Who is responsible for Bristol Palin’s becoming a household name?

While all the conservatives, like knights of the Round Table, are defending to the death the honor of Queen Guenevere of Wasilla, consider this. Why is Bristol Palin now a household name in America and probably other countries as well? Why do hundred of millions of people know about this 17 year old girl’s pregnancy?

Because her mother accepted John McCain’s invitation to be his vice presidential nominee.

It is Sarah Palin who has brought her daughter’s embarrassing situation onto the world stage, by accepting a slot on a national ticket that, given her family circumstances, she should have declined.

Now maybe I’m naive or hyper-judgmental, but that strikes me as an extraordinarily selfish act. Not the act of a mother looking after her daughter’s and her family’s best interests.

Where then is Palin’s famed conservatism, where are her family values, other than in the bare fact of opposing abortion?

What kind of mother would expose her daughter to this?

And as for all the idiots who are crying, “It’s private, let Bristol be,” how it is supposed to be private? It is Palin herself who stuck Bristol’s’ situation in our faces. And now that it’s in our faces, we’re not suppose to notice it and talk about it?

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Steve D. writes:

Sarah Palin deserves much blame for putting her daughter in the position she’s in, but she’s not the only one in this debacle to make a self-centered, careerist choice. Nor, with all her culpability, is she the party who “stuck Bristol’s situation in our faces.” That honor goes to the news media. This story should never have been reported. [LA replies: Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m frankly dumbfounded by this comment. It was, of course, Palin and the McCain campaign who made this announcement to the news media. They made this announcement because they wanted this news to be known.]

It used to be a given that you didn’t involve children in politics. Beyond that, it used to be understood that journalists were citizens first and gossipmongers last, and that they shared the same public interests as the rest of us in upholding a particular standard of behavior. A public official might be the grossest hypocrite in his private life; but so long as he upheld traditional morality in his public, ceremonial role, and kept his private life private, the media was willing to play along. That arrangement was a necessary part of a polity that truly believed in upholding a standard.

It has changed in the modern world precisely because the modern world no longer believes in upholding the standard of the past, or any other standard. How else to explain the eagerness with which supposedly urbane and sophisticated adults deliberately dragged a teenaged girl through the mud in order to get at her mother? [LA replies: Again I don’t know what Steve is talking about. Palin put herself in the middle of the national spotlight, and three days later announced her daughter was pregnant. What have the media done to drag Bristol through the mud? And please don’t equate a blogger at The Daily Kos with “the media.” Also, I read the original article at The Daily Kos and it was not sensationalistic but was raising reasonable questions based on the evidence, questions that needed to be answered.]

There are some things that decent people simply do not do. One of them is to run for public office while one’s family is in deep crisis. Another is to deliberately wreck a child’s reputation for political gain. As angry and disappointed as I am with Sarah Palin in this matter, I find the behavior of the press has been beyond even their usual reprehensible standard.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 02, 2008 08:46 PM | Send

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