AP Says Shame on GOP for Showing Palin’s Kids at Convention?


By: Warner Todd Huston

Apparently Ted Anthony of the Associated Press thinks it is somehow “contradictory” of the GOP to show VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin’s kids at the GOP convention on TV. He seems to imagine that, since the GOP objected to the media attempting to use the kids against Governor Palin, that the GOP shouldn’t be allowed to have the kids attend the convention to see their Mother accept her nomination.

Anthony’s “analysis” hit the nets on September 3, the day after Palin’s wonderful acceptance speech on night 3 of the proceedings. Naturally, the AP trolls our left leaning universities to find some “expert” to back up its claim that it is all wrong to show the proud faces of Palin’s children looking up at their Mother as she speaks to the convention.

“For two days, the chorus from Republicans on TV news and in the halls of the convention,” Anthony scoffs, “has been resounding: Back off and let the Palin family be. ‘That’s out of bounds,’ said Minnesota’s Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty. ‘There’s no need to be intrusive and pry into that.’”

After this, in accusatory tones, Anthony recounts the many times that Sarah Palin’s children appeared on TV during the convention. And then he goes for the supposed “expert” for his opinion…

“Either the children are out of bounds, and you don’t put them in the photo ops, or you don’t complain when somebody wants to talk about them. You can’t have it both ways,” said John Matviko, a professor at West Liberty State College in West Virginia and editor of “The American President in Popular Culture.”

“Right now, it looks like they’re being used by the campaign more than the media are using them,” he said.

And why is this an either-or, again? Who says there is any such silly black and white rule that says that kids cannot be used at all or that they are fair game to be destroyed by the media if they are shown waving to a crowd? What an absurd claim.

Seriously, the media tries to claim that Palin is a bad Mother, they’ve pried into the life of a pregnant teen, and they clamored for DNA proof that the kids were even Sarah’s in the first place and when told they stepped over the line what is their reply? “Well, YOU showed them on TV,” Anthony is saying, “So why can’t we try to destroy them?”

And, after asking his ridiculous questions and making it seem as if just showing these kids being proud of their Mother is child abuse, after seeming to claim the high road for himself, and after making out as if the media is innocent in all this, Anthony gives us this hypocritical statement:

These are two young people figuring out how to get through a difficult personal situation. Under normal circumstances, they would be allowed to do so unbothered by global scrutiny. Talk about a teenager’s worst nightmare.

But one big obstacle stands in their way: Sarah Palin.

Right there Anthony just proved why Palin and the GOP are outraged over the abuse that the media is heaping upon these children. After claiming that the media is innocent, Anthony then calls Palin a bad Mother that is “standing in the way” of her kids’ normal life! This is how they are attacking.

And all the GOP did was show children being proud of their Mommy.

Has Ted Anthony ever scolded Barack Obama for having the temerity to run for president while he is the father of two young girls? Has Ted Anthony attacked Michelle Obama for appearing at hundreds of campaign rallies as her kids are being watched by surrogates? Has Anthony scolded Michelle Obama for being a career woman, leaving her kids to be raised by others?

I’ll bet not.

Now, one also wonders if Anthony and the AP ever decried the spotlight that Obama shined on his girls when they were dragged onto TV for an “Access Hollywood” interview? One wonders if there is any tsk tsking for Obama having had his girls onstage with him when he accepted his Party’s anointment?

One also wonders if Anthony ever said how shameful it was that John Kennedy used his iconic children those short years while he was in the White House? How about Jimmy Carter’s little Amy? The Clinton’s Chelsea? Did Anthony decry the usage of these children in the campaigns of their parents?

Certainly, the AP and Anthony have written about these children of presidents. But no where did either decry their use as campaign props claiming that it is an illegitimate usage of children like they have of Palin’s.

But, just the same, despite that they’ve never looked down upon their favored Democratic Presidents’ use of their children in campaigns, here is Ted Anthony attacking Sarah Palin for getting a bit upset that the media is chasing her children like rabid dogs.

But, let’s be clear here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the children of candidates appear in ads or on stage with their politician parents. These people may be politicians, but they are also parents who love their children and the children are proud and happy to be standing up with their parents before the gathered voters. What’s more, voters like to see that a candidate has a happy family and would question what is wrong with a father or mother that hides their kids away from everyone. People are naturally curious to at least be introduced to a candidate’s family.

And are we to deny children the ability to stand by their parent’s side? Deny them the right to be allowed to stand supportive of their moms and dads as they run for office? And what does this say to our children? Doesn’t it say to them that they are so unimportant that they shouldn’t even be allowed to go to a parent’s rally or be seen with their parents at work? (So much for take your kid to work day!)

But let’s be clear on the other side of that coin. It IS wrong for the media to pry into the private lives of candidate’s kids, just as it is equally wrong for a candidate’s political opponent to do the same. Kids are off limits as a campaign issue for all intents and purposes, shy of proof of real child abuse by the candidate, of course — because if a candidate if convicted of child abuse that speaks to the candidate’s character.

But in the end, this is the immoral position that Ted Anthony is taking: either politicians say nothing as the media tries its level best to destroy their children, or those candidates lock their children away, never to be seen in public. To Ted Anthony, there is no middle ground. To Ted Anthony, the world is awfully empty of nuance.

My guess is that he’d rather candidate’s kids be out there. That way, he won’t feel guilty trying to destroy the life of a child.

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