After selecting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, Sen. John McCain has soared in the polls -- taking a 10-point lead over Sen. Barack Obama in the Gallup daily tracking poll among likely voters.
The development has shaken many in the major media who are strongly backing Obama, a Democrat. His allies have now launched an all-out offensive against the first GOP female vice presidential candidate.
Worrisome for the Obama camp is the momentous effect Palin has had on women. Before her selection, Obama led McCain among white women, 55 percent to 37 percent.
The most recent poll data out last week shows 53 percent to 41 percent in favor of McCain. ABC News called it "one of the single biggest post-convention changes in voter preference.''
"She's not part of the Washington, D.C., cocktail circuit," Steve Schmidt, a McCain adviser, told Time magazine.
"Elite opinion looks down with contempt at people who are not part of their world," he said.
Palin has become a juggernaut. The Obama campaign wants her stopped, and the media -- which has given Obama almost a free pass in vetting him -- is giving Palin a vigorous examination.
On Monday, the Obama campaign released a new TV ad directly attacking Palin.
The ad states:
“They call themselves mavericks. Whoa. Truth is, they're anything but. John McCain is hardly a maverick, when seven of his top campaign advisers are Washington lobbyists. He's no maverick when he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time. And Sarah Palin's no maverick either. She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Politicians lying about their records? You don't call that maverick. You call it more of the same.”
Such political attacks have been backed up by vicious personal smears.
Comedian Bill Maher cracked a tasteless “joke” involving Palin’s Down syndrome child -- and referred to her as a “stewardess.” In the monologue of a recent HBO show, Maher noted that Palin has five children, including an infant “that has Down syndrome. She had it when she was 43 years old. And it looks a lot like John Edwards.”
Also notable was US Weekly magazine, whose cover story featured Palin and the headline “Babies, Lies & Scandal.”
Asked by Fox News Megyn Kelly to identify any “lies” Palin had uttered, US Weekly Senior Editor Bradley Jacobs could not offer any.
Just months ago, the same weekly had published Barack and Michelle Obama on the cover with the headline “Why Barack Loves Her.”
Meanwhile, the media has been elevating minor controversies in Palin’s home state of Alaska to national “scandals.” For example, the firing of a state trooper who allegedly Tasered his own 10-year-old son has been elevated to an international human-rights case.
The latest line of attack on Palin is focused on her strong Christian beliefs. She has been labeled a wacko fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in evolution. (Interestingly, several polls show most Americans don’t believe in it, either. A 2006 CBS poll found that just 13 percent of Americans believe in scientific evolution, and most Americans believe life was created and guided by God.)
A recent Associated Press investigative report was headlined: “Pentecostalism Obscured in Palin Biography.”
Her crime, according to the AP?
Here’s what AP wrote: “Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian. Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.”
CNN on Monday was out with a similar “expose,” citing her former Alaskan pastor as saying Palin wanted to hide her Pentecostal roots.
Why? CNN claims she may be embarrassed that Pentecostals “speak in tongues.”
Though Palin has clearly demonstrated that her faith does not mix with her public service, it’s a major problem for the media.
It should be remembered that this is the same media that ignored Obama’s involvement with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. until video clips of his pastor condemning the United States made it onto YouTube. The media continues to largely ignore the fact Obama won’t admit he was raised a Muslim and later converted to Christianity.
The bias against Palin has become so apparent that even some in the major media are taking notice.
During the Republican National Convention last Wednesday, Palin mentioned how the media was covering her, and angry Republicans began screaming “NBC, NBC, NBC.”
NBC News, once considered the gold standard of broadcast news, has become so closely associated with the Obama campaign that it even replaced veteran news anchors for the two conventions with Democratic pundits Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.
The network’s slanted coverage of the GOP became such an embarrassment that the network this past Sunday removed both Olbermann and Matthews as its election news anchors.
The pro-Obama bias has not only affected Palin and the GOP. During one Democrat debate earlier this year, Sen. Hillary Clinton referenced a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that showed CNN moderators bending over backwards to help Obama.
Hillary may have the last laugh as the Republicans, with Palin leading the charge, are stealing the women vote – a bloc Hillary solidly owned and one she could have brought home to the Democratic Party on Election Day.
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