In the wake of a biting and highly controversial Sarah Palin profile in Vanity Fair, Robert Stacy McCain of the American Spectator is presumably out to show his readers that the opposite of a questionably sourced hit piece written by "impotent" and "limp" reporters is a cheery and circumspect fluff piece about former "First Dude" Todd Palin.
Here's how McCain explains his ability to secure an elusive meeting with the husband of one of the biggest political celebrities.
Getting an interview with Sarah Palin is difficult. Getting an interview with Todd is next to impossible, and I would never have gotten this far if mutual friends -- including Anchorage conservative talk-radio legend Eddie Burke -- hadn't vouched for my bona fides. So most of the conversation over the next two hours is off-the-record, or at least on background. To breach that agreement would be to put myself into that category of reporters whom Sarah Palin recently described to Sean Hannity as "impotent, limp and gutless."
McCain speaks highly of Palin's proficiency on issues of "Alaska politics and energy," but manages to make such "geeky" matters seem beneath the rugged industriousness of the four-time winner of the Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race.
In the end, the only news that McCain provides is that the recent contentious and close primary race between Tea Party upstart Joe Miller and Sen. Lisa Murkowski was, according to Palin, less about the underlying Palin vs. Murkowski political rivalry than many had thought. Joe Miller won that primary after absentee ballots were counted.Apart from that, McCain also writes:
Professionally, I'm obliged to mention speculation about Sarah's plans for 2012, but Todd says his wife is currently focused on the upcoming mid-term congressional elections, now less than nine weeks away. And after November? I wasn't taking notes and my memory is notoriously dodgy, so it's possible that Todd's answer was, "We'll see."
Or maybe he didn't say that. A good reporter never burns his sources.
As Ben Smith of Politico notes:
This is a rather broad (and I'm assuming half-joking) use of the word "burn," but also essentially the other side of the coin from the problematic Vanity Fair piece, as unrevealing as that one was misdirected.