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FOX and Friends protecting Palins' pregnancy privacy, avoid underlying issues

Reported by Chrish - September 2, 2008 -

The top priority on FOX and Friends this morning seemed to be the protection of the Palin family in the wake of the revelation that daughter Bristol, a seventeen-year-old high school student, is five months pregnant and will marry the baby's father. Several times the "averageness" of this situation was raised, and sympathy oozed for the teen while applause was called for "her" choice to go ahead with the unintended pregnancy, reinforcing the right-wing view that there is only one "right" way to deal with teen pregnancy.
With video

Presumably referring to a DailyKos diary and follow-up blogs trying to determine the truth of Trig Palin's birth, Steve Doocy declared them "vicious" and said candidates' families should be off limits. Having read quite a bit of those blogs over the weekend, I can attest they were not making judgments on the morality of the Palin family as far as any pregnancies, only trying to sort out a confusing and rapidly changing history of the woman who would be VeeP. There are legitimate questions raised that would go directly to her judgment and to her honesty, and to her "walking the walk" on so-called conservative family values, and hopefully those questions will be addressed by the mainstream media and perhaps in public forums - for example, why did she wait until she was 7 months pregnant to announce the impending birth? Why did she fly, on numerous occasions, so late in her pregnancy, especially after her water broke? And why did she return to work a mere three days after the premature birth?

FOX and the right-wing media are spinning this to their advantage, appealing to emotions of identity (perhaps because the exposure of McCain's multiple homes, expensive shoes, and private jets has made him less "likeable"?) But FOX has historically bemoaned teen pregnancies and as a rule, blames the parents - when Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant at 16 FOX was all over her parents, her mother in particular. (We don't have much on that, as it was tabloid crap and we try to ignore that, but we do have mention of Trace Gallagher criticizing the mom, my notes indicate multiple discussions on FOX and Friends over whether Spears should lose her show on Nickelodeon over the pregnancy ("yes"), and BillO on the record saying

"On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet.

Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves."

Bill O'Reilly has gone after Barack Obama for the better part of two years, since December 2006 (our first record of FOX attacking Barack came a week earlier, December 7, 2006), and still claims we don't know him. He's going to do a twenty-five part hit piece "chronicle" on Obama betwen now and Election Day. Palin, an unknown, was announced as nominee to be a heartbeat from the Presidency last Friday, and today, Tuesday, we're being admonished for trying to find out some details beyond the character presented: hockey mom, maverick, reformer, "pro-life" pro-gun pro-death penalty conservative.

Of course, if we can't talk about the teen pregnancy right in the Governor's mansion, we can't address the failure of "abstinence only" education that the nominee supports, or choices other girls, in less fortunate circumstances, have to deal with. And we can't bring up (although Fayetteville, Ga., RNC delegate Lane Watts said ”It’s refreshing to hear she’s going to carry it to term. She’s following the example of her mother and walking the walk.”) the "like mother, like daughter" issue either, because even mentioning that Sarah Palin was apparently pregnant before her marriage would be deemed a "vicious" (albeit factual) thing to say.

Personally, I don't care what other families do, and I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" (although I have preferences for my own family). But condemning us for speaking of these issues bars us from addressing the honesty and/or the hypocrisy and/or the wisdom of Sarah Palin's decisions and judgments. O'Reilly should scrap his Obama bash rehash and get on to telling us all about Sarah.