Caroline Kennedy & Sarah Palin: a “class” difference in media treatment?

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As the day NY Gov. David A. Patterson will pick Sen. Hillary Clinton’s replacement draws near, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the well-connected and wealthy contender for the senate post stands as the most influential.

It’s Caroline Kennedy, who else?

By name recognition alone, the only surviving daughter of Pres. John F. Kennedy carries her impeccable familial history, her friendship with incoming President Barack Obama, and strong connections to those in Capitol Hill. Having lived a sheltered life with little experience in public service, these are Caroline’s major assets. That’s why before she appeared for interview on television last month, her supporters scrambled to project her as qualified. Yes, but how qualified is she in comparison with the other candidates? She has been a successful mom with a law degree from Columbia. She has taken the post of president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, has been a member of the JFK Profile in Courage Award Committee, serves as director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and vice-chairwoman of NYC’s Fund for Public Schools. Are these enough to get her the senate post?

The public seemed unimpressed with Caroline. She didn’t have the glow of the Kennedy the American people expected to see in her. She wasn’t compelling enough to make the public feel she could be the right senate representative for the regular New Yorkers. When interviewed, Caroline appeared less attached to the position she desired; her projected “fund of knowledge” and manner of speech (including that bothersome “you know” habit) seemed worse than what Gov. Sarah Palin was criticized for in her failed bid as a Republican VP candidate in the last election.

Bias, Double Standard & Media Malpractice

If media treatment had been fair between Caroline and Sarah, the former could have been scrutinized and made fun of more than the latter. From questions about her private life as a Kennedy to the comical exploitation of her limitations as a person the jesters in a late-night TV comedy would have wanted them laid in the open. Arrogant humor at Kennedy’s expense—something equal or greater than what Sarah endured with condescending CBS anchor Katie Couric and comedienne Tina Fey who got an award for her Palin impersonations.

Perhaps because of “class” difference and hypocrisy, the mainstream media have been kind to urbane Caroline, but not so to rural Sarah. Like the precious gem from the Camelot jewel box, the New York lady incites awe and nobody talks against her perceived high carats in the political scene. Sarah is quick to notice. Americans have been anxious to see whether the Kennedy heiress will grab the senate position on basic merits or by the magic of the her name.

“I’ve been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope…It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”—-Gov. Sarah Palin (Source: CBS News 01/9/08, Conroy, S); YahooNews (01/09/09, Gromley, M)

With Caroline as a comparison, Sarah was right in raising the questions of media bias and exploitation which misled and undermined public trust. She recalled how she was unfairly vetted, trivialized, vilified, and insulted by the liberal media. At one point, because of her conservative views, even her motherhood was questioned. The warped media insinuated her disabled innocent Trig afflicted with Trisomy 21 (Mongolism) wasn’t her son she steadfastly rescued from abortion. Her eldest daughter’s pregnancy was played out as salacious gossip item in media circuits. The liberal media dug into her privacy with rapacity unparalleled with what they did with other candidates.

Sarah Palin was correct in pointing double standard by news organizations which “respected Barack Obama’s declaration that his family was off-limits for coverage”— The courtesy wasn’t accorded her, yet now generously given to Caroline. It’s hard to imagine that this disdainful journalistic disparity has happened in USA, but it’s true. Anyone can look and judge for oneself what goes on out there. (Photo Credits: byphoto240779; rhilton4u)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Caroline Kennedy eyes Hillary Clinton’s post as NY senator” Posted by mesiamd at 12/16/2008

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