Sarah Palin co-hosts 'Today.' How'd she handle it? (+video)(Read article summary)
Sarah Palin's morning-show faceoff with Katie Couric and the 'lamestream media' produced no high drama, no big gaffes, but plenty of hype, conventional wisdom, and 'organized chaos.'
Sarah Palin co-hosted the â€śToday Showâ€ť on Tuesday, meaning that for one morning she was a member of what she calls the â€ślamestream mediaâ€ť. How did she fare in the glare of several hours of early-morning TV?
Well, we think she held up fine. There was no mangling of the history of Paul Revereâ€™s ride, no malapropisms, and no assertions that if you squint you can see Russia from the top of 30 Rock. She was a perfectly competent performer who poked fun at herself (the lead-in showed her commandeering Matt Lauerâ€™s office and writing notes on her hand) while handling tough questions without wilting.
In fact, during her seven-minute, serious interview with Mr. Lauer, we think it was the interviewer who came across as irritating. Lauer kept interrupting Ms. Palin to press her to answer questions she was in the process of answering. Plus, his topics were sort of a checklist of conventional wisdom. Nonsensical discussion of brokered convention? Check! Reference to Mitt Romney as boring? Check! Obligatory comparison of selection of Palin to upcoming GOP VP choice? Roger that!
â€śThere is no perfect candidate. I would warn voters never to put their faith wholly in an individual,â€ť said Palin in response to that latter query.
If Lauer would have asked questions about what Palin was saying the whole thing would have been much more interesting. She kept talking about President Obamaâ€™s â€śfailed socialist policiesâ€ť, for instance. He could have asked her what she thought socialism is, and which of Obamaâ€™s policies apply, just to nudge her off that talking point.
Anyway, the whole experience does raise a number of interesting questions on its own.
First of all, why is Fox News letting Palin get so much NBC face-time? She was introduced as a Fox contributor, but itâ€™s not like sheâ€™s got a new book out to promote. If sheâ€™s going to practice her morning-show host chops, why not Fox & Friends?
Second, is this her new career goal? Morning-show host is an occupation that might fit with Palinâ€™s skill set, after all. A little light discussion of national events, thanÂ talk with Tori Spelling about how many kids you should have. Palin seemed more relaxed doing this then she does on Fox, where sheâ€™s supposed to be a heavyweight content contributor.
Third, Katie who? Palinâ€™s ex-nemesis Katie Couric is co-hosting this week over on ABC's "Good Morning America," and, by comparison, Ms. Couric seemed too serious for 7 a.m. Her turn on the evening news may have boosted her gravitas quotient, but in turn it seems to have lessened her ability to laugh. Any pairing in which George Stephanopoulos has to serve as the cheery one isnâ€™t a recipe for long-term success.
So what was Palinâ€™s take on her morning as a newsperson? â€śOrganized chaos,â€ť she said, as she and the rest of the â€śTodayâ€ť team stood outside with the crowd for the show wrap-up. Weâ€™d second that summation of journalism â€“ though in our case the â€śorganizedâ€ť part doesnâ€™t always appear.