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November 17, 2009

Comments

And if that's not technically flag desecration, it's certainly flag disrespect.

Why does she hate America?

And if that's not technically flag desecration, it's certainly flag disrespect. Why does she hate America?

Hey, IOKIYAR.

I would like to start a boycott of any news program that does a "news" story on Palin. She's a "personality" - and doesn't deserve news coverage any more than Tom Cruise. If I hear her name, I'm turning it off.

I agree. And Joan Walsh and Media Matters freaking out at Newsweek miss the point. She did this to herself. If some paparazzi had snapped an unwanted photo of her somewhere in revealing clothing and then Newsweek printed it, I'd be outraged as well. But this is a photo shoot she did with consent -- indeed, on purpose. Look at the way her foot is cocked, just so. Michelle Obama would be crucified if she posed for a picture like this, and she doesn't run a state.

Sarah Palin is an adult and can pose in any photo shoot she likes. But don't blame a publication when they use the still. (And I seem to recall a certain Senator from Massachusetts in full blue-hospital garb on the cover of either Time or Newsweek a few years ago. Welcome to the media in the U.S.)

Hey, but at least she didn't pose in a flight suit, right?

But this is a photo shoot she did with consent

Hm. Is it usual or possible for subjects to negotiate on reprint rights? if so, that's even more egregious....

Though it pains me, I'm going to take the defending Palin position. I had no problem with the original pictures in their proper context. But I do find Newsweek using this to be stupid, at best. Further, what is so wrong with a Governor- male or female- posing in athletic apparel for a magazine that covers their athletic past-time? Seriously, why do our politicians need to be uptight prigs?

I agree with Andrew Sullivan; let's lay this whole mess at the feet of John McCain - without him, Sarah would have faded into obscurity in Alaska.

Now, Sarah's the face of the Republican party, here and abroad. Just another celebration of American know-nothingism and jingoism.

She'll never get elected, but like the misbehaved child let loose at a cocktail party, we'll never be able to have an adult conversation about anything at the national level.

I have a vague sense of what the problem is with the original picture, but not a specific one. I certainly don't want to dismiss the concern as Justin above seems to. But from the post I'm not sure I fully understand what it is specifically that Palin did by appearing in that way that a governor shouldn't do. Is it just that a governor shouldn't intentionally sexualize him/herself/ I'll buy that, but is that the principle? Does it apply to both men and women? Does Governor Ah-nuld have a similar injunction? Granted, I believe he has in fact refrained from doing any muscle mag covers while in office. I want to understand, and statements like, "I mean, look at her" and, "Who does this?" don't get it for me. But I certainly do sense a problem as well...

Palin didn't break any rules by doing the original shoot. The problem is that it highlights the fact that she is in her element doing pin-up shots and not in her element in the governor's office.

Even looking at her face she seems totally at ease here, while she is defensive and hostile just about everywhere else (or looks like a deer in the headlights).

If you could point to a picture of Palin showing her at her competent best, it would be a completely different matter. Someone with a reputation for competence can get away with looking goofy once in a while. (Like Obama shooting a three-pointer versus a picture of him signing the health care bill.) Is there anything at all that you could point to?

This is Palin at her competent best. And that's scary.

C'mon guys. Get with the program here. Sarah Barracuda's entitled. I mean after all wasn't she runner up for... what was it again... Miss Wassila? She's used to being a beauty pageant gal. So this is only natural.

xanax: C'mon guys. Get with the program here. Sarah Barracuda's entitled. I mean after all wasn't she runner up for... what was it again... Miss Wassila?

I think it was VPOTUS.

I hear Miss Prejean is thinking about running for office. Now that makes Sarah looking right presidential in that picture by comparision.
I agree, she looks far too much at ease posing that way. If photo model had been her job at the time or the picture would show any sign of irony, that would not be a problem (modelling and intelligence are not mutually exclusive*).
I think about half of the photos look natural and therefore unproblematic (including the pink ballet pose**), the others (esp. 2&6) are deliberate pin-up poses and imo at least partially inappropriate (even in the context of the running magazine).

