Monday, October 13, 2008

Sarah Palin's Fickle Fandango with the Press

According to an Associated Press article which appeared in the Anchorage Daily News this evening, Sarah Palin has not always distanced herself from the press. During her gubernatorial days (ah, the good old days) she couldn't get enough of them. Loved seeing her name in print and her face on the front page. Loved telling them what was on her mind. Back then she was an open book. So what's the deal now?

Apparently the Republican National Committee has been aware of her not-ready-for-prime-time status from the beginning. Which begs the question as to why McCain chose her in the first place. That question can only ultimately be determined by the maze which is the mind of John McCain. But an educated guess is that she has always been more symbol than substance. McCain knew she would whip up support from the right wing of the party. He hoped she would appeal to women, and maybe give a boost to his shaky candidacy. But he and his team knew this would only happen if she could be kept as far away from the press as possible given their tendency to ask uncomfortable questions, the kind that might actually expose her for the empty gesture she is.

What needs to be challenged here is less McCain's right to choose whomever he wishes, but the fact that this person, who may be a heartbeat away from the presidency, continues to play hard to get with the press. She has done no press conferences, taken no questions except in carefully staged venues (even the Katie Couric interview was at a time and with a person of her own choosing), she has not faced what ever other candidate in every other presidential campaign has been forced to face - an inquisitive press doing what they're supposed to do -- ferret out the truth.

Clearly the time has come for the press to demand that Palin step outside the Republican zone of silence. If she refuses, then the press should refuse to give her any air time whatsoever. Let Fox News be the only venue open to her. That should force her out into the open.

Come on, reporters. Show some mettle here! Make Sarah Palin deal with you like every other candidate is forced to deal with you! Don't let her freeze you out!


Here's the story from the Anchorage Daily News:

At One Time Sarah Palin Courted the Press

GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is keeping reporters at arms' length in her campaign, but she had a very different approach as Alaska's new governor: She couldn't get enough of them.

Palin cultivated interviews with local and national journalists and welcomed them from as far away as London, earning time in the spotlight even before Republican presidential candidate John McCain selected her as his running mate.

That contrasts with the restricted access the McCain team imposed after Palin joined the GOP ticket, and the tone of the campaign's current criticism of the media, which is feeding anger among her supporters. People at a Wisconsin rally last week glared at reporters, and one woman called them "a bunch of leftists." Another made an obscene gesture.


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