July 3, 2009 / Politics, Sexism

CNN Anchor: Palin Playing the Victim; “Clintonian”


(This story picked up by NewsBusters.)


Rick Sanchez

In covering Sarah Palin’s resignation from the Governorship of Alaska, the CNN anchor [Update:  Rick Sanchez] said

Oh, I see.  So she’s basically kind of playing the victim here, as often times politicians do.  Well that’s interesting, somewhat Clintonian some would say.

He was reacting to Palin’s comment, as related by reporter “Andrew” [Update:  Andrew Wellner from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman]

You are naive if you don’t see a full court press right now on the national level, picking apart a good point guard.

Other comments Andrew related include:

We know that we can effect change outside of government.

I’ve never believed that I or anyone else needs a title to do this.

We’ll post more as we’ve had time to digest this, but it seems that the sexist media is thumping it’s chest over having driven a female out…

UPDATE:  at about 4:30 Candy Crowley reported that she had received on her Blackberry a statement from the DNC:

…continues a pattern of bizarre behavior

And commentator Paul Begala said:

It’s just very flaky.

UPDATE #2:  More quotes:

We’ve seen the governor’s had some pretty bizarre behavior in the last few months. — Democratic strategist Karen Finnery on CNN

We’ve seen a lot of nutty behavior from governors and Republican leaders in the last three months, but this one is at the top of that – John Weaver to the Washington Post

The Palin announcement:

Update #3:

MSNBC’s David Shuster (at about 1:50):

I don’t think she’s viable at all… Top Republicans… are openly saying that she’s even worse a candidate than people thought, that she’s not smart, that she has problems with the truth… There’s sort of an open war on Sarah Palin by elements of the Republican party.

Update #4: Here’s a two-part longer version of Gov. Palin’s speech, from Talking Points memo:

Update #5:

I bet there’s another ambition here, and that’s for money…  seems bizarre from the outside… it’s nonsense — David Gergen on CNN’s The Situation Room

Is this a refreshing attitude, … or is this really irresponsible and somewhat ridiculous — MSNBC’s Alex Witt

Update #6:

She’s probably going to be the person that can attract the largest crowds; some of it is car wreck watchers — Chuck Todd, NBC Political Director on NBC Nightly News

It was just the latest bizarre twist for the self-described maverick — NBC’s Peter Alexander on NBC Nightly News

Update #7, from CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight:

Any controversy that’s come has come because of her behaviour.  This is again going to raise serious questions about her behavior… You don’t want to be viewed as the candidate who’s a kook…  She has basically put a gun to her head and finished her career off… She will diminish as time goes on. — Republican Strategist Ed Rollins

It’s funny.  I thought after reading the Vanity Fair piece… I thought things couldn’t get tawdrier or any more scandalous with the Sarah Palin story this week, and she goes and she proves us wrong…  There’s something that looks very suspicious here… Can I say something as a woman really quickly?  I think this perception that perhaps she’s quitting, right?  And this perception that she doesn’t have the skin that you need to hang tough when you’re getting bows &arrows — that’s the name of the game when you’re in politics and I think there’s a concern that that could be the perception. — Kelly Goff

It’s a reminder of the time she got phone pranked.  Her communications people — a couple of radio talk show hosts threw to her immediately and they got her into an embarrassing, ridiculous kind of situation. — Errol Louis

The tone of her voice — the way she delivered the speech, the way she rambled, there’s something we still don’t know about this.  Her whole arguement… that doesn’t make any sense to anybody… It’s suicidal — Columnist Miguel Perez

Update #8:  On CNN’s Anderson Cooper, in response to Cooper saying “she talked about Trig as if people are making fun of the little child…”

I didn’t hear David Letterman make fun of her 14-year-old daughter a few weeks ago, but that’s what she heard.  And I think that’s sort of the story we’ve got with Sarah Palin and with her supporters.  They’re gonna hear what they want to hear; they’re going to see what they want to see…  She’s putting up this persecution complex that the Republican base responds to — ooooh, the evil media, the democratic strategists, the democratic operatives, you know, they’re out to get me; they forced me out. — Steve Kornacki

Update #9:

Often she has seemed unable to exercise enough restraint to avoid getting dragged down into the mud with everyone from Alaska bloggers to a late-night comedian. — CBS News analysis by Shushannah Walshe and Scott Conroy.