*I'd have no problem with e.g. Angelina Jolie running for office. Despite being not wholly sane (her own words) she seems to be in possession of both brain and heart.
Clinton/Jolie 2016!!! ;-)
**I don't find the stretch position that improper either btw

I tend to feel that sexist attacks on women make the attacker look (however briefly, in the case of Palin!) worse than the person they're attacking. I had issues with Hilzoy joining in with the anti-Hillary mobbing, and to do Hilzoy credit, while she had undoubtedly been conned by the decades of media slime telling her that Hillary Clinton was Bad People, that was indirect sexism rather than direct sexism.

Here it's direct sexism. There are enough reasons why Palin is unfit to be Mayor of Wasilla, let alone any higher or more complicated position: this photograph, either in a sports magazine or in Newsweek, is not one of them. It's like claiming George W. Bush was unfit to be President because he posed in a flight suit pretending to be a hotshot pilot hero, rather than because he claimed "Mission Accomplished" just before al-Qaeda had achieved its long-held goal of getting US military bases out of Saudi Arabia, and right after getting the US into an ongoing war in Iraq that's killed over a million people and accomplished nothing except to make a handful of war profiteers much richer.

SI,

Are you addressing me asking for pictures showing Sarah Palin's competency merely because I asked what is specifically wrong with doing that shoot? As if by asking that I show I must have some desire to vindicate Sarah Palin's competency? What in the hell?

I have no brief for Sarah Palin's competency in any office. I have no inclination to produce images of her "at her competent best," nor do I have confidence that I would be able to if I tried.

I just don't get the whole phenomenon, nor why people are so disturbed by it, except inasmuch as she rose to disturbingly high political position with a disturbing lack of fitness for it, and with many substantively disturbing things in her background. But it seems that people react to the phenomenon in ways much more visceral and intense than just those facts alone would warrant.

She POSED for fuukin the picture.

She fully intended that it would be used to increase her 'exposure.'

I wanna see her topless...

we'll never be able to have an adult conversation about anything at the national level

I think we can blame Sarah Palin for many things....but for destroying our national, adult conversation?!? I seem to remember one of those sometime in the mid-70s, but I was a small child at the time and I could have been mistaken.

"Palin has the double whammy of being ignorant and absurd."

Well, it's America, so I wouldn't underestimate how far ignorance and absurdity can take a person.

Besides, like the velociraptors in "Jurassic Park" sequels and the acid-blooded, slobbering, double mandible reptile bugs in the "Alien" sequels, she has time to evolve and adapt and take advantage of all of the new special effects the Republican Party and the Republican media will come up with over the next few years.

By the last sequels in both series, the velociraptors and the aliens had table manners, could discuss policy at length, and were offering very large tax breaks, albeit with the original goal of eating all of us.

I think Eric Erickson of Redstate played the roles in both movie series of the cracked, ruthless scientist-types who wanted to bring the creatures back to the mainland/Earth for some edgy fun and profit.

I'd get off the island and/or jerry-rig the spacecraft and get off the planet.

Then nuke both.

"There are enough reasons why Palin is unfit to be Mayor of Wasilla, let alone any higher or more complicated position: this photograph, either in a sports magazine or in Newsweek, is not one of them. "

But the premise isn't "why Sarah Palin is unqualified for public office," it's "why Sarah Palin is a problem for the GOP." And part of that problem is that people don't take her seriously. This is decent shorthand for that.

Sarah Palin is a shallow, superficial, insecure egomaniac who does trade on her physical features as a part of her overall package. My wife and I watched excerpts of her interviews with Barbara Walters last night and I was struck mainly by her vapid, wordy responses to each and every question. My experience is that people who have no idea what they are saying often try to conceal this by talking incessantly, perhaps in the hopes of getting something right at some point in the explosion of chatter.

