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Media to Republicans: We're Sorry


ST. PAUL, Minn. — On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn't be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols.

Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head Wednesday night (and several in the audience wish she had hit some reporters on the head instead) when she said: "I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone."

But where did we go wrong with Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways:

First, we should have stuck to the warm, human-interest stuff, like how she likes mooseburgers and hit an important free throw at her high school basketball tournament even though she had a stress fracture.

Second, we should have stuck to the press release stuff like how she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere (after she supported it).

Third, we should never have strayed into the other stuff. Like when The Washington Post recently wrote: "Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body. … Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints."

Why go there? What trees does that plant?

Fourth, we should stop making with all the questions already.

She gave a really good speech. And why go beyond that? As we all know, speeches cannot be written by others and rehearsed for days. They are true windows to the soul.

Unless they are delivered by Barack Obama, that is. In which case, as Palin said Wednesday, speeches are just a "cloud of rhetoric."

Fifth, we should stop reporting on the families of the candidates. Unless the candidates want us to.

Sarah Palin wanted the media to report on her teenage son, Track, who enlisted in the Army on Sept. 11, 2007, and soon will deploy to Iraq.

Sarah Palin did not want the media to report on her teenage daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant and unmarried.

Sarah Palin thinks that one is good for her campaign and one is not, and that the media should report only on what is good for her campaign. That is our job, and that is our duty. If that is not actually in the Constitution, it should be (and someday may be).

The official theme of the convention's third day was "prosperity," but the unofficial theme was "the media are really, really awful."

Even Mike Huckabee, who campaigned for president this year by saying, "I am a conservative, but I am not mad at anybody," discovered Wednesday night that he is mad at somebody.

"I'd like to thank the elite media for doing something," Huckabee said, "that, quite frankly, I didn't think could be done: unify the Republican Party and all of America in support of John McCain and Sarah Palin."

And could that be the real point of the attacks on the media? To unify the Republican Party?

No, that is simply the cynical, media view.

Though as Lily Tomlin says, "No matter how cynical I get, it's just never enough to keep up."

I couldn't resist that. For which I am sorry.

To find out more about Roger Simon, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



14 Comments | Post Comment
Every liberal MSM revelation about Palin so far has turned out to be a lie, and here a smarmy loser in the failing MSM business gets giddy by pretending that the media was asking real questions about Palin.
If he really wants to act like a newsman, instead of a liberal whipped eunich, he would ask Obama:
1. What if any leadership experience he has.
2. How his wife got a 160% raise the day he got elected and her employer got a $1million earmark from Obama months later.
3. What single piece of legislation that he authored is he most proud of (he hasn't authored a single one yet).
4. Why does he want to prevent full term babies that survive partial birth abortions from recieving medical care (left to die).

Perhaps then this piece of human refuse can prance around like a dweeb and act all high and mighty about his noble profession.
Comment: #1
Posted by: SampleMan
Fri Sep 5, 2008 6:43 PM
My comment got pulled. AS it had no bad language I assume it was just another MSM mistake and not partisan campaigning.

So here it goes again.

Every liberal MSM revelation about Palin so far has turned out to be a lie, and here a smarmy loser in the failing MSM business gets giddy by pretending that the media was asking real questions about Palin. If he really wants to act like a newsman, instead of a liberal whipped eunich, he would ask Obama: 1. What if any leadership experience he has. 2. How his wife got a 160% raise the day he got elected and her employer got a $1million earmark from Obama months later. 3. What single piece of legislation that he authored is he most proud of (he hasn't authored a single one yet). 4. Why does he want to prevent full term babies that survive partial birth abortions from recieving medical care (left to die). Perhaps then this piece of human refuse can prance around like a dweeb and act all high and mighty about his noble profession.

Comment: #2
Posted by: SampleMan
Fri Sep 5, 2008 6:52 PM
Your attempt to be cute is simply pathetic. You and your "elite media" (LOL) cohorts are depised not because of the questions you ask but because of your double standard--rectal exams for Republicans and a free pass for Democrats.

Email me with the results of your examination of the Obama/Ayers connections.
Comment: #3
Posted by: prchucksampson
Fri Sep 5, 2008 6:56 PM
I an surprised that Roger Simon missed the real issue, just as I would be surprised if many readers missed the Republican point. The problem isn't that the media asked who Sarah Palin is and what her qualifications were. It's not even that they reported on her family. It's the content, tone, and style that led to outrage (among republicans and many independents).

