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The Collective
Saturday, September 6, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the Politico: Sarah Palin has yet to meet the press

When political junkies flip through television stations on Sunday morning, they’ll find policy-driven interviews with three of the four candidates on the presidential tickets — John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They won’t, though, see Sarah Palin.

Less than two months before voters hit the polls, Palin has yet to sit down for or even schedule an issues-oriented interview with any newspaper, magazine or television network.

Strategically, this is probably a good idea, as keeping her away from reporters diminished the chances of an embarrassing mistake. However, what message is being sent by the McCain campaign by keeping Palin away from the press? If she is supposed to be the person who could be the president in the not too distant future and therefore ready to face off with foreign leaders, yet she can’t talk Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press? Is she not even ready to venture out to the safe environs of Fox News? This is truly remarkable.

It also lends credence to the notion that the selection was a late pick and a roll of the dice. They don’t really know what they are going to get once she starts talking and answering questions in an unscripted environment.

In fact, the McCain campaign has only allowed her access to one media outlet since being named to the ticket: People magazine.

Larry Hackett, managing editor of People, said the McCain campaign offered the magazine an opportunity to photograph McCain and “Nominee TK” at the Aug. 29 event in Dayton.

In addition to a brief Q&A with both Republicans (as well as their spouses and McCain’s daughter Meghan) and an accompanying article that was mostly based on months-old reporting, the magazine also ran a lifestyle feature on Palin’s life as a working mother running a statehouse and her own house.

Well, that will no doubt help us learn more about someone seeking high office.

I know that I have been critical of the selection, and so many may dismiss my criticism here as nothing but piling on. But seriously: doesn’t it say something about the quality of the pick that we, the public, are only allowed to see her in a controlled environment to this point? It isn’t even clear as to how long it will be before she emerges to face the press. Surely if she is the future of the party she should be ready to deal with reporters?

Indeed, if McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace is anything to go by, it would seem that the campaign holds that notion in contempt:

Granted, the new strategy is to paint the media as the enemy, but this is going beyond that. And while a lot of people may hold the media in contempt, the bottom line is that in a democracy the mass media are the main way by which we, the voters, gain information about candidates and government. To withhold Palin from the press isn’t just withholding her from the Liberal MediaTM, it is withholding her from the voters.

Along these same lines, ABC’s Jake Tapper blogged yesterday: Palin Media Avoidance Watch, Day Seven

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the Republican ticket one week ago, and she has yet to answer questions from reporters.

Make it day eight (unless one counts this).

Update: I was watching Fox New Watch this evening and Cal Thomas further confirmed that the campaign is not allowing access to Palin, as her tried to get an interview, and no go. And Thomas is hardly hostile to the McCain campaign.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |

33 Comments

  1. The problem with your analysis is your thinking of it as a matter of simple political discourse, when it is more a part of a very well thought out strategy. Sarah Palin will most likely be made available to all the major Sunday morning programs, just not now. Yes, maybe they want to bring her up to speed on the issues, but there are more important reasons for holding her back:

    1) The media will be yelling foul, just like you, saying the public has a right to know. This will be another feeding frenzy generating more interest with the public.
    2) When Palin is finally made available there will be major competition among the networks to have her on first and the network that gets her first will be heavily advertising it for the reason below.
    3) Ratings. It will generate another huge television audience.
    4) Sarah Palin will have the last word just before the election keeping her fresh in people’s minds.

    Just as she does in her public appearances, I believe she will shine during these interviews.

    You don’t play much chess, do you?

    Comment by devildog666 — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  2. The McCain campaign is underestimating her. Get her an interview with someone. Just don’t let it be the MSM that pushed the smears: no MSNBC; no CNN; and definitely not the bozo Roger Simon from the Politico. The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn might not be bad because she realized she was too hard on her. Although she’s not known as a hard questioner.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

  3. As I said very early on in the post:

    Strategically, this is probably a good idea,

    The issue: why is this a good strategic move? If she is already ready to blow everyone away with her poise, knowledge and ability to handle the tough questions, then surely a full campaign of Palin is better than one with less?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  4. Sean,

    If she can’t handle an interview with CNN and MSNBC, why should she be considered presidential material? I find that a baffling notion. She could be in a position to deal with Putin or Ahmadinejad, but Wolf Blitzer! Andrea Mitchell! No way!

