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Robert S. McElvaine Headshot

SSM (Sewage Stream Media) Intimidate MSM on Palin

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What's wrong with most of the commentators in the mainstream media?


Following Sarah Palin's less-than-a-complete-train-wreck performance (which is the operative word) in Thursday's debate, one after another of them said that she had "passed the test"--that she had shown that she is competent to be president. She's "credentialed" now, they tell us.


Surely most of them know better. Yes, Governor Palin showed that she is not an imbecile. But that hardly means that she demonstrated that she is prepared to be president (as the incumbent has so forcefully shown).

Not being stupid doesn't equate to not being ignorant.

"Everybody's ignorant, only on different subjects," Will Rogers rightly said.

The problem is that the subjects on which Sarah Palin is ignorant are precisely those on which a president must be knowledgeable.

Reciting memorized answers to questions you ask yourself does not constitute passing a test.

So why are so many MSM pundits acting as if Mrs. Palin did well and "passed the test"?

The only plausible explanation is that they are engaging in self censorship in an attempt to counter the constant drumbeat from the Sewage Stream Media (SSW)--Faux News, Limbaugh, Drudge, et. al., that they have a "liberal bias." Too many of them have been intimidated by the right wing.

The SSW's shot across Gwen Ifill's bow the day before the debate appeared to have led her to avoid asking Governor Palin for any specifics or examples.


Here's my message to the Mainstream Media:

Get some ovaries! Tell it like it is, so the American public won't be misled into thinking that Palin demonstrated that she is qualified for national office.

These are the points you ought to be making about Sarah Palin's performance on Thursday:

Being able to put on a performance doesn't equate to being informed.

Winking isn't a sign of thinking.

Cute doesn't mean qualified.

Nose crinkle doesn't mean "knows much."

Chirpy doesn't mean capable.

Folksy doesn't mean fit.

Wink-wink doesn't mean well-informed.

Energetic doesn't mean experienced.

Perky doesn't mean prepared.

Pretty doesn't mean proficient.

Pert doesn't mean pertinent.

Corny doesn't mean competent.

Saucy doesn't mean substantive.

Now, doggone it, being "hot" is not a qualification for the presidency.

And . . .

Being from a small town doesn't mean being for the average person.

Geographical proximity doesn't constitute foreign policy knowledge.

"Christian" doesn't mean follower of Jesus' teachings.

Being female doesn't mean being pro-woman.

But . . .

Wink-wink does mean "W" - W-squared.

You betcha!

{Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America 2008-07-01-GTJcoversm.jpg.}