Reporting that Governor Palin is pro-life and that she follows those values as demonstrated by carrying her new baby, Trig, to term even though she knew he would have Down Syndrome? Good reporting.

Mentioning that Governor Palin's experience includes four years as a City Council Member for Wasilla, Alaska, six years as Mayor of Wasilla, and two years as Governor of Alaska? Also good reporting - could have been great reporting if they had mentioned that her experience is very similar to FDR's (just over two years in the New York State Senate, eight years as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and four years as Governor of New York), Theodore Roosevelt's (three years in the New York State Assembly, two years as Governor of New York, one year as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and less than one year as Vice President of the United States), or Grover Cleveland's (two years as Sheriff of Erie County, two years as Mayor of Buffalo, and two years as Governor of New York), and superior to Woodrow Wilson's (eight years as President of Princeton University and two years as Governor of New Jersey). Also, the details on her actions while in office have been phenomenally skimpy. I've found both good and bad by searching her local newspapers, but I would have expected professionals to do that for me if they were trying to report objectively.

but ...

(1) Suggesting that Governor Palin is a bad mother for keeping her "defective" baby? Bad as well as heartless.

(2) Suggesting without evidence that Trig is really her grandson and that Governor Palin hid her daughter Bristol's pregnancy while faking her own? Very bad, with extra points for demanding a DNA test to prove she is really the mother.

(3) Distributing an old picture of Bristol and claiming she has a bit of a tummy and looks pregnant? Unprofessional because the picture was taken over a year before Trig was born, and vicious because of the nasty and mean spirited cruelty to a child.

(4) Suggesting that Governor Palin is a bad mother for allowing her daughter to keep her baby? Bad.

(5) Suggesting that Governor Palin is a bad mother for running for office and allowing her husband to be the primary caregiver? Bad and archaic.

(7) Suggesting that Governor Palin is a bad mother for not somehow stopping her daughter from having sex before marriage? Bad and quite different from the usual media spin on teen sex.

(8) Claiming that Governor Palin slashed funding for crisis center that actually had its funding tripled? Bad and dishonest.

(9) Suggesting without evidence that Governor Palin had an affair? Very bad, and again unprofessional, but again extra points for demanding a DNA test to prove Todd is really the father.

(10) Suggesting that Governor Palin is a bad mother for agreeing to run for office when she should have know the media would savage her children? Bad and hypocritical.

(11) Suggesting that Governor Palin is anti-Semitic and hates Israel, without noticing that quite a few random videos, both recent and a year old, on the Internet show her office with an Israeli flag? Bad and again disappointing in terms of depth of research.

(12) Printing numerous other random and completely unsupported claims about Governor Palin while failing in their responsibility to critically evaluate their chosen candidate - Obama? Bad and most dangerous of all. First, Obama should have been vetted much earlier, not just for the good of the country, if there is something voters should have known, but even for the good of the Democratic Party, which lost its chance to make the best possible informed decision because reporters liked the Obama rhetoric and refused to dig deeper. Similarly, by going into a feeding frenzy that targeted Governor Sarah Palin, the media essentially wiped out their credibility so that no one other than a hard core Obama supporter will pay attention if real flaws in Governor Palin's record are found later.

Roger Simon somehow never noticed any of those flaws in the media coverage of Governor Palin? I am disappointed if that was the best he could do.
Comment: #4
Posted by: RogerD
Fri Sep 5, 2008 7:08 PM
Sorry about the lack of paragraphs - it had them when I previewed the post.
Comment: #5
Posted by: RogerD
Fri Sep 5, 2008 7:10 PM
Wow, Roger... That is a really clever piece. Sounds like something you may have written in high school. You did go to high school, didn't you?

Good questions you and your fellow liberal elites posed to Sarah Palin this week... "Why aren't you staying home to tend to your needy family? How dare you accept McCain's Veep nomination? What credentials do you have to be a heart-beat away from the Presidency?" Boy, those really are relevant. Now, where's your list for The One? The Community Organizer? The guy who votes "Present"? The guy who chairs a sub-committee on national defense that has never held a meeting? The guy who hasn't written a single piece of legislation in his career either in Springfield or Washington, DC? The guy who claims "presidential leadership credentials" because he's run for president for the last 18 months? Funny, Roger: I don't see any questions being asked? All I see is cheerleading from your "Creators Syndicate" slot.

