Yesterday Newsweek had the audacity to write about what Alaska's progressive bloggers have been writing for months, and the Alaska traditional media continues to scrupulously avoid questioning:
One key question: Who has been ghostwriting the Facebook messages and op-eds signed in Palin’s name?
In many ways, I could care less. But the dark reality of this is that this semi-fictitious Palin continues to be a pivotal rallying figure in attempts to build blind hatred that could well lead to the assassination of the President of the United States of America. Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times Wednesday:
I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing. I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords.
They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all. And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.
• We've had a pastor exhorting his congregation to show up at Obama events, armed with loaded semi-automatic rifles.
• We've had a guy with Palin "porn" on his computer walk into the Holocaust Museum and start shooting and killing.
• We've had sworn Palin supporters sporting pictures depicting Obama as Hitler.
• We've had Palinbots accusing Obama of treason.
• We've had Palin herself accusing Obama of contemplating a holocaust against the elderly and disabled.
In Alaska, our progressive bloggers and - bless his heart - Wally Hickel have had the honesty to call this danger what it is:
During the presidential primaries last year, I liked what I saw in Barack Obama. I didn't see him as black. I saw him as a young American with a deep understanding of what America was meant to be and how we could regain our moral standing in the world. When Gov. Sarah Palin surprised us by joining Sen. John McCain on the Republican ticket, I agreed to support her, sticking to my commitment to put "Alaska first." When she took the podium at the Republican National Convention, however, I was greatly disappointed. The race-against-race and class-against-class message of the McCain/Palin campaign was transparent.
I urged Sarah to take control of her message and appealed to her in this column "to rise above the worn-out, negative tactics of presidential politics and assume the role of stateswoman." (Op Ed of September 14, 2008).
My hopes were dashed. Palin became the spokesperson for the divisive voices in American politics. She dismissed the greatness of our immigrant heritage, indeed of today's Alaska, where in Anchorage alone nearly 100 languages are spoken in the homes of the children in our public schools.
She missed a golden opportunity to challenge the rest of the country to adopt the welcoming spirit of the Alaska frontier and the message of mutual respect championed by Bridge Builders of Anchorage and the School District that helped us win All-America City honors in 2002.
I believe that Alaska can be a model for America. We have much to offer, but we will fail if we don't deal with prejudice, not only against newly arrived immigrants but against anyone. [emphasis added by PA]
When will the Anchorage Daily News' editors call out Palin for her responsibility for the increasing divisiveness we are seeing?
When will the Anchorage Daily News acknowledge her pivotal role in the increasing worries the Secret Service is enduring, as the high percentage of the truly unbalanced among Palin's followers, may be drawn over that dark edge by the Becks, Steven Andersons and worse, after constantly being led by the nutty right closer and closer to Thomas Friedman's fears:
I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.
What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.
Maybe the ADN will address these issues and admit that by never calling Palin on the incredible divisiveness she has enabled on the national level, they share in the responsibility for its growth. I doubt we will see that level of courage coming from the editors of the Anchorage Daily News.
The cynic in me thinks, "their circulation might go up if a Palinbot tries to kill our president." At least temporarily, and that seems to be a major limitation on the mindset in the editorial rooms at the ADN. They're trapped in their lame, short-term reactions to one bad decision after another. They've consistently failed to recognize the larger ramifications of their long-term love affair with this intensely polarizing, inauthentic and nihilistic figure.
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