Sarah Palin has done it again.
Her acceptance speech at the Republican national convention energized the GOP and enthralled the nation. It also sent the MSM into its biggest panic since Richard Nixon won re-election in 1972 by the greatest landslide in history. Having failed to find or create a scandal that would drive her from the ticket or at least neutralize her effectiveness, the media decided to "quayle" her, that is, to reduce all her accomplishments to one sound bite. Since they couldn't catch her in a misspelling, they tried to force her into a gaffe of the kind that Biden commits without being, well, bidden. Not since medieval inquisitors invented the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't interrogatory were more of these questions hurled at any candidate in history. Her interviews were bobby-trapped from beginning to end, and though she masterfully sidestepped these traps, the media characterized her answers not as tactical maneuvers but evasions and attributed these to lack of experience (if not ignorance) rather than to a healthy distrust of their motives.
I have never understood why any candidate -- and, especially, a Republican -- would ever agree to an interview by the MSM without specifying that it is to be aired in its entirety without deletions of any kind: a 40-minute interview yielding 40 minutes of air time. Nothing is more absurd than to allow the interviewer to assemble a new and different interview from disjointed bits of the original and air it as if it were in fact the original, with no acknowledgment that it is at best an extract or at worst a pastiche.
The MSM interviews of Sarah Palin were conducted with one purpose in mind -- to make the interviewer look good: not professional but omniscient, not fair but didactic, the center of attention rather than a conduit for information. The Gibson and Couric interviews were supernumerary debates without the right of rebuttal and completely scripted on one part. To that end questions were fashioned which were intended not to extract information but to confound with extraneous information. Questions for which there were no right or wrong answers were framed as if there were only one correct answer and the candidate was castigated for not providing it on cue. Or the interviewer asked a question, answered the question herself and then demanded a different answer from the one and only answer.
I especially remember one question of the latter kind which deserved this rejoinder:
"In your 26 years in journalism, besides sleeping with half the executives at your network -- not to belabor that point, what else did you do to become the first prime time anchorwoman? You can come back to me with your answer when you can think of one." [Answer: "The other half."]
In the old days, when the media was not biased but for sale to the highest bidder, one had to pay a lot of money for such hatchet jobs. Now the Democratic Party receives it as tribute from the MSM.
Well, last night's debate levelled the playing field again and Sarah Palin was able to speak to America without interlocutors. Her warmth and effervescence, enthusiasm and genuineness, were on full display but also her formidable forensic skills, which were more than a match for the veteran debater. The fact that Biden was at his best, too, only highlighted the level of her own performance. Yes, she can play with the big boys; she, in fact, whipped the big boys from both parties in Alaska and it doesn't seem like she will have much trouble doing so in the Senate when she presides it. When Sarah Palin is vice president her rival won't be Biden but Pelosi and that is a contest that will also be worth watching.
Katie Couric Wants to be a "Relatively Intelligent Person"