I was disappointed in your editorial on Sarah Palin. However, I cannot say I was surprised by it.
You chide Palin as “a self-obsessed, celebrity-seeking empty suit,” yet it is clear your editorial board made no serious effort to undertake a proper vetting of Going Rogue. Instead, your paper was content to Photoshop a picture of Palin onto the body of a cheerleader. Surely, the Boston Phoenix can do better than that.
Had someone actually read her book, one would have found a woman who saw fit to partake in her community while raising an ever-growing family. Anyone who gets elected to city council before the age of 30, is elected mayor before the age of 35, and becomes chairman of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission before the age of 40 has got to have something going for her.
You might disagree with Palin’s free-market, smaller-government principles. But if you had read her book, you would have found someone very well-informed about energy policy. Unlike the Bush administration, one cannot accuse her of being in bed with the oil companies. As governor, Palin changed the way oil profits were shared with the people of Alaska. She also finally got construction started on a pipeline that will supply natural gas to the Lower 48, a project previous governors could not budge the oil companies on an inch.
You might also disagree with Palin’s social conservatism. Yet Palin vetoed an Alaskan state law that would have denied benefits to same-sex couples. Are those the actions of “a mascot for the conservative movement”?
Curiously, you call upon the media (yourselves included) to stop its “incessant fascination and coverage of this — well — self-obsessed, celebrity-seeking empty suit.” Fine. No one is stopping you except yourselves.
The reason you continue to cover Palin is because there is a critical mass of Americans with whom she resonates. Like it or not, when Palin speaks, people listen. It is this resonance Palin has with people that you find so threatening. So keep “whalin’ on Palin.” It just might take her all the way to the White House.
Proselytizing the atheist
I really enjoyed your article on Greg Epstein. The comment that, “as a kid growing up in Flushing, . . . the ethnic and religious diversity around him made it hard to buy the idea that any one religion had a sole claim on truth” particularly resonated with me. That’s precisely one of the linchpins of Unitarianism! I invite him and others to visit a Unitarian church and sit alongside that diverse group of parishioners, which include agnostics and atheists and humanists and Jews and Buddhists and — well, you get the idea!