by YES! Weekly staff

The Palin right hook

We at YES! Weekly admittedly found ourselves fawning over the cast of the Democratic National Convention like the rest of the liberal media. When the McCain organization made its play the day after Obama’s acceptance speech with its VP pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, our reaction evolved from a combination of bewilderment and mockery to grudging respect. Which went exactly according to the GOP playbook. We certainly get that the Republicans need a small-government champion, a social conservative and a crusader against corruption. Palin’s appeal goes beyond that, of course; she embodies superwoman: mother of five children, pol ascending from small town mayor to governor in the space of two years, and ultimate fitness freak. She describes her major workout pitfall as “being pregnant every few years.” The debut issue of WSJ Magazine, slated for publication on Saturday, quotes her as saying, “My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away the sweat. But in reality I’m running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I’ve been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don’t freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup.” — JG

Gaffe or grift?

It started as a bit on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show: a parody of sorts intended to highlight Gov. Sarah Palin’s conservative credentials after she was named as Sen. John McCain’s running mate. It was a make-believe conversation, straight out of the mind of Limbaugh, between the Palin and Sen. Barack Obama concerning all the things the Alaska governor has to teach the Democrat’s pick for president and a series of questions he would ask her. “Can you show me the proper and safe way to handle and fire a gun?” and, “Is hunting scary?” But one question in particular caught the attention of Republican National Committee staffer: “When you found out your baby would be born with Down syndrome, did you consider killing it before or after the due date? You mean you had the baby?” The staffer, sensing viral infamy in the moment, e-mailed a description of the bit to RNC Communications Director Danny Diaz under the subject “wow…good YouTube potential.” But for some reason, it was also e-mailed to Andre Zajac of the Chicago Tribune, who reported about it in his paper’s political blog, the Swamp. Diaz said it was a mistake, that he didn’t plan to act on the suggestion and the staffer who brought it up had been “spoken to.” And while it’s no surprise that the Republican Party makes ample use of Limbaugh’s material to suit its own ends, I’m starting to get a little paranoid over here. Because if this clip was simply YouTubed and sent out across the internets it would have barely registered a ripple. But now it’s got traction and a wide audience (admittedly, due to pieces like this one). There’s something unsettlingly Rove-ian about that. Still I couldn’t find any evidence of the clip on YouTube, though I did find this tool from Millville, NJ who likes to post video of himself listening to the Rush Limbaugh show. I guess we’re just supposed to watch his reactions? — BC

Tough cookie

We media types tend to manifest our thirst for justice in pretty cerebral ways — you know, with scathing articles, pointed questions and all that. Not Vanessa Martinez, the web editor of 5280 magazine. She was having lunch in Denver during the Democratic National Convention when a thief made off with her handbag. When she called her credit card company to report the theft, they said the outlaw had already begun a spending spree at a nearby Virgin Megastore. So Martinez headed down there to see if the man appeared on store cameras. Unfortunately for the suspect, he ran into her on a side street, where she proceeded to kick his ass. When police arrived on the scene, they took the robber into custody and returned to Martinez all of her belongings. — AK