Fireweednectar’s Weblog

Views from The Last Frontier

Sarah Palin roams the streets of New York (not)

A Sarah Palin impersonator hired by the New York Daily News was charged with walking around the city as a test to see how locals and tourists respond.

People waved and cheered at her, some even asking for autographs. A gaggle of tourists gathered round and others aimed their cameras from tour buses. A Lehman Brothers employee stopped to chat and a passer-by shouted, “You’re hot! But I hope you lose!”

One man out for a stroll allowed his granddaughter’s photo to be made, but only after an opposition button was prominently placed on the child. “If her parents see her with anyone who even looks like Palin,” he said, “they’ll strangle me.”

So, does this mean New Yorkers have switched to milk from their favorite wine?

Not quite. Somehow New Yorkers never struck me as mean-spirited or absurd enough to boycott something for a resemblance. They bicker with each other when trying to give out-of-towners proper directions (I’m speaking from personal experience here) and old ladies pass out hard candies to people who give up their seats for them. (With the looks people get when they try to ignore them, you might be hard pressed to find someone unwilling to relinquish that seat!)

But let’s be realistic. I am sure the Daily News, whose rag factor remains unknown to me, thought they were having a spot of fun, but a few random passersby a survey does not make. And the “‘Palin’ by Comparison” table they inserted in the article’s center is designed to bias. I know, I know, to some it might seem I have no sense of humor. But the truth is bias trickled into society, in deliberately small amounts, has a real effect. Such entries as “countries visited”–which recalls the outlandish assertion that somehow having obtained a passport only last year is practically a personal deficiency–combined with the table’s title disregards the fact that millions of Americans are not in possession of a passport.

And, shocking as it may seem to lots of New Yorkers, some Alaskans have never been Outside. So what? They would be able to spot Kristy Webb as a fakester from opposite ends of Manhattan, as she in reality looks nothing like the real Sarah.

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Thursday 25 September 2008 - Posted by | Politics | , ,

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