De-Constructing headlines, 101

This evening’s Huff Post headliners:


FINANCIAL CRISIS UPDATES: Dismal Earnings… Merck To Slash 7,200 Jobs… Wachovia Reports $23.9 Billion Loss For Q3… More World Fallout… Brazilian Stock Market Halts Trading

What is so interesting is how each and every topic fits together, and also stands alone so nicely on its own.

Take Palin’s personal shopper. Not only did she grab $150,000+ of clothes and (what the hell is an accessory? Does it have anything to do with murder?) er, stuff, she used a potentially criminal GOPer who is notorious for his creative election fraud and robo-calls. I know that McCain will reach across the aisle, but frankly, reaching that far over to Karl Rove and his clones was not what America had in mind, Senator McCain.

Still the key, underlying fact remains that she spent $150,000 in little over seven weeks, (three times as much as the average family of four earns in a year). On new clothes. OK, so it was other people’s money, and if you reaserched it, you’d find that there’s no difference in her behavior as governor or as WP candidate. “Other People’s Money” seems to be the Palin Girl Scout Pledge.

HuffPo’s timing is truly exquisite:
Merck fires 7,200; Wachovia’s ($23.9 Billion); The Brazilian Stock Market – In a nutshell, the very core of our global economy is under structural attack and virtual collapse, . . . and she spends $150,000 for CLOTHING? Over 7 weeks?

Whether HuffPo did this on purpose, or whether the timing of those stories was circumstantial, even predictable, given the growing numbers of screw-ups in the McCain camp, the falling economy, and the great likelihood that both would occur in the same news cycle, does not matter. It is enough to see them on the same headline on HuffPo. If you give it a second or two, it becomes obvious that the same confluence of stories will happen everywhere, in the papers, local news stations, and sTalk radio:
Story #1 The Economy is collapsing globally!
Story #2 Sarah spends $150k on new clothes.

A real man of the people.


  1. gazelle1929

    What are you all complaining about? That comes out to about $3,000 a day. Why we’re spending more than that every second in Iraq. And didn’t Bush tell us all to go shopping?

    T&A, guys, T&A. And a beer or ten.

  2. Harve3

    Gee whiz Rob, guess you were so busy linking to an item in the Puffington Host that you didn’t notice a thread had already been started here concerning Ms Palin’s party-sponsored shopping spree; did we really need another? Guess you just needed to see your by-line; ROTFLMAO.

    Hill Country Weisenheimer

  3. gazelle1929

    The difference is that this was campaign money used to buy lipstick and all its accessories. If that came out of the $84 million in tax money that the McCain camp opted for then someone needs to go to jail.

  4. Siannan

    I really don’t see what difference her clothing makes. If you think the guys aren’t wearing $3000 suits, you’re kidding yourselves. So they gussied the girl up. Give me something real to complain about, because if I really put my mind to it, I could probably spend twice that on clothing, hair and makeup.

  5. griff

    Siannan for VP – Twice as expensive as Sarah! Now that’s a campaign slogan.

    This is it. Twelve days to this “historic election” and no sign of any policy debate. It seems we consider campaign wardrobe expenditures vastly more important than boring economics or foreign policy.

  6. pollchecker

    Let’s see McCain has…

    13 cars — 2 are foreign made models
    7 houses — several of which he hadn’t paid his taxes on
    $500 pair of shoes
    $3000 suits
    a rich wife that he offers up as a biker beauty queen
    and an empty headed VP partner who he spends $150 THOUSAND dollars on
    Oh, and don’t forget the $13 THOUSAND DOLLAR PLUS makeup artist for Sarah.

    Then we have Obama — with holes in his shoes
    his wife and kids who shop at the Gap or comparable stores.

    Remind me Rob, who is the Elitist? Who understands everyday people?

    Here are some interesting links:

    The Obamas Discuss Dressing On A Budget (VIDEO)

    Obama’s Shoes: A Historical Comparison

    McCain Owns 13 Cars; Obama Owns One (SLIDESHOW)

    Heard Any Good “John McCain’s Got a Lot of Houses” Jokes?

    Cindy McCain’s Monday Night Convention Outfit Cost $300,000

  7. almandine

    Ya know Griff…

    CHB has indeed become a left-wing pirahna affair. As someone – maybe you – said the other day… the masthead here has no meaning anymore. Just another soak-it-to-those-supposedly-successful-bastards website… no matter the reality

    Kinda sad when you think about the serious, substantive debate that used to occur here.

  8. Siannan

    Sorry, but according to an article on, and I’ll quote them directly:

    “But the law does not prohibit such expenditures by party committees, and Congress has killed legislation to expand the personal use ban to those and other types of political committees.”

    The expense was reported, according to Politico, by the RNC, not by the McCain Campaign. At worst, Ms. Palin may have to declare the receipt of the clothing, hairstyling and makeup as income on her tax return. Either way, no one is going to jail, so don’t get your hopes up.

  9. griff

    I’m afaraid I can’t take credit for the meaningless masthead comment, but I did see someone else make it just a few days ago.

    I always thought that was a great slogan. While the sentiment remains true, the idea has long been forgotten.

    But you know what? CHB is actually one of the very few news sites I visit anymore. The mainstrem is off limits, other than some headline perusal. I can’t even handle an occasional visit to Politico anymore. Such madness.

    I get a pretty good view from here, and they even let me irritate others, including the owner himself. Gotta love that.

  10. Siannan

    My point exactly. In the grand scheme of things, Palin’s wardrobe is a non-issue thrown up to take everyone’s eye off what’s important – the economy stupid. Who cares if the damned woman got $150K in clothing, hair and makeup? Frankly, I don’t think it made her look any better than a Sears wardrobe would have. What the wardrobe whiners have done is taken the focus off the real issues once again.

  11. griff

    Such is the state of American politics. Class warfare seems to be a recurring rallying cry for the Democrats these days. Obama’s Holy shoes and Palin’s mega-wardrobe.