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Vanity Fair editors
take a pen to Palin

If you visit here frequently, chances are youre interested in broader issues of media and journalism.

If so, I am pleased to recommend another blog for your reading list. Its Snow Covered Hills by Megan Holsapple, a former journalist who now works as a communicator in the Northwest Territories.

Megan offers frequent media commentary ranging from funny to insightful to downright caustic. She knows her material, understands the complexities of journalism, can spot bullcrap a mile away, and is obsessive about proper grammar. In short, my kind of blogger. As Megan once said to me, there is not a lot of media commentary going on in Canada, so every source of it should be known and appreciated.

Megans blog is a personal pursuit and she doesnt write about media all the time there are occasional pop culture references, including a tongue-in-cheek fascination with all things David Hasselhoff but its always witty and fun to read.

I mention Megans blog to direct your attention to one of her recent posts, a hilarious link to an item found exclusively at the Vanity Fair web site.

The good folks at Vanity Fair have taken a complete transcript of Sarah Palins July 3 resignation speech and fixed it for her. That is, the Executive Literary Editor, and representatives from the research and copy departments, have each had a go at Palins speech in red, green and blue pen correcting it for typos, grammar, factual accuracy, economy of words, and so on.

That colourful illustration above? Thats one of the edited pages. Yeah, its a mess.

Any writer who has ever had copy eviscerated by a merciless editor will look at this page and wince. Yeah, weve all been there at some time or other.

In fact, careful review of this editing job would be a useful exercise for any writer. Most will learn something from it. The editors have been ruthless in expunging verbiage and mending badly formed sentences, sins for which most of us including yours truly have been guilty.

Yes, it may be educational. But for the most part, this item is just plain hilarious. Some mistakes are notable for factual inaccuracy, such as Palins claim that the state has shelled out some 2 million of your dollars to respond to accusations against her, which the editors amend to read shelled out nearly $200,000.

Indeed, it is startling to consider that the person who composed this speech and I do think she wrote it herself was within striking distance of the Vice Presidency.

Scary thought.

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  • Megan
    July 27, 2010 - 14:54

    Aw, shucks. Thanks for the link.