Way to go, Roger! You've awakened that old Beast that I'm sure you hated in the past: the Great Silent Majority of this great land of ours. Keep up the good work.
Comment: #6
Posted by: ReleaseTheHounds
Fri Sep 5, 2008 7:17 PM
All one has to do is compare your article titled 'Obama's Big Introduction' to this article, one finds you are but a propogandist. You are not a journalist nor a 'media' person, just a simple propogandist. Sad, you do have a talent.

An independent.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Anindependant
Fri Sep 5, 2008 7:23 PM
Many of the issues you raised are legitimate and newsworthy. What is ILLEGITIMATE is reporting details that are not confirmed, and end up being wrong. Many in the US are now repeating stories incorrectly reported in the news about Governor Palin as if they are true.

Responsible journalism requires that the media actually VERIFY its stories beyond reproach BEFORE print or reporting. In the race to get the story first (take for example the incorrectly reported 2000 presidential winner), especially when the media is appropriately left out of the original decision, does not relieve the media of its duty to report facts, however delayed. Troopergate, birth mothers, details on DUIs, money allocated to special needs kids, and many more stories -- all reported wrong in an effort to be first, and to Americans who just want accurate information, it seems an effort to discredit Governor Palin.

Common decency requires that candidates dictate how their families are involved in the campaigns -- that goes for Michelle Obama and her girls on stage talking to dad as well as Governor Palin's family life. The media does not get to decide if a child or wife of a candidate warrants coverage of any kind. However exciting to you, I would wager that 95% of Americans would tell the media to keep their noses out of their families.

Contrast this with the astonishing failure of the media to research and report on questions that all of America is talking about, without accurate information: the Edwards scandal during the primaries, Obama's relationship with Ayers and Resko, Hillary's Chinese bundlers. The list goes on. No team of reporters was sent to research these stories. It stinks of political protectionism. Readers and listeners know it. And it makes us distrust you.

The media loses all credibility when it creates the appearance of favoritism for one party or candidate. It needs to re-earn the public's trust. Without credibiilty, frankly there is no use at all for the media. Those who are interested have plenty of options for pure entertainment in TMZ or the National Enquirer. There we do not expect truth or depth; we know it is in part fiction.

But we do expect truth and depth of the mainstream media, bith print and broadcast.

Therein lies the media's bad in this case. No amount of defending yourself and your industry will change those facts.
Comment: #8
Posted by: prof
Fri Sep 5, 2008 7:23 PM
You (and I'm making an assumption you will even bother reading this - since the MSM (unlike talk radio) accepts feedback from its customers - have made no reply, no discussion, no logical answer to ANY of the (valid) criticisms of your smarmy, prejudiced lies about your (the MSM's) attacks on Sarah Palin. <P>Then agian - we vote with our pocketbooks, and over 10,000 subscribers have cancelled their "US Weekly" subscriptions in disgust of "your" hate-filled propagandist cover photos and titles. <P>By the way, the MSM STILL can't find any links between Ayers, Dohrn, and Obama in 8 months - But I find 16 SEPARATE fund-raising activites and corrupt payback activites between the failed "communist organizer" (er, community organizer) and these terrorists. <P>Did Obama ever pass his Bar Exam? <P>Also, are you a good enough "journalist" to accept formatting in your back-alley two bit web site?
Comment: #9
Posted by: Robert A Cook PE
Fri Sep 5, 2008 8:36 PM
Dear Mr Simon,
Having read pevious comments I have nothing to ad to what they posted about the US media's treatment of Sarah Palin.
However I would challenge you to examine Mr. Obama's activities in Kenya as closely as were Sarah Palin's as governor of Alaska.
What was the nature of Obamas work in campaigning for Odinga and the Orange Party in August of 2006. Why did Obama do so when Odinga's party had close ties with the Somalian Muslim Council , to whom he promised the conversion of Kenya into a Muslim State? What were the results of Obama's neo-colonial Chicago Black Power Politics in Kenya? Genocidal war between the Luo and the Kikuyu perhaps, in which a church was burned with 70 victims inside, at the hands of Orange Party activists? Thousands were maimed and hundreds of Kenyans died as a result of Obama's participation. Why hasn't the US media examined this Community Oragnizing work of Obama's?
Why have you not told America about it? THe US media has a dual standard and has lost any remaining respect the US public has for it,
Saddling the US with a president who had directly participated in a genocidal movment of the Orange Party in Kenya should be newsworthy for a presidential candidate. America would like to know why a presidential candidate would do such a thing? What was Obama's motivation for doing such work? What does such motivation mean for America should Obama become president? Will we too be subject to racial, inter-ethnic division and conflict. Is this Obama's Hope and Change as was illustrated by his activity in Kenya?
I won't hold my breath for your answer. I would like to be on the planet for a few more years.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Candor Seven
Fri Sep 5, 2008 9:15 PM
Roger, one of the finest strawman arguments I've seen lately.

