Eugene Cho

sarah palin, newsweek cover, and sexism?

Sarah Palin is all over the news – just like she wants. And before you criticize her, she and her team have a strategy and they’re implementing it well to ensure that her persona is before the American public until the next Presidential election. Like her or not, get used to seeing and hearing much about Palin.

And on cue, Palin is on the front cover of the latest edition of Newsweek.  Most of my readers know that I like Palin but Not in That Way but what in the world is up with the editors of Newsweek. What is the point of this cover?

I don’t have a problem with the lead title but that image of Palin is demeaning. Let’s call it straight: It’s sexist.  She is a politician and one of the very few visible female politicians. Why would they take a picture from a shoot from some time ago from Runner’s World Magazine (and use it without permission from RW)? What is the point of her with her “running legs” for a political article?

Your turn:

Politically Correct overload or is this sexist?

Here’s the link from Newsweek:

This week, to coincide with the release of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue, Newsweek’s editors decided to print two essays (one by Evan Thomas, the other by Christopher Hitchens) about the former Alaska governor and have her image grace our cover. The photo chosen was from a shoot Palin had participated in for Runner’s World magazine.

To note that choosing that particular photograph has ruffled a few feathers is perhaps an understatement. Palin denounced it—and us—to her million-strong Facebook following last night. “The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this ‘news’ magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant,” she wrote on her fan page, adding, “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.” She also told ABC’s Barbara Walters that she found the cover “a wee bit degrading.” Others, like CBN’s David Brody, said our cover was a new low: “biased and sexist at the same time.”

Today, Newsweek’s Editor Jon Meacham has responded to critics. “We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. “We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.”

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58 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, laura polk. laura polk said: RT @eugenecho: Sarah Palin and the Newseek cover. Is it just me or does the cover smell of subtle sexism? http://bit.ly/oGSqL […]

  2. Jennifer says:

    I think what they’re doing is trying to show how much of a problem she really is. They didnt choose the kind of typical picture, because then you, the potential magazine buyer, can say: well, she looks okay. But that picture is just odd, and it highlights the oddity of her as a “problem.” And, her gender is part of that problem.

  3. Kevin says:

    But didn’t she pose for the picture? I know it was for another mag, but still. She can’t really complain too much.

  4. PL says:

    @Kevin – She posedfor this picture for a fitness article, and Newsweek lifted that out of context. Of course, she has the right to complain when a picture posed for fitness is lifted out of context for a political commentary. Whatever we may think about SP as a candidate, but the sexism persists. Shame on Newsweek.

  5. Jin says:

    I’m no fan of Palin, and I could care less about her, but this along with the whole “deadly vipers” and such is showing a softening of our culture to issues of racism and sexism in the last few years that breaks down the changes our culture has worked so hard to build up for decades. I worked with high schoolers a year back and was amazed to hear the racist and sexist words coming out of many of their mouths. Not sure where this breakdown is coming from, but sad to see it.

  6. Tim Harris says:

    Palin represents the populist cutting edge of hard-right politics and the kind of demagoguery that emerges in turbulent times that leads us deeper into fascism. Part of her appeal, lets face it, is that she exudes sexy wholesomeness. She uses it. The Newsweek cover, which isn’t exactly a cheesecake shot, captures this.

    That isn’t sexism. It’s calling out part of her essential appeal. It’s akin to, if Swartznegger ran for President, putting a shot of him as Terminator on their cover. I think it was a brilliant choice.

  7. Bethany says:

    I wish they would have considered WHY they find this photo to be the most interesting: sexual content, stigmatized type-cast role for a female (scantily clad, sports focused.)

  8. Kyoung says:

    Sarah Palin annoys the heck out of me, but what Newsweek did was despicable and I’m sad to see people are indifferent to this blatant sexism just because they don’t like Palin. It actually really really angers me. At the risk of appearing to overreact, I feel like it’s the same as the old argument when a woman is raped that she “deserved it because she was wearing revealing clothes.” It seems that people think that since Palin “flaunts” her femininity it’s okay to be sexist towards her. Women politicians can come in all size shape and form, and they shouldn’t need to “over-testosterone” themselves to appear like a serious politician. (although I don’t respect Palin as a serious politician, but that’s for other reasons.) I am sick and tired of these ridiculous standards put upon women.