… the near-constant barrage of criticism has clearly weighed on the former vice presidential candidate, as her demeanor during the emotional press conference at her lakefront home in Wasilla attests. — Scott Conroy, producer, CBS News.

It’s absolutely bizarre. — analyst Larry Sabato in AP story.

While it is absolutely true that people in Alaska were trying to tear her down with false charges, it doesn’t look good that when she was faced with adversity and attacks on her character that she threw in the towel… truly bewildering — Republican congressional official quoted on Politico.

This lady was spooked, scared, angry, I thought, and incoherent. — Sherrilyn Ifill on Politico.

… cashing in on John McCain’s poor judgement in picking her…  If she did this to run for President, she will be even more a national joke than she is now — Greg Dworking, Contributing Editor, Daily Kos, on Politico.

Update #10:  For those who aren’t aware of who’s been making fun of Trig, see here and here for examples.

There’s a fishy smell coming from Alaska, and it’s not the salmon.  Governor Palin’s mid-course resignation is flaky at best but could also be spawned to stop the discovery of something else that’s rotten. — Harvard Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, on Politico.

Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry… or she simply can’t handle the job.  Either way, her decision … continues a pattern of bizarre behavior. — DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse, quoted on FOX.

Ding Dong, the Witch is Gone… Always eager to portray herself as a victim, Palin also “pulled the trig” at this afternoon’s press conference — mentioning her disabled son, Trig, as one of the reasons influencing her decision.  Shameful…  — Kevin Osborne on Cincinnati City Beat.

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  • PalinDemocrat

    I just watched the live feed, and that wasn’t the speech or the body language of a woman being “driven out”. That was Sarah Palin declaring war on the sexist media, and acknowledging that the frivolous ethics complaints by political partisans were hurting her state and affecting her ability to do her job. She has effectively cut the ankle biters off at the knees with this move. But I don’t expect her to “sit down and shut up”. I look for her to come out swinging, and I think she will take a leadership role in the “fourth wave of feminism”.

  • Judy

    Voters are fed up with Republicans and Democrats. If she runs, I hope she does so as an independent. I don’t know if she is a leader for the future or not but I do know voters are ready for a strong independent candidate.

  • http://bluelyon.wordpress.com bluelyon

    @Judy: “If she runs, I hope she does so as an independent.”

    Me too.

    Does anyone know where I can find a full version of the press conference?

  • Bes

    I would love to see her run Independent. This feels very exciting, clearly the malecentric corporate media have no idea how to proceed with someone who doesn’t follow the usual written and unwritten rules. But puffing up their chests and saying they caused the big bad witch to disappear seems to be what they are going with, of course more people can relate to Sarah than the yapping heads or anyone in Government. This is also very West Coast and directly opposed to all establishment East Coast ways. How very revolutionary, and she gave a leg up to whomever replaces her for the next election.

  • http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/ Woman Voter

    Candy was a main Cheer Leader during the primaries and even one woman reporter covering Hillary in Texas said it was a ‘cackle’ and so it doesn’t surprise me that their coverage is busy attacking Palin using the term ‘Clintonian’.

    This last presidential election made it very clear that woman are hated and that it didn’t matter if it was a Democrat or Republican, it was that they were women. The level of debasement thrown at Palin was brutal and unforgiving as even her children were attacked.

    We Must Divest From Misogyny, Our Lives Depend On It!

  • dianet

    I am not a republican and I disagree with a lot of Palin’s political ideas. However, I have to say, when I saw this news bulletin that she was withdrawing as governor, I thought to myself, this girl has some kind of intelligence and moxie going on. I would vote for her for political office. I’ll be following her activities.

  • Janis

    Personally, I think we’re entering a massive setback for women. Rollbacks of any advances on pay equity, complete destruction of what little we’ve achieved. Women’s rights go forward and then slide viciously back, and we’re in the back part right now. And no, this is not a small setback, and this is not just a few steps back — this is war. This is back tothe middle ages. And much as it pains me to say it, we deserve it. We are not suited to power as a group, much as certain individual women are suited to it. Women will not mass together and make change, and we don’t deserve to get it.

    And I look forward to NOW and the rest of my dipshit “feminist” friends acting like this is a victory for women, and then looking around in ten years and wondering where those burqas came from. Fucking fools. Women are fucking fools.