    That’s nuts.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  5. So they keep her away from the press. One of two things will happen:

    1) They never let her at the press, in which case the criticism of her as an unknown will be very loud, very robust, and impossible to ignore - and McCain will lose the election badly because of it (and rightly).

    OR

    2) At some point in the not-too-distant future, they will let the press at her.

    I mean, it’s not like there is no public accountability for things like this. That’s what the election is. If McCain does a bad job promoting his ticket, he loses. You know they can’t keep her away from the press forever if they want to have a reasonable chance at winning.

    It is possible also that the McCain campaign is concerned about giving too much spotlight to Sarah Palin. As you have pointed out in the past, if the focus remains on Palin and not McCain, McCain loses.

    My thinking is that they’re going to let her cool off a little bit, prep her for her interviews, and the media will get its chance to dissect her soon. In the mean time people have to look at McCain.

    Whether or not she was a last-minute pick - I’ve spoke my piece on that - but it’s really irrelevant to me. I’m more concerned with whether or not she’s the right pick, which is not really possible to tell right now. Either we’ll find out, in due time (I’m reading her book right now in an attempt to glean a little more knowledge about her; I’ve already read Obama’s two books and McCain’s three; Biden’s is on my list but to be honest it’s in a pretty low spot) or she’ll destroy McCain’s chances of winning by being a mystery. Regardless of what the press does I know how to access the public records at the GPO library, and can find out for myself about her.

    I will grant that her being kept away from the media could be a sign of having been picked late in the game (but maintain that we’ll probably never really know for sure). But even if that’s true, it might be a bad idea for McCain to parade her around too much at this point.

    As far as the whole “Liberal Media thing” goes - I do believe that for the media to be the accountability mechanism that you idealize it as, it has an obligation to report information fairly, honestly, and ethically. When it isn’t doing that - well, I’m just saying, the system can break down in two places:

    1) The government doesn’t give information to the press;

    2) The press doesn’t accurately and properly report the information that it is given.

    These things fuel each other. Trust is a two way street, and I can hardly blame any political candidate for any party for being very careful and deliberate about what they say and do. This is more true for republicans than democrats. Really I think the government and the press are locked in a vicious cycle, and we’re all the worse for it.

    This 2007 poll http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1262 is just one of many such polls. They all spell out pretty much the same story - a vast majority of people in this country think the media is biased. I know I hate polls - but when they consistently tell the same story over a period of several years - you can safely draw some conclusions from them.

    Whether or not most of America is right about there being a liberal bias in the media, the fact that most of America perceives that is, by itself, an indication to me that the trust that is needed for the media to serve as the safety valve that it is supposed to has broken down. This is one of the reasons I feel so down on my country right now. I think that our free press has violated its responsibility to the public, and that consequent to that, there really is no safety valve, and things are well and truly out of control. I’m not sure the slanting is always agenda based; sometimes I think it’s just done in the name of sensationalism, selling more copies, getting better ratings. The end result is the same, and a lie is a lie.

    So I guess none of this is really surprising to me. I don’t have as much faith in the press as you do (or the government for that matter), and so I plan to figure out Sarah Palin on my own. I’ll read the book (which will be slanted one way) and then I’ll hit the databases at the government library at USC and read up on her public record. I’ve done the same for Obama and McCain, although there is far more to read about McCain, so I haven’t been as thorough with him - but I can tell you what major issues he voted on in the last decade, what bills he authored (did you know he introduced legislation to withdraw funding for us in Somalia, in an attempt to do to Clinton what the democrats in congress have tried to do to Bush? Surprises me that the dems haven’t been on that like stink on poo. Maybe they don’t have a good librarian on their staff.) And I don’t need the press to get any of this. In fact, it’s better getting it at its source. Brokaw and Blitzer and O’Reilly - I really don’t think they’re any smarter than I am, but I sure think they believe that. I think they believe that I’m a complete boob. They must believe that.

    Anyway - getting back to the core of the issue - the whole system of passing information is broken, and I think the government is responsible for only half of that failure.

    Comment by Captain D — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  6. Steve, she should avoid MSNBC and CNN for being part of the smear campaign against her. Punish them. They can get be treated better when they start acting like responsible journalists.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  7. If we don’t get information via the media (which is pretty large concept) where do we get it from?