  9. Kevin says:

    I’ve been posting on Eugene’s Facebook page and I’ve been asked to move over here.

    Coming from a newspaper background, the use of the image without permission from Runner’s World/the original photographer is the only real issue — other than the interpretation we each bring to the cover ourselves.

    I don’t see the image as sexist. 1. She posed for it. 2. If it’s not sexist for a running mag, it’s not sexist for Newsweek. It is a playful photo and a playful headline. It works. Sexist, no. A bit of a jab by making her look simple minded or youthful in a bad way, probably (depending on the tone and content of the article. Haven’t read it.) I think Palin’s saying that to once again attack the media. She’s scored a lot of political points with that claim, however right or wrong she may be.

    Again, I think it’s more about how we look at it. Is it simply a matter of seeing Palin in tighter clothes? They’re appropriate for running, right? Most haven’t seen her in running clothes though.

    I would think many people would see that cover and think she posed for it — for Newsweek. If they think this, and read the headline/subhead, then they may interpret it to be a good thing that she’s seen as a problem. (She’s going rogue, right?) The cover then could be seen as empowering. Does that make sense? Then is it sexist?

    Would those who think it’s sexist think so if she hadn’t made that political claim?

  10. Kevin says:

    I should add — all that said, separate from the cover on its own merits, another thing that could be sexist is Newsweek’s intentions behind using the photo. Again, I haven’t read the article, but if they thought it along with the headline would go with the article, that’s fine. However, if they just slapped it on there thinking it’ll sell copies because she’s showing some leg in tight clothes, that would be sexist.

    Again, it’s what we bring to it or, in this case, what they brought to it, that’s the issue.

  11. PL says:

    I am sure there are many pictures from the book signing tours and promotions to choose from, or even from the last election run. There is absolutely no reason to pick one, without permission, that was posed specifically for a sports magazine. We saw how even Hilary was objectified during the campaign. We have to call it for what it is – it is sexism.

  12. Stan says:

    Don’t agree, guys, sorry. I do agree that Newsweek overstepped its bounds, mainly because of the copyright issue. (Didn’t know that.) But Sarah Palin has always gladly allowed herself to be objectified to get where she is, be it beauty pageants, newscaster, or winking at the US public in a debate. For her to claim sexism now is disingenuous. … Read MoreSexism is OK if it gets her to the top, but it’s unacceptable when it’s used against her?

    Sexism is always wrong, but when the object has used sex to her advantage in the past – Kevin’s right – she can’t complain.

    Now, if you want to argue (rightly, in my opinion) that sexism is wrong in every case, then good. Let’s do that. But this isn’t the case study to use to make that point.

  13. I can’t possibly agree. If there’s any sexism around Sarah Palin she’s both the victim and the perpetrator of it. It’s not sexism to highlight a person’s gender or sexual appeal but it is sexism to reduce them to that. And that reduction of a complex person into a “sexy, down-home american lady” is the entirety of her political platform.

    Newsweek merely illustrated her platform in a photograph.

  14. Jin says:

    I hate you people for making me actually defend Sarah Palin because I wish she’d drop off the face of this earth and I’d never have to hear that name again, but I’ll say this for all the women out there. Newsweek stated, “We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.”

    What was Newsweek saying? If they were saying that Sarah Palin was intentionally trying to overexpose herself to the American public, then the more appropriate cover would be a montage of Palin photos from all over the place, and we’d be overwhelmed, just sick of her like i am.

    But what this cover communicates is that a woman is once again using her sexuality to get to the top. Just like the attractive woman exec in the company who sleeps her way up. And as the above extreme comment said, just like the loose girl who got raped. Men, this is called sexism, and it is untrue and something we don’t go through. When the man becomes CEO, it’s because of their hard work and abilities, but when the attractive woman works her way up it’s because she puts out. Or in this case uses her sexuality. That is what this photo, a person in running gear originally taken for a running magazine but now appearing in a general news magazine is really saying.

