Earlier today, BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins put up a hit piece citing an anonymous source that claims the Romney team’s choice in Paul Ryan is especially awesome because Sarah Palin totally sucks.
Each response from the campaign, if they are indeed from the campaign, are fairly benign to Mrs. Palin until Coppins inserts his own opinion.
According to the article, one source said, “Paul Ryan has been a leader on these issues for years. He’s not an unknown quantity. He may bring the same excitement to conservatives… But this wasn’t a base move.” It seems fairly clear that this source is referring to the fact that Sarah Palin was a virtual unknown at the time versus Ryan who has been at the tip of the spear in the battle against White House policy. Not a statement on the virtues of Palin but seemingly a emotionless statement on the celebrity status at the time of introduction. Coppins read it a bit differently.
But aides were quick Saturday to reject the early analysis that choosing Ryan represents a “Sarah Palin pick” for Romney — a high-risk move intended to turn around a flailing campaign by elevating a polarizing politician.
“Polarizing politician” is a stunning description of Sarah Palin considering her 82% approval rating in Alaska at the time not to mention that the “unknown quantity” would probably diminish her ability to have been a “polarizing politician” since, one would assume, people have to know who you are to feel polarized by you. It is difficult to see how Coppins drew this description out of the quote provided by the source, but Coppins wasn’t done yet.
“I do think this is a game-changer,” the adviser said, adding, “I think there’s going to be a whole swath of the Midwest that looks at this bright, young, very energetic guy, and is won over.”
But he said one central difference between Ryan and Palin is that the former will be able to hold his own on policy details.
“Gosh, can you imagine that Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden spouting Mediscare type slogans, and Paul Ryan walking through the numbers?” the adviser said. “The contrast there is going to be astounding.”
There seems to be zero discussion of Palin in this excerpt other than Coppins insertion of her in the article. The contrast mentioned is very clearly directed at Joe Biden, yet Coppins presents it as a comparison of competence between her and Ryan. If any direct comparison between Palin & Ryan were made he seems to have forgotten to include it.
The only quote that could’ve been construed as a slight at Mrs. Palin still stretches interpretation from anyone that claims to be unbiased.
Another senior adviser, commenting on the comparison in an e-mail to BuzzFeed, was more sarcastic: “The number one policy wonk in the country… Sarah Palin…?”
Certainly this could be interpreted as an insult. However, with Sarah Palin as a female governor known for giving fiery speeches and causing explosions of excitement from legions of adoring fans versus Ryan, who is also a hero to the movement, but is mostly known for his methodical dismantling of policy using a devastatingly calm demeanor … I think I might’ve had the same response. They aren’t exactly cut from the same cloth.
But again, Coppins immediately goes to his own opinion of her to define the meaning of the quote.
Indeed, few would accuse Ryan — who has been considered the intellectual leader of Congressional conservatives for years — of being a lightweight. (emphasis mine)
I don’t know if Coppins thinks of himself as an unbiased reporter, or not, but if he does, this article is loaded with hackery. It takes a collection of quotes which were clearly redirecting the interviewer away from questions intended to divide and attempts to cause them to divide anyway.
If there were more damning quotes, I’m certain he would have used them. As it stands Coppins appears to be constructing a narrative that fits his worldview. “I hate Sarah Palin and so should you.”