pátek 26. listopadu 2010

Sarah Palin in the News

By now, reports of Sarah Palin's legendary confusion have spread around the world at her apparent confusion regarding North and South Korea (As the transcript itself says , "We must stand with our North Korean allies...") and the (particularly foreign) papers are gleefully re-reporting the news. To be fair, the Washington Post link focuses on the response of the foreign press more than on the actual gaffe, CNN only excerpts an MSNBC report, and the New York Times does not bother to carry the story at all on its website.

The Post article thus sets up a very interesting observation. First off, what US outlets are non-US press using to get information about America itself? It seems that they are more likely reading and re-reporting information from left-wing blogs than from the New York Times, which is hardly a right-wing stalwart known for leaping to the defense of Sarah Palin. As a result, what does this mean for America's image in the world?

In the interview, Palin expressed her worry that President Obama would avoid pursuing an aggressive policy to deal with the North Korean threat (which she somehow correctly identified as from the "North" a mere 8 seconds before her comment about the allies). There is merit in discussing how "aggressive" the US posture should be toward the Korean peninsula, and whether or not the former governor is too trigger-happy, or whether the current president is too trigger-averse. But a future problem for Palin, if she ever is to return to US electoral politics, is going to be her portrayal in the international media long before she implements any international policy. President George W. Bush, of course, was no stranger to this; Spiegel had determined that he was a boots-wearin' tobacco-spittin' gun-slingin' Manichean cowboy long before September 11, 2001.

Domestically, of course, these sorts of stories embolden and strengthen Palin among her supporters. Every mother who has mixed up the names of her children (and anyone with siblings knows this happens) is far more likely to identify with Palin than with a blogger citing a slip of the tongue as evidence of her foreign-policy inexperience. It allows her to further depict the media as out-of-touch and biased, and to depict herself as a common-sense mainstream person. But for the publics of France, Netherlands, Germany, India, and the Czech Republic, it will likely be the only impression of Palin they get.

Žádné komentáře: