Was CBS News’ Political Hot Sheet blogger Charles Cooper really using a rape analogy for Sarah Palin, on the heels of the raging controversy over CBS late-night host David Letterman making jokes about Palin having a “slutty” look and Palin’s 14-year old daughter being “knocked up” by a Yankee’s baseball player?
But yes, Cooper did sink that low.
Rashomon was an award-winning Japanese movie from 1950 about the rape of a woman and the murder of her husband, shot from the perspectives of each of the different actors. One of the points of the movie was to show how people involved in an event could view the truth of what happened differently.
The CBS News post appears to have been using Rashomon to show that different people could view Sarah Palin’s recent appearance at a GOP event differently:
Judging from the media’s attention to her every move since the November Presidential election, Sarah Palin may very well rank as the most fascinating contemporary American politician this side of Barack Obama.
But in the latest Chapter of Sarah Watch, a minor kerfuffle has erupted in the blogosphere over whether Palin’s attendance at a Washington fundraiser held on behalf of Republican House and Senate candidates Monday night (with the First Dude in tow, naturally) was a big hit or a non-event….
What happened next may go down as a Rashomon moment in the annals of Palin coverage.
Why a rape analogy? Cooper had to have known the significance of using Rashomon, since his post linked to a summary of the movie.
Although more subtle than the pathetic Letterman jokes, yet another example of the instinctively demeaning attitude at CBS towards conservative women, particularly Sarah Palin.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl disagrees with me on the use of “Rashomon moment” by Cooper:
I was tipped early to the vid by a non-blogging Republican source and posted on it at Noon. Cooper’s item, while published at 4:30, cited Politico and WaPo stories that were up late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, respectively. Add in some time lag for editing, that Cooper likely reads sites like the ones he mentioned and not the various small blogs this was playing out on at the time he published – and the fact that a Roshomon Moment has an established, independent standing as meaning the very type of phenomenon Cooper was observing … that’s a conclusion to which I’m not even close to jumping. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Added: Another e-mailer thinks I am off on this post:
The Rashomon is a standard trope. Almost nobody thinks of ‘rape’ when they hear it nowadays.
UPDATE No. 2. Sometimes we get things wrong. When we do we should say so. My first read on the CBS News blog post was that the point of using Rashomon was that Rashomon regarded a rape. With all the comments by David Letterman taking cheap shots at Sarah Palin, I took this as a another cheap shot. Based on the comments above, and Charlie Cooper’s comment in the comment section, I think that I was wrong, or at least Cooper’s explanation makes sense that he merely wanted to highlight how different people view the same event differently. So to the extent I did not understand Cooper’s point, I apologize.