Those who work in the arena of political media have been scratching their collective heads trying to make sense of what Sarah Palin is up to with her One Nation bus tour. In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Palin explains that her tour is ‘not about me,’ adding that many in the media are looking for a story that calls this a “conventional campaign-type tour,” which she reminds this is not, “except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty.”
The full interview between Van Susteren and Palin is set to air this evening, but show producers, Fox News (and/or maybe the Palin team themselves) smartly released an excerpt of the interview late last night, ironically maximizing the publicity of the exclusive interview, and yes, the tour itself.
For her part, Van Susteren defended her exclusive scoop of getting the opportunity for Palin to explain the purpose of the somewhat mysterious tour amid criticism from the NY Times Michael Shear who wrote “Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, has made it quite clear that she just wants to be left alone. She doesn’t want to accommodate members of the news media (except, perhaps, Fox.)” Van Susteren explained on her blog:
She works for Fox, and just as with any employee or someone on contract with another network, she is contractually obliged NOT to speak to others. For instance, when I was in Haiti, I could not interview CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta or when I want to talk politics, I can’t interview CNN’s Donna Brazile.
Ironically, yesterday Shear captured video of Palin providing roughly three minutes of access to reporters in which she came off as relaxed, frank, and much more friendly than she does in the interview below, in which she once again, goes after the media, to which she claims to owe nothing. She has a fair point, that many reporters like to put stories into preconceived narratives, and that, in many ways Palin has been quite an original. However, her constant use of the “me vs. them” narrative construct, while understandable, has begun to grow a little tired.
Two things to take away? Palin is probably NOT running for president as yet (else she would likely have been suspended as a Fox News contributor.) Also, she seems so much more charming in the relaxed environment of yesterday’s improvised Q&A with reporters that she should do many more of those sorts of appearances.
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