How much bad taste will the media and the public dish up on Palin?
Stephen Pate, NJN Network, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, July 5, 2009
In her surprise resignation announcement on July 3, 2009, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin mentioned her family and specifically one child, the one year old Trig, as part of her decision process. Did the media’s treatment of her child who was prenatally diagnosed with down syndrome influence her decision? In her speech she cited her family and Trig’s role in the decision.
“In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life – my children (where the count was unanimous… well, in response to asking: “Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children’s future from outside the Governor’s office?” It was four “yes’s” and one “hell yeah!” The “hell yeah” sealed it – and someday I’ll talk about the details of that… I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we all could learn so much from someone like Trig – I know he needs me, but I need him even more… what a child can offer to set priorities right – that time is precious… the world needs more “Trigs”, not fewer.” Palin Announces No Second Term
Is Trig a cop-out? I don’t think so. Recently the picture of Palin and her baby has been Photoshopped by the media and mean spirited bloggers into some pretty hideous and grotesque caricatures. We’re not going to re-publish them since they are in very bad taste but you can Google it.
Palin had just gone through a rough Presidential election where her name had been sullied for every real and imagined sin by the media. Her teenage daughter had been ignorantly slammed by Dave Letterman on national TV. Letterman had to apologize after Palin called him on the under-age and under-handed joke. See – If David Letterman can apologize about his underage sex joke, I can apologize too
The depiction of her child as everything from the village idiot to grotesque was reaching a fever pitch last week. I’m not sure how leaving the Governor’s office will protect the child from more abuse at the hands of the media and bloggers, but I’m sure that is Palin’s hope.
Politics is a mean-spirited, blood sport anywhere. In the USA, the division between the right and the left does not leave much room for gracious behavior. Both side are so polarized there is usually just hatred and not discussion. Palin’s decision not to abort a disabled – read defective – child would be heralded by the right to life right wing and criticized by left wing bigots who support Planned Parenthood since it supports abortion. In the public discussion, civility has been thrown aside for rough and tumble rude behavior.
At the centre of the issue is a mother with a child. The child may have Down syndrome but she is still a mother capable of love and Trig is a human being. Trig is not a perfect human being but I’ll take the love a down syndrome child displays over the selfish celebrity brats hoisted in the media any day.
I don’t agree with all of Sarah Palin’s politics but I agree with her as a mom. Her family and especially Trig don’t need the abusive treatment from the media and Internet.