Diana West

Alas, we have just passed another marker on the way down. That's "we" as in "We, the people," and that's "down" as in "glug, glug."

This marker will stand as a testament to the savage zeal with which our mainstream media -- gentlemen (hah) and gentlewomen (double hah) of the Fourth Estate, cosseted darlings of the Free World standing ever-vigilant to ensure that truth will out (hah hah hah) -- have sunk their teeth into the Palin family.

What started on or about Labor Day and has continued ever since, is what's known as a media "feeding frenzy," a condition of non-abating bloodlust for political prey (usually conservative political prey) that is strikingly similar to the agitated state of piranhas in a tank at feeding time. Top McCain strategist Steve Schmidt recently told Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz that this was the worst feeding frenzy he'd ever seen. I agree and -- if I might flash some old-timer credentials -- I covered the GOP convention in 1988 when Dan Quayle was the bait and Don Kowet, then-media critic for the Washington Times, typed out the phrase "feeding frenzy," giving it a new and enduring currency. In Schmidt's interview with Kurtz, which Kurtz described as "extraordinary" and "emotional," Schmidt explained what it was like to be on the receiving end such an attack.

"The campaign has been inundated by hundreds and hundreds of calls from some of the most respected reporters and news organizations," Schmidt said. "Many reporters have called the campaign and have apologized for asking the questions and said, `Our editors are making us do this, and I am ashamed.'"

What Schmidt went on to relate explains why. The questions have come in, wave after wave, asking, as Kurtz wrote, "whether (Sarah) Palin is really the mother of a 4-month-old baby, whether her amniotic fluid has been tested, and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child's parentage."

More questions: Is Sarah Palin the grandmother of Trig Palin, the 4-month-old born with Downs syndrome, and is her 17-year-old daughter Bristol the mother? Will Trig Palin's birth certificate be made available to the media? Exactly when last April did Sarah Palin go into labor, and did her contractions increase or decrease as she traveled home from Texas to an Alaskan hospital to give birth? And about eldest son, Track Palin, who serves in the Army and is about to deploy to Iraq: Is he a drug addict?

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).