As true believers in limited government, low taxes, strong defense etc., my wife and I despair at the lack of any viable Republican counter to the leftward tilt of the Democratic party. Of all of the possible candidates in 2012, Palin is the worst. If I were on the left, I would tend to be a lot less aggressive in my attacks on Palin--never interrupt your enemy while he/she is making a mistake. Letting Palin be any kind of a player on the right is a huge mistake for the right.

Having said all of that, Newsweek did a hit piece on Palin and the choice of cover photograph was an editorial judgment calculated to marginalize Palin, not for her views (if any) but for being a reasonably attractive woman. Jes is right and it is too bad so many on left who wouldn't tolerate this for one of their own so quickly lay aside their principles.

In the font used here, cl looks like a d. I was wondering what you meant by "her chosen down persona". I thought it was her son who had down syndrome.
You can have Mrs. Palin and Miss Prejean. The beauty queen to look out for is Katie Upton.

I agree with Lindsay's original post. First, she is posing like a pin-up girl. She could have taken a picture in the same outfit in a different pose and it would not be that big of a deal.

Second, this is part of a pattern of behavior on the part of Sarah Palin, I mean, this is a woman who WINKED into the camera during the vice presidential debate (more than once, if I remember correctly).

Third, Sarah went on a $150,000 shopping spree, paid for by Republican donations.

And fourth, Palin has demonstrated several times that she has no serious grasp of the issues facing this country, and she resigned from her office with two years to go.

If she had just posed for the picture without any of these other factors, then maybe I would think Newsweek was inappropriate. But when you wink into the camera, you no longer get to complain about other people depicting you unseriously.

You're absolutely right: she posed for this photo and the bar has been set. I demand that all future magazine covers of President Obama be of the Obama family in shorts and T-shirts during their Hawaii trip. After all, he posed for them, too. What...it's not professional to put the president on a magazine cover in shorts? But he POSED for them! Newsweek set the standard. All bets are off.

I'd say, if it isn't outright sexist of Newsweek to put the photo on the cover, it's certainly commercialist without concern for sexism. I doubt the intent was sexist (how would I know?), but it was, let's say, negligent in terms of sexism.

Did this need to be on the cover? Did it need to be printed full-page, even if inside the magazine? Did it need to be printed at all, even if reduced in size and inside the magazine? Could it simply have been described in text as part of the article?

There were many options for putting forth this photo and discussing its implications without slapping it on the cover, unless the goal is to use it to catch eyes on the news stand. ("Oooh, look! Hottie!")

dammit! I hate when I mix tenses.

The woman is all style and no substance. The Runner's World photo fits that narrative.

Hey, I've got nothing against beautiful people. But I want my politicians to be smart and knowledgeable (at least smarter and more knowledgeable than most are now). If they happen to be good looking too, fine.

That's not what's going on here, and those who are outraged about sexism towards Sarah know it.

That's not what's going on here, and those who are outraged about sexism towards Sarah know it.

Some of them know it, but not all. There are people out there who think she's just great and will not pass up the chance to defend her against any who cross her.

As for me, I'm not the least bit outraged, but I do have some degree of criticism for the Newsweek cover. I don't see that my thinking that Palin is a vacuous twit has any bearing on said criticism.

I disagree with this post. I can do no better than to point to TNC, who gets it.

Palin is objectified in that photograph, and I do think the context matters--this is Newsweek, not Runners World, and Palin's ability to contribute to the national political debate was not at issue in the RW spread.

To paraphrase TNC, we shouldn't be comfortable with objectifying Sarah Palin merely because we think she's an awful person.

I don't particularly worry if Palin is upset about the picture or not, or whether she should take her lumps because she agreed to the photo shoot. What gets me about this kind of discourse is that it perpetuates the idea that it's appropriate to evaluate women politicians by how they look in a pair of running shorts.

That is what's wrong with the NW cover.

Here's all you need to know about Sarah Palin: she posed for "Runner's World" leaning on a flag-draped chair and not, you know, running. The whole point of the original photo was her MILFness, not her fitness. She's a sexy airhead, no more serious about running for exercise than about running for office.

