Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is the media out of bounds

So John McCain announced Sarah Palin as Vice-Presidential Nominee. Not long after that, the media started digging. Part of naming a running mate is vetting them, sitting down with the person and asking them for all the dirt that the media could possibly dig up on them. It was revealed that Palin's 17-year old daughter is pregnant. Likewise the following images have recently come out showing the same daughter drinking underage (presumably before she was pregnant).

Obama has already commented saying that family matters are off limits. He himself was a product of a teen pregnancy and he doesn't think the issue of Palin's daughter has any place in the race. But some argue that this damages Palin's image as someone running on a conservative ticket. What are your thoughts on this. Are the candidates' family off limits to the media. What level of the families are off limits: spouses, grown children, young children, parents. Can we blame the media for wanting to cover any family scandals? Two paragraphs on this please.

Also please add in your first and last names if these are different than your posting name. Last week i had a Marc, Christen, and Caroline post but i'm not sure which students these are. If you are one of the three, please let me know so i can credit you.


cheriem said...

I feel like family and personal matters should be left out of political campaigns.
Just because Governor Palin's daughter is pregnant doesn't mean that Governor Palin is not capable of becoming Vice President.
There have been a lot of Presidents/Vice Presidents in office that I didn't agree with every incident in their private/family life, but who am I to judge. I also think that some of the ones which I didn't agree about their personal life may have done some very beneficial things for the country.
Also, how many highschool students have experienced alcohol.
I would be willing to bet that it would be the majority of students. Palin's daughter was having fun and didn't think about where those pictures might end up one day.

I think that the media thrives on gossip like this because people love reading the dirt on famous people. The media has every right to report this information. Let's just hope it doesn't play all the time until we are sick of it.

I think Obama was right to say that the family should not enter into politics.

Matthew & Ashley said...

I think family matters should be off limits. If we expect life to be perfect and nothing to go wrong for parents then we are crazy. Palin's policies and decisions are clear as a candidate and should not be given the back seat because her daughter is pregnant and under 18. Parents can only raise their children and teach them values and morals but they do not control the action a child takes once the teaching is done. The above being said, families are a package because the media thrive on being able to expose things that happen every day in the United States but create more gossip or talk coming out of a public family.

We can't necessarily blame the media for this since it informs the American public of what is going on behing the scenes in the Palin family. It is the media's responsibility to shed light on distractions that could garner more attention than her duties as Vice President.

Mike Tullis said...

In a perfect world, family matters wouldn't be discussed in political arenas. However, this world is far from perfect. The candidate herself painted a target on her back with her vehement stance on abstinence being the only form of birth control. The media is now looking at it from the standpoint that she couldn't even successfully impart her views to her own child much less an entire nation. Is it right for this to be a part of the race? No. It does, however, throw doubt on her awareness of her environment and her position as a role model.

In the early days of "tabloid journalism," the press kept certain things quiet and didn't report everything about a candidate's personal life. There was a sort of mutual respect between the media and political figures. The digital age has brought with it a hunger to delve into the deepest darkest secrets of a person's life and drag them into the light. Mudslinging has sunk to a new low in today's society.

Rani said...

I believe that family matters should be left our of political matters. For instance Palin can not help what her daughter has done. I think we can all say that our parents taught us right from wrong, but did we always listen. Well I know my parents taught me Christian values and I still am my own person and made my own decisions and I guarantee they were not always the right ones.
I do not think the fact that Governor Palin's daughter being pregnant should affcet her capabilities of being Vice President.If you think back there have been many incidents not only in Vice Presidents lives but also the Presidents that have portrayed a negative image. I still believe that Palin is capable of the duties in the White House and politics. I believe that the media thrives on gossip in all areas. This is just another headline and page to be printed so they get paid at the end of it. I actually agree with Barack Obama in saying to leave the family matters to the family and out of the public eye.

Rebekah said...

