THE BLOG
01/16/2009 12:23 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dignity in Defeat

When Senator John McCain lost the presidential election, he gave a concession speech that was lauded for its dignity in defeat. After congratulating Barack Obama on his victory, McCain added:

It is natural -- it's natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought -- we fought as hard as we could. And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.

At that, his audience roared "No!" But McCain continued.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. The road was a difficult one from the outset. But your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

John McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, denied the opportunity to speak at the same event, proceeded to do her own post-mortem on the failed campaign in a series of television interviews with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News and Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today," among others.

Palin's most recent interview was a week ago with John Ziegler, a film producer who is preparing a new documentary called, "Media Malpractice." One has only to click on Ziegler"s website to know that he would give the governor free reign to air her opinions about the recent campaign; and air them she did - with a vengeance. Ziegler posted excerpts of the interview on YouTube. Asked her view of the media, Palin said:

You know, I have the same question that perhaps you do, and others who would participate in this documentary, even try to figure out. Is it political? Is it sexism? What ... what is it that drives someone to believe the worst, and perpetuate the worst in terms of gossip and lies?

Two of the most powerful factors impacting the Palin candidacy were Tina Fey's scathing impression of her on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," and a disastrous interview with CBS' Katie Couric. Ziegler asked Palin to comment on both:

I did see that Tina Fey was named Entertainer of the Year and Katie Couric's ratings have risen. And I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on ... I don't know ... I just think that exploiting that was done via me and my family and my administration. That's a little perplexing and also says a great deal about our society.

Tina Fey's impression was another in a long line of other notable SNL impressions: Dana Carvey's George H. W. Bush, Phil Hartman's Bill Clinton, Will Ferrell's George W. Bush, and Darrell Hammond's John McCain; but none of those subjects ever complained about exploitation.

Katie Couric's supposed exploitation was to ask Palin - repeatedly to no avail - to name the newspapers she reads. Sarah Palin's view of the Couric interview:

My understanding there are so many other topics that were brought up, certain things weren't portrayed as accurately perhaps as they could have, should have been after that interview.

Ziegler also brought up the subject of Caroline Kennedy's attempt to fill Hillary Clinton's New York Senate seat. The governor's reaction:

I'd been interested also to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled, and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope. Also, it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out, and I think that, as we watch that perhaps we will be able to prove that there is a class issue here also, that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.

No sooner did Caroline Kennedy express interest in Clinton's job than the media began to scrutinize her. Ben McGrath's article in The New Yorker reported on one of Kennedy's interviews:

She met with a couple of Times reporters recently and said "you know" a hundred and thirty-eight times. Speaking to the News, and on NY1, she broke two hundred.

Now that's scrutiny.

Politics, sexism, gossip, lies, Tina Fey, Katie Couric, exploitation, inaccurate portrayal, and class issues are not scrutiny, nor dignity; they all have one lowest common denominator: blame.