So Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is about to give her big-time speech at the Republican National Convention and the GOP strategy is pretty clear: Attack the media for reporting anything that doesn't shower her with praise as a maverick compatriot cut from the same cloth as U.S. Sen. John McCain. Nothing new there, really. Certainly not the first time a political campaign saw the upside in trying to pick a fight with the media.
But the left wants in on the action too. Media Matters for America tonight started circulating complaints that the media -- as if it was some sort of giant monolithic agency that doesn't run the gamut from Fox News to MSNBC -- has bought into McCain's reasons for picking Palin to run for vice president. A sampler: Media Matters says the media has ignored the fact that Palin switched her position on the so-called "bridge to nowhere," that she hired a lobbyist to bring back millions in federal "earmarks" to the tiny town of Wasilla when she was mayor there, and that she faces an ethics investigation from alleged pressure from her administration to fire her former brother-in-law, an Alaskan state trooper.
As you can see from the links above, the media has chased all those angles pretty well. In fact, Media Matters credits many media outlets for reporting on the stories that the media won't report. Really.
That's not what the GOP has been complaining about, at least not up on the surface. Instead, we're hearing a roar of righteous indignation -- from both Karl Rove on Fox News and Pat Buchanan on MSNBC -- about how Palin has been treated poorly in media reporting. The chief complaint: That it was revealed that Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant. The chief point left unsaid: McCain's camp revealed that first in a press release on Monday. They did so in response to the rumors circulating on left-wing blogs during the holiday weekend about the personal lives of the Palin family. But a Lexis-Nexis search shows that no so-called mainstream media outlet -- print, wire or broadcast -- reported the pregnancy or the other rumors until the McCain camp announced it. The rumors were included for context, to explain why the McCain camp, which had known about the pregnancy but not announced it earlier, decided to change direction on all that.
But why let all that get in the way of an effective strategy, no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on?