Sunday, February 14, 2010
In defense of Sarah Palin . . .
. . . for a change. Sort of.
Sure, it was hypocritical of her to criticize President Obama for employing a teleprompter while herself using a trot: writing talking points on the palm of her hand. Sure, using a teleprompter helps Obama make a lot more sense in his speeches than she does in the off-the-top-of-her-head remarks.
But I don't see anything wrong with anybody using palm post-its to remember important items, except maybe for students taking tests. Whatever helps one recall salient points is a good thing.
When I was on the old Chicago Daily News copy desk, I picked up the handy trick from Dan Sullivan, our ace copy desk chief. Often he'd write an important headline or story length order on the palm of his hand, and when he ran out of room he'd start on the low inside of his forearm and work his way upward.
Why? Because notes got lost too easily in the forest of paper on the copy desk. Palm notes never did, unless you forgot and washed your hands when you took a bathroom break.
Later, as a pilot I'd write traffic pattern altitude, runway and radio frequency numbers of unfamiliar airports on my palm rather than trusting to a note that might fall on the floor under the yoke where I couldn't get at it.
I'd never criticize Ms. Palin for keeping her facts close to hand. That is, if they are facts. Too often they're not, but that's another subject.