One more word on Sarah Palin there

Doonesbury's Palin Doll

What is wrong with people in this country? There is nothing wrong with the way Sarah Palin talks. Making fun of her dialect (which is widespread among my relations, by the by) is no different from making fun of a Southern drawl or Boston r-dropping or Ebonics. Why is the West suddenly the last fair geography to mock?

And, yes, she's not a talented soundbiter. So what? I grant you that tv skillz are necessary in today's media-ized political environment, but I'm guessing the governor of Alaska hasn't been dropping thousands on a soundbite coach. That's a crime?

I don't care if people hate her politics, but dismissing her as stupid because you don't like her accent or because she has no experience compressing big thoughts into ten-second segments is inexcusable. These are lousy lousy ways to judge the worth of either a human being or a politician.

I liked her before I heard her speak --- before McCain selected her. If you made all your judgments based on her tv-readiness, it's time to get over yourself.

I would sound like an idiot on tv.

I would sound like an idiot if you merely transcribed the way I talk.

Chances are, you would too.

Let's be honest about why Sarah Palin's [still] a punching bag. And then let's grow up a little.


  1. I've only twice got onto the radio. My experience moving to the Mid-west 10 years ago and finding the NPR station was at the very same frequency as the one to which I listened on the West Coast was enough to get me into one of their commercials during their Fall fundraiser. To put it bluntly, I sounded like a big oaf! No, really.

    I'm not certain why it has become alright to poke fun at how Sarah Palin talks, how she uses different euphemisms or the habit of putting in an extra there, there. It does bother me that her detractors focus on this rather than on issues. There is a name for this in debating. Her detractors are using false arguments rather than looking at issues. I'm not certain why they aren't using the issues unless they don't believe there is grounds for doing so.

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years, though... there.

  2. Your point is very valid. I don't like Sarah Palin, but that has nothing to do with how she speaks. I have never heard her speak, nor have I watched any visual coverage of her, since I do my politics-following at work, with a computer on which I can't play sound (and I don't have a TV at home).

  3. I agree with you that there's nothing wrong with the way Sarah Palin talks, and that it's no different from any other accent, but I disagree that other accents aren't fair game to mock. How often does Bush get mocked for his accent and speaking style? (Often.) Similarly, how often did Bill Clinton get mocked for his accent? (Often enough--certainly every Clinton impersonator automatically puts on a drawl.) So yes, she's a punching bag, unfairly, for her lack of soundbite skill, but she's a punching bag, fairly for her accent--anyone in politics with a distinctive regional accent gets mocked a little bit. That's just part of the game.

    (Now, it may be an unpleasant part of the game, and I'm not saying we should mock them, but to suggest that Sarah Palin's the only one on the receiving end just isn't true.)

  4. I wouldn't sound like an idiot because I've taken lots of speech classes. So there. :p