Singularly unimpressive.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Harry Arthur
Sat Sep 6, 2008 12:46 PM
It is amazing how the media all of a sudden just discovered their job description. It is even more amazing the media can't understand why so many are upset.

And given the arguments in this snide "apology", this attempt to be clever, just shows the media just doesn't get it.

Here's a clue - It is not what you ask about Governor Palin, it's having spent the last 18 months without giving any more than a cursory glance at anything remotely critical of Obama.

Comment: #12
Posted by: RJ
Sat Sep 6, 2008 7:51 PM
Mr. Simon,

Ignore the ignorant comments from the paid McCain bloggers. Your editorial was simply brilliant, exposing the Republican agenda to undermine the media so that the neocons can invent their own reality.

Very impressive piece. Please put me on your mailing list.

Comment: #13
Posted by: Barbara Campbell
Sun Sep 7, 2008 6:15 PM
I have happily read the comments preceding mine. Roger - I would hate to appear sexist - BUT------ why have neither you nor your compatriots in the "Media" asked the same questions of Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden. I have no problem with legitimate questions regarding Mrs. Palin's record. They should be asked and answered. Likewise, her positions on the issues.

However, and this is where all of you "in-the-tank" partisan suppporters of the empty suit which is Barack Obama
have gone wrong. Whether or not Mrs. Palin announced that her daughter was pregnant and unmarried is really none of your business. The fact that she proudly announced that her son was deploying to Iraq is a matter of public record. He is after all a member of the Armed Forces. Additionally, her belief in abstinence only sex education programs is not such a bad thing. All of the press immediately said snidely "ha, ha" her daughter didn't get the message. Unfortunately, this is true. Before continuing, I would like to ask if you have ever had a teen-age daughter who listened to your suggestions regarding behavior, particularly with all the "pop-tarts" around, about whom the press cannot say enough good things.

To continue, I know a little about sex education, having worked for 15 years in the area of AIDS prevention. Believe me, you can preach protection until you die of shortness of breath and teen-agers and supposedly intelligent adults will continue to have unprotected sex, the result of which is the horrible increase in the rate of HIV-AIDS infections. Not only that, but programs in the schools providing all kinds of information about using condoms, etc., etc., have done nothing major to reduce the number of out of wedlock pregnancies. In my small city alone just about every high school has day care facilities (paid for by the taxpayers) to provide services to the babies of student mothers.

Again, I have no problem with the oh, so very important MEDIA asking relevant questions about or of any candidate. We need to know about them. However, the questions or comments made regarding the Governor of one of our states, elected by the people of that state and who enjoys an 80%+ approval rating in the eyes of the people of that state have been and I am sure will contine to be insulting to not only her but all intelligent and capable women in this COUNTRY.

Frankly, and more than likely exhibiting my feminine bias, I would stack up Mrs. Palin's executive abilities against any of the other candidates, particularly the Democratic ones. Not only has she run a city (small though it may be), run a State (which according to available information she has done quite successfully), but has run a household. A job of which most feminists and media folk have a very low opinion. Most "hockey Moms" wear a lot of hats and manage them successfully. None of us are perfect and things don't always turn out the way we would hope. However, that doesn't denigrate the executive experience.

Barack Obama has never run a business or held a real job - community organizer just doesn't cut it. I know plenty of them. Good folks, but without a lick of common sense. Joe Biden has spent the last 35-36 years in the Congress which, in my humble opinion, doesn't qualify him to be dog-catcher. At least, John McCain was a leader in the U. S. Navy.

So, after six paragraphs of my opinions, which are as good (or maybe even better than Mr. Simon's, I'm older and have seen a whole lot more of life than he apparently has) I want to thank him, and the rest of our absolutely unbiased, oh so know-it-all "mainstream MEDIA", profusely, for energizing those of us who share Mrs. Palin's values, if not all of her positions on some issues, to get out and help John McCain and his terrific running mate win in November.

A word of caution for the future to all the so-called "journalists" out there - "don't fool with Mother Nature" - or hockey, soccer or any other kind of MOMS!
Comment: #14
Posted by: Joyce Campbell
Tue Sep 9, 2008 4:12 PM
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