Palin: Caroline Kennedy Gets Free Pass From Media
Several people have directed me today to the raw video of an interview of Sarah Palin, conducted by John Ziegler, last seen losing his mind at Nate Silver over a weird poll he conducted with myriad foundational logic deficiencies. It's a wide ranging discussion, primarily focuses on the way Palin feels she was treated by the media, which is all she ever talks about anymore.
One of the more trenchant moments (in fact, the only trenchant moment) comes late in the interview, when Palin is invited to make a comparison between herself and Caroline Kennedy. Basically, Palin seems to think that "class bias" is enabling favorable coverage of the New York Senate hopeful:
"I've been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope. ... It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be."
I think it's true that too many have failed to consider what specific qualifications Kennedy brings to the table. Those that have, however, often compare Kennedy to Sarah Palin, most notably in a New York Times feature story that made the comparison right in the lede. That article has since been edited to remove the comparison -- which perhaps gives Palin grounds for her contention. But really, is Palin not paying attention? Last week, everyone in the media made fun of Caroline Kennedy for saying "you know" over and over again. It was pretty brutal! (It was also pretty amusing to watch, as cable TV commentators had to softly tread around the fact that they, too, often pepper their commentary with similar verbal tics.)
Anyway, I hardly think a demonstration that "class issues" prevail in politics is all that startling a revelation. I'm told that Palin's own running mate, for example, owns several homes.
If you're interested, I watched nine minutes of this nonsense so you don't have to. A rundown:
Grief Over Bloggers: Palin is still upset with the way the mainstream media treated the birth of Trig Palin. "When did we start accepting as hard news sources bloggers, anonymous bloggers, especially," said Palin to Zeigler, a blogger. Actually, as a broad topic, it's well worth discussing! But, as someone who was presented with the Trig Palin Conspiracy Story at the outset (and who personally, hasn't found it all that convincing, sorry), I take issue with the notion that Trig Palin Birth Mysteries were featured in much "hard news." In fact, the matter wasn't given a whole lot of credence by anyone but The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, who is not, as far as I can tell, an anonymous blogger. In the meantime, she might find bloggers "scary," but I'm going to have to save my fears for an elected official who continually suggests that an investigation absolved her of ethical lapses when, in fact, it precisely didn't.
Family in the Camera Eye: Palin seems to think that there was bias in the way her family was treated. "When I heard Barack Obama state in one of his interviews ... that his wife was off limits, meaning, his family was off limits, I naively believed that they respected that ... that it applied to all of us, but it didn't apply." EXACTLY RIGHT! And, in fact, it didn't much apply to the Obamas either! I don't know if Palin was watching the Democratic National Convention, but the entire first night was given over to the staging of a pageant play called, "Black Women: They Are NOT Terrifying!" where the media sat in judgment over whether or not Michelle Obama had successfully made herself "relatable" and "presentable" to America. It was awfully embarrassing for America that such a display was even necessary, but there you go! Meanwhile, the press is still shadowing the Obama children to school, reporting on what's being served at the Sidwell Friends cafeteria. So, Sarah Palin has concluded she is "naive." Know what? THIS IS ALSO NOT NEWS, TO ANYONE.
The "dropout" story: Palin is under the impression that no one in the media has corrected the erroneous account that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are "high school dropouts." I think it would probably be a good idea, if Sarah Palin wants to critique the media, to start reading some. Andy Barr of Politico says this interview happened on this past Monday. If that's the case, Palin should have availed herself of precisely the sort of clarification offered on December 31, 2008 by ABC News. This is especially dumb because she was the source of this correction, which she now claims was never reported.
John McCain is to blame for the Couric debacle: Palin blames the campaign for suggesting that she reappear with Katie Couric after her first interview "did not go well." "Going back for more," Palin says, "was not a wise decision." Wow. Once upon a time, the McCain campaign was to blame for keeping her at a distance from the press, but Palin contends that actually, they're to blame for making her face reporters! Campbell Brown, stand down!
Palin doesn't watch her interviews: Palin says "I never saw the interview after Katie edited it ... everybody spliced it together, whatever they did, and then aired it. Never saw how it came across, but my understanding is that so many other topics that were brought up weren't portrayed as accurately as they could have ... should have been after that interview." Yeah. Know what? I'm just not prepared to accept Palin's analysis of the way she was spliced and edited when those opinions are based on third-hand accounts of interviews she's never watched herself.
To Explain Her Reading Habits: Oh, now Palin claims that her answer to Couric's question on what newspapers she read (which was, I remind you, "All of them") was a "flippant" answer to someone who thought she was the "center of the universe." Naturally, she's got a well-rehearsed response now involving her habitual reading of local papers, pursuant to her job as Governor of Alaska. Why couldn't she just proffer that answer in the first place? If she had, you can imagine the field day she might have had if her shouting out the Anchorage Daily News had been met with condescension.
On Tina Fey: "I did see that Tina Fey was named entertainer of the year," Palin says, suggesting that Fey (along with Katie Couric) successfully leveraged her VP run to achieve job security. And, indeed! Were it not for Palin, Tina Fey would have had little to fall back upon, other than a critically acclaimed television show, a successful movie, and being a universally loved and respected writer and comedienne! Nevertheless, I think Palin is right to be fixated on Tina Fey: until she made it okay to make fun of Sarah Palin, the press' mission was largely one of using Palin as a "make up call" in their earlier treatment of Hillary Clinton.
How about a bizarre contra-historical thought exercise: How would Palin have been treated if she'd ended up as Barack Obama's running mate? Palin says, "I think they would have loved me as a candidate ... we would have seen an absolutely different and a ... much prettier profile of Sarah Palin and the Palin family and my administration." Respectfully: No. We would be seeing the election of John McCain!
Anyway, it's all a little strange. The "mainstream media" she criticizes is probably the biggest promoter of the notion that Palin is the future of the Republican Party, even as her fellow cohorts -- like Mark Sanford, who publicly laughed off this idea -- run from her in embarrassment. And why wouldn't they, since the only thing she's adding to her candidate portfolio is endless iterations of the same under-informed, self-centered media criticism, and the BFF-ship of Greta Van Susteren?