Don’t worry, liberal media bias is still just a right-wing myth.

The Tom and Jerry Problem — Bill Keller/NYT

If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I’m pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea.

That is not — or not entirely — for the reasons Palin thinks: that journalists are liberal elitists, that they find the Tea Party fringe ridiculous or alarming or that they are infatuated with the cerebral black liberal in the White House. There’s a grain of truth and a loaf of myth in each of those. But I think it’s more visceral than that. It has to do with a profound and mutual lack of respect that is not quite like any I recall between a candidate (or pretend candidate) and the press.

The evidence of Palin’s scorn for what she calls the lamestream media is abundant, but I was struck by the gratuitous quality of one remark she tossed off during that Rolling Thunder rally in Washington the Sunday before Memorial Day. When an NPR reporter asked what had brought her to the event, she replied, “It is our vets who we owe our freedom — not the politician, not the reporter — it is our vets, so that’s why we’re here.”

There is, I suppose, a gracious way to translate her comments. She might have meant to convey something along the lines of: “I’m sincerely humbled by the sacrifice our veterans have made to defend the freedoms I enjoy in my capacity as a politician and Fox News media pundit.” But I think we all know she meant nothing of the kind.

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