Sarah Palin and the Media: Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

I am astounded at the media frenzy attacking the Vice-Presidential candidate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, but not for the reason that most people are. Most conservatives seem to be thinking that this is an unprecedented attack on the privacy of a candidate’s life. That’s not why I am surprised. I am surprised at the media’s idiocy. Normally, they are much more image-savvy than this, and much more politically calculating.

Here is a candidate that has the potential (and is certainly off to a good start) to fire up the conservative base of the Republican Party, and who has already upstaged Barack Obama in a major way. And she’s a woman. A conservative woman. The announcement of her as a running mate for McCain could not have come at a better time for the GOP. As many have already noted, Republicans have only wanted to prevent Obama from winning. Now many are excited that McCain could win. It came immediately after the DNC, insuring that the news from that convention would be old news just a day afterwards. Any kick that Obama might have gotten in the polls would be completely eliminated because of this impeccable timing. And now, McCain has the RNC to give him a kick.

The liberal media knows that they have to do something to win back the momentum, or at least slow McCain down, so they attack her. This is political suicide, if you ask me. It will not help the Democrats for Barack Obama and Joe Biden to distance themselves passively from such attacks. While that is laudable, it seems evident to me that a two-step is going on here. If Obama wants to convince the people that he is not in favor of attacking Sarah Palin, then he needs to attack the media attack. He needs to denounce the two-faced hypocritical media assassination attempt.

If the DNC wanted to eliminate the influence that Sarah Palin could have on this election (which I predict will be by far the most influence a VP candidate has EVER exercised on an election), they should have simply ignored her. There is a lot of time between now and November. Sarah Palin would eventually become old news. But what the media has done wil backfire in an enormous way. This, combined with Obama’s foot-in-mouth statements of late practically guarantee that this race is McCain’s to lose.

Vigorous, Provocative Writing

My professor of Reformation church history at WTS (and I also took the valuable class on John Owen’s theology from him) has written two volumes that examine contemporary issues from a Reformed perspective (here and here). The writing is punchy, witty, and refreshingly opinionated, in contrast to the drool that drips from the pens of contemporary witless pseudo-scholars who think they have to be polite in order to be heard and respected. Now, make no mistake, Carl Trueman knows what politeness is, and he is polite when it is appropriate. However, when it comes to a position with which he disagrees, the boxing gloves go on, and you will almost always see the demise of the opposition’s position.

But one should be careful to interpret such boxing in its historical context: he is a Brit, an Englishman, to be more precise. Anyone who has any idea of what Parliament does over there will then have a good idea of what Carl is trying to do. Our overly polite society does not think, and this is one of Carl’s biggest targets. The other qualifying factor in reading Carl’s boxing matches is that Carl never takes himself too seriously. In fact, he is self-aware enough not to take himself any more seriously than he takes his opponents’ positions.

What Carl hates more than almost anything else is indifference. So Carl has insured that no one can read him with indifference. There might be an exaggeration here or there just for this purpose of avoiding indifferent readers, but it is all in good fun. Not only will you be entertained (isn’t that a necessity in modern culture?), but you will be forced to think. Don’t read these books if you are tired.

Of all the shorter pieces on various subjects, I would have to say that my favorites were “Boring Ourselves to Life,” “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” “The Age of Apathy,” and “A Dangerous Gift for my Wife.” Of the longer pieces, I appreciated the inaugural lecture (which I had already read in WTJ) “Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light,” and his piece on the Finnish interpretation of Luther (which I had also read in WTJ previously).