I think that family matters should be left out of the political races. Governor Palin's seventeen year old daughter being pregnant and drinking underage has nothing to do with how the candidate will help to run our country. We were all young once. Everyone makes mistakes that their parents cannot be held accountable for.

I know that i particapated in underage drinking when I was in highschool. There are probably some really unflattering pictures of me floating around somewhere. At least she looks decent in the photos. The could be some Britney-like catasthrophies. Families should be off limits, and the media is way out of bounds for publicizing a private matter.

Lynsee said...

I think that personal matters are private, however I am not trying to be the wing man for the leader of the free world. I was initially concerned with the pregnancy until I learned she was away at college. I have less of a problem with it given she was not living at home. I still feel that reflects poorly on Gov. Palin and she will have to work hard to save face. By November, it would have been pretty obvious that her 17 year old daughter was pregnant, so you might as well get it all out in the open.

The underage drinking is no big deal. Who hasn't drank before they were 21? I am pretty sure everyone in America would have to raise their hand on that one. I respect Obama for not going to town with this. It would be like taking candy from a baby. Personally, I am sick of slanderous campaign advertisements. So for a candidate to be avoiding one of this magnitude is admirable.

Torie Thacker said...

I feel like family issues are off limits during the political race. I know that people are looking at how she runs her home as a way that she will run the country, but no family is perfect. The daughter is 17 years old. She makes her own decisions and mistakes. Her mother does not know everything that her daughter does. Many people who are from broken homes, are the product of a teenage pregnancy, or who drink underage become very successful people.

We can not blame the media for wanting to cover family scandals. They are the medium between the celebrity and the people at home. They are not just digging up information about Sarah Palin's daughter. Obama has had his fair share of media scandals during the presidental race. People deserve to know about the people who are going to be running our country.

Sandy Ward said...

I believe that Senator Obama is correct in that personal family matters should remain off limits. The United States is only second to the United Kingdom in teenage pregnancies, so Governor Palin’s daughter is not all that different from the hundreds of thousands of other young women, some whom we know who find themselves in this same position each year. I don’t think this in any way damages Palin’s image or her ability to perform her duties and more than it does the parents of any of these young women.

While the media has a right to publish stories they believe are in the public’s best interest to know, it appears that many outlets have gotten away from true reporting and act more like tabloid papers. I think that unless some legal line is crossed, the family of any candidate should be off limits and that a person’s privacy should be balanced with the publics’ right to know. Then again, you have to consider that the media provides what the majority of the public want. However, we all have a choice and it is one that I exercise often, and that is when the networks come on with the same old drivel day in and out, I can turn their station off and do.

heather b said...

I think all family issues should be off limits to the media. Everyone has issues, and no one and I mean NO ONE is perfect. Why should this girl be involved with the media and such when she is just a daughter of a potential V.P. She did not doi anything wrong, yes she made a mistake but our focus should not be on her.
If anything it will benefit McCain because more people will feel like they can relate to the issues going on with his V.P.'s daughter issues, they will be looked at like more down to earth and real people instead of these boring political figures.
Of course the media is going to talk about this as much as they can because political peoplea are suppose to be smart and do no wrong, so when there is something that happens to political people that may be out of the norm for them then they are going to get jumped all over about it.
-Heather Buttrey

Kayla Roberts said...

I feel like personal situations are to be left out. Nobody has any right to judge anybody else. I think it is just wrong. I think family matters are clearly off limits. I know plenty of people who have had hard lives and they are the best people I know. The daughter shound not even be judged because she could be the most amazing person you have ever met.

Everyone should be worried about how Governor Palin will be at Vice President, not how her 17 year old daughter is pregnant and drinking. The daughter is not going to be Vice President. The media only wants to gossip so I guess I can't blame them. They should focus more on politics though.

Annie Bolduc said...

