WASHINGTON -- The Fox News channel has been something of a safe haven for Sarah Palin, the type of outlet that provided the former Alaska Governor not only with a friendly audience but similarly kind questions.
So it was more than a bit surprising when off-air video leaked on Thursday of a Fox panel mocking Palin's new reality television show. The two reporters who are caught on camera -- Judith Miller and Liz Trotta -- didn't do much more than giggle in agreement with the New York Times and Washington Post television critics, both of whom slammed "Sarah Palin's Alaska" as, basically, folksy political propaganda.
And so, it seems likely that both Miller and Trotta, and even Palin herself, will deflect away the video as sound bites taken wholly out of context. An email to a Fox News spokesperson was not immediately returned.
Instead, what's more interesting is the fact that the video leaked in the first place. Off-air moments during the taping of a television show almost always produce more candid and newsworthy exchanges than those that take place on air. And increasingly, TV personalities, politicians and pundits have found themselves in compromising positions when they've been unaware, say, that their microphone is still on.
In this instance, however, someone within the Fox News structure appears to have taken the step of leaking video, with the motive of either embarrassing Miller and Trotta or, more likely, underscoring that not everyone at the network is on the Palin bandwagon.
UPDATE: The possibility also exists that the video was accidentally placed on the Fox News website, as the station does occasionally put up such clips as a behind-the-scenes feature for viewers. If so, the prospect of someone maliciously leaking the material is immaterial speculation.
That said, the surfacing of Miller and Trotta's segment does pose a bit of a problem for those conservatives who have howled in the past when other media personalities have been caught off camera trashing Palin. If it's being done at Fox, then it's hard to tarnish the other outlets as "lamestream."
(Hat Tip: Mediaite)