The New York Times found three ways to mention, above-the-fold on A1 today, that McCain’s running-mate’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.
Per the Times, 17-year-old Bristol Palin’s pregnancy: is one of “a series of disclosures” that “called into question how thoroughly Mr. McCain” vetted his running-mate; “presents an unwanted distraction for Mr. McCain’s campaign;” and helped launch “The Mommy Wars; Special Campaign Edition” (“a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for [Palin] to take on the vice presidency; and is she right to try.”)
Anything else? Oh, yes. On A19 readers learn that “Palin Daughter’s Pregnancy Interrupts G.O.P. Convention Script.” (Not to mention, I imagine, interrupting “Palin Daughter’s” own life “script” somewhat…)
But back to What it Means For People Who Are Not Bristol Palin!
The Washington Post: “Hurricane Isn’t The Only Jolt In Convention. Palin’s Daughter, 17, is Pregnant.”
The media’s handling of this “jolt” was a topic of great debate among the talking heads on MSNBC this morning.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just noticed that three articles on the front page of the New York Times involve Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old pregnant daughter.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: They like the story!
BRZEZINSKI: They like the story a lot…
MIKE BARNICLE: If big east coast papers and big west coast papers continue to do that, are they going to win in a landslide, McCain and Palin? They’ll so alienate every parent in the country who has had a moment…
PAT BUCHANAN: If the media go after this still, I’ll tell you, they are solidifying the Republican base and deepening it. They are just so stupid! I cannot believe the way the media’s handled this…
Yet, big coastal newspapers are hardly alone in their A1 treatment (“Pregnancy steals spotlight,” according to the front page of the Anchorage Daily News) or even in taking the cringe-making storm-pun route (didn’t we warn you about this?) For example:
“Two storms— one, a hurricane, the other a Palin family revelation— steal the focus on the convention’s first day,” per the front page of the print edition of the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.