Sarah Palin last night was treated to an hourlong version of that new Fox News tradition, the the Hannity Job: "one of those appearances where Sean strokes you, tosses you a bunch of softballs, and lets you promote your campaign and issue non-answers whenever you like." This meant, of course, that Joe Miller was NOT among the topics of discussion.
It was clear Hannity intended to use the hour as launching pad not just for her new book, but for her all-but-certain presidential candidacy:
PALIN: Well, now I'm thinking about 2012. And I am thinking about it, looking at the lay of the land and trying to figure out if my candidacy would be good for the national debate. Good for my family. Good nor the country.
If so, you know I would be willing to offer myself up in the name of public service. If there are others out there, though, willing to make the tough choices, the sacrifices that a candidate needs to make, then I can -- you know, rest assured that I can be a strong supporter of theirs. So we'll see it who it is who wants to be in the line-up.
And she made it plain that -- while paying lip service to "getting out" and talking to other reports, she fully intends to remain firmly inside the Fox Bubble for as long as possible:
HANNITY: If you were to get back out in the public arena and run for president, I mean would you -- would you then do interviews with the lame stream media figures? Would you even do another interview with Katie Couric?
PALIN: You know I would look forward to being even more open than I already many in speaking to the public. And I do that through social networks today, every single day I'm posting something about the discourse, the debate in the country and driving a lot of that debate. And I'm proud to be able to do that.
But as a candidate for president, if I would chose to do that, yes, absolutely, I would be out there even more. As for doing an interview, though, with a reporter who already has such a bias against whatever it is that I would come out and say, why waste my time?
No. I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree. I studied journalism. Who, what, when, where and why of reporting.
I will speak to reporters who still understand that cornerstone of our democracy, that expectation that the public has for truth to be reported. And then we get to decide our own opinion based on the facts reported to us. So a journalist, a reporter, who is so biased and will no doubt spin and gin up whatever it is that I have to say to create controversy, I swear to you I will not waste my time with her or him.
A word about Sarah Palin's journalism degree: She and I graduated from the same school, the University of Idaho. (She arrived at the school a year after I graduated.) The difference is that when I attended there, I was highly active in the communications community, and was editor of the school paper for a year. Sarah Palin, in contrast, never even wrote a story for the Argonaut, let alone for the J school's other chief outlet, the UI News Bureau; no one at the school's TV station remembers her or has any record of her doing work there. Indeed, the professor who signed her degree barely remembers her, as she was one of those students who simply showed up for class, got a grade, and went home.
Given that kind of background, Palin was lucky to even get a shot at sports reporting for a small Alaska TV station, which was the extent of her actual experience as a journalist.
So it hasn't been surprising to watch Palin attack the "lamestream media", because she is obviously someone whose understanding of modern communications is eggshell-thin, and whose insights are about as deep as Bristol Bay at a minus-5 tide. The idea that this woman considers herself capable of reforming the media is enough to give any professional journalist the shudders.
The hour also featured some prime Palin fearmongering/Obama-bashing that actually raises serious questions about her national loyaties:
HANNITY: You actually used the phrase, I fear for our democracy. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: I do. I fear for our democracy because I recognized and I know you did, too, Sean, and you tried to sound a warning bell through your commentary. Through the campaign, as I was nominated for VP and running with one of my heroes, Senator John McCain.
As we were witnessing what the other campaign was actually telling the American people, warning them what they were going to do to America. They warned -- Barack Obama did as candidate -- that he would fundamentally transform America, that he would redistribute somebody's wealth, he would take it and he would give it to somebody else.
Those things that do erode our free market and our freedoms and our disincentive to a strong work ethic and to productivity. And now what we see are some manifestations of what he had warned that he would do in the campaign.
We are seeing that come home to roost now with the quantitative easing of the Feds that Barack Obama has now come out and supported as the Fed says that we're going to print more money out of thin air, and we're going to incur more debt, and we're going to devalue our dollar and we're going to mess with China's currency.
We're going to preach to them that they can't be messing with it, but we'll be messing with our own. All these things that are taking place right now especially the incurrence of this huge debt, Sean.
Well, as Barney Frank points out, this means Republicans like Palin are siding with the Chinese central bank over the United States. Who exactly is the Manchurian candidate here?
This is the kind of nonsense that leads to poll numbers showing President Obama destroying Palin in 2012. And it's been clear Palin doesn't care -- after all, she and her Tea Partier cohort actually hurt the GOP considerably in 2010. There's no reason yet why 2012 wouldn't be a repeat.
And that was very much her tone last night:
PALIN: Well, you know, if we go down, we are going down swinging. We're going to down with that message that I believe a lot of Americans can be empowered to hear. When we talk about individual rights and states' rights and opportunities that God has created and provided the people and then we have government policies trying to strip away those opportunities.
So we're going to fight a government poll say this would strip away opportunity and be in a position of eroding our freedom. Even if we go down, we're going go down swinging because we are going go down fighting for what is right.
Even if they have to burn down the whole country to do it.