    The truth is Sarah Palin is overexposed, but Newsweek is sexist, proliferating age-old man-centered lies that have been used to suppress women.

  15. I like others am no big fan of Sarah Palin. I probably disagree on most of her policy positions. There are so many substantive things you can go after her on. However, Newsweek went about in a sexist way. That picture has nothing substantively to do with her policy positions. I don’t know why Newsweek says she’s a “problem” and then uses that particular picture which has some overtones that implies that her gender is a “problem” too.

    I remember when Palin was introduced as McCain’s running mate. Soon after, the media and some progressives used sexist material by showing her in a bathing suit and basically attacking her on things that had to do with her gender and not on her policy positions.

    I was frustrated as a Hillary Clinton supporter that so many progressives and Obama supporters overlooked the sexism against her because they were so blinded by partisanship, ideology, and personality. Sexism is sexism whether it’s against Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin, whether it’s against a Democrat or a Republican. It should be called out whether the victim is someone I agree with on policy or not.

  16. I’m really at a loss to understand what folks here mean by “sexism” as it relates to this picture. Yeah, it obviously highlights her sex appeal. But in what way is that denigrating to her?

    This is a complex, multifaceted human being who’s chosen sex appeal and folksiness as the only 2 qualities she shows in public. She gave a cute wink at a camera during a debate and she’s never (in the last couple years) appeared in public without looking at least as good as a tv personality.

    So it seems to me like Newsweek wasn’t distorting or dehumanizing Sarah Palin. I think this image is a fairly accurate representation of how she’s presented herself so far. Do people think this is an inaccurate visual accompaniment to the image she’s tried so hard to project?

  17. Erik H says:

    Man, I need to bite my tongue a little bit here. I think people are way too sensitive about certain things. She’s a pretty woman who posed in RUNNING gear. Someone said that she was scantily clad. How is that scantily clad? What should she wear when she goes running? A snow suit?

    This just boggles my mind sometimes the things get worked up about. I don’t think anything less of Palin for posing that way, or think it demeans women. What’s wrong with looking beautiful?

  18. She’s the celebrity of the republican party (an oxymoron by the way🙂, even more than Arnold. She knows how to work the press and work being a celebrity. Everyone is curious about her and now she’ll no doubt sell a ton of books. Democrats want her to come back for 2012, but do republicans?

  19. Nora says:

    It IS sexist, because the use of a picture in a political magazine that was taken for a running magazine implies that her femininity makes her a figure that the public should not take seriously. I don’t agree with her politics either, but when a candidate’s gender is offered as the reason for dismissal, that is sexism, pure and simple.

  20. stan Friedman says:

    This photo was editorial cartoon. I doubt that Newsweek would have used a photo of Angelina Jolie in running shorts if the story were about her promoting international adoption or AIDS relief.

    Unfortunately, the Newsweek cover also is sexist. I hate saying that because I’m a journalist who is put off by so much of the political correctness of our day.

    Even if Palin has used her sex appeal to draw attention to or enhance her candidacy, that is no reason for Newsweek to put this picture on the cover. Now had it shown her on a bike riding over a sprawled member of the McCain campaign staff, that might have been different.

    Newsweek – and her opponents – don’t take her seriously as an intellectual – and I’m certainly not suggesting they should. Still, using the fact that she is attractive and even has been a – snicker – beauty queen (code words for stupid) as a reason to dismiss her is absurd. BTW, Oprah and Diane Sawyer were “beauty queens.”

    Newsweek has only solidified the views of Palin’s supporters about the “liberal media” and diminished itself even among those who are opposed to her policies – if any of her thoughts are developed enough to be considered a policy.

    What I find amusing:
    “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.” – This coming from a woman who has spread the fear of death squads and likened Barack Obama to a terrorist because he knew Bill Ayers.

  21. pjchris says:

    I too am no fan of Sarah Palin, but I have to agree that this picture was in poor taste for a news magazine. If it’s not sexist, then why didn’t Newsweek put one of those topless pictures of Barack Obama in Hawaii on it’s cover?

  22. I find it amusing that almost no one is upset about the American flag draped casually over the chair as a mere prop. If President Obama had done that, he would be crucified for his clear lack of patriotism.

