Gerard Baker is the US Editor of The Times. On Monday, he wrote an article for the US site Real Clear Politics, ‘comparing’ the achievements and experiences of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. The entire piece consists of Republican talking points criticising Obama and playing up Palin’s achievements. I found the following segment particularly amatuerish.
Obama: Regards people who “cling” to religion and guns as “bitter” . Spent 20 years being mentored and led spiritually by a man who proclaimed “God damn America” from his pulpit. Mysteriously, this mentor completely disappeared from public sight about four months ago.
Palin: Head of her high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes and for many years a member of the Assemblies of God congregation whose preachers have never been known to accuse the United States of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus. They remain in full public sight and can be seen every Sunday in churches across Alaska. A proud gun owner who has been known to cling only to the carcasses of dead caribou felled by her own aim.
I don’t have an issue with newspaper writers and editors expressing their opinions on blogs. In fact it can be very helpful to get a sense of the politics and interests of people who are otherwise anonymous, in order to understand how their personality influences what they choose to write about.
I’m not surprised that Gerard Baker thinks that John McCain would make a better President than Barack Obama. He writes for The Times after all! However, I am shocked that a serious journalist who still works for a big newspaper would engage in this type of smearing and swift-boating in a public forum.
I know Andrew Sullivan has been engaging in something similar with Sarah Palin. However he is a full-time blogger. I don’t agree with his intrusion into the Palin family’s private life, but if he wants to give up his objectivity in order to be a full-time attack dog that’s his prerogative.
I now have no reason to trust the US coverage of The Times and will not be reading that newspaper until that hack has been removed.
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Filed in: Current affairs,United States