USA Today sportswriter Jeff Gluck (@Jeff_Gluck) displayed he does not know too much about conservative politics when he wrote an article on Wednesday that seemed to imply Sarah Palin had used the word “strategery” either seriously or because of a verbal slip in 2010 and, thus, Michael Waltrip may have been justified in associating Palin with that word during last Sunday’s telecast of NASCAR’s Kobalt Tools 400 race on Fox.
As anyone who has a basic level of understanding about conservative politics (are not writers supposed to write about topics about which they are somewhat familiar?) knows, Republicans have used the word “strategery” to mock elites ever since Will Ferrell used the word to ridicule George W. Bush in a Saturday Night Live skit in 2000. But Gluck offers no context whatsoever, which is important in this case, in his article.
Unlike Gluck, Twitchy noted Palin has never used the word “strategery” except in a mocking manner, as she did in 2010 on Fox News, which Gluck mentioned without noting the context in which Palin used the word.
Palin was referencing a Breitbart Sports article, which she re-tweeted before she sent the tweet aimed at Waltrip, that detailed how Waltrip and Fox’s NASCAR studio host Chris Myers mocked Palin for comments she never made like “strategery” and for saying she could see “Russia from my house.” Of course, Palin never uttered those words about Russia either. Tina Fey said those words in a 2008 Saturday Night Live skit.
Gluck also wrote that the incident was “first documented by Examiner.com”
If Gluck, who is otherwise very fluent in social media and accessible to his readers, simply looked at Palin’s Twitter feed (@SarahPalinUSA), he would have seen that Palin re-tweeted the Breitbart Sports article that first documented the incident. The Examiner article steals liberally from the Breitbart Sports article, which Palin re-tweeted.
As Andrew Breitbart always noted, culture is upstream from politics. And as Breitbart Sports wrote in an article about the importance of sports, particularly in impacting the civil rights movement, sports is often upstream from culture and politics.
For this reason, Palin urged conservatives to go into Hollywood and sports during a speech last Friday to counter some of the liberal biases or just ignorance about conservatives.
Palin has been an avid NASCAR fan. She has gone to the Daytona 500 in 2010. Her family has gone to Talladega. Last year, Palin attended back-to-back NASCAR races in Las Vegas and Bristol. NASCAR’s stop this week is in Bristol, where Palin was greeted with “full-throated” cheers last year, and it will be interesting to see if Messrs. Waltrip and Myers offer simple on-air apologies for their mistakes.
Writers like Gluck seem to not fully understand why Palin–and Nascar fans, many of whom are Reagan Democrats that identify with Palin’s Jacksonian, independent-conservative brand of politics–would even be upset.
Perhaps he does not understand that liberals have used the popular culture to try to discredit Republicans, which is what Ferrell tried to do to Bush and Fey to Palin. Liberals use the dominant culture to amplify false stereotypes about conservatives like Palin, often forcing them to swim upstream. It is particularly disconcerting when NASCAR announcers, though, falsely–and ignorantly–buy into the same stereotypes and do the same. And that is why Waltrip’s and Myers’s comments angered NASCAR fans and conservatives.