Please don’´t fling me in that briar patch

by Ogi Overman

I have made a decision, and I want the Sizzling Seventeen to hold my feet to the fire on it. After today, I shall not write the words “Sarah Palin” again for at least two years. There is a caveat, however: From time to time I may refer to my acronym for her, CRABWOMAN (Crazy Rightwing Alaskan Babe Who Overshadows McCain Albeit Nastier), but only to update it as events dictate. Already I’ve switched the last two letters to “And Newt,” and it may be time to change it entirely. I’m thinking PHALLIC: Power Hungry Alaskan Loser Lacking Intellectual Curiosity.

At any rate, now that I’ve sworn her off, I’m begging the mass media to do likewise. I am so sick of the “All Palin All The Time” cable news channels, that I’m thinking of swearing them off too. The incessant coverage of her every move is past the point of mind-boggling; it’s insulting and degrading, both to serious journalists and those of us who rely on them. I’m sure I’m not the only proud and happy American who is ready to turn the page on the election as well as the last eight sickening years in anticipation of brighter days ahead.

So why this obsession over a person plucked from obscurity and destined for obscurity, a footnote to history at best? With the impending shift of power and all the promise a new administration brings, why continue to dwell on yesterday’s news?

I have three theories.

No 1: The real issues of the day, i.e. the economic meltdown, are too complex for the media, much less the general public, to understand, so they’ve dumbed it down to a level even… oh, I don’t know… a plumber from Toledo could understand. It’s much easier to cover her attending the Republican governors conference (which in a normal year would have gotten one eight-second sound bite of coverage) than to dissect the foreclosure crisis, the mismanaged bailout or the stock market slide and try to explain it in layman’s terms. In short, she’s easy (no double entendre intended).

No. 2: Apparently, some male news execs must think she’s hot. Now, I think I know hot, and she ain’t it. Jessica Biel is hot, Scarlett Johannson is hot, Katherine Heigl is hot. Sarah Palin is at best lukewarm — and that’s with the 20 grand of pilfered RNC makeup.

No. 3: The GOP is so bereft of leadership that somebody, somewhere actually thinks she can be a viable candidate in 2012. This is the one I hope is true, for if that’s the case we can look forward to eight years of uninterrupted Obama-Biden leadership. If she’s the best the GOP can come up with in four years, happy days are indeed here again.

But we have to be very coy about this. We need to employ what let’s call the “Br’er Rabbit strategy.” We need to signal that we are deathly afraid of running against such a formidable candidate. We must be unfailingly polite and complimentary and deferential toward Governor Palin, suppressing the natural inclination to be dismissive, condescending and flippant. Our stance should be that we’d much prefer to run against a Romney or a Huckabee or a Gingrich than such a charismatic and towering figure as Palin.

“Please don’t fling me in that briar patch, Br’er Elephant” must be our veiled plea, much like Karl Rove’s ploy of trying to trick the Dems into nominating Hillary rather than the one he knew they couldn’t beat.

It’ll have to be our little secret that she’s really a bubbleheaded bimbo, which is why I’m going to ixnay the olumcays on the alinpay, at least until she’s ominatednay.

Actually, that brings me to a fourth theory: Maybe the media’s in on it. Could it be that the non-stop barrage of coverage is their way of promoting her as a potentially feasible presidential candidate? The so-called “low-information voter,” meaning those who base their opinion on scant knowledge and zero research — AKA, anyone who could possibly be swayed by pseudo-arguments as shallow and unconvincing Joe the Plumber, Joe Sixpack, bridge to nowhere, palling around with terrorists, hockey mom, “you betcha,” etc. — might equate seeing her on TV with being newsworthy and therefore important and, following that logic, credible. She is obviously already beginning to take herself seriously, so, if that’s the case, she has taken the bait.

Now, if the media starts to ignore her in favor of genuine news stories again, it will mean that President-elect Obama may have to face a legit opponent next time. But if the cameras and talking heads follow her back up to Alaska, we’ll know that they’re in on the fix.

So, my advice would be: Go north, young men, go north. And be nice.

But please don’t bring up the name Uncle Remus.

Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.