Rich Lowry famously "sat up a little straighter on the couch" as he watched her deliver that pitbull-with-lipstick convention speech. That tells us much about her appeal to her fan base. Would Lowry have "sat up a little straighter on the couch" if he had watched the exact same speech delivered, with just as many winks, by a woman who looked more like Golda Meir than like Tina Fey?

The story here is NOT Sarah Palin. The story here is the people who look at her legs and see political qualifications. The Newsweek cover is making fun of THEM, not Sarah Palin.

--TP

You're right, Lindsay. This picture is a perfect distillation of Palin's attempt to create and control her own persona -- the identity politics that rest on everything but actually governing -- and how, the more control she has, the more ridiculous she looks.

There's another reason this picture captures so much about the Palin phenomenon -- it's not just a tacky pose, it's a surprisingly low-budget setup for someone who just came off a national presidential campaign. The lighting is bad; the shadows are weird. The flag in the window is blocking what would otherwise be a striking backdrop -- the view of the mountains -- and the view would be gray and dim even if the flag weren't there. There's a weird reflection in the other window. And is that a lawnmower outside? A snowblower? They couldn't move that? Also, what's with her legs? Is she wearing stockings? Is it bad airbrushing, or not enough airbrushing?

Slightly (ever so slightly) OT, but one of the all time great headlines: The Penis Has Landed. About.. you guessed it (or did you?).

"I think we can blame Sarah Palin for many things....but for destroying our national, adult conversation?!?"

Ben, you're probably right - the rise of the right wing noise machine that resurrects the 60s culture wars every time we talk about something with long-term ramifications - energy, healthcare, foreign policy - probably has more to do with our inability to have adult conversations.

Sarah's not necessarily the cause of this, but rather the symptom - it's like the republican party now has ADD - to our detriment.

I was appalled that a sitting governor would pose for a shot like this; or this stretching shot that puts the visual center of gravity squarely on her crotch.

I'd be appalled by that, too, if I were appalled by crotches, or inclined to pay much heed to virtual metrics. I'm neither of the above, so it didn't bother me a bit.

I am appalled, though, that the image is centered on her left breast. Because I'm appalled by real metrics, and breasts.

Not really, but I think that this is more a matter of Palin really annoys Lindsay than anything else.

Does anyone besides me remember Al Gore's Rolling Stone cover photo? And the flap that went along with it?

Or Obama's Hawaiian vacation swimsuit photo?

Politicians have been trading on physical attractiveness and "sex appeal", however construed, forever.

If JFK hadn't been better looking and generally cooler than Nixon, he wouldn't have been President.

All of that said, I agree with this:

this cover image is deliberately styled to make the then-governor of Alaska look like a Vargas pinup girl

It's a cheescake pose, and it's completely inappropriate for someone holding responsible public office at the level of governor, and certainly at the national level.

The thing I find most disturbing about Palin is that anyone, anywhere takes her seriously as a national political figure.

She was mayor of a town of 6,000 people, and was governor for part of one term of a state with a population density of 1.2 people per square mile. Alaska's a lovely place but it basically runs on federal money and licensing fees on mineral rights. Being governor of Alaska is like being governor of Siberia.

Her professional ambition as a young person was to be a sportscaster. She has absolutely no background in law or government other than her experience as mayor and governor. She doesn't know a freaking thing about anything relevant to public governance at a national level. She brings nothing to the table except her own parochial convictions and her own personal ambition.

The sooner she goes away, the better off we will all be. I'm not holding my breath.

Yet another illustration of women being held responsible for what men do.

Not really, but I think that this is more a matter of Palin really annoys Lindsay than anything else.

I'd say the problems that people tend to have with Palin go far beyond annoyance. And whether or not the visual center of gravity is what someone says or whether or not it exists at all in some objective sense is a pretty minor quibble. The photo is pure cheese, regardless.