    It isn’t an issue of idealizing, it is an issue of mass media (print, broadcast, cable, internet) being the way we, the citizens, get information. If a candidate or the government denies media access, it is ultimately denying us information. It is, to me, that simple.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

  8. Sean,

    What “smear campaign”? The only smear I can think of is the whole “Trig isn’t her baby” thing which was primarily a blog-based phenomenon, although I am sure it was repeated on cable news outlets and elsewhere,

    Regardless, are you really going to stand by the notion that a candidate wanting to be the Vice President of the United States of America should shun media outlets because they were mean to her?

    Again, that’s nuts.

    I know I am being strident here, but I feel very strongly that the McCain campaign owes us, the voters, more than denial of information and pettiness.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 9:47 pm

  9. Steven,

    Since there are oodles of media now, yes, I have no problem with a campaign ignoring some. National Enquirer is mostly ignored. So doing so isn’t new.

    To be more specific I’d ignore individuals within the offending news organizations. I don’t think Wolf Blitzer has been bad so he’s okay, but John Roberts? Forget it. And I’m sure there’s one person at MSNBC who isn’t nuts. Reporter and media organizations like anyone else needs negative feedback to make changes.

    Strategically I’d go the alternative media route: talk radio and weblogs. The MSM would have a fit, but that would only play into the anti-Palin tone they initially set. I’d give the first one-on-one to Michelle Malkin. She’s no McCain fan and would dig into where Palin stands and issues like immigration.

    Of course if that happened I’d read a post from you about how Palin was hiding.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

  10. Well, sure. I get it. The media is how most people get information.

    BUT - donctha think that with that power (the power to be the conduit by which we all get our information) comes some kind of responsibility?

    The press is there to hold the government accountable. Who is there to hold the press accountable?

    I see a causal relationship between the behavior of the press and the behavior of the government, and sorting out who is responsible for what is like trying to interrupt fighting newlyweds. This is a breakdown that has been years in the making and there is blame to spread around for it. Sarah Palin being off limits for now is a symptom, not the disease. The disease is the distrust that has grown like a cancer, destroying the public trust in the media, and making the government feel like it doesn’t need to bother sharing everything with them.

    I spend a lot of time in government libraries. There’s nothing that these people have done as politicians that can’t be easily accessed. Most of what they have done, I can get at on line - senate floor records, voting records, gubernatorial documents. Some of it I might actually need to go to the GPO library for, but if the media can find it, I can find it. I’m smart enough to not need Wolf Blitzer to tell me where the bear pooped in the woods. I know that in the information age, the GPS coordinates of that poop are only a few clicks away. There is not much that the media can find that I can’t find on my own, and yeah, I’ll brag on that. I am smarter than most of them and I know it. As far as the analysis that they offer - well, I can look at the facts and make up my own mind, and it’s as good as or better than what Wolf Blitzer thinks. He’s not that smart. He just has a really cushy gig.

    What do you want to know about Sarah Palin anyway? I bet I can find it. :)Government records was one of the things I excelled at in library school.

    Comment by Captain D — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

  11. Sean,

    Ultimately, I would be critical if she only swam in safe waters, but by the same token, what your response be if Biden or Obama were only willing to talk to Daily Kos (or, more appropriately to the discussion) no one at all? And I say that not to boost Obama/Biden, but to point out the silliness of all of this. And Obama at least went on O’Reilly.

    If she were to only shun specific media outlets, but was otherwise available, fine.

    But forget all of that. Are you really going to defend the fact that the woman who aspires to the vice presidency has only given a brief interview to People?

    You actually can defend that? You find that satisfying?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  12. Tell us more about Palin’s 1993 felony charges being reduced to a misdemeanor by her pleading no contest.

    Comment by Bill Smith — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  13. Give me a week and I’ll have the court transcript.

    Comment by Captain D — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 10:58 pm

  14. Steven,

    I don’t find it satisfying that only People has talked to Palin. If the campaign is holding her back they’re making a mistake. I’ve watched enough video of her as a candidate and Alaska governor to think she’d do fine.

    As for mocking Democrats I did call them out with their boycott of Fox News. That’s why I clarified (obviously not well) that certain reporters/talking heads should be shunned. Particular people need to be held accountable.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

  15. And Obama at least went on O’Reilly.

    Do you know how long O’Reilly was been waiting?

