Friday, August 29, 2008

BBC in 'stupid reporting' non-scandal.

From the BBC Breaking News Alerts in my inbox:

Obama names Biden as running mate

and, a few seconds ago

McCain 'picks woman running mate'

Because, you know, her name isn't important enough to be a headline. Those crazy women are all the same, so rather than give the Republican candidate's newly-chosen running mate a name, we'll just alert everyone to the fact that she has ovaries and only give her an individual identity in the body of the alert. For the record, this woman is Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. According to the BBC website:
At 44, she is younger than Barack Obama and is credited with reforms during her first term, but she is relatively unknown in US politics.
Well, thanks for making her that little bit more well-known as 'a woman'. She was, apparently, an unorthodox choice when compared to her more high-profile (male, but that's the default so it's not mentioned) rivals for the post, and maybe there is a bit of political motive behind choosing a comparatively young woman considering the high profile of sexism (against Clinton and Michelle Obama, for example) in this race, but I seriously doubt that she was chosen solely based upon the number of X chromosomes she carries. Heavens, her gender would have been clear had they mentioned her name in the headline, but instead the BBC chose to make that her sole identifying factor.
'A woman'.
'A Non-Male'.
'An Other'.
Also, making her femaleness seem more important than it truly is? The BBC is now as patronising as those who think women always vote for women just because they're women.  Sisterhood's all well and good, but there are many other things factoring into our decisions and most of us realise that a vote for Palin is a far cry from a vote from Palin/McCain.  One of them, for example, isn't very pro-woman at all.  Guess which one.
I'll sign off with a few of Palin's achievements, nabbed from her Wikipedia article.

When elected, Palin became the first woman to be Alaska's governor, and the youngest governor in Alaskan history at 42 years old upon taking office. Palin was also the first Alaskan governor born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood. She was also the first Alaskan governor not to be inaugurated in Juneau, instead choosing to hold her inauguration ceremony in Fairbanks. She took office on December 4, 2006.

Highlights of Governor Palin's tenure include a successful push for an ethics bill, and also shelving pork-barrel projects supported by fellow Republicans. Palin successfully killed the Bridge to Nowhere project that had become a nationwide symbol of wasteful earmark spending.[9][16] "Alaska needs to be self-sufficient, she says, instead of relying heavily on 'federal dollars,' as the state does today."[10]

She has challenged the state's Republican leaders, helping to launch a campaign by Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell to unseat U.S. Congressman Don Young[17] and publicly challenging Senator Ted Stevens to come clean about the federal investigation into his financial dealings.[9] Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard praised Palin as a "politician of eye-popping integrity" and referred to her rise as "a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle—especially to transparency and accountability in government—can produce political success."[10]

In 2007, Palin had an approval rating often in the 90s.[10] A poll published by Hays Research on July 28, 2008 showed Palin's approval rating at 80%.[18]

On the negative side, she is pro-life anti-choice and is in favour of abstinence-only education, she promoted drilling in Alaska, and, despite wanting to reduce greenhouse emissions in the state, is of the belief that global warming has nothing to do with us at all. She opposes same-sex marriage and only grudgingly allowed such couples benefits but excuses this with 'I have gay friends'. THESE are things I'd want to know about a politician, they give insights into what messages a presidential candidate would want to promote, who they are reaching out to. Yes, I say again, her gender may be an ill-advised factor in the decision, an attempt to attract ex-Hillary supporters (how naive) but Palin would not be where she is now had she not also been a successful Republican politician - she's not just 'some woman'. McCain would not want an unpopular, incompetent unknown as his sidekick, regardless of their sex.

1 comment:

  1. I get where you're coming from in that she is successful in terms of her governorship etc. but I really haven't a clue what the Republicans are up to on this one. Ok she will rally the religious right with her calls for "guns, jesus and babies" but she has shown herself to be incredibly unenlightened when it comes to what the role of the VP actually is. She hasn't a notion when it comes to foreign policy either. My main bugbear with the Republicans on this one though is that they were so disengenuous towards women - thinking that they would pull in all the ex-Clinton supporters because "women who vote for women only voted because they were women, they couldn't possibly care about teh politics of it all could they?"

    Their choice of Palin just strikes me as very peculiar. If she had experience or some nuanced analysis of politics I could understand it but I just don't see it!!