Family matters should definitely be left out of politics. Whether it's about the spouses, the children, or all of them. Why? For many reasons, the first one being that I think if you dig up in any families history, there is something that could be found and used against them. Perfection simply does not exist, and it is time for people to try and understand this. Also, another reason is that, by making scandals out of things like that, chances are that this might hurt the family, or how close the members of the family are etc. For me, family is one of the most precious thing on the planet, and nothing should come in the way of the one you love and love you no matter what. Stressful situation often lead to measures such as divorce or other methods that are just as bad. People have enough to deal with as it is on a regular basis, no need to make their family life public!

Now, the question is, can we blame the media for wanting to cover family scandals? I would like to say yes, they are the only one to blame. But unfortunately, I can't do that. Media will try to cover anything that the readers will be interested to read and respond somehow. Anything that will sell, will be covered, no matter how far things are taken. So who is responsible? The people for reading it, reacting to it and creating a demand or the media for offering the information to the people? As I said, I can't entirely blame the media, because if nobody was interested in the matter, it wouldn't be published. I do understand that, it is important, specially in politics, that we know what kind of candidates we are voting for etc. but I also believe that some things are out of control, even for the parent. When we reach a subject such a teen pregnancy, the parents are not the only one to blame. We have to look at the society we live in, with pop stars such as Britney Spears' sister who was pregnant at 16. Things like that influence people today, and it is why the parents should not be the only one blamed in such things. It is hard to draw a line in the family matter and it is why, they should just be left out.

Anonymous said...

The candidates' family should be off limits to the media. Although she is a public figure, there is a line that should be drawn between her personal life and career life. Furthermore, her children, grown and young, should be off limits; every parent deserves this right. I agree with Obama's comments and he proves, as the product of a teen pregnancy himself, that it is not an issue and does not deserve to be an issue. Ulimately, the media may damage Palin's image, but it should not damage her ability as potential Vice-President. Although she is a public figure, I do not feel that her family should fit into the same category.

Sensationalist media thrive on family scandals, although I do not feel that Palin's situation falls under the same category as a scandal. I do not feel that people should blame the media. Unfortuantley, it comes with the territory of being a public figure. I am sure that Palin's daughter's pregnancy would come to light at some point. The media is not so much focused on Palin's situation because of the actual situation; the media is focused more so on the timing of the situation. Timing is everything to the media, especially in the realm of politics.

Marc said...

I feel that issues involving candidates families should be left off limits to the media. It is none of the voters business. The things that matter should be the policies they represent. Everyone has problems in the home and no one is perfect.
The media is just trying to control the election as they always do. Some voters may think if Palin can't control her own home how can she help America. I'm sure she has explained right and wrong to her daughter. Her daughter just chose not to listen to her. Many Americans do not listen to our leaders. This doesn't make them poor leaders.

Marc Hearst

Lee Beard said...

I agree with Obama, family issues should not be brought up. I think that it is wrong that Palin's daughter drinks underage, however, a lot of high school kids do that. She is unfortunately under the radar because of her political status. Just because her daughter is pregnant at seventeen does not mean she is a terrible mother or that she will not know how to help run this country. Every family has problems.

I think the family is off limits. Being a voter, all I want to hear about is what that person is willing to do for this country, not what there daughter is doing on the weekends. However, I do see the media's point. They want a good "juicy" story to sway the voter or cause contraversy.

Lee Beard

Anonymous said...

Family matters should be left out of political races, especially if it is not a direct reflection of something that the candidate did or influecned directly. This same sort of thing could have happened to a liberal running for office. Your political affiliation doesn't give you a perfect life.

Parents cannot control their children. No matter how hard we try to raise our children with good morals and standards, they will at some point make their own decisions - sometimes with no regard for what the outcome could be.

Palin's ability to do her job has nothing to do with the personal issue in her family. As a mother, it could cause her to join the efforts to stop teen pregnancy, but it shouldn't change the way she does her job.