  • morninmist

    I think the msm is ticked off–think about it–they literally did NOT know anything about this until about an hour ahead of time. (is that right?). Meanwhile she assembled her cabinet at her side in a smaller town and they kept quiet. ha ha ha.

  • dianet

    Janis, I’ve thought we women have been in a very dark period for many years now. I agree with you that we are unable to really come together as a cohesive group. But like the lesbian/gay community, we women have our differences, but need to unite for a common cause. I would be discouraged as you are, except I see that women are now able to vote, women can own property, women can protest in f–cking Iran. Yes, we’re still wearing burkas, but I feel a strong movement forward. Just maybe Palin, in spite of her controversial stands on politcs, maybe she’s a big cog in the wheel. HRC is doing it from the inside (and good luck to her). Maybe it takes a crazy maverick to push the river just a little bit. I’m curious to see what her plans are.

  • http://newsbusters.org/ StewartIII

    CNN’s Sanchez: Is Palin Quitting Because She’s Pregnant Again?

  • Sal B

    Wait for the scandal to come.

  • Janis

    … we women have our differences, but need to unite for a common cause.

    Agreed. We won’t do it. We will never do it. It’s just not going to happen. We’re not capable, and if we’re not capable of doing — peaceably, legally, soberly — what is needed to achieve power, we do not deserve it.

    At this point, I just want everything to fall apart after my mom’s dead. As long as she misses the worst of it, the rest of the species can go hang.

  • HeroesGetMade

    I’m thinking this move by Palin is particularly brilliant – she’s basically refused to take her culture war beating whilst turning it around on all the witch hunters. Some people, the thinking ones, are going to be asking who was going after her and why. The answer won’t be pretty – she has icky lady parts so can’t be in charge of anything, or allowed to run for anything more powerful.

    I ran across this great collection of pieces under the heading of ‘Lessons for Girls’, but the second one on the power of opting out, I didn’t learn until last year (and I’m roughly the same age as Palin):


    Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is refuse to engage people who do nothing but waste your time and energy (besides having it in for you), and it demonstrates to other people in a similar toxic situation a powerful way to put a stop to the situation. After the primary battles of last year, I decided to divest from every optional situation I was in where I had to constantly deal with people who mistreated me simply because I had icky lady parts. It was hard at first because I had come to believe there was some value in the struggle, but once I realized the people I was dealing with were almost certainly going to die stupid on the subject of women being people, it was tremendously liberating. I didn’t explain myself or do the drama queen bit and flounce off, and no doubt some are still wondering why I’m gone like the buffalo. Wondering is probably a more valuable exercise for them to be engaged in than the witch hunt. So I’m thinking we may all be about to learn a very good lesson from Palin about choosing your battles.

  • Janis

    Regards opting out: That’s just another word for getting crushing into a corner. It might be all that’s possible for us, but even if I’m stuck eating cardboard for the rest of my life, I am NOT GOING TO LIE MYSELF into believing that it’s filet mignon.

    Sorry. I might be a worthless pussy, but I am not going to suffer the ultimate humiliation of lying myself into liking my chains. Like Winston Smith said in “1984” sometimes the only victory you have is to die hating the enemy.

  • Janis

    Besides, optiong out of a small, poisoned situation is one thing, but WTF are we gonna “opt out” of as women? Planet Earth?

  • http://mitchellblatt.com/blog Mitchell Blatt

    All she does is complain about media coverage, complain about Letterman, etc. Then her fans help her complain, like people complain about how the media says she’s complaining about stuff, or they complain about an article in a magazine that most people don’t read that features true quotes about how there was a disconnect between her and McCain.

    Clinton complained about stuff a lot, too, sometimes, but not as much as Palin.

  • Anne-Marie

    Stop your complaining Mitchell.

  • Anne-Marie

    Janis, women are not fucking fools. No more than men.

  • goesh

    – it sure takes so many pundits to say the same thing about a woman they find so damn threatening, there is a subtle nuance of fear about them all

  • Blaine

    I’ve not posted here in AGES but watch and read often. Our Boyz Club Member, CNN’s Rick Sanchez, has a little history of his own he would like people to forget (from Wiki, and a lot more can be found on the web:


    On December 10, 1990, Sanchez left the scene after striking a pedestrian, Jeffrey Smuzinick, with his car on a residential street near Dolphin Stadium. Smuzinick was paralyzed and eventually died from his injuries in 1995. Sanchez, who had just left an NFL football game with his father (and left the scene of the accident), was not charged with causing the accident, but was charged with and pleaded no contest to DUI.


