Posted by: christinelsmith | July 7, 2009

Too Hard on Sarah Palin


Sarah Palin was not prepared to become the vice president of the United States of America. The media commonly discussed Sarah Palin’s political opinions in a negative manner. The media criticized her political experience and her political knowledge.

They were able to make the point that she was not fit for the position that she was running for. However, in my opinion, the media took it too far. They were cruel towards Sarah Palin and towards her family. They discussed her personal appearance and her family members more than they discussed her candidacy for vice president of the United States of America.

The media was successful in informing the general public that Sarah Palin was too inexperienced and too unknowledgeable to become our nation’s vice president. That’s where they should have left it. However, the media knows that soft news is more appealing and more entertaining than hard news. Put simply: soft news sells and hard news does not sell. This is the reason that the media began focusing on Sarah Palin’s appearance and on Sarah Palin’s family, with emphasis on her daughter, Bristol Palin.

During class, students stated that presidential candidate John McCain, presidential candidate Barack Obama, and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden were discussed by the media in negative manners as well. I agree. All politicians are. However, not in the manner that Sarah Palin was criticized. Their personal lives as well as their children’s personal lives were not attacked to the same extent. If you have a minute, take a look at this recent poll:

Press Coverage of the Candidates

Press Coverage of the Candidates

During class, students stated that Sarah Palin was pro-life, which means she believes in safe sex and does not believe in abortion. Students thought that she was hypocritical because her daughter was pregnant with a child at the time. The Palins might have contributed slightly to Bristol Palin’s negative media exposure, but they attempted to make an example out of her. People make mistakes throughout life. It was a substantial mistake. It was a mistake that she has to live with for the rest of her life. However, she’s a human being capable of mistakes just like the rest of us. Despite her daughter’s pregnancy, Sarah Palin remained faithful to her pro-life political platform. Bristol Palin did not consider an abortion and did not receive an abortion. She made the best of the situation. She attempted to educate adolescents about safe sex and about the responsibilities of having a child. Sarah Palin attempted to be as supportive as possible. She was being a good mother. It must have been extremely difficult for her and her daughter to go through, especially in the public light and under the public discretion. I could not even begin to imagine what it was like for them.

Overall, I think that the media was successful in informing the general public about Sarah Palin’s political opinions, plans to execute her political opinions, lack of political experience, and lack of political knowledge when she ran for vice president of the United States of America. She wasn’t ready for the job. She might be in the future. However, the media took advantage of the fact that Americans prefer soft news to hard news. They are willing to pay for soft news and money talks. Americans love gossip. A presidential or a vice presidential candidate’s personal appearance and family life should be kept out of the media. They deserve privacy as well.

Sarah Palin was not prepared for the position that she was running for. However, it was not because of the issues that were commonly discussed by the media. The media ruined her life and her family’s life in a number of manners, which may be one of the reasons for her resignation.

If you’re interested take a look at the most recent and most controversial media regarding Sarah Palin:



  1. Nice post – lots to think about there.

    I hope you don’t mind but I added some breaks to your post so it’s not all one big block of text…I feel that paragraphs make it easier to read. I didn’t change any of your content. I also hyperlinked your links.

    One quick comment from me, I love the use of pictures that accompany your post. A great example of the use of images to drive home a point. We’ll be talking about that next week.

    p.s. I would also recommend people read over the most recent Vanity Fair article that Christine links to – reflects what many people has called a biased media attacking Palin.

  2. That Vanity Fair article is pretty ridiculous. Mostly because… why does it matter? I understand people enjoy soft news and scandals, but to go to the lengths of creating a timeline like that? It’s almost amusing to me.

  3. Apologies, I messed up the linking in Christine’s post…both vanity fair links were going to the timeline which, as Karen points out, is just a bit of fluff.

    I’ve fixed the link now or just go to:

  4. Sarah Palin did not believe in safe sex, she believed in no sex at all. Palin was once quoted as saying that she would “only support and approve funding for abstinence-only education”. I also remeber reading on CNN yesterday that 7 out of 10 Americans say that her resignation has not changed their opinion of her, and that 7 out of 10 Republicans stated that they would vote for her were she to run in 2012. This shows that within her part, Palin has not lost as much credibility as one would expect in her situation.

  5. I’m sorry. You’re right. Sarah Palin believes in abstinence.

    However, it doesn’t matter if she believes in abstinence or in safe sex. She possesses her own morals and values. She raised her children in a certain manner. She raised them to believe that sex should wait until marriage. She could have emphasized how important this was to her every single day of her childrens’ lives. However, at the end of the day, the choice is theirs. Sarah Palin can offer her children advice, but she cannot control them. She cannot stop her daughters from being sexually active. All she can do is offer her opinion and hope that her children agree with her. However, her daughter did not. She made a mistake. She made a substantial mistake. However, she’s only human. We all make mistakes throughout life. Sarah Palin remained true to her pro life platform, to herself, and to her daughter. This combination is challenging. She did what any good mother would do. She supported her daughter and stood by her side. Neither Sarah Palin nor Bristol Palin thought an abortion was an option. Sarah Palin ensured that her daughter made the “correct decision”. Her daughter was mature and took responsibility for her actions. This is something that I give Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin a great amount of credit for, especially in the public eye. For that, I commend both of them.

    Overall, I think it is completely unfair and completely unreasonable to call Sarah Palin a hypocrite. Her daughter made the mistake. She did not.

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