As this week's Palin-apalooza draws to a close, it's fair to say that the Alaskan ex-governor has taken a thoroughgoing, occasionally bare-knuckle beating from liberals. Save for a fleeting moment, when a certain Newsweek cover brought the left to her defense, Palin's ideological foes have pulled few punches. Enter Mark Whitaker, a writer at NBC News, who tells the media to cool it. Speaking as one of the media, Whitaker says journalists unfairly dismiss Palin's presidential prospects. TO say she doesn't have what it takes betrays a misogynistic outlook, he argues:

The widespread suggestion in some of the media commentary that she simply isn't qualified enough to be considered a viable presidential candidate is ridiculous.

For male politicians, it's always been a rule of thumb in politics and the media that once you were on a presidential ticket, you were automatically elevated onto the short list of contenders for future races.

If George H.W. Bush had lost in 1988, does anyone think Dan Quayle would not have been talked about as a potential candidate for 1992, even with all the political flaws he revealed in that race? Would the media have taken John Edwards as seriously in 2008 if he hadn't been John Kerry's running mate in 2004?

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Is she qualified to be President? If she decides to run, that's a judgment for voters to make, not us in the media.