Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Private Lives

"It's a private family matter. Life happens in families," Schmidt* said. "If people try to politicize this, the American people will be appalled by it. The fact is that the American people, who are decent people, don't appreciate intrusions into the private space of good families."
"McCain campaign's scrutiny of Palin called into question"
There is a certain irony in the fact that when I read this story, in the sidebar, immediately adjacent to this statement, "Palin says daughter, 17, is pregnant" was listed as #1 in the list of most read stories in the Seattle Times for the day. It outranked the coverage of Hurricane Gustav, and the fact that a local school district was out from a teachers strike. Clearly, to a number of folks the sex lives of the teenage children of politicians is more compelling than a low-grade natural disaster.

But beyond that, I would recommend that Schmidt spend some time in a grocery store checkout line, where entire magazines are devoted to the goings-on in the private spaces of many good families who just happen to be famous. Perhaps Schmidt really does believe that whatever it is that people do to be at the point where the paparazzi dog their every move disqualifies them from being members of "good families," but I suspect that he's simply looking to enlist the help of a public that is uncomfortable admitting to the spirit of voyeurism that thrives within it to somehow shame the media into dropping the story. Good luck with that.

* "Schmidt" appears to be some high-ranking McCain adviser. The article, which was compiled from McClatchy Newspapers, The New York Times and The Associated Press doesn't establish who they are, as is normally the case. I expect this was simply an editing oversight.

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