  23. Erik H says:

    Maybe I should be offended that Obama was on ESPN playing basketball. That shows he is a jock and implies that he isn’t smart. Sarcasm alert…

  24. Kathy says:

    I am wondering why so many of you dislike Palin? Is it because you find her annoying? As a Christian, her views are a lot closer to mine than most politicians. At least she is not a hypocrite like Obama, claiming to be Christian but then supporting every pro-choice legislation he has ever laid his eyes on.

    As for Newsweek, its a liberal magazine, so I’m not surprised in the least and they get away with this kind of biased crap all day long.

  25. Scot McKnight says:

    If it is sexist for Newsweek it is also sexist for you to re-use the picture to startle your readers.

  26. Eugene Cho says:

    @scot mcknight: so according to your ethics of blogging, a person can mention it, possibly link it, but not show the cover itself in order to attempt to not be sexist?

  27. Nora says:

    At Erik H: I think the point here is context. If Newsweek put a photo of Obama playing basketball on the cover and asked “What’s the problem with Obama?” the photo takes on a whole new meaning.

    At Scot McKnight: Context is key here, too. Eugene is displaying the cover for readers who might not otherwise have seen it, and is asking if it’s sexist. Drawing attention to (and criticizing) the photo is not sexism, and I admire him for doing so.

  28. Kacie says:

    Yikes, yeah, when I read your first paragraph and looked at the photo I thought – she posed for it, what’s the big deal? But if she posed for it for RUNNERS WORLD… that’s a whole different thing. Totally not fair to her, and yes, sexist.

  29. elderj says:

    1) I think it is sexist because it seeks to focus attention on her not as a person, but as an object, something that is not done with men
    2) I read that a lot of people disagree or dislike Palin, but I have read very little about what they disagree on or dislike specifically. It can seem rather reactionary and often the things I hear people say about her are based on statements or ideas blatantly mis-attributed to her.
    3) Statements that she “uses” her sexuality are really demeaning and insulting to women generally. In politics a woman can only be two things — a smart shrewish b*tch, or an attractive, empty headed bimbo. Almost every woman in politics deals with this to some extent.

  30. Scot McKnight says:

    Eugene, the issue here is that a picture for one context (runners world where less clothing is the norm) is used in another context (newsweek). Why was it done by Newsweek? To titillate male readers? That’s what I see as the sexist complaint.

    I see you re-using the picture in a context where it didn’t belong — on a blog that rarely has folks, esp women, clad like this. It strikes your readers as “wow.” That’s why Newsweek did it — besides the insinuated attempt to mock her.

    I chose not to mention it; I would not have used the picture had I discussed it. I see nothing redemptive in reposting this picture.

  31. Kay says:

    I feel like the uproar over this is a bit much. I do find it annoying that they lifted the photograph from Runner’s World and violated copyright rules. That’s kinda juvenile. However, I think it’s honest to say that America is attracted to SP because she’s an attractive woman. Newsweek is simply shining a spotlight on that blatant fact. I tend to think it’s not such a faux pas on their part… rather, it’s very telling how hotly people are reacting to it that shows how much our society can’t seem to look at that photo and say “So what? She’s a runner, but what are her thoughts, and what does she (as a person) represent?”

    Did anyone follow the presidential election in France a couple years back when Sarkozy’s opponent Segolene Royale was splattered all over the French newsprint in a two piece bathing suit? A lot of people were shocked by this, but she, herself, shrugged it off and said, “So what if I look better in a bathing suit than most of my colleagues?”

    On a lighter note, I would rather that people take a note from her (one of the few I agree with) and throw on a pair of running shoes and be active.🙂

  32. Eugene Cho says:

    @scot mcknight: thanks for the clarification. with that rationale, i can see why you think reposting the image would be sexist.

    thanks for taking the time to clarify.

  33. Jay says:

    The main issue here is one of the media double standard. Is the photo sexist? That’s debatable. Would Newsweek have DARED to use a photo like this if it were a Democratic female politician? Not a chance.

