Sarah Palin is angry about the cover photo of her in Newsweek. So she says. When she chose to pose for Runner's World in workout gear, pigtails, bare legs and a mid-zipped red top she allegedly had no idea what she was doing, or, that some other news magazine would use the photo. Palin has this to say:
"The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention — even if out of context."
Come on, it's not like she was posing in a thong, wrapped in the American flag and blowing kisses to Obama. She looks like the soccer moms she loves so much. She looks like she's a busy soccer mom who also lives a double-life as a 40-something, in-shape, politician. Anyway, didn't Palin compete in a few beauty contests? She won the Miss Wasilla pageant. She also placed third in the 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant where she walked away with a scholarship and a Miss Congeniality award. In other words, Palin is no stranger to photo-posing talents and the advantages they can provide. My brethren-blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates over at the Atlantic believes the photo is sexist and unwarranted:
"I don't really understand how Sarah Palin, in running gear, conveys either the headline, or the two stories. (I read both.) I've been trying to decide where gender fits here—Would they have done this to, say, Dan Quayle? John Edwards? I don't think that's knowable. I do think that this photo, used in this context, objectifies Sarah Palin. I get why she's pissed off. It feels like a cheap-shot."
Cheap shot? Maybe. Newsweek could have alerted Palin about the photo before printing. Sexist? I guess it's all the eye of the beholder. Brilliant PR. opportunity? You betcha. Palin is no dummy: She's in this media/political game to play and reap the benefits.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.