Blaming the media would be a waste of time because they are going to print what they want to print regardless of who it hurts. If the media wanted to be kind, they would leave this kind of thing alone. Drawing attention to an already tough situation does not help Palin's daughter or the unborn baby.

I'm glad that Obama is trying to stay away from the topic. Even he knows that this is something the family needs to deal with and not deal with it in public.

Sabrina said...

In my opinion, I feel like family matters are personal and private issues. However, we are not talking about an ordinary person, this is someone that is running for vp. Is it the medias business if Sarah Palin's daughter is pregnant...probably not...but it is however their job to inform us of what is going on in the world. We all have been teenagers before. She is not the first teenager to become pregnant and she wont be the last.

I also feel that Obama handled this issue well. He could have played dirty but he didn't.

Jamayel Smith said...

I feel the presidential candidate McCain made a bad choice for his vice president selection. I read that he only met Mrs. Palin once in person and when he asked her to fill the vice president position was over the phone. This exemplifies how McCain shouldn’t be president. He obviously does not think things through especially when it comes to important decisions. I personally feel that she shouldn’t have been selected due to her endless circumstances with her home life. By looking at these pictures and also knowing that she has a child with down syndrome is enough to establish that her focus doesn’t need to be on filling shoes in this year election. Considering her issues obviously shows what her priorities are and how inconsiderate she is. With that being said her children should be what’s important to her right now and not this presidential election. So this also shows that she or McCain can't distinguish what is important which foreshadows future decisions mishandled if they get elected for president.

I feel that family issues are going to be scrutinize by the media whether its the moral thing to do or not. Therefore, I feel that all of these issues about her family reflects on her as a person. But I do have to say that sometimes children do reflect their parents. So with that being said Mrs.Palin is obviously not teaching her children to make the right choices which also reflect in her role with the presidential election.

Matt Middleton said...

In such an important case such as possibly deciding the next president of our country, family issues in general should remain out of the media spotlight because of the influence they can have on voters. Governor Palin should strictly be judged on her policies and credentials. I think the general public understands that we as a country have critical issues that need to be addressed and are of far more importance than a personal matter such as Bristol's pregnancy.

The images showing underage drinking by Governor Palin's daughter are not a problem to me. This is prevalent throughout the country and should not portray Governor Palin's character. The media will continue to dig at the candidates' personal lives. They have every right to do this. Hopefully, the American public will vote according to policies and viewpoints on issues, not on matters that have nothing to do with improving our country.

Sandy Ward said...

I take issue with several comments on Sarah Palin being unfit because of family "issues". If a person's family reflects on them so greatly, what about Joe Biden's son and brother being indicted for fraud to the tunes of millions, charges they have been dealing with for a year? His 21 year old daughter was also charged in the last few weeks with obstructing a police office while the group she was drinking with threw a bottle at a police officer? If Sarah Palin's family issues are important, are not Joe Biden's as well and what does that say about him? Should he be home raising his kids as well?

If family issues are going to be raised, would it not be fair to raise them for all candidates than for the tabloids to single out one candidate?

Paula said...

Same story, different day. Someone in the media will always look for skeletons, because that is what they do. I believe that people seeking office in service to the people should be scrutinized for their abilities, and nothing more.

When I accessed the photos and comments on Perez Hilton's website, what people said (obviously without thinking) disturbed me more than photos of young people holding liquor bottles.

Admittedly, I don't have to know all about the Palins, though we know we can rely on someone to find it and present it. How we interpret this information is our choice. I see the good and bad sides of this press where the candidate is concerned, and take it as one of the privileges of living in America. My voice is heard when I vote.

Paula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clara said...

So sorry for the late response. Things have been crazy...