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 6, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

  16. Interesting point, but somebody already beat you to it: http://jimtreacher.com/archives/001544.html .

    If I were in charge of strategy, I would have Palin talking to foreign press like the Guardian or the Times of London. The message (”we don’t believe the domestic press cares enough to be fair”) would be pretty clear.

    Things that I personally read in “main stream” media outlets that have since been debunked:

    * Trig is her grandson, via Bristol
    * She was a campaign worker for Buchanan
    * She belonged to the fringe Alaska Independence Party
    * She belongs to a fringe church
    * Her friend wants his divorce papers sealed because he had an affair with her
    * She’s racist (especially when it comes to Eskimos) and/or anti-semitic
    * She “SLASHED” funding for pregnant unwed mothers (hint, she actually increased such funding by $3.9 million)
    * She slashed special needs funding (hint, the governor before her was responsible for that budget)

    Yes, each of these was “reported” on a blog before being picked up by a more respectable outlet. Even so, the fact that the same reporters who want to interview Palin are getting their rumors from blogs, reporting and only then finding out that the rumor isn’t true (the last two steps seem out of order, generally you investigate and then publish) seems like a good reason to put the whole lot of them in time out for right now.

    However, it’s silly to suggest that she’ll manage to go through the entire campaign season — including through media-run VP debates — without giving interviews or otherwise meeting with the media.

    Comment by Max Lybbert — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:06 am

  17. I used to acknowledge you as “Dr. Steve” but from now on I’m calling you Dude.

    Dude – are you getting your headlines right out of the AP play book? According to you “not granting media access” = “proof of inexperience” because it supports your world view of what constitutes experience?

    This is a blog response to the same slant in article on Politico
    Politico does it again with its false accusations on Palin. Just because Palin dissed you wannabe journalists doesn’t mean she isn’t doing media interviews. This is Palin’s schedule for today:
    Saturday, September 6, 2008 Colorado and New Mexico 10:00am Media Interview
    10:30am Satellite into AARP Convention; 11:30am Media Interview 12:30pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”, Colorado Springs, CO 1:45pm MT Depart Colorado 2:50pm MT Arrive NM 3:30pm MT Media Interviews 7:00pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”, Albuquerque Convention Center
    THREE HOURS OF MEDIA INTERVIEWS.
    (Article here http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13208.html)

    In that same article, Politico points to a Time mag/rag attempt to interview Sen. McCain, calling him “testy” and “refusing to answer questions”.
    Later that day, Carney — who last week had a much-buzzed about interview with McCain in which the candidate became testy, and refused to answer some questions — told Politico that the McCain campaign is acting “condescending and smug” toward the press.

    However, when you listen to the interview, it went something like this:
    “So Senator, how do you define honor?” “Do you think it is “honorable” to run negative ads about our chosen One?” “Didn’t you once say that the KEATING FIVE SCANDAL was worse than being a p.o.w.?” “Do your have any regrets, like when you regretted ALLOWING THE CONFEDERATE FLAG OVER A GOVERNMENT BUILDING from your last campaign?” “What are the major mistakes you have made so far in this campaign?” “What do you want to apologize for or regret so far?”
    When Sen. McCain realized the guy was a total jerk and walks away, Time rag/mag calls him Prickly and evasive, and Politico labels him testy, smug, and condescending while claiming he refuses to answer questions. Is that the kind of interviewing and reporting you mean?

    So here is the type of interview from hardened, serious, world worried journalists we can expect:

    Reporter: “So, Governor Palin, which is better, Alpo or Dads?”
    Palin: “Excuse me?”
    Reporter: “You seemed baffled and unable to respond Governor Palin. There you have it folks. The GOP VP choice, who is one heartbeat away from standing toe to toe with Putin is unable to answer one simple question that impacts the lives of millions of Americans every day. Back to you Campbell/Keith/Chris.”

    Sadly, if the GOP camp sent her out on every talk show from now until November, you would be crying that they were trying to get her experience or trying to up her credientials and that would support your premise.

    Comment by Ohio Granny — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  18. Sean,

    Do you know how long O’Reilly was been waiting?

    Yes, 8 months, I think. Quite a while, in any event. And I have criticized Democrats before for avoiding Fox News, so I have some consistency here.