    In fact, the double standard exists outside of Newsweek. Do a Google image search of Palin, turn the moderator off and you’ll see dozens of fake images of her with huge boobs, or her head and face attached to images of naked women bending over, etc. All of which her detractors for the most part, found uproariously funny. Notice I said “for the most part” as I am not throwing a blanket over everybody. This wouldn’t be tolerated if the subject were Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama or Jennifer Granholm for example. So why should it be so for Sarah Palin?

    It was the media and her detractors that created this meme that Palin was attempting to use sex appeal to sell her image. And why? Because she was in good enough shape to be able to wear a skirt that rose above the knees and she was able to pose for a Runners World piece in running gear.

    @Kevin – The CONTEXT of the photo is an issue. It’s an appropriate photo for an article in Runners World. It is not an appropriate cover for what is supposed to be a serious piece in Newsweek magazine.

    Would this be an appropriate image to use of Barack Obama on the cover of Newsweek if it were piece about anything other than smoking?

  34. Erik H says:

    Great post Kay!

  35. kate says:

    @Erik H: notice that in that whole list of comments, if I’m not mistaken, not one woman commenting on here is arguing that the photo usage isn’t sexist.

    What makes you think that you, as a male, has any right to judge what is worth a woman getting upset about in the areas of sexism/objectification/etc?

    Until you experience the value and worth of your human self constantly being reduced to mere body parts – whether that be in the media, in a relationship, or by a stranger in passing……I’d ask that you think a little more deeply about commenting on what is or isn’t “way too sensitive.”

    For the record, Newsweek screwed up.

  36. kate says:

    just say Kay’s comment. retracting my first statement…the rest stands. peace.

  37. Erik H says:

    @Kate. Eugene asked a question. I gave my opinion, just like he did. So because I disagree with him, it means I don’t have a right to voice my opinion?. If I said it was sexist, would you say I have a right to judge that it is? Maybe you should tell Eugene and the rest of the males that agree with you that they have no right to judge.

  38. Eugene Cho says:

    let’s keep it civil folks.

    @kate: while it may not be the case on this blog, there are women that have made their case that this is not sexist and doesn’t offend them one bit.

    which is one of the reasons why i posted the image here: not with the intent of just sharing my opinion but to hear from others.

    to dialogue and to learn.

    i’m learning.

  39. elderj says:

    Part of the issue is defining sexism or sexist images. Just because a woman isn’t offended by something doesn’t mean that it is not sexist, just as all asian americans weren’t bothered by the Deadly Vipers thing.

    For me the things that I think about in terms of sexism is 1) would a man in the same position be treated this way? 2) Does what is being done in anyway reduce the person to an object rather than a person? 3) Are judgments or assumptions being made about the person that would not be made if she were male? 4) Are the persons ideas being engaged and discussed or something unrelated to those i.e. the number of children she has, her hair, clothes, make-up, etc.

    If I look at those 4 questions it seems to me that the Newsweek cover doesn’t pass the smell test. Lots of the things that have been said about Hillary Clinton or Palin have been unrelated to their policy positions, and have much to do with the person, in a MUCH greater way than men are.

  40. kate says:

    Attempting civility….:)

    @Erik

    I’m completely fine with disagreement…not the issue. The issue for me was the accusation of oversensitivity. Just like with racial issues, it’s extremely invalidating to be dismissed as ‘oversensitive,’ and it particularly confuses me when the accusation of oversensitivity is made by someone who presumably hasn’t experienced the offense that they’re minimizing.

    On a personal level, as a white heterosexual female, it doesn’t make sense for me to criticize what someone of an ethnic minority may get offended over, nor a member of the lgbt community – when I’ve never walked in those shoes.

  41. Erik H says:

    @Kate. I’m not trying to be a jerk. I just disagree. I think people are being way too sensitive about it.

    I also don’t have much patience for the whole “you’ve never been a woman” argument, therefore you have no right to judge. You could apply that argument to many things. Just beause I’m not a woman means I have no right to judge?

    There are women commentators and sideline reporters in professional football. They’ve never played a second of professional football in their lives. Does that mean they have no right talk about it?

  42. Tony says:

    Isn’t she just “praying with her legs” a la Douglas?

