The framing of the shrew
Allah and Charles at LGF have already debunked the early-out-of-the-gate attempts to cast VP candidate Sarah Palin as a “creationist” and an “enemy of science”* — Al Gore and his band of hokem-peddling Greenbots being the current champions of forcing junk-science into public school curricula — so the left liberal establishment and the mainstream press have now moved on to Palin’s alleged “ethics violations,” known by the shorthand, “Trooper Gate” (as well as on to more batshit crazy speculation, which is hardly worth dignifying; bizarre feminist doublethink; and of course, the predictable envirofascist wheezings).
Knowing full well that it is the appearance of impropriety, moreso oftentimes than minor improprieties themselves, that does the hard work of throwing a pall over the character of one of their political enemies (“how long now have we lived with the suggestion that Bush “lied us into war”?), Dems, and their allies in the press, have begun “digging into” the firing by Governor Palin of an appointee who claims he was shitcanned for his refusal to cave to pressure from the Governor’s Office to fire a trooper who happened also to Palin’s brother-in-law.
Thus far, however, the “digging” seems to be built around the purpose of finding — not the truth — but rather the impropriety. Which suggests to me that many in the press are looking for the kinds of “evidence” that fits a pre-determined narrative (“abuse of power” / “government corruption”) rather than entering into an investigation from the perspective of objective reporters.
Because, you know, anybody can gather facts. But as Jeff Jarvis once reminded us, the reporter’s job is to spoonfeed us the “lesson.” For our own good.
I remain unconvinced that such is the proper role of journalists — at least so long as they labor under the pretense that what they are offering is an objective set of facts laid out in such a way that all “sides” are given a fair hearing — which is why I am skeptical of early reports, dropped in the comments sections of a number of blogs and online media outlets, that “Trooper Gate” is the nail in the coffin of Governor Palin it is being presented as: firstly, because a VP candidate is usually quite thoroughly vetted (or at least, one would hope she’d be); and secondly, because of the rapidity with which the indictment and allegations were put on offer.
Luckily, for those of us not quite up to snuff on the alleged ethics violations of Alaskan governors (my immediate reaction, after a cursory look at the “evidence” for “abuse of power” I posted here), Flopping Aces has endeavored to head off attempts by the press to find what it is they are looking for by, shrewdly enough, presenting the facts of Trooper Gate in its complete context:
[...] Knowing the Palin-Monegan-Wooten investigation of abuse of power was their prime target, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been spending time this AM researching the chain of events in hopes of beating the media to the political and biased distortions creating a new, and false Ã¢â‚¬Å“truth.” I took into consideration that journalistsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and ardent supporters like Markg8 on CurtÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s threadÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ will be quick to post what they believe is damning evidence without reading more material on the issue.
Unsurprisingly — well, to me at least — Markg8 is the same fellow who dropped the same link into my thread. Evidently, he spent much of yesterday cutting and pasting the same URL and indictment into the comment sections of whatever blogs he had in his RSS feeder. Now, I suppose it’s possible that markg8 is really just a citizen concerned about abuses of power, even those that are merely alleged, but having had previous experience with him, it is my belief that he hasn’t much changed, and is still nothing more than a useful idiot for the “progressives” who rely on his kind of dronish obedience in disseminating allegations (remember, the appearance of impropriety is the goal — recall, in addition to Joe Wilson’s op-ed, the “missing weapons” story during the run-up to election 2004) to secure power by whatever tactic works.
In short, markg8 is Alinsky’s Chapstick.
But back to the actual facts of the Trooper Gate “scandal,” at least insofar as Flopping Aces presents them. Using a sourced timeline of events, Flopping Aces details how the complaints againt trooper Wooten preceded the appointment of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who has since been fired for what Palin insists were budget, recruiting and enforcement performance issues; how those complaints were directed to Wooten’s superior, who would have been a more likely candidate for “pressuring” and abuse of power, should the goal have been to have Wooten fired; who, precisely, the source is of complaints against Palin (and his political ax to grind; and the connections between the Dem-endorsed special prosecutor and the “victim” — an appointee Governor Palin was within her rights to fire.
And so on. As they say, read the whole thing.
What is conspicuously absent from the news reports I’ve thus far read on Trooper Gate is the backstory of domestic violence complaints against Mike Wooten (also detailed on Flopping Aces).
Meaning that — as has become depressingly famliar — the press is deciding for us which details of the story are important and which are not, and in so doing, are attempting to frame for us the “lesson” we should learn from all this by working to control the contextual parameters.
Meanwhile, progressive “feminists” — who, were the party designations reversed, would be cheerleading any effort by Palin to intercede in a potentially dangerous and abusive situation, even were it not her own sister involved — are out in full force to call Sarah Palin an “anti-woman woman,” a “woman hater,” or an “anti-feminist”. Conveniently, disagreement with such an assessement marks one as an anti-feminist in what can only be described as a perfect jewel of circular reasoning — one that propels, say, wannabe metrosexual Jesse Taylor to the role of real feminist, and those like, eg., my wife, a women’s studies major who suggested to me last evening that feminism is about allowing the views and choices of all women as autonomous individuals to stand and fall on their own merit, as suffering from false consciousness (and, for marrying me, poor judgment). This attempt to define “feminism” to include only a particularly activist strain as “authentic” I’ve discussed at length — so while it is certainly nothing new, it is, nevertheless always surreal to bump up against it.
Up is down. Black is white. Benson is Hedges. Jesse Taylor is a simpering fop.
But progressives, alas, are — in the final analysis — progressives first. And when power is at stake, integrity becomes just another cog in the machinery of pragmatic rationalizations. Which is why we are now treated to the spectacle of Pandagon and Feministe tearing down a woman whose life choices have propelled her to a successful career in business and politics — all while maintaining a tight knit family — so that they can stand up for a candidate whose base took on Hillary Clinton with cries of “Bros Before Hos,” and who now are out in full misogynistic force tearing down Palin as a bimbo breeder hick.
The irony, could it be bottled, would be thick enough make a tapenade — though one so bitter that most self respecting breadsticks would avoid it like a fish avoids a bicycle…
*I have previously argued for what I think is a proper and useful way to introduce ID into discussions of Darwinian evolution and the origin of species. As regular readers know, I believe ID to be junk-science, but, as a metaphysical position with respect to certain philosophical questions, I find it quite valid, and so quite useful for the purposes of pedagogy.