A few days ago one of my Instaputz colleagues brought attention to this piece from Debra Saunders of the SF Chronicle. Entitled "Enough of Sarah Palin, the Victim," Ms. Saunders opines:
I wish Sarah Palin would just go away. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I wrote about the unfair personal treatment to which the political press corps subjected Palin and her children. Now I just want her to stop milking her role as GOP martyr. Palin should stick to her day job – by which I mean, governing Alaska, not being fodder for talk-show humor. Both parties have their umbrage industries – thanks to true believers, who love nothing better than to see themselves as victims of a perceived double standard. Last week, comedian David Letterman's two off-color jokes about a Palin family trip to New York led to an orgy of indignation.
I can only hope that Ms. Saunders survived the shocking orgy of indignation which, like clockwork, streamed forth from America's Favorite Female Alaskan Incumbent Governor last week. While still not quite dismounted from her crucifix over a stupid David Letterman joke, the woman who wants to be your President set her sights on even bigger, even more powerful game: some two-bit Alaska blogger named Linda Kellen Biegel. Ever heard of her? Me neither.
Ms. Biegel did a 30-second photoshopping job on a picture of Palin holding her infant son, replacing his face with the face of an Alaska media personality, AM Radio jockey Eddie Burke, who is (apparently) perceived to be Palin's lackey. Here is the amateurish result:
The humor isn't very complex. Palin holds baby. Baby replaced with radio host. Radio host is Palin's baby. I guess the most offense you could take from it is, based on the fact that the baby is Trig, Biegel is insinuating that the radio host is retarded. Personally I find that hilarious. Regardless, Trig is Palin's only baby at the moment. Her other kids are all grown. So if someone wants a picture of Palin holding a baby, it's going to be Trig. God knows she took every possible opportunity to be photographed holding PropTard (facing out, of course) during the election.
The reaction was predictable. "Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother's love for a special needs child," (emphasis mine) Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapelton told CNN. "Desecration"? This isn't the fuckin' Shroud of Turin. It's a public domain .jpeg of which about 300 billion versions exist. I suppose such a common photo could be "desecrated" if it had, you know, the Dalai Lama or Pope John Paul II on it. I'm not convinced that anything associated with Palin, including this picture, is "iconic." Just a little full of ourselves, aren't we, Meghan Stapleton? Someone photoshops a Palin pic and all of the sudden it's like someone airbrushed a damn Weezer logo on the Magna Carta or pasted Jesus' face on the unfortunate bottom in sadistic gay porn pics.
Stapleton followed that, "The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling." So would photoshopping a non-tarded baby be OK? I'm confused. Was the photo "desecrated" in the sense that Palin's child was made part of a partisan attack or is it because said child is "special?" I need clarification.
By the way, this is the 7th picture which comes up when Google image searching "Obama photoshop."
I can't imagine how even the most ardent Palin supporters have the stamina for the level of faux-indignant martyrdom she's embracing at this point. How can anyone be so constantly and so grievously offended by…well, everything? Oh, wait. It's because said person has absolutely nothing else to say. The McCain campaign and Palin's own media handlers have been beating this drum since Day One. As I noted way back when, it's the Spiro Agnew strategy all over again: bring some complete idiot into the limelight, have him/her sit there like a wounded puppy, and try to reel in sympathy votes when the media rips Puppy to shreds. Aww, that's terrible! How could anyone do that to such a helpless little puppy?
Sarah Palin used her kids, whether it's her handicapped baby or her knocked-up teenager, as Social Conservative Credential props more than any national candidate in the last 50 years. Even Bush never stooped to waving his daughters around so the media could attack them and he could benefit from sympathy. The Bush kids spent very little time in the spotlight even though the media badly wanted them on camera (because, of course, they're hot and blond). I have the feeling that if they were Palin's kids she would have had them in thongs, spread-eagle on the hood of a 1968 Pontiac GTO in full view of a few dozen photographers so that the Governor could wring every fake tear out of the ensuing outrage that the privacy of the candidate's family could be so violated.