    Anyways, I say it’s sexist because it was an article on a politician not a runner (which was the original purpose of the picture). The picture and the title on that cover do not match. That’s what makes it wrong. The Newsweek article had nothing to do with Palin the runner.

    We’ve seen plenty of shirtless male politicians (Obama, Putin, Sarkozy) but never on the cover of a magazine that had nothing to do with their shirtlessness. The shirtless Obama picture made its round on magazine covers but it was about Obama vacationing and such. I think it would have been equally wrong to use the shirtless Obama picture to illustrate his Asia trip.

  43. kate says:

    @Erik

    With the ‘you’ve never been a woman’ argument….It’s honestly not an attempt to victimize myself or my gender(that in no way encourages redemption), but merely to acknowledge that there IS a limit to what men can understand in this regard, simply because of the fact that most women have experienced some very painful instances of sexism throughout their lives, and most men haven’t.

    So really, all I’m asking is to be able to disagree with you in believing that it isn’t sexism, and you with me – while still holding the position that each opinion is equally valid, despite the limitations that each gender holds in fully understanding the other.

    Historically, women have been oppressed and invalidated under the ’emotionally unstable/oversensitive’ argument, for decades…and still are. Hence, the oversensitivity claim stings.

    As for the women football commentators? Sure, they can state opinions/judgments/etc on the game. But in all things, if you personally haven’t experienced it….there is a limit to the understanding that can take place. So we can hold and share all the opinions we want, but to invalidate someone else’s opinion (in this case, with the claim of oversensitivity) is where it becomes hurtful…in my opinion. Hopefully that makes sense?

  44. Kevin says:

    Jay — That’s just the thing — the photo isn’t out of context. It’s just in a different context. In fact, if anything’s out of context, it’s Palin herself.

    It sounds like Newsweek wrote an article about Palin being a problem to both Republicans and Democrats, they came up with the playful headline that borrows from “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria.” It fits the story. Then they needed a cover for it. A playful picture of Palin in pigtails and running gear is perfect. It fits the headline. Again, she posed for it and if people are allowed to run in public wearing what she’s wearing, there shouldn’t be a problem with it. It’s what we bring to it that’s the issue.

  45. Erik H says:

    @Kate. That makes sense.

    I never singled out women as being way too sensitive. I said people, so that obviously includes men too. I do NOT think this is the case 100% of the time. In this case, I’m simply talking about Sarah Palin wearing running gear.

    I don’t want to come across as a woman hating caveman. I’m 100% in favor of equality. Women, I believe, are Gods greatest creation!

  46. Ed G. says:

    Just to clarify, it seems that it wasn’t Newsweek that violated the photo copyright but the photographer who violated his contract with the runner’s magazine: http://bit.ly/4qrUDk.

    Is the photo sexist? I have to admit, it definitely doesn’t make me think of Sarah Palin as a serious politician; I just see an attractive woman leaning on an oddly placed American flag. But that makes me wonder: Is it the photo that’s sexist, the context it’s used in, or simply me for looking at Sarah Palin that way?

    I wish I understood more of the context of the original Runner’s World photo. Why is the flag positioned in that manner? The photo without the flag seems like it would be pretty straightforward for a runner’s magazine, but the inclusion of the flag (draped in that odd fashion) seems to imply some sort of political or ideological statement, which is why I think Newsweek found it so compelling; without that, you just have a woman (albeit a polarizing one) in a jogging outfit.

  47. Kay says:

    I’d like to add another little note…

    Some of you might remember a pretty (momentarily) controversial New Yorker cartoon cover that (unsuccessfully) meant to poke fun at the American paranoia over “Who’s that non-white couple fist-bumping and living in the White House?”… Anyway, it was during the campaign before we momentously elected Obama into office. The Obama campaign was, reportedly, and understandably outraged….

    When I think of that Obama cartoon cover, it does cause me to rethink my feelings about the Palin Newsweek cover.

    The question that comes to mind for me is this: In what ways is America showing it’s uncomfortable growing pains as it becomes a nation whose leaders are (drumroll, please…) non-white or non-male?

