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Palin remains a punching bag despite the campaign's end

Can someone please explain to me why Sarah Palin is still getting trashed a week after the election? I understand that the left-wing media hammered her during the campaign because they obviously favored Obama, and I also realize that scapegoating has become a national sport. But isn't enough enough with Gov. Palin?

Apparently not.

The fascinating thing about the latest round of Palin bashing is John McCain's reaction. A day after the election, Fox News political correspondent Carl Cameron reported on my TV program that some anonymous McCain staffers were frustrated because Palin didn't know much about the world. The now-famous accusation is that the governor did not even know that Africa is a continent.

Palin immediately denied it, and you would think McCain would have stopped that kind of vicious garbage in its tracks. But it took the senator six days before he publicly stuck up for her. So let me ask you something. If a friend of yours was being humiliated, would it take you six days to lend support?

Finally, this week McCain went on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' and said he was very 'proud' of Palin.

Simultaneously, the liberal media continue to pound the governor as a Marie Antoinette clone, a person who spends lavishly on silk shorts and 'spray tanner,' as Maureen Dowd wrote in The New York Times.

But even if that's true, who cares? The woman lost and will not be the vice president. Somebody tell The New York Times.

Why is all this happening? Palin is a strong pro-life voice and, as such, has a giant target on her back as far as the left-wing media are concerned. She must be destroyed as an example to other women who may try to promote a pro-life position.

On the right, some Republicans believe that Palin is simply not smart enough to win a national election, and they don't want to have to deal with her again in 2012. If she can be marginalized now, that is a good thing for them.

As for McCain, my colleague Juan Williams believes he just didn't care enough to step up and defend his running mate. He lost, he's resigned, that's that. It's impossible to read anyone's mind, but McCain demonstrated the same lack of urgency in dealing with the Palin-bashers that he did throughout the campaign: There's an economic crisis in this country. Did you get the feeling McCain understood that?

It's impossible to ascertain exactly why Palin continues to get hammered, but fair-minded Americans surely know that it is unnecessary and mean-spirited. This time, enough really is enough.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard from 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM.