Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palin is a politician, not a Playboy bunny.

Headline: FOX freakout over unretouched Palin photo on Newsweek cover

Leave it to FOX news to broadcast a seemingly minor issue in such a manner that surely makes respected news anchors around the country cringe. Nothing against FOX news, but I think it is a fair comment to mention that they are no strangers to media bias.  

This video was shown in one of my communication classes. I thought it was perfect content to analyze for The Unbiased Tabloid. (Video was found on

The female news anchor, Megan, who happens to be all dolled up for the show, complete with the all-too-popular plastered on, gallons of makeup look, deals out the opening line, "Well, have ya seen the latest cover of Newsweek?" all the while scrunching her face in disgust. 

Megan continues,"Some say it (the photo) is ridiculously unfair to her (Palin.)" Who says it is unfair? Is this only Megan's/FOX news' opinion? Megan goes on to say that the audience won't really be able to see the "imperfections" on the screen, but to "trust her" (two times) that it is there, in the flesh (no pun intended.)

Two other women, republican media consultant Andrea Tantaros and Julia Piscitelli from the Women and Politics Institute at American University, join in on this silly debate over whether or not Newsweek was wrong in not retouching Gov. Sarah Palin's photo before placing it on the magazine's cover and selling issues all over the world, supposedly showcasing Palin's womanly "imperfections"like unwanted facial hair, pores, wrinkles, etc. If you ask me, if Newsweek should be accountable for any wrongdoing, it should be for running the headline, "She's one of the folks (and that's the problem.)"

If anything is a "slap in the face" to Palin, as Andrea pointed out about six times throughout the broadcast, it is the blatant insult behind the headline, which is demeaning to Palin and just plain cruel. "She's one of the folks" is a statement, "and that's the problem" is an unnecessary opinion, talk about bias---> whoever okayed that headline takes the gold, no contest.

Andrea and Julia go back and forth, Andrea nearly foaming at the mouth, arguing the same point over and over. She describes the cover as "mortifying," while Julia sticks to her opinion that people are "overreacting" to the issue. 

As I sat there watching this video, I couldn't help but to start laughing, many other students following suit. Because, who cares about whether or not the photo should have been retouched or not? FOX news needs to cover stories that are actually useful in the progression of the candidates' campaigns, not worry about the status of their worry lines and wrinkles. 

How absurd can news coverage get? Would this even be considered news coverage? I couldn't find anything relevant about this "debate." Are people really digging this deep to find something they can criticize, all the while in support and defense of 40-something women everywhere?

In the video all three women agree that Palin is a beautiful woman. This is true, so why the argument on whether or not to create the effect of an airbrushed face, like a supermodel? Palin is a politician, not a Playboy bunny. 

It would take pages to explain the ludicrous of this broadcast, so I'll just point out a few of the obvious examples of bias and a few questions they provoked.

Firstly, both Andrea and Megan attempted to debate that Palin's Newsweek cover was "mortifying," while Obama was pictured in this cover as "perfect," with a halo-like light above his head, therefore glorifying his campaign. (Or it could have been that the picture was taken in the sun, but someone had to make the decision to go with this photo over another, so some amount of bias had to have been present.)

Who knows if Newsweek has always favored Obama, retouching his photos and therefore showing him in a heroic light? To make this broadcast worthy of any kind of intelligent discussion there needs to be some kind of research presented about how Newsweek operates. Do they favor one candidate over the other? What about McCain and Biden? 

Should there be a social standard set in place that either everyone has their cover photos retouched or no one does, regardless of sex, race, occupation, etc?

What does it mean, if anything, that the two women who were in fierce opposition to this Newsweek cover, were wearing momentous amounts of makeup, while the third woman, who was the only one trying to sound rational and keep the peace, appeared more natural?

Have the media gone too far in analyzing seemingly irrelevant aspects of political content?

Is this debate an excuse for feminists to rally against the unfair treatment of women? Being a woman, myself, I could really care less about the issue of "to photoshop or not to photoshop." I'm sure Palin was not too wounded by Newsweek's effort to dampen her day, either. 

Check out the video, it is a riot to watch--> chock full of bias and all, and is guaranteed to leave you scratching your head and laughing your butt off. 

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