In the October issue of Vanity Fair, writer Michael Joseph Gross offers up a 10,000-plus-word essay about the woman liberals love to hate — Sarah Palin. Interestingly, the very long Vanity Fair “hit piece,” as Conservatives for Palin are calling it, cites only one verified source.
Just Another Sarah Palin Gossip Piece?
Although he has denied the charges, Gross reveals a bias against Palin early in his article titled, “Sarah Palin the Sound and the Fury.” The Vanity Fair writer manages to paint a picture not so much about the sins of Palin, but his desire to make her look bad at any cost. The first paragraph includes this telling statement:
“Following the former Alaska governor’s road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits ‘a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family’ and the sadness she has left in her wake.”
What follows is a series of assumptions and hearsay backed only by anonymous sources who, according to Gross, “fear she [Palin] will exact revenge, as she has been known to do.” For example, Gross is forced to fill the article with not-so-important revelations about Palin, such as her hotel tipping habits, the number of BlackBerry phones she uses, and the type of undergarments she wears.
Faith in God and Prayer Warriors
Even though the piece is mostly fluff and vivid storytelling, one disturbing part of the article is the author’s attempt to demean Palin’s faith. On page three of the post, the writer introduces a section titled “Angels and Demons.” In the section, Gross discusses Palin’s use of the term “prayer warriors” and lists various situations when the former Alaska governor asked for prayer or received spiritual support from pastors or other Christian leaders.
Gross says of Palin’s faith:
“Whenever I heard Palin speak on the road, her remarks were scored with code phrases expressing solidarity with fundamentalist Christians. Her talk of leading with “a servant’s heart” is a dog whistle for the born-again. But it is Palin’s persistent encouragement of the prayer warriors that most clearly reveals her worldview: she is good, her opponents are evil, and the war is on.”
Sarah Palin is the Perfect Distraction
Michael Gross and Vanity Fair are not the first to reveal their obvious, unexplained fear of Palin. The real question is why publish the piece now? Is it a coincidence November elections are just around the corner? What about the Ground Zero Mosque debate, coupled with a recent Pew poll showing a growing number (18 percent) of Americans think President Obama is a Muslim? Or how about the daily fear being expressed by average Americans concerning unemployment?
Whatever the reason, emotions still run high when discussing the former vice presidential candidate. Political bloggers and smart columnists know Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. Perhaps Gross and Vanity Fair simply wanted to sell a few more magazines. On the other hand, maybe they wanted (if only for a moment) to take the focus off the embattled president, the struggling Democratic party and our failing economy.