Leave it to the Republican Party to turn all the hoopla and hysteria over Sarah Palin into a crusade against the mainstream media. For conservatives this has always been a position of strength. It's been a rallying cry of sorts. This week Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney all took their shots at the media in their "elitist" attitude towards the Palin pick. Folks, whether you agree with the strategy or not, it has been effective in the past.
It's interesting how there were absolutely no jabs at the media coming from the Democrats at their convention. There's an obvious reason for that. Besides FOX News, nobody accuses the media of being conservative.
It is fascinating to watch the McCain campaign rail against the media treatment of Sarah Palin. Let's remember that for decades John McCain was a media darling. Now the tables have turned and it's McCain and his team who are making media members the villain here.
I think the media are legitimate in asking tough questions about whether she's qualified to be nominated for Vice-President. Being skeptical is what the media does best. But when the whole storyline shifts to that of family, pregnancy and other matters, then that's where the media loses. I understand it's a "sexy" story. I understand it brings in ratings. But ultimately, it's hard for the media to argue that this should be about the substance of a candidate (i.e. experience) when they give just as much time to family issues.
Having said all that, the biggest problem for the McCain campaign is the fact that while they may have vetted Sarah Palin, the mainstream media has not. And therein lies the problem. By picking Palin, they surely knew they would have to deal with a national media vetting process. So it comes with the territory. If they had picked Mitt Romney, the national media wouldn't be on this vetting crusade. It is what it is.