Consider it from a practical side: How best to illustrate the article? How do you demonstrate visually that she's a problem for the GOP? Newsweek is using the image more legitimately than Runner's World, if you ask me. And she's being objectified, really? Who objectified her, if not herself? Please. Move along, folks, no sexism to see here.

I'm a born & raised Alaskan, long-time Republican (changed to Undeclared after McC picked her as his running-mate), female. All of that being on the table -- this post is spot-on!

The photo fits the premise: she is bad for the GOP for a multitude of reasons, and the thought-process that led her to pose for this atrocious photo is one of the key reasons. Who in their right mind would do such a thing and expect to be taken seriously? Whose idea was the disrespectful positioning of the flag? Hers, probably. Two blackberries make her fit for the position of VP (or in her mind Pres)? If those were really photos for a running mag, as she claims, why the flag & blackberries?

She is a very dangerous person, causing real damage to the fabric of our country's well-being and national discourse.

She told Hilary C to get tough, this stuff comes with being a female in a male's (politician) world. Why doesn't she take her own advice, as well as taking responsibility for her own decisions (posing like a snap-on-tool-calendar-girl)?

@ mollie 11:30 am

small quibble: I think the pic and runner's world story were done before the GOP convention, so she hadn't actually "just came off a national presidential campaign".

I read the Newsweek articles yesterday. Just some awful writing, especially by Hitchens. It reads like he wrote his usual stuff, and then several committees of several editors each took it apart and sort of put it back together again.

I sit kind of between Sully's total and unbecoming obsession and ignoring her altogether. If I never heard her voice again, I wouldn't mind.

Consider it from a practical side: How best to illustrate the article? How do you demonstrate visually that she's a problem for the GOP?

Why do you have to illustrate or demonstrate visually anything? And, if you do, why does it have to occur on the cover of the magazine?

And she's being objectified, really? Who objectified her, if not herself?

That she objectified herself and that others objectified her at the same time or with the same photo yields no contradiction. Yes, she did. Yes, they did. No mutual exclusivity to see here.

To be clear, criticism of Newsweek for this photo is no defense of Palin, at least not on my part. Nor does it mean that there isn't a portion of the outrage over the photo that's being manufactured for politics.

It's OUTRAGEOUS how that photo was ripped from its original context and used to show Palin this way!

What wrongness could be next? Is Time going to top Newsweek by using a pic from Palin's photoshoot for Hustler? How could they justify *that*?

Wait, what? Damn, time machine calibration is off, never mind.


I would say this issue is one hell of a lot more important than a photograph of Sarah Palin. But, as ever, John Thullen wins the thread, the Internet, and probably the planet. Can I hitch a lift on your spaceship, John?

efgoldman: The Runner's World article ran in mid-2009. It was some time after the election and shortly before she quit being Governor.

Also, the lighting and set-preparation for that photo are awful. The shadows are harsh, highlights are bizarre, one outlet has a safety cover, and the carpet has distracting furniture impressions.

I don't think Democratic attacks on Palin fall under the category of "never interrupt your opponent while he/she is making a mistake." One of the reasons that Palin is beloved by the Republican base is that liberals hate her. Democrats attacking her should be understood as investing in the gift so that it keeps on giving (rather than as genuine attempts to convince the GOP to not take Palin seriously).

I didn't know I carried an icon of political power in my pocket.

I thought it was just a phone.

My objection to this photo is that it is a bad photo. The room looks pedestrian, and the shadows on the light fixture and behind her underscore the bad lighting. Finally, it's just so blatantly artificial and badly posed. I mean, if you're going to underscore her physical fitness via running, then at least have her hair up and perhaps her glasses off---or exchanged with exercise friendly eyeware. And what are those ugly ass slippers on the window frame behind her? And what of the hastily stuck up U.S. Army banner behind her. In sum, the message behind the picture is completely garbled. Newsweek should've rejected this on the grounds that it looks like a second-rate promo photo for an infomercial selling off-brand running clothes. - TL

Why do you have to illustrate or demonstrate visually anything? And, if you do, why does it have to occur on the cover of the magazine?

