Sarah Palin Ripped to Shreds in Vanity Fair Piece: Is It a Hatchet Job?


I’m not a Sarah Palin fan, but anyone who is fair-minded can see that Michael Joseph Gross’ article about her in the October issue of Vanity Fair is the work of a man who went in with one objective: to trash her. Given she’s put herself out there and has become a celebrity, she’s certainly fair game. But I kind of thought Vanity Fair had some journalistic standards. What I found most interesting was his criticism of her mothering skills. Why not focus on her policies or politics (those are not really discussed) instead of third-party personal anecdotes on her parenting or that she wears Spanx. I mean, really? Following are a few excerpts:

When the girl, Piper Palin, turns around, she sees her parents thronged by admirers, and the crowd rolling toward her and the baby, her brother Trig, born with Down syndrome in 2008. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, bend down and give a moment to the children; a woman, perhaps a nanny, whisks the boy away; and Todd hands Sarah her speech and walks her to the stage. Read here: Bad mom for actually having a nanny, one who “whisks” a child away while she is more interested in their admirers.

Behind the curtain, Piper plays with other children, oblivious to the speech. She runs in circles, plays hide-and-seek, poses for snapshots, and generally acts as if she were in another world—until she gets the signal to do her job: march to the podium, pick up Palin’s speech, and allow Palin to make a public display of maternal affection. Read here: Palin’s affection for her children is simply a show for the public.

During these post-campaign days, according to insiders, Palin’s temper veered wildly. It was as if something had snapped. Visitors to her house witnessed her in core meltdown. To one of her children, she cried, “We weren’t good enough for America. We’ll never be good enough for America.” Read here: She acts crazy in front of her children. (And frankly, this scenario rings rather false.)

There’s a general consensus in town that, at least since the start of the 2008 campaign, Todd has been shouldering the bulk of the parenting and that Sarah’s relationship with her children has grown more distant. The children did not, as Sarah has claimed, have a chance to weigh in on her decision to run for vice president. She did not even deliver the news to them personally; as has been reported, she asked McCain’s campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, to do it for her. Read here: She a neglectful mother. (And why can’t a father do the “bulk of the parenting” from time to time without a mother being made out to be a monster? Plus, do we really think she didn’t share the news with her family herself?)

Bottom line: I don’t think a father with ambition would be given the same criticism in relation to parenting the children. Again, I’m not a Sarah Palin fan and think John McCain choosing her as a running mate was ludicrous, but so is media coverage of her with unnamed sources and insinuations that her mothering is bordering on neglectful. Read the whole (very long and winded) article here and tell us what you think.

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