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Special Report

Has the Media Been Unfair to Sarah Palin?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Double Standard?

Democrats decried sexist attacks on Senator Hillary Clinton when she was running for president but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has characterized Sarah Palin's speech last night as "shrill."

Earlier in the week, Palin's opposite number Joe Biden said the difference between himself and the Republican vice presidential nominee is that "she's good looking."

Boston Herald columnist Lauren Beckham Falcone criticized Palin not for the substance of her speech, but for her hairstyle. She writes, "With her long, straight, often pinned-up locks, Palin looks one humid day away from fronting a Kiss cover band... What's her position on scrunchies versus banana clips?"

Media in Denial?

Some in the mainstream media are defending themselves against criticisms of being unfairly harsh in their coverage of Governor Palin. Roger Simon at the Politico newspaper writes sarcastically, "Bad questions. Bad media. Bad. It is not our job to ask questions... our job is to endorse and support."

And Joe Klein writes at Time Magazine online that McCain adviser Steve Schmidt has decided to "slime the press... but the media coverage of the Palin story has been well within the bounds of responsibility... I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case."

And MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell says simply, "The media is not attacking Sarah Palin."

Foreign Defense

But some in the foreign press, which knows something about journalistic attacks, disagree. A column in London's Daily Telegraph says, "Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs. Palin is coming in for both barrels of left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery."

A column in the Sydney Morning Herald says that what Palin has faced "just goes to show that establishment feminists are only champions of women who subscribe to a narrow set of left-wing positions."

An editorial in The Australian newspaper took aim at the reporting of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, saying, "Newspapers forgot their progressive embrace of different lifestyles and resorted to reactionary intolerance."

A new Rasmussen poll indicates that a majority of Americans agree. Fifty-one percent think that reporters are trying to hurt Palin with their news coverage. Just five percent say the media are actually trying to help the Alaska governor.

Put on Notice

Democrats have warned Joe Lieberman that he could face repercussions for speaking at the Republican convention. The Independent senator caucuses with the Democrats but supports John McCain. He said in his speech that Barack Obama lacks the experience to be in the White House.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, "He clearly went too far."

The Washington Post reports Democrats are considering stripping Lieberman of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as taking away all his other committee assignments. Reid's spokesman says sanctions would not be imposed until after the November election.

Meanwhile, Lieberman has donated more than $145,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.