Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kathleen Parker Misinterprets Sarah Palin's New Book

I ran across this article late last night and it honestly made me a little embarrassed for Kathleen Parker. She seems to have let her preconceived notions about Governor Palin dictate her internal debate about what 'American values' represents. Parker starts off:

We've heard much these past few years about "small-town values," most recently iterated and personified by Sarah Palin.

When politicians speak of small-town values, we know what they mean. Generally, they are invoking family, faith and flag -- coincidentally the subtitle of Palin's next book, "America by Heart." In the politician's world, small towns are where "real Americans" live, as opposed to all those other people -- the vast majority of Americans -- who live in urban areas.

I have a question for Ms. Parker... Where in the description of Governor Palin's new book, "America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag" does it exclude people who live in urban areas? Here is the entire book description from the Governor's publisher, HarperCollins to show just how off-base Parker is with her last column.

In the fall of 2009, with the publication of her #1 national bestselling memoir, Sarah Palin had the privilege of meeting thousands of everyday Americans on her extraordinary 35-city book tour. Inspired by these encounters, her new book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great.

Framed by her strong belief in the importance of family, faith, and patriotism, the book ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values—both national and spiritual-that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future. Written in her own refreshingly candid voice, America By Heart will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies. Here, too, are portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family. She will also draw from personal experience to amplify these timely (and timeless) themes—themes that are sure to inspire her numerous fans and readers all across the country.

I reread it several times and nowhere does it state that this book has only to do with "small towns." You can undoubtedly attribute such things to a small town, however this does not mean it automatically excludes urban areas by default.

The meat of the column is a long detailed description of Parker's old 'hood,' if you will. She doesn't understand why the values shared by her and her neighbors aren't considered "small town values." Ah, nobody said they weren't Kathleen, but if you want to talk about the fact the so-called, ruling "elite" in this country are out of step with most "real Americans," we can have that discussion.

She ends her piece this way (emphasis mine):

So goes life in the city. But if those aren't small-town values, I don't know what we're talking about. All the inferences one has drawn from reading the foregoing are meant to be taken to heart. Families come in many configurations. And small-town values have nothing to do with small towns.

No ma'am, they don't. Living in an urban environment myself, complete with concrete, loud buses, and homeless people, I can attest to the fact that the area in which one lives has only so much to do with their values. We have all walks of life in my neighborhood. The good, the bad, the poor, the better-off than the poor... The hard-working, the religious, the public servants, the warriors, the athletes, the moochers, the artists, the patriots, etc... This is a working-class neighborhood whose residents have a pretty good understanding of "Family, Faith, and Flag." Somehow it never occurred to me that Governor Palin was excluding this neighborhood when she talks about "America." Perhaps that's because she was not.

The notion that Kathleen Parker devoted an entire column to a misinterpretation of the definition of "Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," is laughable. Here we have a Pulitzer Prize winning writer using her space to tell readers what she thinks Sarah Palin will mean in talking about these things, in a book nobody has read yet. In fact, I have no clue how much of it is actually written at this point. Yet, here's Parker already denouncing Palin's anti-city mentality, as if that were the case at all.

Kathleen Parker continues her decline into obscurity with such strange analysis, and the Washington Post continues it's hard turn to the left. The Journolist scandal, with it's founder and many known members as writers working for the Post, along with people like Parker representing the "conservative voice," proves they are not in the business of unbiased reporting.

I just hope Kathleen Parker doesn't ponder too many aspects of Governor Palin's book before she reads it. We may have to endure column after column of her own internal debates about the meaning of something nobody ever said in the first place.
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