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Palin: McGinniss 'can do what he wants to,' but I'm protecting my kids

Via the Right Scoop, Glenn Beck talks to Sarah Palin about the Joe McGinniss story. It's worth watching if you can get past the treacly set-up that Beck provides for his fellow Fox News personality -- I winced at his description of McGinniss as "a guy who has been hounding you, and I think stalking you, and writing a book about you," as if he wasn't a well-known journalist, and I winced some more at Beck's fantasy about how he'd deal with McGinniss "as a man." Palin claims that her husband has started building a fence, and the interview makes her tack here even more explicit -- she is portraying McGinniss's move as a threat to her children.

People have said already, oh, the guy, he has his freedoms too, and he can live wherever he want to. Well, of course he can, and he can do what he wants to do. However, I think any mom, in my position, if they put themselves in my shoes, that they would feel the same way. You do your thing, you keep your distance, and you better leave my kids alone.

Beck goes along with this, assuming that McGinniss is stalking Palin's children. "You don't go after Chelsea Clinton!" he says. "You don't talk about the Bush kids!" That's Palin's tactic, of course, and something that occasionally drives her critics into a rage -- she converts attacks on her, Sarah Palin, into unfair attacks on her children. We have, of course, no indication that McGinniss has any interest in Palin's children. That's all coming from her implication that he is peering into their windows and seeking out vantage points to check them out.

The Plum Line's Greg Sargent has a take on Palin's ability to manipulate the press's coverage of her, which is the point I started with here. And Politico's Ben Smith argues, convincingly, that Palin has the right to criticize McGinniss and he has the right to annoy her. The problem I have is that Palin smacks around the press, demanding one-way coverage, and mostly gets it. In this case that led to several hours of coverage in which she called him, basically, a child stalker, with no rebuttal.

And Fox News's morning show Fox and Friends raises the standard:

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Sarah Palin  
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