Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Mailbag: Who's calling the media 'lamestream' now? (Hint: It isn't just Sarah Palin)

Palin Sarah Palin: A shameless political celebrity, or a substantive voice in national politics? If you came down on either side, you might share with the former Alaska governor's critics or supporters a common enemy, judging by recent responses sent to letters@latimes.com: the mainstream media.

The Times' coverage of Palin's not-a-candidate bus tour through a few states that happen to wield an outsized influence in determining the 2012 GOP nominee drew dozens of critical responses, many of which lambasted, in addition to Palin, us. To these critics, any significant coverage -- even the kind that spotlights her shoddy historical references -- keeps a vice-presidential also-ran with a thin resume in the national conversation. As reader Susan Budner of San Marcos put it in a letter Monday:

We are begging the L.A. Times and other legitimate media to stop giving Palin so much press; she is undeserving of all the attention. Every precious resource spent on Palin takes away from being able to report on the many legitimate and serious issues facing our nation and our world. Let Fox do her bidding. 

Budner's letter was one of roughly a dozen from readers upset over finding any print space in The Times -- even what some would view as unflattering coverage -- devoted to Palin. We've come a long way since Katie Couric and Tina Fey.

After the jump is a selection of responses, edited only for spelling, clarity and grammar, expressing dismay that The Times would cover Palin at all. (And for the record, not a single letter we've received so far has come to the governor's defense.)

In response to Times articles last week on Palin's "One Nation" bus tour, readers write:

There's no doubt in the minds of many that Sarah Palin scrapes the bottom of the IQ barrel, yet amazingly she's able to manipulate the media of an entire nation to make assumptions of her every moves. Those of us who see right through her charade know that this is all about keeping herself relevant so she can continue to command those high speaking fees and rake in as much money as she can. There's no chance whatsoever that Palin would be a viable candidate unless she plans to run her campaign through Twitter and Facebook. Just like Trump, this is all about running ... all the way to the bank.

Carlos Khantzis
Woodland Hills

"Is Sarah Palin sightseeing or campaigning?" Who cares? Were she not so photogenic no one would give the time of day to this minimally educated individual who resigned two years into her governorship and whose main accomplishments are her fecundity and her destruction of John McCain's presidential aspirations. Palin is a perfect example of why this female voter is no longer a Republican.

This is the second morning in a row I've opened The Times to see half of a page devoted to the 'non' campaign of Sarah Palin. It's more than disheartening to see this demagogue receiving all of this attention when so many more pressing issues are taking place in our world. Where are your priorities?  You are underselling the intelligence of the people of Los Angeles.

Gail Myers
Santa Monica

On today's L.A. Times Op-Ed page is a four column color carton showing a dog labeled the media chasing a Palin tour bus. On the top of page A10 is a "news analysis" and a photo of Palin with the subheading: "Palin is not in the GOP race, but she's stealing the spotlight from those who are."
She's not stealing; you, the L.A. Times, are giving her the spotlight. In today's "letters" Craig Arnold writes, "Sarah Palin is not running for president. She just wants you to pay attention to her. Stop it."
What part of S-T-O-P don't you understand? In my high school journalism class 60 years ago, our school paper's advisor taught us that it was the task of journalism to report the news, not to make it. Unfortunately that no longer seems to be true, but you could change it in at least one newspaper.
Ken Hougland

An inaccurate headline in June 1 paper says that Sarah Palin is "not in the race but stealing the spotlight from those who are." She is not "stealing the spotlight." You are keeping it on her. The article mentions nothing she has done other than having pizza with Donald Trump and coffee with three customers in a Pennsylvania coffee shop. That was enough, though, for you to privilege the story over those Supreme Court decisions and federal charges in terrorist cases.

Skip Nicholson
Los Angeles

By playing the presidential guessing game Sarah Palin is manipulating the press as easily as she manipulates the right-wing fringe.
Palin has no intention of running for president since it would stop the river of cash she loves so much. So would running and losing. (Remember Donald Trump?)
Shame on the L.A. Times for its over-the-top coverage of this one-trick pony show.
Phyllis Landis
Ocean Hills


Why Sarah Palin doesn't get what she deserves

Patt Morrison: Founding Fathers versus 'birthers' -- smackdown!

Doyle McManus: Shifting sands of religion and politics

'Tea party' tango

Duck, it's The Donald!

-- Paul Thornton

Photo: Sarah Palin, holding a booklet depicting Paul Revere, speaks briefly with the media as she tours Boston's North End neighborhood. Credit: Steven Senne / Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (19)

The comments to this entry are closed.


She got a purdy mouth.


She's using the patented Nixon non-campaign strategy perfectly... to underestimate her is to put her right into office (scary, but true... happened in '68 with Nixon, who everybody thought was politically dead).

patrick Mulqueeney


LA Reader

Poor Sarah seems to receive a fair amount of time and attention from that utterly despicable "lamestream" media. A quote comes to mind from another writer...something about protesting too much.


