What John Ziegler and Barack Obama Have in Common.
“Media Malpractice” is a very good, straightforward account of the media’s role in the election of President Obama and the attempted political assassination of Sarah Palin’s career. The few Conservatives around the country who bought the film, no doubt walked away impressed. What they’ve probably been less impressed and even confused by is the behavior of it’s maker John Ziegler.
Erick Erickson, this site’s founder, brought up a great point last night in relation to our reaction to Ziegler: it does us no good to eat our own and it’s okay for us to have disagreements. While I agree with Erick, Ziegler’s pattern of behavior over the last few years warrants a discussion, because I think some of the moves he’s made indicate something that is a little disturbing and only feeds one of his perceived character flaws of Sarah Palin.
Let’s start with the tone of his columns: If the media were to go through President Obama’s emails, I’m pretty sure they would read similarly to John Ziegler’s columns. They’re chock full of “I’s”, “me’s”, and a lot of “I predicted”s, “I told”s. Ziegler is clearly enamored with himself and his ability to predict the political mood of the country, not to mention how Palin would fare in the 2012 Presidential election in 2009 because of the media’s treatment of her and a lousy interview with Katie Couric.
Within the column, there’s the picture he posted of Sarah Palin and himself holding the DVD of his film, “Media Malpractice.” You might say, “Well maybe that’s the the only picture he has of him and Palin?” which could be true… Except as you read through the column, you get a little sales pitch of his other film “Blocking the Path to 9/11.” Ziegler has always made a point to hawk his stuff in his op-ed’s. Look, I understand that when you have invested as much money as he has into these films, but mentioning both films in every single column he writes? What the he’ll does “Blocking the path to 9/11″ have to do with Sarah Palin? Nothing. But it’s got everything to do with John Ziegler. It’s bad form. You know what else is bad form? Giving out a little political kiss and tell. According to Ziegler, The Palins apparently approached Ziegler to join a potential presidential campaign. A decent person would have kept that to himself, but Ziegler had to throw out his little scoop!
The final thing about the column is his capitalization of his relationship, however insignificant (there’s little evidence to suggest Ziegler’s met with the Palin’s beyond a few times for interviews), to create a blog that’s clearly aimed at booking interviews with cable news outlets to be the latest “Palin friend” who has turned sour on the former Governor.
John Ziegler seems to be all bout John Ziegler.
And on the substance of what he wrote, let me offer a short rebuttal to him and all the other anti-Palin conservatives lecturing us about supporting Gov. Palin. Conservatives are well aware that Gov. Palin has an electability issue, John. It’s something many conservatives, myself included, are considering as Gov. Palin makes her final decision about running for president. It’s probably something Gov. Palin is considering herself. Unlike all these anti-Palin conservatives though, we know at the end of the day the ability to contrast one’s record with the record of President Obama will defeat him. Palin has the record to do that. Many of these anti-Palin conservatives also base their opinion on the media’s treatment of Palin in 2008, her lousy Katie Couric interviews, and the media’s subsequent treatment of her up until now. I’ve got news for you, the media has eaten one big nasty bowl of crow this week over the Palin emails that even they had to admit showed her to be a competent, caring, and active governor to the point that they had to attempt construct a new narrative to try and paint her as “formerly competent.” Sometimes politicos forget 90% of people don’t pay attention to politics in an off-presidential year. The polls you see where people don’t believe Palin is qualified to president are from Palin’s terrible Couric interview and Tina Fey impersonations. When people see the real Sarah Palin, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that they’ll be impressed.
That said, conservatives would be wise to remember something Gov. Palin constantly alludes to when asked about a run for president: it’s not about the messenger, it’s about the message. If electability continues to be an issue and we don’t see any signs of it budging, we’d be better off going with someone else.