The curiosity meme and "moose murder"

A recent GSP4P post addressed the “polarizing” meme. It’s just one of several memes used to attack Sarah Palin. These memes generally originate as Democrat Party talking points, get spread all over the leftosphere by Palin-hating bloggers, get picked up by the drive-by media and are hammered out incessantly by all of the usual suspects.

Another popular anti-Palin meme is the one which claims that she “lacks intellectual curiosity.” That one has been going around in “progressive” circles since shortly after Gov. Palin was named by John McCain as his running mate. Like most liberal memes, it’s total moose manure. Arianna Huffington is the latest leftist to spout it. Via NewsBusters.org we learn:

During a discussion with co-host Maggie Rodriguez on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, liberal blogger Arianna Huffington, remarked that: “The problem with Sarah Palin was not anything to do with her being a woman. It had to do with her antediluvian views on creationism, her lack of curiosity, her lack of interest in the world around her.”

Huffington, a dead ringer for a third Gabor sister and about as perceptive as the other two, repeated the meme just to make sure she was getting the talking point out:

“Well, I thought that Sarah Palin, in a way, summed up what happens when you’re not curious. When you’re not interested in what is going on in the world. Because my problem with her was really her response to Katie Couric, when she was asked ‘what do you read?’ and she couldn’t give an answer.”

And there you have it. Based on nothing but the Palin interview with perky Katie, the leftoids all jump to the conclusion that the governor couldn’t answer the question. The thought never enters their closed little minds that Palin, angered to be asked a question that Couric never asked of Obama, Biden or McCain, chose not to answer the question. Instead, she made a flip remark that, yes they have newspapers, magazines and books up there in the wilds of Alaska.

Seriously, Palin has a journalism degree with a minor in political science, and she didn’t get to be governor of a major energy-producing state by lacking curiosity. In fact, after Palin met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the leader remarked:

“I found her quite a capable woman. She asked the right questions on Afghanistan.”

Asked the right questions? Hmmm, don’t look now, libs, but that’s a sign of intellectual curiosity about the world. Palin also met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Columbia’s foreign minister, Jaime Bermudez, told The Associated Press that Palin and Uribe discussed the proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, a pending bill in Congress that Democats have blocked. Bermudez added:

“The crisis on Wall Street was also discussed,” Bermudez said. “She knows the topic well.”

But how could this be? The know-it-all left maintains that Palin has no curiosity. Could they be perpetuating another big liberal lie?

Palin’s meeting with Henry Kissinger was scheduled to for 30 minutes, but ran over an hour, according to Stephen Biegun, who was then her foreign policy adviser:

“In talking to Dr. Kissinger, she certainly had a lot of questions about how the United States can develop a cooperative relationship with Russia, what are some of the unique challenges to the current state of Russia’s political development, and having been in particular, some of the recent developments we’ve seen with Russia — backsliding democracy, Russia’s incursion into Georgia.”

Interesting. You can’t sit down with world leaders like those mentioned above and just fake it. Even if, like Palin, you are mostly listening and learning while the leader you are engaged in conversation with is doing most of the talking. You have to ask the right questions, and, judging by the above accounts, Sarah Palin was doing exactly that. So much for the “lack of curiosity” meme. But hold that thought…

Shifting gears for a moment, NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein reports that New York Times columnist Gail Collins referred to Gov. Palin as “an out-to-lunch moose-murderer who cannot seem to put together a coherent sentence.” As for the coherent sentence part, Collins must have missed the vice-presidential debate and the reaction to it.

And as far as hunting moose goes, Finklestein zots the hateful Collins for her hypocrisy:

Collins calls the pro-life Palin a moose “murderer,” but supports a woman’s right to end the life of her unborn child. Could someone please explain that kind of moral compass to me?

But we all know that progressives are hypocrites. It’s a prerequisite. What Collins missed is that Alaskan moose hunters, like their governor, don’t hunt the animals for sport, but rather to feed their families. In the Alaskan diet, it’s a staple. Had Collins bothered to read her NY Times colleague Kim Severson, she may have learned a few things:

To understand the role moose meat plays in the Alaskan kitchen, it helps to understand a little bit about the state. It is nearly three times the size of Texas, with a population of 670,000. Only a third of it is accessible by road.

In a state that collected $7.5 million in fees from big game tags and hunting licenses in 2007, moose meat can be as abundant as zucchini at the end of a New Jersey summer. For hunters who live around Anchorage or Wasilla, where Ms. Palin helped butcher moose as a child, there’s a tacit understanding that bagging one is nearly a birthright…

In Anchorage… people consider moose an important part of their annual supply of food, said Rick Sinnott, a wildlife expert with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“They aren’t going out looking for the head or a trophy,” he said. “They are looking for the meat.”

If only Collins had bothered to read Serverson’s article, but she did not. And it was in her own newspaper, too! She may have been “out to lunch” on the day Severson’s article was published. Or perhaps it’s just a “lack of intellectual curiosity” on the part of the caustic columnist.

– JP