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Sarah Palin: Press 'wee-weed up' over Santorum Satan speech. Is she right?

Sarah Palin has criticized the 'lame-stream media' for making too much of Rick Santorum's 2008 statement that Satan is attacking America. But the media aren't the only ones concerned. 

By Staff writer / February 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign rally at the El-Zaribah Shrine Auditorium Tuesday in Phoenix.

Eric Gay/AP

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Sarah Palin says the lame-stream media are getting all “wee-weed up” about Rick Santorum’s Satan speech. By that, we believe she means the mainstream press is making too much of it. Is she right?

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Well, we’ll note here that the media get wee-weed up about many subjects, because if they don’t, it can be very hard to stay awake during a slow news day. Mr. Santorum’s remarks were made four years ago, in a different context than a presidential race, and are easy to misinterpret if you have a dissimilar religious background.

But still – let’s examine what Ms. Palin said in detail. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday night, she said that “the lame-stream media is taking things out of context and trying to subscribe to [Santorum] that traditional type normal negative narrative that they want to pin on any conservative.”

Then she added: “This is a speech he gave back in 2008 where he named evil as Satan. For those lame-stream media characters to get all wee-weed up about that, first you have to ask yourself, have they ever, ever attended Sunday school. Have they never heard this terminology before?”

This is similar to the approach Santorum himself took Tuesday. He, too, talks as if the issue is simply the use of the word “Satan.”

“You know, I’m a person of faith,” Santorum said after a rally Tuesday in Phoenix. “I believe in good and evil. If think if somehow or another because you’re a person of faith [and] you believe in good and evil [that] is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president.”

Here’s the problem with that: Lots of members of the mainstream media went (or still go) to Sunday school. So did tens of millions of US voters. We are among them – we’ll stack our Sunday school attendance against any former Alaska governor. The use of Satan as a symbol is something we’ve heard many times before.

But what Santorum said is that academia had been overcome by Satan, as had the culture, politics, and mainstream American Protestant churches. He said those churches were “in shambles.”

That is a statement Santorum will find difficult to elude. Former Bush political director Karl Rove picked up on that right away during an appearance on the "O’Reilly Factor."

“Does he really think every Presbyterian, every Methodist, every Lutheran is really, as a mainstream Protestant, no longer a Christian?” Mr. Rove said to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

Meanwhile, Santorum’s campaign staff is getting worked up about reporters investigating aspects of their guy’s religious statements, while giving a pass to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

“Why is [Mr. Romney’s] Mormonism off-limits?” a frustrated Santorum aide says in a good piece on this subject by Washington Examiner political correspondent Byron York.

RECOMMENDED: Rick Santorum: Top 7 culture war moments

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