Who is Palin?

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I was driving to Birmingham last week when I heard the announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s vice presidential pick. I smiled, not because I knew much about Palin or because of any political affiliation, just because I think it’s funny we live in a country that considers the female gender as “a minority.” The local radio announcer said the decision to put Palin on the ticket constituted the first “minority” to run on a GOP slate. 

According to the US Senate, women make up about 50.7 percent of the population, so technically, we are the majority. If the radio announcer wanted to be correct, he should have said, “Minority picks majority to run along with him.”

Not knowing too much about the Alaskan governor, I flipped my satellite radio over to the all-news channels, a decision that was even more enlightening than the comment about the minority running for office.

My dial first landed on CNN, something my mother always refers to as the “Communist News Network.” I hadn’t ever paid too much attention to the supposed bias of a news network, but I will tell you they reported Palin’s candidacy along the lines of “this is the worst pick in the history of the US.”

“Isn’t there some sort of scandal involving Palin and the firing of a state trooper?” the announcer said. “And it will be interesting to see how her pro-drilling stance lines up with John McCain’s.”

So maybe they were slanted, as they seemed excessively negative. Opting for another channel, I flipped over to Fox News. (In the interest of full disclosure, my mother loves Fox News and has been known to leave it on all day, even when there’s something really good on, like “Project Runway.)

Fox News – which trumpets themselves as “fair and balanced” – was beside itself with joy.

“This is perhaps the greatest VP selection we’ve seen in a long time.  She has an 80-90 percent approval rating in her home state and was runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant and…”

I cut it off, too. Just as CNN was overly negative, Fox News was overly positive. It seemed no one wanted to just report the

facts, something I had to learn later from reading the newspaper (More disclosure – I work for a newspaper, so I’m really biased about that being a better source of information.)

I didn’t learn more about Sarah Palin from either news network. What I did learn was that I would just as soon keep my radio dial set to a music station.

– Leada Gore is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer. Her column appears on Wednesdays.