The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin: the MSM blows it again

Posted by Bill Nance on September 4, 2008

As usual, the MSM misses the story by going for the cheap thrill.

As you may have heard last night, Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter, and probably one of the best minds in the Republican Party was caught on an open mic, when she thought she was off-air saying “I’ts over.” Within five minutes, all over the blogosphere as well as the MSM, the line was repeated ad nauseum, and it turns out, taken out of context.

Peggy Noonan set the record straight today in the Wall Street Journal.

The interesting part of all this is not that the media pulled yet another dirty trick putting people’s off-the-cuff remarks to each other into the public sphere (something that’s just plain lousy journalism) but they also missed the story. And story it is.

As Noonan says:

In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up. “The first lesson they learned is the one they remember,” I said to Todd — and I’m pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that’s over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people.

That’s a big deal statement coming from someone of Noon’s stature. It’s something I would have been all over, particularly as revelations keep coming in showing Sarah Palin to be a George Bush, Karl Rove type Republican. It’s a significant observation coming from someone whom everyone agrees is not only a smart political thinker, but a standard-bearer of the party of Reagan.

As usual the MSM blew it. It’s not bias, it’s just stupidity.

A maxim I’ve used for years is: “Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence.” Those bashing the media shold remember this one. It explains a lot more than wild conspiracy theories.

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