Are these serious questions? Do you know how magazines work?

"puts the visual center of gravity squarely on her crotch."

Perhaps that just where _your_ gaze was drawn to.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Ben Alpers:

I think we can blame Sarah Palin for many things....but for destroying our national, adult conversation?!? I seem to remember one of those sometime in the mid-70s, but I was a small child at the time and I could have been mistaken.

Our national "adult" conversation is relative and contextual. One person or event doesn't diminish all conversation for everyone for all time. As an example, I'm pretty sure I never saw a condom (or even a sanitary napkin) ad on TV until sometime in the '90's.

That said, I do think we've always had a problem publicly discussing certain "adult" topics in this country. But some public figures work to raise the level of that discussion and others work to lower it.

What Sarah Palin has honed is a technique whereby she reduces all problems to the nearest mildly resonant cliche. If it's about her public image, it's "the elite media." If it's about monetary distribution, it's "socialism" or "thanks, but no thanks" or something about bootstraps. This is no different than juvenile playground taunting where different taunts are auditioned until one sticks.

As for the picture, the problem isn't so much the level to which she is sexualizing her image. It's the level to which she is mocking herself (and the media) versus the level to which she is narcissistically promoting herself. And I think that interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm pretty sure I never saw a condom (or even a sanitary napkin) ad on TV until sometime in the '90's.

Eh?

Comment Deleted by EricMartinHoneyBush

Are these serious questions? Do you know how magazines work?

Yes. By putting something catchy on the cover, sometimes without regard to appropriateness. What we're discussing is whether Newsweek did something that we did or did not approve of and why, not whether what they did was something unusual for magazines.

Are you suggesting there was no other way for Newsweek to make their point while still behaving like a magazine? If there wasn't, does that then somehow mean what they did was appropriate?

Perhaps there are certain things magazines are incapable of presenting without being appropriate, in which case, the inappropriateness was in trying to present one of those things at all.

It's like this:

"Sarah Palin just said something stupid."

"That's just because she doesn't know anything about foreign policy."

"Then why is she talking about it?"

"Because she's a power mad idiot. That's what they do."

"Okay. But it was still stupid."

"without being appropriate" should be "without being inappropriate", of course.

Lolita's comment looks like another of the I-hate-Lindsay trolls showing up. While there's some not-altogether-worthless analysis, the second and sixth paragraphs cry out for disemvowelment.

Lolita:

I enjoyed the analysis in the second paragragh (especially all of the alliterative p-words) of your comment regarding the visual center of gravity ......... but I think Lindsay was referring to another photograph linked by the word "crotch", not the cover photo of Palin with the American flag etc.

At any rate, we're probably well into over-analysis here regarding the meaning of the photographs, a little like the CIA parsing the meaning of the images of Mao taking a dip in the Yang-tze (was he wearing Speedos or was he doing the breaststroke au natural and what does it mean for Sino-Soviet relations?)

In fact, my mind being of the one-track variety when it comes to naughty stuff, were I interviewing Palin at this point, I'd probably be stumbling over my questions ... something like this:

"Governor, the American pubic, I mean, public,.... excuse me .... let me start again... the American public seems to believe that your pudenda positions, ah geez, (slapping my own red face in exasperation) ...... POLICY positions lack the proper positioning? How would you respond to them?"

...or, maybe ...

"Ms. Death Palin, President Obama is attempting to address the Israeli-Palestinian situation in the Mideast. What do you think is the crotch of the matter, I'm sorry, I meant to say the crux of the matter, damned Runner's World, ha ha, (mopping by brow with my notecards) in that part of the world, which I assume you've glimpsed from the watertower in Wasilla?"

Of course, I would be steadfastly maintaining strict eye contact with Sarah Palin to avoid roving eye syndrome.

@Mike

I wasn't replying directly to you as much as commenting on the OP, although I did have your post in mind when I wrote mine.

