Condensed scrutiny

This might seem smack-your-head obvious, but in all of the defenses I’ve read of the media elite‘s “attacks” on Sarah Palin, no one has came out and stated the obvious. Before the announcement that she would be McCain’s running mate, no one in the lower 48 (what they like to call “outside” in Alaska) had ever heard of her, therefore: She has to undergo the same scrutiny as everyone else all at once, rather than spread out over months of primaries or a decades-long career in national politics.

Is this really that hard to understand?

Journalists don’t get together and say, hey! Let’s pick on this VP candidate none of us know! That’s not how it works. Journalists ask questions. Lots of them. Who is she? What does she stand for? What is her record? Why is she on this ticket? Where is Wasilla? The public, our stakeholders, didn’t know the answers to these questions.  So journalists had to ask and answer.

Everyone else has been scrutinized already. No one really knew Obama before, either, but the press has had a year to analyze, dig, dig more, scrutinize, interview, dig — you get my point. Hillary Clinton even used this as a talking point during her campaign; everyone, and I mean everyone, knows the dirt on her.

When you enter the national stage with a flash and a bang, that’s how you’ll enter the fourth estate, too. The press isn’t picking on Sarah Palin. The press is doing its job as quickly as possible to bridge that knowledge gap. Now, stay tuned for part two: why choosing to run for elected government office in this country makes you 100 percent fair game to be scrutinized by the media. (Hint: It’s called democracy.)