Time’s cover story on Sarah Palin by David von Drehle and the woman known as Jay Newton-Small is being scorned by liberals for not being a full-throated denunciation. It’s condescending, it’s uncharitable, it’s dismissive of a “flimsy résumé” – but it wants to sound like it’s pondering Palin from a safe distance rather than beating her senseless, up close and personal. But what’s most notable are the odd metaphors this duo employs for Palin:
1. The Noble Savage. “Like Squanto in London, she speaks the language — if not always the idiom — of the audiences she fascinates.”
2. Opera or Scrapple? “Like opera or scrapple, Palin is something of an acquired taste, a phenomenon loved by some, detested by others, with an uncomprehending vastness in between.”
3. The Walking Obscenity. “She hates on the media, never forgets the troops and is a walking middle finger to the BosNYWash élite.”
The article also contains one of the best examples ever of why politicians grow paranoid about which “close” personal aide or friend is stabbing them in the back. “Asked recently to name the people Palin trusts for advice, a source close to her answered, ‘Nobody. I’m not even sure she listens to Todd.’” Clearly, this “close” source is someone Palin would be wise not to trust.
Time’s most notable lack of self-disclosure comes in this sentence, about wild accusations against Palin: “They ranged from the bizarre — a blogger’s campaign to prove that Palin faked her last pregnancy (she didn’t) — to the humiliating.” They did not explain that the bizarre blogger’s name was Andrew Sullivan, and he was a prominent blogger and columnist for Time magazine.