I'm just not sure I agree with the OP's claim that the original photo was unbecoming of a governor. Jon Huntsman of Utah is reputedly a big motorcycle buff, and I can picture him agreeing to do a puff piece like this with a Harley-Davidson or something. Saying it's okay for Huntsman to do that but it's out of line for Palin to do this is sexist.

The difference is that Huntsman has some genuine policy smarts and has taken some courageous stands on important issues. He can laugh off something like this as the fluff that it is.

Palin doesn't really have any of that, so the fact that she went ahead and did the puff piece underscores the fact that she's more suited to that than to actually governing.

Yes. By putting something catchy on the cover, sometimes without regard to appropriateness.

There's an old story about a man walking down the street who notices that his watch has stopped. By happy chance, there's a shop across the street, with a magnificent display of clocks and watches in its window. He walks in to see if they can fix his watch.

"Sorry," says the shopkeeper, "but I'm actually a mohel. I do circumcisions."

The man is annoyed. "Then why the hell do you have clocks and watches in your window?"

"And just what," asks the mohel equally annoyed, "do you want I should put in my window?"

Not saying this has anything to do with magazine covers, particularly.

--TP

As Paul Newman once said (in a movie, for God's sake) to a woman who accused him of looking up her skirt:

"Well, ma'am everyone's gotta look somewhere.

Thanks for noticing, Cranewanger! Yes, it's not an approved display of the flag -- and can you imagine for one moment what the furor would have been had Joe Biden posed with a flag like that?

The difference is that Huntsman has some genuine policy smarts and has taken some courageous stands on important issues. He can laugh off something like this as the fluff that it is.

That's the real difference. Huntsman has substance. People applauded when he was appointed Ambassador to China, from all points of the political spectrum.

Palin would have a tough time getting appointed zoning commissioner in most towns. She can get elected to some post by the crazies from time to time -- what was it Twain had Tom Sawyer saying? "Ain't we got every idiot in town on our side, and ain't that a big enough majority in any town?"

What we're discussing is whether Newsweek did something that we did or did not approve of and why, not whether what they did was something unusual for magazines.


Look, your questions were: "Why do you have to illustrate or demonstrate visually anything? And, if you do, why does it have to occur on the cover of the magazine?"

At the risk of being patronizing, this seems to indicate a serious infamiliarity with the operation of newsmagazines, in which each issue there is a featured piece of reportage, which is promoted on the cover, and which is accompanied by some sort of photograph or illustration depicting the subject of that featured reportage.

I suppose Newsweek could have had a plain white cover with "SARAH PALIN STORY ENCLOSED," but that might not have been the best tactic.

I'm just glad you corrected the photographer's name before totally destroying Bryan Adam's reputation. Bravo!

Damn, she's cute!

But Palin acts like someone with ADD.

Newsweek's use of the photo is perfect within their context of "The Palin Problem."

The majority of voters would not vote for Palin for president and this photo shows some of the reasons why: concupiscent posing (aka winking at the VP debate); superficial use of patriotism (leaning disrespectfully on the flag) as a personal prop; coyness unflattering to a 46 yo woman; and the absurdity that the aura of competence is somehow derived from having dual blackberries in hand while shooting a cheesecake photo op with Runner's World (The "I can see Russia..." kind of absurd competence)

Yep. Newsweek hit the nail on the head with this one. Doesn't hurt either that controversy sells, eh?

SI,

I clearly misread your comment, my apologies. I'm not sure I agree with your analogy, but I do think it's lees than clear just exactly what was unambiguously wrong about the shot in particular, or what precisely is wrong about using physical assets to advance oneself politically. Clearly it is done all the time -- is this just the same and it's always wrong, or is this worse? If so, how?

None of which, if it can't be shown it is wrong or worse in this case, denies anyone's right to simply dislike what they see for their own reasons, arbitrary or otherwise.