    The reason I bring it now is not to say how great Obama is, but to point out that given that he just went on O’Reilly, it further undercuts the notion that Palin should pick and choose amongst major media outlets.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  19. Max,

    By that logic,no US politician should subject themselves to the US press. This is a rather remarkable position.

    And to the specifics:

    * Trig is her grandson, via Bristol

    That was outrageous, I will allow.

    * She was a campaign worker for Buchanan

    The horror! This is supposed to be a reason not to go on MTP?

    * She belonged to the fringe Alaska Independence Party

    Her husband was registered with the AIP and she did attend some of their meetings. Is it too much to ask that she answer questions about why?

    * She belongs to a fringe church

    Unfavorable reporting about one’s church is hardly a Palin-specific enterprise. See: Obama and Romeny.

    * Her friend wants his divorce papers sealed because he had an affair with her

    I saw that on a blog, but I also saw it rapidly debunked.

    * She’s racist (especially when it comes to Eskimos) and/or anti-semitic

    This one I haven’t seen, unless one is referring to the Jews for Jesus association, which some Jews do see as anti-semitic.

    * She “SLASHED” funding for pregnant unwed mothers (hint, she actually increased such funding by $3.9 million)

    And the best way to correct claims about one’s record is to DEFEND IT IN THE PRESS.

    * She slashed special needs funding (hint, the governor before her was responsible for that budget)

    See the above.

    Really, the best way to combat misinformation is to combat it with the truth. Hiding doesn’t solve the problem.

    Again: if one cannot deal with the domestic press, one is not qualified for elected office, let alone the vice presidency.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  20. Ohio Granny,

    Call me what you like.

    The issue is not the Politico, and I didn’t just cite the Politico. The question is fundamentally this: is the McCain campaign making their vice presidential nominee available to the press or not? Is she currently defending her views and making the case as to why she should be vice president, or is she not?

    Look, you can make this about Time magazine, or the MSNBC crew, but she couldn’t go to any major media outlets?

    And what you describe in her schedule are campaign appearances, which are controlled.

    And I continue to be baffled that it is considered acceptable that candidate for high office should be afraid of the press.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  21. Sadly, if the GOP camp sent her out on every talk show from now until November, you would be crying that they were trying to get her experience or trying to up her credientials and that would support your premise.

    And what, in goodness’ name, do you base that assertion?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 10:51 am

  22. BTW, a McCain spokesman (Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager) on Fox News Sunday stated that she would answer reporters’ questions when they think she is ready.

    So, I am not sure where this is an issue of the Politico.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  23. The fact that Obama went on O’Reilly’s show on the night of McCain’s speech (that was the only time he agreed to do it, period) undercuts the fact that these candidates time their media appearances strategically. By going on O’Reilly on the night of McCain’s speech, during the republican convention, Obama was able to squeeze in a headline and steal a little thunder. Timing, timing, timing. It’s everything in this game. Palin will go on primetime at a time that steals thunder from Obama. I’ll bet you a cookie. . .

    Comment by Captain D — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  24. Did I say that they aren’t strategic?

    Let’s go to the tape:

    Strategically, this is probably a good idea

    Still, there is a radical difference between strategic use of media and ignoring the media.

    Again, if the strategy is that the less exposure the better, then that says something about Palin.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  25. Captain D,

    The fact that Obama went on O’Reilly’s show on the night of McCain’s speech (that was the only time he agreed to do it, period) undercuts the fact that these candidates time their media appearances strategically.

    The interview was pre-recorded, not live. It was Fox who chose to split the interview and run the first part that Thursday. Other portions of the interview are being run Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

    Comment by Alex Knapp — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  26. [...] Political Punch, blogs the comments of McCain campaign manager Rick Davis on Fox News Sunday that I noted in a comment this morning: So when will she subject herself to [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » McCain Campaign: Palin will Appear when she is “comfortbale” — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  27. Mr. Knapp,

    It was a pre-recorded interview, but it was done with the condition that it be shown on the night of McCain’s speech.

    I did actually watch it and, for the record, thought Obama handled himself well, and that O’Reilly was unusually fair to him.

    Comment by Captain D — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  28. Steven,

    Gov. Palin will be interviewed by ABC’s Charlie Gibson. Happy? I doubt it.

    How should campaigns deal with repugnant reporters? How should they hold them accountable? It seems to me you think a Presidential campaign should bend over and take whatever comes their way.

