There’s no question that effective use of language is the foundation of good journalism and storytelling. Thousands of colleges and universities around the world teach future journalists the craft of the written and spoken word.
So it’s often painful to see a reporter struggle with syntax, mispronounce words or lose their place while reading. It’s even more disconcerting when a major public figure struggles to articulate the simplest thoughts–especially when that public figure has run for national office, is a former reporter, and holds a journalism degree.
Sarah Palin worked as a TV sportscaster, albeit for a little less than two years, in Anchorage, Alaska. She recently worked as a commentator for Fox News. She was a one-time Alaska governor and ran for vice president of the United States in 2008. Palin also earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism (incidentally, attending five different colleges before graduating).
Tina Fey made comedy history with her spot-on Saturday Night Live impressions of Palin, who has famously and often mangled the language. But little can top the speech Palin gave last week to endorse Donald Trump’s candidacy for president: “How about the rest of us? Right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religion, and our Constitution,” she protested to the crowd. “Well, and then, funny, ha ha, not funny, but now, what they’re doing is wailing, ‘Well, Trump and his Trumpeters, they’re not conservative enough,’” she noted, and continued by criticizing President Obama with, “And he, who would negotiate deals, kind of with the skills of a community organizer maybe organizing a neighborhood tea, well, he deciding that, ‘No, America would apologize as part of the deal,’ as the enemy sends a message to the rest of the world that they capture and we kowtow, and we apologize, and then, we bend over and say, ‘Thank you, enemy.’”
Palin’s parlance is almost beyond belief. How a major public figure with a journalism background and degree can communicate so awfully is mystifying. Tina Fey, of course, ran immediately back to SNL last night; Palin already wrote the script. Your thoughts?