The petty controversy: Sarah Palin was seeing red after the Associated Press released a photo of her taken during a weekend trip to Haiti, with a caption saying she was having "her hair done" at a cholera treatment center. Conservative commentators, accusing the AP of trying to make the former Alaska governor look bad, pointed out that the photo depicted her daughter Bristol — not a professional stylist — adjusting Palin's hair. Critics had already accused Palin of traveling to Haiti, as the guest of an evangelical charity mission, to pad her foreign-policy resume, but after seeing the caption, Palin tweeted, "this takes the cake." (See Palin land in Haiti)
The reaction: Even if the AP mishandled this photo-op, says Michael Shaw in The Huffington Post, "it's revolting seeing Sarah getting her hair made up, like this field hospital is her movie set." Palin's "outrage" is misplaced, says Tommy Christopher in Mediaite. The Haitian photographer who snapped the picture probably just didn't know who Bristol was. And, besides, the real offense is the suggestion that Palin was exploiting Haiti's misery, instead of trying to "do some good" by shining a spotlight on the country's troubles. Let's call this what it was, says blogger Kristinn in Free Republic, a crude "media hit" designed to make Palin look bad. "A daughter helps fix a loose strand of her mother's hair, and it becomes an international scandal. Amazing."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.