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Palin and the “School Teacher”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Here’s how the MSM played the story of an alleged confrontation between Sarah Palin and an alleged Alaskan school teacher yesterday, with this example coming from the $1 store newsweekly-formerly-known-as-Newsweek:

Well, Palin’s dark side came out in full effect this weekend, and this time the victim was not President Obama but a schoolteacher in small-town Alaska. Palin was there to film a segment of a nature program on TLC, and she confronted Kathleen Gustafson who was holding up a sign reading “WORST GOVERNOR EVER.” Palin clearly intended to disarm Gustafson with her charm, but instead got defensive.

Gustafson, said, “You swore on your precious Bible that you would uphold the interests of this state, and then when cash was waved in front of your face, you quit.” To which Palin responded, her tone dripping with unamusing sarcasm, “Oh, you wanted me to be your governor! I’m honored! Thank you!” Palin went on to use the same tone of nasal condescension when saying she was “honored” that Gustafson considers her a celebrity (h/t The Atlantic Wire). Then, as New York‘s Dan Amira notes, “When Palin asks Gustafson what she does for a living, and Gustafson tells Palin she’s a teacher, Palin and her daughter groan and exchange eye rolls as if to say, ‘Of course, only a teacher would be such a liberal nut.’ “

And it’s true, schoolteachers are definitely not a Republican constituency, but anyone, even a Republican, running for president needs to make nice with them on a personal level, just asDemocrats do with the military or police officers. This latest incident won’t help Palin’s negative favorability ratings.

Wow, pretty bad news for the governor, right?

Except the “school teacher” was much more than a school teacher, as Gateway Pundit and MacRanger make clear.

Go back and read the entire Newsweek entry by Ben Adler, from beginning to end. Adler’s scorn of Palin is present in every paragraph, which matters only if Adler has a job other than commentary, one that would require him to make news judgments in a reasonable, objective fashion perhaps? Adler’s got quite a resume:

Shortly after Ben realized he would not grow up to play shortstop for the New York Yankees, he set his sights on something more realistic: becoming the first Jewish president. But early in his first, and only, campaign internship Ben discovered that asking people for money was not how he wanted to spend his days. So, following the maxim that those who can’t, write about it, he began working in journalism.

Years of internships, temporary jobs, and low-paying freelance assignments later, Ben left his beloved native New York City to be a reporter-researcher at The New Republic in Washington, D.C. He went on to edit, a daily online magazine at the Center for American Progress, while contributing regularly to The American Prospect and its award-winning group blog, TAPPED. Starting in September 2007, he covered the 2008 election and Congress as a staff writer at Politico.

After the election he took a fellowship covering federal urban policy at Next American City, a quarterly journal of urban affairs, and freelanced for Columbia Journalism Review, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, The Nation and The Washington Monthly, among other publications. He also wrote the “Angry Rant from a New Yorker” column for the Internet Food Association, a D.C. food blog.

In the summer of 2009 Ben reported from Europe on urban policy in Berlin, Copenhagen and Strasbourg on a German Marshall Fund grant.

Ben has appeared on national radio and television programs and he has spoken at think tanks such as The American Enterprise Institute and The Century Foundation. His articles reprinted in books, including The Contemporary Reader and Clued in to Politics.

Since September 2009, he has been back in New York, editing Newsweek’s online political and national affairs content as National Editor of, and thanking God every time he has a slice of pizza

Adler is editing Newsweek’s online content, and his obviously hard-left slant and indifference to the obvious issue of Gustafson’s agenda and identity came through in the Palin piece, as it must in all of his work.

This doesn’t surprise me, or probably most center-right journalists who have followed Newsweek’s or the Washington Post’s adaptation of the MSNBC branding strategy.

But it will no doubt surprise many readers and (former) subscribers who may have thought that even as it tiled left Newsweek would retain something of the “old school” pretense of covering the news.


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