The XX Factor

How the Vanity Fair Piece Helps Palin

Hanna and Jessica , I can’t decide whether the accounts in the Vanity Fair piece of Sarah Palin parading her children around at rallies and leaving Todd with the childrearing duties are sexist or just the sneering that is typical in most profiles of Palin by what she would refer to as the “lamestream media.” Such anecdotes usually seem pointless to me, because, let’s face it, there are very few people who are neutral about Sarah Palin. You love her or you hate her.  And so a profile that starts with her kids being ignored backstage while she’s giving a speech (and of course the quotes are full of Palin saying goin’ and gonna and tell ‘em ) merely affirms to Palin haters that the woman is a vile hypocrite and further convinces her supporters that the coastal elite have a grudge against her-and by extension, against them.

And in this case, that actually serves to undermine Michael Joseph Gross’ piece. Which is too bad, because there is some fascinating information in there. When he finally gets done dishing on how terrible Palin is to her staffers and reporting on how she always gives the same speech (are there many politicians who don’t), he talks about NorthStar Strategies, a company run by a Palin confidant, PAL-PAC, which  “seems to have been created for a single purpose: to pay Sarah Palin to give a speech” and some other strange financial arrangements

If Gross wanted to expose Palin’s secretive and/or shady business dealings, that might have been a provocative and informative piece. Jessica, you wrote that you “applaud Gross for calling Sarah Palin out on her endless fibbing.” Unfortunately, because he couldn’t resist the temptation to go for the easy digs at Palin, his piece is also full of gossipy bits that have been proven untrue, as David Weigel pointed out on his blog yesterday , and other accounts that are hard to believe (like the canned-goods-tossing fight between Sarah and Todd that left the refrigerator looking like it got hit with a shotgun). And so now Palin can label this piece a “hatchet job,” which is only going to make her more popular with her base.