Are the media public servants, too?

In her speech to the Republican National Convention last Wednesday night, Sarah Palin lambasted the mainstream media’s tough scrutiny of her experience, family and credentials. To cheers, she told the crowd “I’m not going to Washington to seek [the media’s] good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

The funny thing about Palin’s comment is that, for the most part, the media serve the public, too. Interviews and stories provide background and insight into what type of candidate she will be. Because Sen. McCain picked his VP candidate from left field (or rather, right field, given Palin’s conservative credentials), the media have been working zealously to provide information to voters, liberals and conservative alike who are all asking the same question – who is Sarah Palin?

I understand Palin wants to keep the media from scrutinizing her family, especially her young children (and I commend her children’s poise in the media spotlight), but that should not stop her from answering policy and experience related questions with esteemed media. Why is she so reluctant to sit down with Tom Brokaw or George Stephanopoulos? As voters trying to decide who to support in November, we deserve to get to know the candidates.

With all of the questions surrounding Palin, is it possible for her to skirt the mainstream media altogether, opting instead to engage new media to release information about herself, her policies and her experience? Will voters view this as being credible and legitimate?

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