    Does Keith Olberman deserve a one-on-one even though he’s an egomaniac hoping and praying all Republicans fall into the sea?

    How about Markos Moulitas? By your logic if Gov. Palin can’t stand up to him how could she stand up to Putin.

    I understand your concern about learning as much about potential leaders as possible. But you seem to ignore a media landscape that is doing more harm than good; one that cares more about gotcha and scalps than seeking truth.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

  29. Sean,

    A) I am not sure why you are being so antagonistic with me. We have both been at this blogging business longer than Sarah Palin has been in the public spotlight (indeed, combined more years blogging than she has had in elected office). We have hardly been in lock-step on everything, but have gotten along.

    B) I posted on the Charlie Gibson interview earlier today and noted “Good deal.”

    C) Will one interview fully satisfy me? No, nor do I think it should satisfy any voter.

    D) I think you exaggerate the malice of the media. I know that you know work for Republican these days, but I think you are buying the current narrative a bit much. We haven’t always agreed on everything over the year, but I do think that you are intellectually honest, and I would like to think you think the same of me, so I would ask that think about what you are saying here. Are there specific members of the media that are biased? Of course there are, but this narrative that the McCain camp is dealing at the moment that there is this monolithic media force that is out to get them is absurd. This is the candidate who was once a media darling, and was treated very well by some of the same media figures now that are being cast in the demon role.

    E) Do I think that Olbermann deserves an interview with Palin? No. Can I understand why she wouldn’t want to be interviewed by him? Yes. Do I think it would be possibly informative if she did? Yes. Would I blame her for avoiding it? No. Do I think that she has to do that type of interview to qualify for the vp slot? No.

    My point was far more general than that-and it was not about specific persons doing interviews, but broadly speaking being willing to talk to the media and, by extension, us (the voters).

    Part of my disquietude over Palin is well founded, as the situation echoes a lot of what was wrong with the Bush administration-e.g., making policy choices on incomplete information and trusting on ideological affinity to be enough. We did it with the build up to the war in Iraq (where the media, btw, including CNN and MSNBC and whomever else you can think of, was very much on Bush’s side) and Bush tried it with Harriet Miers and we saw in people like Mike Brown.

    Why is it so horrible to insist on adequate information from the campaign on someone aspiring to the vice presidency is beyond me.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

  30. Steven,

    The reason I’m angrey and don’t care much about the MSM’s feelings is as soon as Sen. McCain picked Gov. Palin the Left went about trying to destroy her. Not simply poke holes in her reputation. They wanted to give her national political career a killing blow. They attempted the knockout punch at McCain and ensure Sen. Obama victory. Then we get certain reporters going along with demanding rumor explanations from the McCain campaign. We end up with a situation where a NY Times reporter continues to stand by her “reporting” that Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.

    My point is the media (both old and new) need to be held accountable. Shrinking audiences is one way to do that, but there should be other ways.

    Getting good information is critical for voters to make good decisions. We both agree with that. I don’t think the current environment of media hounds is providing good information. And this is from someone in February who didn’t think Palin would make a good pick because it undercut McCain’s experience argument.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Sunday, September 7, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

  31. sean,
    where were your complaints when the Right did the same thing against Obama, or Hillary, who has been a target of the right for many years? i see something of a double standard here..
    besides: this is the way that campaigns for the presidency are run in this country; noone is going to play nice just because she’s a girl.

    Comment by nevrdull — Monday, September 8, 2008 @ 3:07 am

  32. Stories about Palin’s supposed racism can be found at http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS291&q=sarah+palin+sambo&revid=279977790&resnum=0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=news_group&resnum=1&ct=title . Some of those articles expand from accusations of calling Obama “Sambo” to other slurs used against other groups including Eskimos.

    Then there was the campaign event where 12,500 people were counted on entry, and the state police estimated a crowd of 20,000 to 30,000 but the media only reported that “more than 1,000 people showed up” ( http://space4commerce.blogspot.com/2008/09/they-me-enemy.html ). A true statement, but somewhat misleading.

    Comment by Max Lybbert — Monday, September 8, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  33. All this vitriol confirms to me my position that there has been a decay in trust between the public and the media - as a monolithic force - right or wrong. There has been a decay of trust.

    Blame who you want for it. I blame both sides.

    Comment by Captain D — Monday, September 8, 2008 @ 11:41 am

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