To be honest I rarely watch the news and I really have no real say so in the whole presidential race. I have no idea who Sarah Palin is (other than the obviousness that she's the vice-president nominee..) much less how the fact that her daughter is pregnant and 17 and drinks... Sad to say, the daughter sounds about like 50% of young ladies in America today. I think it should stay out of the race, but like I said, I really don't know much about politics. I really don't understand it (despite the many gov't classes and people trying hard to explain things to me). I will say that it's sad I don't know more about my government, but I just try to live my life and be a as much of a Christian example to others as much as I can. I have never felt that any candidate running for president or any other position have represented all of my views anyway...

I feel there is so much I can say about the rest of my views on politics, but I really don't see a point in it?.... I try to improve my surroundings and things I can actually control, and the things I can't, I leave up to God. Call me whatever you will, but I leave the true judgement to the man upstairs.

Clara Caffey

Caroline said...

Caroline Parham (on the roll Courtney)
I believe that the families should be off limits to the media. But, it is also important to know how a candidate has raised their family and handled certain things that normal people face everyday. Such as teen pregnancy, if Palin really is pro-choice like her political party supports. But, it is no right to criticize the actions of others. As a public we do not know the complete details to people's situations how they, as a family, believe they should handle each issue.
I support Obama for saying to leave family matters during the race. That was a really good call for himself as a front runner but also nice to not allow our candidates to be criticized. I am thankful for the values that have been exemplified by the candidates and not just talked about it. This shows that these men and women are true believers in what they discuss to the public everyday.

Caroline said...

Caroline Parham (on the roll Courtney)
I believe that the families should be off limits to the media. But, it is also important to know how a candidate has raised their family and handled certain things that normal people face everyday. Such as teen pregnancy, if Palin really is pro-choice like her political party supports. But, it is no right to criticize the actions of others. As a public we do not know the complete details to people's situations how they, as a family, believe they should handle each issue.
I support Obama for saying to leave family matters during the race. That was a really good call for himself as a front runner but also nice to not allow our candidates to be criticized. I am thankful for the values that have been exemplified by the candidates and not just talked about it. This shows that these men and women are true believers in what they discuss to the public everyday.

Anonymous said...

When an individual decides to become a public figure, they should have an understanding that everything that he/she and their family do will be scrutinized. Ideally most people do not want their family matters to be any one else’s business, but in this media age it is all just part of it. The candidate’s family should not be off limits to the media. A family helps paint a complete picture of someone and their lifestyle. If her daughter were doing more positive acts, she would want people to know about it. I think that the Palin’s have handled this situation with grace and they do not seem to be making it a big deal. Yes this is what happened and here is what we are going to do about it, end of story.
We can not blame the media for wanting to cover family scandals. Yes, I do believe that often times the media goes too far. How do we limit this? It’s such a touchy subject with so many different opinions. If you are the media, you are trying to increase sales. If you are the family being attacked, it’s an invasion of privacy. Family matters are family matters and I think they should be that way, but when you decide to live a life in the public eye you sign up for this.

~Christen Reeves

William said...

To an extent I think that family and certain personal matters should be off limits to the public domain. This includes the personal lives of political. However, we cannot overlook the importance that family and personal acts have in representing the true measure of person's life. I would assume hope that a person's personality only truly comes to-light in matters concerning his/her family. So although I find tabloid tactics and headlines repulsive, we need to have a glimpse of a political candidates personal life. Afterall, the methods for making family decisions should not be that different from the methods used while making governmental policy decisions.

STACIES77 said...

It is common sense to me that family and personal matters are going to be drug into the limelight of the media. I have no problem with this as long as it is equal for both parties.

Obama is so quick to judge Palin and drag her name through the mud because of her daughter when he is a product of an unwed mother! What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If one political image is going to be slandered due to family and the past it should be the same for the other political party running.

Dragging names in the dirt due to the increased hype of digital media in the last 20 years has increased tremendously. Palin could not control every second of her daughters life and there is not a parent out there that can. So, to me, it is ludicrous to say that she can't preach abstinence just because her daughter is knocked-up! If that is the case Obama shouldn't be allowed to run for President because his parents ARE MUSLIM!!!