"There's a rule in politics: Never put on the funny hat. Meaning that when you go campaigning at the state fair, and somebody wants you to put on a viking helmet or something, don't do it. That picture will live forever."

-- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

OMG Phil you are cracking me up.

Would she ever have posed like that with an Alaskan flag?

Dang

I suppose Newsweek could have had a plain white cover with "SARAH PALIN STORY ENCLOSED," but that might not have been the best tactic.

I agree. It's just that I'm not trying to address the effectiveness of the tactic. If I were, I'd give the cover they did put out a 9 out of 10, only because I'm stingy with my 10s.

And I don't want to overstate my case here. I'm not calling for some sort of action against Newsweek, and I don't really care about it that much. The only reason I'm still engaging the issue is that I sort of can't help myself, like a lot of people who comment on blogs. It's hard to turn down an argument, especially when I'm sick of reading these damned proposals at work. In short, my postition is that what is normal for magazines and what is in good taste are perpendicular to one another. (And there's no accounting for taste, good or otherwise.)

I suppose Newsweek could have had a plain white cover with "SARAH PALIN STORY ENCLOSED," but that might not have been the best tactic.

Oh, yeah, strawman, too. ;)

"Second, this is part of a pattern of behavior on the part of Sarah Palin, I mean, this is a woman who WINKED into the camera during the vice presidential debate (more than once, if I remember correctly)."

That's why I found her protests over the cover being sexist amusing.

I think that's just her natural knee-jerk reaction to portray herself as a media victim. (Part of me can't help but think she's damn proud of these pictures and her rise as the nation's No. 1 46-year-old hottie.)

Russell's right: Rare is the male politician who doesn't use his sex appeal to some extent (JFK, Bill Clinton, Obama, even Reagan).

There's plenty to criticize and dismiss Palin without bitching about how she uses her looks.

What I find interesting is how Newsweek, not long ago, trumpeted its makeover as a sophisticated, more reflective alternative to Time.

What they produced here is a heavy-handed hit piece, as mckinney texas said. (Ironically, it will probably help sell Palin even more books.)

---

As for substance, forget the bubbleheadness. The one thing I do think the Newsweek cover shows is how today's Republican Party never met a double standard it didn't like. Specifically: I haven't heard one member of the GOP -- the party that is so quick to protect the sacredness of the American flag -- complain about its use as a mere accessory here.

On the one hand, I congratulate Lindsay on her ascension to Newsweek contributor (see today's latest ObWi thread).

On the other hand, I suggest she note that association with the magazine (full disclosure . . .) if she were ever to write a pro-Newsweek post here in the future.

Hm. Lolita makes a stupid comment, I tease Lolita, and *my* comment is deleted when hers is. Though not other Lolita-related comments.

I guess I now remember why I lost interest in reading this blog, and will return to my state of inattention re: same.

Anderson: I deleted one and only one comment on this thread: Lolita's.

So, not quite sure what you're talking about.

Let's tone down the ad hom, please. If you want to make comments about Lindsay's physical attributes or speculate as to her sexual preferences, take it to email.

If any of the moderators want to read the comment in question, it's in the spam queue. I tend to throw them there for a while, until it's really clear that they're not going to be needed later.


When a politican chooses to emphasize image over governing, that tells us something important about the politic1an.

For his first press conference as Leader of the Opposition and MP as leader of the Canadian Alliance, Stockwell Day chose to ride up on a jet ski and take questions in a wetsuit. He chose an image of "virile man" to contrast with the "tired old" Primie Minister. Canadians appreciated that silly images do not make for serious government, and laughed long and loud.

And some of us did criticize President Bush for his choice of image: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0525-02.htm

Sarah Palin agreed with the Runner's World photograph to further portray her desired image. She chose the wrong image for serious politics. She should be and is being criticized for that choice.

It is not sexist to criticize a woman for choosing to portray the wrong image, especially when the same criticism is made of male politicians making the same mistake.

Charming. Cleanup on aisle seven, please. Even my cat has the decency to go outside or in the litter box.

cleaned

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