Don't Let The Press Hurt Sarah Palin; Let Her Do It Herself

If yesterday's parade of McCain surrogates defending Sarah Palin — in between blaming Barack Obama for the failure of the bailout plan that McCain insisted on coming to D.C. to personally negotiate for the sake of The Country! — didn't make it clear, the media is to blame for the massive suckitude of Ms. Palin. I mean, who do they think they are, asking her for her "positions" on things and then following up on her answers and — even worse! — reporting all of it to the public? They're mean! Mean! Don't they know that Palin is just supposed to be a pretty face and parrot the talking points McCain's staff gives her to help get him elected? Luckily, I have the even prettier face and definitely smarter brain in the form of Kay Steiger from Pushback to keep me from descending into "gotcha" journalism by questioning anything Palin ever says, ever.MEGAN: Good morning, sunshine! Ready for another day of this? KAY: You know it. MEGAN: Well, first let us discuss the definitive proof that Olbermann is not in the bag for Obama: he named him the 3rd worst person in the world yesterday for forgetting how long he'd been married to Michelle. I'm going to guess he'd better have come home with more than a box of Russell Stovers. KAY: Actually, I'm usually the one that forgets birthdays and anniversaries, so it makes me feel better that Obama does too. (See that Sarah Palin? Obama can get in touch with Real America, too.) Of course, Obama probably has a few more things on his mind than I do. MEGAN: I'll admit, I suck at birthdays. Ask anyone. If my phone doesn't go off to remind me that there is a birthday, then I'm up shit creek. On the other hand, he remembered the anniversary, just not how long they'd been married. Anyway, I mostly just thought it was funny, being as it was coupled with Hannity trying to spin Dick Morris that McCain won last Friday and Karl Rove insisting that Palin was "over prepared" for her interview — given that one of the two gaffes that CBS is not airing is her sitting in utter silence when asked to name a Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade. You'd think little Ms. Second Amendment could pull Heller out of her ass, let alone Hamden since her running mate crapped on the Supreme Court for that one despite his supposed anti-torture stand. Hey, how about Brown v. Board of Education? Plessy v. Ferguson? Griswold? Bueller? KAY: Yeah, I think my favorite part of that was this quote:

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.


Don't worry, though, she's pretty much requested a do over with Katie Couric. MEGAN: OMG, did you see it last night?

It was terrible! Terrible! Like, it was like she brought her dad with her to the principal's office and when the questioning got too tough, she let him defend her in a complete bullshit way. My parents were dumbstruck at her stupidity. At one point my mom — who, notably, is not political — said "Why won't he let her talk?" And my dad just sat there and shook his head in awe at the spectacle. KAY: I know. No wonder the McCain campaign kept her under wraps for so long. I mean, Biden is known for gaffes too, so maybe tomorrow night will be a gaffe-off. MEGAN: Well, I think before then we'll see plenty of opportunities for the McCain camp to roll out their new talking points, which is that this is all "gotcha" journalism, so that they can attack Gwen Ifill for the questions she asks and the commentators fact-checking at the end and try to mitigate the disaster for Palin they obviously expect it to be. Obama's camp isn't going around trying to convince anyone that The Big Bad Media is out to get Biden. KAY: So true. The McCain camp is doing some mad lowering expectations lately. I do like, though, how Biden's strategy for Thursday is to pretty much let her screw up on her own and not call attention to it. Because you know Big Bad Media will have that taken care of. Maybe "gotcha" journalism wouldn't be a factor here if there weren't any mistakes to catch. MEGAN: Ha! Like that's even possible for there not to be mistakes to catch? I was catching some just listening last week, so it's not hard. It just apparently takes The Big Bad Media 4 days to do the same if it's something complex and important like taxes. That said, I actually don't think that the McCain camp is trying to lower expectations because can people's expectations of Sarah Palin get any lower really? What they're attempting to do is redefine the outlines of the game, to make any mention of her gaffes off-limits, to make questioning her on foreign policy off-limits. They're trying to use public pressure to reign in the supposedly free press so that she can do whatever and they won't fact check or call her on it out of some kind of fear. That's sort of the brilliance, from the media's perspective, of having Katie Couric and Gwen Ifill be the meanies, because at least then the McCain camp can't call sexism. KAY: So true. Although I've definitely met some pretty sexist women in my day. But the weird thing is that Couric is not known for being an unusually tough interviewer. Quite the opposite, in fact, and that's why so many people thought her transition to evening news was so weird. But in the end, it was her, not the media stalwarts, who came across looking tougher. MEGAN: Well, I don't know that she came across looking tougher, because when ever she got tough, she always cocked her head, slowed down and spoke in an extremely sensitive tone of voice as she was grilling Palin. She only actually seemed annoyed when McCain accused her of gotcha journalism. It was very Barbara Walters of her. KAY: So does this mean Couric will get a spot on The View later?


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