I am not a Palin supporter, but "articles" like this are exactly why she is so populare. She did not make herself into a political celebrity - the Media at large did.

With every dirty trick, slanted and passive-aggressine comment (grossly evident in the text above) coupled with a gross lack of questions or investigation into the Democratic candidate, people saw the real tactics and objectives of the Media at large.

It was easy for people to project themselves into Palin's position. They could identify with her position. And whatever you may think of her intelligence or political positions (the Media spends a lot of time assaulting both, and at the same time refuses to ask the same questions or put the same effort into the President), Palin is shrewd enough to capitalize on it.

The Media didn't investigate or ask questions of the American Left, but spent too much time trying to marginalize a pronounced 42% of the country. No wonder Fox has a huge audience and traditional media is shrinking; they demonstrated again and again they cannot do their job. While it helps partisans, even the public at large realize what the Media has done and has no faith in them for news standards.

The Media alienated huge contingents of the public and created Palin, not Palin.

LA Reader

That mean, terrible media "assaulting" poor, hapless Sarah--just not buying it. If Sarah didn't want to play the game of politics and media which is never fair, never kind, never simple, she would have stayed home. She didn't--she jumped into the game--eagerly cashing those checks and smiling.

There are no victims in the game of politics, just players on the field.

Ironman Carmichael

The so-called lamestream media is Sarah Palin's best enemy. If anyone or anything can be said to "make" this utterly unremarkable woman, it's the press who keeps a bright spotlight on her at all times and a microphone at the ready to catch every inane thing that comes from her lips.


You guys are afraid of her, that's why you give her such bad press. If Obama had been asked an eighth of the serious questions she was, it might have looked like fair coverage.
Really, please give me some difficult questions asked of Obama in the 08 campaign; or ever for that matter. Please, just one.
See? You can't.
I like her, but I'm not sure she presidential material. But I know Obama sure isn't!

robert m. simon

It is shameful that the ignorant,bigoted far-left fringe that gave us the most incompetent President of the last 100 years should slam Palin....She's been spot on in her prophetic utterances on the resume-slim Obama...and his failed policies...And where is the outrage at Obama's continuous gaffes?Not to mention the utter stupidity of Joe Biden?

LA Reader

Sarah's continued media presence splinters the Republican voter base and has turned a large contigent of independent voters freezing cold on the Republican Party. If Sarah stays front and center, she may undermine the hopes of the Republican Party in 2012. That is part of what makes her interesting and also what makes the Republican Party pollsters cringe.

Gosh darn, politics is fun to watch---from a distance.


People want to read about Palin, if only to gawk at her. And in the bottom line world that we live in, you'd be hard pressed to find a news outlet that would turn away from that.


LA Reader, you missed my point entirely... in fact, you proved my thesis.

Socorro Varela

Fear,fear,fear,fear,fear,fear,fear! This one word describes the underlying reason for liberal democrats' hatred and bashing of one, solitary woman. But for that fear we would never have heard of Sarah Palin again. Whoever spoke of Geraldene Ferraro after her also ran attempt at the VP??? Exactly, no ever spoke of her again until her Death.

Everybody knows that emperor Obama is naked and can be beat by any and all of the republicans now running. But they fear that Sarah would make Obama's defeat a landslide. So, keep right hating liberals, we know the reason for your hatred----FEAR!


Good article. Did anyone see the funny story about Palin's tour???



I have to agree, she's not running for any office and I've never heard her offer a single policy. She's great at talking points " better schools", "lower taxes", "smaller government", but making that happen actually takes a well thought out plan. Until she has one, who cares?


You guys certainly get it with regard to Sarah Palin. She regards you as a pack of dogs nipping at her ankles, and your low opinion of her leaks right back through articles like this one -- in which reader commentaries entirely peopled by Palin-haters are the news.

If I were her, I'd be ignoring you too.


All the letters above make a legitimate point about Sarah Palin, but all also either don't see or outright ignore the obvious: so-called "real" news -- Supreme Court decisions, foreign policy, etc. -- doesn't sell newspapers; Sarah Palin does.

Anywhere her image and name appears is guaranteed to sell that publication. The LAT is no exception. Yes, Palin's a bimbo in some ways, and no, she probably doesn't know a foreign policy from an insurance policy, but it's all about what sells. Sarah Palin sells. Get used to it.

Bert B

I find it humorous that the same people who call Gov. Palin "stupid, uneducated, dumb" are the same people who praise Obama for being the smartest president ever. These are the same people who claim that Gov. Palin was "unqualified" to be President because she only served 2 years as governor, an executive position, when Obama only served two years as a Senator and had no executive experience.

"To the hammer, everything looks like a nail"

juan riingen

Honestly, I want her to run for president and challenge Obama in 2012. I'm sure someone will get a landslide.
San Diego



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...