  48. Ed G. says:

    Okay, after clicking through to the Runner’s World website, I think I found an answer to my question here: http://bit.ly/3EF3IH. The slideshow on the Runner’s World site that includes the image in question is accompanied by this quote from Palin:

    “It doesn’t matter your background, your demographics, your race, your political affiliation, it’s such a uniting, healthy, fun, awesome activity. It cracks me up going to some running event and seeing some dude who campaigned so hard against me, or a lady who’s been blogging some mean comments about me. But we’re all there together and we’re smiling and we’re having a good time because we’re going to do something healthy and active. We need more of that.”

    So, I guess the statement the flag was suppose to make was about finding common ground in America (in this case through running) despite our diversity. Not a bad message, I guess.

  49. Ed G. says:

    Oops, I meant to say “despite our differences.”

  50. Susie Anderson says:

    (I’m logged in under my wife’s name, but mine is DAnderson)

    Having grown up in the rural Midwest, I understand the “appeal” of someone like a Sarah Palin. While I might not agree with most of what she says, one must understand the sentiments of what much of the country senses towards Obama, and especially the Democrats. They are looked upon increasingly as elitists, and the more you demean Sarah Palin the more you will drive a wedge between the the rural folks and working class and the “educated elite”. Beware, or it might come back to bite the Dems. in the butt one day. And I think the Christian Left will have wished they left Palin alone.

  51. […] 18, 2009 by Edward Gilbreath Very interesting thread happening over at Eugene Cho’s blog about the controversial Newsweek cover featuring Sarah Palin. I even shared my two cents over […]

  52. m@ says:

    I’m more perturbed that she’s not using an iPhone.

  53. Does anybody else think it’s funny that she’s holding two phones? What’s up with that? Good luck solving sexism everybody… let me know when you’re done.

  54. teacherkatie says:

    to me, the issue here is that this out-of-context (and probably highly airbrushed, but that’s besides the point) photo of her in running gear presents her as a silly little plaything that can be made fun of, joked about, and, most insultingly, not taken seriously.

    talk about her politics and the other things she says all you like – that’s fair game and she knows it. but, when appearance comes into play, a woman’s image can be construed in such a way that you can’t imagine taking HER seriously – and that’s my problem. all along, my biggest fear about Palin is that everyone is making such a big deal about her gender and looks that they forget what’s coming out of her mouth and that she doesn’t (and shouldn’t) represent all women in politics. Pictures like this sadden me because it’s clear she’s trying to be made a joke.

  55. jHong says:

    for the many of you concerned that the cover draws attention to her appearance rather than her policy, THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT! she doesn’t seem to HAVE any kind of a stance on any kind of policy! suuuure she parrots the conservative agenda [which in my opinion, only MINIMALLY represents a Biblical Christian agenda] but what agenda are we not paying attention to? her plan to use fun, fitness and RUNNING to magically unite the people of America?

    this picture isn’t cool but as many people already said, it’s a picture she posed for; for her to claim “sexism” in this case is a bit much. now if she wanted to claim that her elevation to a national platform was nothing more than a shallow response to the success of Hilary Clinton’s campaign and that the GOP used her as a token woman without any regard for her qualifications [or gross lack thereof] — if she wanted to call THAT sexism i would WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree.

  56. @JHong: I totally agree. The real sexism here is her entire campaign. Imagine if Obama’s campaign was based on a grab-bag of black stereotypes that he used to craft a victimhood that prevented anyone from asking whether he was actually qualified. We’d be having this discussion about whether it’s racist to portray him as that 1-dimensional black victim image.

    The sexism here isn’t from Newsweek. They’re merely (brilliantly) using art to show us that Palin’s whole campaign is predicated on a sexist victimhood. If this was a photo of Hillary this conversation would be appropriate because the photo would be diverting the discussion away from politics. But in the context of Palin this photo is not off topic at all. That’s the whole point – and problem.

  57. […] Sarah Palin is all over the news – just like she wants. And before you criticize her, she and her team have a strategy and they’re implementing it well to ensure that her persona is before the American public until the next Presidential …Page 2 […]

  58. eliseanne says:

    @lederj…

    i am agreeing with you!
    thank you…

    @eugene…
    keep reading kathy’s blog…

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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