although that's what I want to do), but to help them to connect to why they love them. They have to acknowledge the draw, the longing and only then does the negative dawn on them WITHOUT my prompting. This is very, very subtle jiujitsu that I'm afraid is not familiar to many people organizing or chicken littling.

You Need to Read More Carefully

Ben C - I've lambasted two kinds of behavior by some (but certainly not all) bloggers and commenters in the Netroots milieu:

1. Attacks that overshot because they were based on invented claims without basis in documented fact: the claim about carrying her child's child, and the claim that she was a "member" of the Alaskan Independence Party when she was not, are two examples.

2. Attacks that were overly personalized against her or her family members, that revealed the gross misogyny of the "liberal" attackers, the attacks that clearly sought to tear her down personally, and thus won her only sympathy from regular folks out there.

What you didn't "get" is that it is so much a matter of tone and nuance. Does our reported story obsess on or personally attack the governor or her family? Is it based on unconfirmed speculation? Does the story over-state the case or claim that "this is the story to bring her down!" No, it does none of those things.

It is in fact one of only three blog posts here since August 29 that mention Palin in the title, so you can't say I've been obsessive or personal on her, even at the time when it seemed that everybody else was.

If you can't understand the difference between "don't obsess on this person, don't attack her personally and watch your own sexism" with "don't ever speak her name, don't raise legitimate factual questions," then you weren't reading carefully.

It's a matter of "nuance." Look the word up if you don't know what it means. In politics, it makes all the difference in the world.

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About Al Giordano

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Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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