MICHAEL GOODWIN: Palin Derangement Syndrome Hits Hard

Let us have a moment of silence in honor of the late journalism standards of The Washington Post company. They died last week, a victim of Palin Derangement Syndrome.

First came Newsweek's cover of Palin in running shorts, over a headline of "How do you solve a problem like Sarah?" and a snide kicker that "she's bad news for the GOP--and everybody else too."

Beyond the obvious partisanship, many women, Palin included, found the cover sexist and an attempt to demean her with the bimbo treatment.

There might also be legal fallout. Newsweek, owned by The Post, had no right to use the photo, according to Runner's World magazine, which commissioned it.

The company's flagship paper also embarrassed itself. It published dueling reviews of Palin's book "Going Rogue," with snarky blogger Ana Marie Cox making an astounding confession in her review:

"I cannot claim to have completely read 'Going Rogue' -- I had to skim the last 150 pages (or more than one-third). I only got the thing into my hands late Monday afternoon with a deadline of early evening. It's terrible, I know, but if I didn't read it all, neither can Sarah Palin claim to have completely written it."

My inquiry about how this could possibly be acceptable was answered by Rachel Shea, editor of the paper's Book World. She said in a breezy e-mail: "We thought our reviewers each provided unique perspectives on the book, and Ana Marie Cox was up front about her examination of it."
There you have it. The Post no longer requires reviewers to actually read the books they are reviewing, as long as they are "up front" about it.

It's Sarah Palin's fault.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. Click here to continue reading his complete column.