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September 6, 2008

Poster Mom

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Nancy Iannone, a Democrat and mother of Gabrielle, 3, who has Down syndrome, said that she was so thrilled to see Trig on stage that she had to remind herself: “I am a liberal. I am a liberal. I am a liberal.” Ms. Palin, she said, “has a child with a disability, but that doesn’t mean her party is disability friendly.”  — from NYT article on Palin and special needs.  7/7/08.

In presupposing what kind of advocate a Vice President Palin would be for the mentally disabled, Newsweek helps visually fortify the GOP’s cynical exploitation of family and motherhood.

In making the leap, Newsweek undermines the process of the moment, which is to actually get beneath the ideological spin to flesh out an understanding of who Palin is.  Under the guise of a “Special Education” feature, all Newsweek accomplishes with this home page promo is to dish up an almost irresistible, heart-warming but 2-D empathy generator transforming Sarah Palin into poster Mom for Down Syndrome.

(image: Susan Walsh/AP)

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