I've heard a lot of lamebrained excuses for Sarah Palin constantly playing the victim card and claiming that the "lamestream" media just wants to ask her "gotcha" questions, but this one takes the cake. The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis, who apparently also has a book coming out about Palin titled The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words, claimed on CNN's Reliable Sources that Palin has every right to treat the media hostilely because they questioned whether Trig was actually her child.
Sorry Matt, unless you're calling Andrew Sullivan and a few blogs "the media", I can't think of a single major news outlet of paper that touched that story shortly after McCain announced her as a running mate. Howard Kurtz asked him who he was talking about and he just didn't answer him and of course Kurtz let it slide.
KURTZ: Jeff, do we not have that Paul Revere sound bite?
OK. So I will have to tell our viewers that when asked by Chris Wallace, she actually said -- she defended what she said about Paul Revere was also warning the British, not just warning the Americans the British was coming. But she said it was a shouted-out "gotcha" question after making that remark in New Hampshire.
CARLSON: That's like a newspaper question. These are not "gotcha" question.
KURTZ: By which you mean Katie Couric asking, "What newspapers do you read?"-
CARLSON: Katie Couric, yes.
LEWIS: Well, look, I agree. I don't think it was a "gotcha" question.
KURTZ: No, but you said earlier that -- and I can't dispute this -- that a lot of the coverage of Sarah Palin is hostile or at least mocking, I would say. Not all, by any means.
But it seems to me that she also makes a point of being hypersensitive so that legitimate questions get turned into "gotcha" questions in the way that she views the world.
LEWIS: Well, look, I think part of it, honestly, is the way that the media went after her initially. I think what happened --
KURTZ: That was a long time ago. Get over it.
LEWIS: Yes. Well, I mean, when you're questioning whether or not, you know, Trig is actually her child, it's an emotional issue.
KURTZ: But how many people in the mainstream media did that?
LEWIS: I think it might have actually kind of set her on this path where she's sort of uber skeptical and critical of the media. But look, some of the time the things that are asked of politicians I think are ridiculous.
I think asking her this question is certainly legitimate. I will say this though in defense of her -- when, you know -- I'm on TV here. I know that I'm going to be interviewed. I prepped for this. We're both in suits and we're miked up.
When you're a politician and you have got 10 or 15 cameras around you, throwing random questions at you, then the selection -- this is where bias comes in. It's what videos they select.
When I put together my book, what I noticed is the things I actually read that Sarah Palin said were much more eloquent than I knew. Why is it that we're seeing the one video of Palin talking about Paul Revere? I'm sure there's a lot of other video where she gets it right.
KURTZ: Fair enough.
We're short on time, but if you're going to be out there in the public eye, whether you run for president or not -- she's a former governor -- it's called hitting major league pitching.
CARLSON: Well, it is. I mean, every politician knows how to do this. This is part of the game. I mean, do you know more than a fifth grader? The Paul Revere thing is not a hard question.
SWEET: But I want to be charitable, but for the grace of anyone, we can make a mistake. You're rattled, you're under pressure, whatever. I think the "gotcha" excuse isn't -- you could just say, oh, I made an oops. Everyone knows it's the British are coming. And that ends it.
KURTZ: Right. That's the easiest way to deal with it.
SWEET: Everyone knows that I just got rattled.