    Sanchez, whom a Metro-Dade police officer said “smelled strongly of alcohol,” first stopped his car but then later left the scene. A blood test to determine Sanchez’s sobriety was not administered until an hour and fifteen minutes after the collision. Though Sanchez says he tried to aid Smuzinick at the scene of the accident and flag down motorists, eyewitnesses claim the anchorman ignored the injured man and loudly told police and bystanders that blood tests were pointless, and would hurt his public image.

    Miami New Times News
    August 7, 1991
    By Sean Rowe
    The Forgotten Man

    Now you know.

  • http://afrocityblog.wordpress.com Afrocity

    Sanchez is a murderer. A drunk driver who killed someone and he got away with it.

  • Briar

    Having just heard a “feminist” and lesbian who works for CNN blame Palin for having too thin a skin and for going into the kitchen when she couldn’t stand the heat (though she admits the attacks were atrocious) I think the fight is against something more than fear of women. It is against an overwhelmingly male centric social culture which reveres cruelty, offensiveness and violence, emotional, verbal and physical. It needs to be opposed and replaced by a more female-centric culture, one that admires empathy, compassion, inclusiveness, tolerance – all the things that we pride ourselves on exhibiting, but fail to actually apply to real life relationships. I am beyond disgusted by this assumption that having a thick skin and cohones are prerequisites for playing a part in our communities. So every civilised and gentle soul must be disenfranchised so that the brutes may strut the earth and bray? No wonder democracy is dying.

  • http://n/a Virginia Denton

    I think its interesting how feminists condemn male traits in men,but are all too happy to see them instilled in women.I wish women had the good sense to see that feminism is the real enemy of women and society,not men and male traits.Briar,we dont live in a male-centric social culture,we live in a female-centric social culture.And guess what? It has brought none of those utopian qualities you speak of.In fact,the more we include and revere women,the more unbearable our society becomes.

  • mSakel

    Gosh, Virginia, There is no Sexism!
    Thanks, sweetie! Now, you can bring out that darling little burqua you bought from Hussein, hon. Looks great on ya!

    Periodically, Virginia feels ‘down and starts launching attacks against ‘her’ own gender….to boost her macho appeal.

  • Andrea

    Yes, there is a horrible sexist bias in the media. Yes, Sanchez’s remarks are despicable.

    But let’s face it: Palin deserves it. As a woman, I feel totally ashamed by her. If we continue to allow these empty-headed but opinionated bimbos to represent us, it’s no wonder the world and the country won’t take us seriously.

    Any decent feminist should denounce Palin’s retrograde rhetoric. But of course, most women here will see gender above substance, and will try to defend her above anything.

    Reading this article and the comments makes me wonder if, after all, we, as a gender, may be ultimately to blame for gender inequality.

    Shame on all of you.

  • valentina Concord


    You represent the paleo-feminism, which wants to use the stick to put us all women in one place, and march to your orders. Your feminism is no better than the patriarchy, and as we’ve seen in this election and others, it has not advanced women’s issues, other than abortion. That is not the only issue we care about, nor the only important one. Actually, your feminism has turned out to be an arm of the patriarchy.

    We all think differently, and we don’t have to hit each other, as you are doing with Palin. We just have to be civilized enough to learn what we can agree with each other to advance women’s rights and positions in power. We don’t want to go back (to paleo-feminist politics), we want to go forward… can’t you see that?

  • valentina Concord

    Actually Andrea ( who posted July 18 , 2:18 am)

    I am amazed at how you don’t see how your statement:

    “Yes, there is a horrible sexist bias in the media. Yes, Sanchez’s remarks are despicable.But let’s face it: Palin deserves it.”

    reflects your internalization of the typical abuser, “wrong, but she deserves it”

    It was the same argument used in this political season: it was wrong to use sexism against Hillary and Palin, but the mysoginists convinced even a great number of women, that they deserved it.

    They make girls internalize this since we are little “he pulled your hair because he likes you”.