Skip to comments.Should Erik Wemple be attacking Sarah Palin?
Posted on 09/15/2011 5:58:41 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
According to Erik Wemple, The Washington Posts new media writer, Sarah Palin is a hypocrite. The former Alaska governor supports abstinence education, yet according to tabloid reporter Joe McGinniss, in 1988 Palin had a one-night stand with a basketball player. Palin was not married at the time, although she was dating Todd Palin. Put all this together, writes Wemple, and Palin is fair game. His reasoning: Hypocrisy is a quality that must be exposed in our political leaders: If Palin backs abstinence-only education and shuns talk of contraception and the like, then we are entitled to know whether her own lifestyle aligned with her rhetoric. And so were learning about Palins alleged Reagan-era sex life.
There are two problems with Wemples argument. The first is that he got the facts wrong. In one paragraph he claims Palin endorses abstinence education. In the next he calls it abstinence-only. Which is it? It would have taken Wemple 30 seconds of googling to figure out that Palin supports both sex education and the encouragement of abstinence that is, she thinks kids should be encouraged to be abstinent but, in case they cant live up to that, also be given the facts about sex but in a non-graphic, non-dehumanizing way. That position may seem muddled to liberals, but its where most Americans are. They want their kids to have the facts but they also dont want them to be treated like rutting animals.
Wemples bigger problem is his charge of hypocrisy, and the claim that it allows reporters to reveal personal things about politicians, no matter how old the story is. If thats the case, perhaps we should hold journalists who set themselves up as moral judges to the same standard.
In 1998 I had lunch with Cathy Alter, whos now a successful book author who has appeared on The Today Show. At the time, she was freelancing and had just written a story for The Washington City Paper, where Wemple was an editor. Cathy said that Wemple had changed her story in order to make the subject look bad. This wasnt the kind of tinkering that editors normally do, asking her to draw out detail or do a rewrite. This was a demolition job that completely flipped the meaning of her story.
Cathy had been sent to interview Jennifer Ringley, a woman who had started broadcasting her life, including her private life, via a webcam. She called her project the JenniCam. Cathy told me that she had gone to interview Ringley thinking that shed be a very troubled person. But instead, Cathy found her to be nice, funny and highly intelligent. She wrote as much in her story.
Then Wemple changed her story to make Ringley seem crazy. According to Cathy, Wemple said that every week The City Paper ran a story on what the editors called the freak of the week. It didnt matter what the facts were; the point was to make the subject look like a freak.
Cathy was furious. She yelled at Wemple, telling him he was publishing fiction. She also objected to Wemples descriptions of Ringley as fat. According to Cathy, Wemple replied, I was fat as a kid and got teased. Shell get over it.
Its probably worth noting that at the time this happened, Wemple was not the editor-in-chief of The City Paper a job he would have a couple years later. The editor-in-chief was David Carr, the drug addict and wife-beater who would go on to fame as a New York Times writer. (Carr is the star of the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times.) I wrote a couple pieces for Carr when he was at The City Paper, and I remember him using the phrase freak of the weak a couple times. But he never altered my copy to change the meaning of a story. That was left to Liza Mundy, who wempled one of my articles to make the subjects look like idiots. Mundy also went on to work for The Post. At the time of my episode, the editor of The City Paper was not Carr, but Jack Shafer, who would go on to monkeyfishing fame.
So ask yourself, which is the bigger hypocrisy and which the greater moral crime. On one hand we have a politician who may have had a one-night stand before she was married. More than 25 years later that politician supports sex education that promotes abstinence while also acknowledging that kids need to know about condoms.
On the other you have a journalist who liked to destroy peoples reputations by falsifying the copy that reporters brought him. That journalist has now set himself up as an oracle of proper journalistic practice at The Washington Post.
Which is the more dishonorable?
If Palin endorsed abstinence-only education even though she really didnt and this opens her up to a story about a one-night stand in 1988, could we call into question Wemples fitness to write about the media because he falsified a story maybe many in 1998, and after?
One more thing: On his blog, Wemple sometimes links to Mother Jones, a socialist rag that nobody reads. Does he do so because Stephanie Mencimer, Wemples wife, writes for Mother Jones? Is he trying to send traffic to the site his wife writes for?
By all means, lets check the hypocrisy of our politicians and our journalists.
Can this A-hole writer name one politician,or for that matter person, that isn’t a hypocrite?
He just wants to besmirch SP under the guise of being a moral reporter.
I feel tepridation of even seeming to give this story any credibility.
However, even if you ASSUMED falsely that the story was true, it would not be hypocritical for Palin to push Abstinence Education.
In fact, it would make sense that a person who didn’t abstain would see the need to teach people how to abstain.
This would be like claiming someone was a hypocrit if they didn’t take history in college, and later in life argued that colleges should be required to teach history.
Liberals are really good though at spotting false evidence of non-existant hypocrisy.
Liberal writers will typically use two strategies in trying to discredit a position.
If you fail to live up to a position, they will say that you have no right to expect another person to live up to a position that you failed to live up to.
If you, however, are successful in walking the walk, they will then say that you cannot possibly teach others to do the same because you don’t know what it’s like to fail.
OK, I’m GAGGING.
You know I’m really tired of the msm reporting this supposed one night stand as fact. Even the guy didn’t confirm it. He had nothing but praise for Sarah.
Glib or stubborn? That kind of attitude covers both kinds.
Erik Wemple, obviously a graduate of the Jason Blair School of Journalism.
Palin never back abstinence only education, she favored all the above approach, so the story is not one of hypocrisy
How do you know which people on God’s earth have abstained and which haven’t?
She had a one night stand in 1988? (or so someone says) Wow. That’s just so weird. A beautiful, single woman in her 20’s who grew up in that generation... having a one night stand? It’s unforgivable! LOL!!!
She’s not doing it now or since she’s been married. She’s now a mature, grown woman who knows better.
30 years ago? Seriously?
One night stands are always regrettable and embarrassing when they are verified...but a 30 year old one night stand? Get real.
Most people have sense enough not to listen to McGinnis, much less trust what he says.
Loved the tidbits about Wemple et al. LOLOL
You mean “should he do it” as in “is it right for him to do it” or as in “should he do it in order to get attention and advance his career”? Because the answer isn’t necessarily the same for both.
Wemple is a toilet fag.
if the guy denies it, he should sue...
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