Friday, November 7, 2008

Nicolle Wallace can non-answer questions also, and where will Sarah Palin go?

Where did Sarah Palin learn how to non-answer a question?

From one of her alleged accusers, Nicolle Wallace.

First, let's establish the background. Here's a Fox News video in which Carl Camerson said several things (h/t The Inquisitr):

Among the things stated by Cameron:

  • Palin didn't know which countries were in NAFTA.

  • She thought Africa was a country, rather than a continent.

  • She didn't accept preparation for the Katie Couric interview.

  • She was hard to control emotionally and had temper tantrums.
This news, of course, spread like wildfire. Now here's what happened when Matt Lauer interviewed Nicolle Wallace later:

You'll see that Matt Lauer asked the following question:

It's getting hard to just brush this off as routine post-election defeat bickering, isn't it?

Wallace then talked about sparring with the Obama campaign on the Today show, congratulating Senator Obama, talked about McCain's graceful concession speech, then said:

Unfortunately, it's a sad tradition when you come out short...certainly heartbreaking when the candidate you believe in and you work for isn't going to make it to the White House.

But it is a sad and unfortunate tradition of losing campaigns.

Lauer then quoted from a Los Angeles Times article (interestingly, Lauer didn't cite the Fox interview; apparently this TV person thought that newspapers were more reliable than TV) that named three aides (including Wallace) were "flabbergasted" by Palin's spending.

For the record, here's part of what the Times article said:

Top McCain aides Schmidt, Rick Davis and Nicolle Wallace were flabbergasted by the magnitude of the spending as the receipts began trickling into the Republican National Committee, aides said.

And here's Wallace's response:

I've never been flabbergasted by anything I've seen in politics....Governor Palin did nothing wrong....The campaign provided some clothes, made them available to Governor Palin. She is perhaps the most un-diva politician I've ever seen. The only thing I've ever seen her ask for is a diet soda.

From the Straight Talk Express, this sounds like a lot of platitudes. And Lauer failed to got around to asking about NAFTA or Africa.

But you know who some people are really mad at? The Inquisitr notes that some are really mad at...Fox News. Veritas2002 posted the following at Free Republic:

I propose that we punish the FOX Network for its hatchet job on Sarah Palin.

For one week beginning at 3:00 PM today no one tunes them in. We will demonstrate the power of conservatives when their ratings plummet dramatically.

Will you join me?

Ironically, many of the conservative commenters said that they would not join the boycott - they had already turned off Fox News for months or years.

Here's a sampling of some of the other responses veritas2002 received:

Send this to FOX. I am DONE until the hatchet job on Sarah Palin stops being tabloid journalism in place of news. Maybe longer.
Tell [Bill O'Reilly] he’s no better than the “smear merchants” and “bombthrowers” he holds in such contempt. Allowing Carl Cameron to spew unmitigated hearsay and garbage without one shred of supporting evidence or fact makes O’Reilly just as bad as the supermarket tabloids.
What’s the purpose behind these attacks on Sarah Palin from Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron?

It’s not a secret that Rupert Murdoch donated to Hilary Clinton’s campaign.

It’s not a secret that 81% of Fox News reporters and employees donate money to the Democratic party - that’s a crazy high number for an allegedly conservative TV channel.

Since that original post, veritas2002 has posted additional items endorsing his/her boycott. The last updated stated:

There has been an overwhelming response to the call to BOYCOTT FOX because of their trashing of Sarah Palin on their various programs, especially by Carl Cameron and Shep Smith.

The one-week BOYCOTT began yesterday - Thursday, at 3:00 PM EST. While some of you remarked that you had already tuned them out, many of you agreed to begin doing so.

To broaden the BOYCOTT, post this on as many conservative blogs that you can. The Nielsen ratings might not relfect the BOYCOTT but you can be sure that FOX's sponsors will not be happy, and it's all about money baby.

After the ratings tumble all the other hosts on FOX will be putting pressure on Cameron and any others to cease becoming part of the 'drive-by media' crowd.

So far over 15,000 have viewed the call for the BOYCOTT!

Yes, but if 15,000 people view naked pictures of Paris Hilton, that doesn't mean that they've had sex with her.

Of course, the infighting on the right is amusing people of other political persuasions. Wonkette:

The real story now is the new post-election Cold War that’s rapidly developing between McCain aides, Palin aides, conservative bloggers, conservative teevee hosts, conservative columnists… basically any GOP operative with a half-decent Rolodex and a certain moral flexibility. They are all shitting on each other. This is the greatest Cold War we’ve ever had the pleasure of covering.

Wonkette noted the Free Republic boycott in passing, along with a lot of other pre-election squabbles.

But it turns out that Carl Cameron and Fox aren't only being vilified by the right. Andrew Sullivan:

Look: I understand that information given strictly off the record cannot be used. I am a stickler for that myself and there's stuff I know that I cannot tell Dish readers because of those rules. But at the same time, my commitment to you is never to bullshit my opinion that reflects that information. And the reporting of Palin fell into that category at times. I became convinced very early - just from public information - that she was obviously a disastrous choice, made on a whim, and obviously not ready for prime time....

But actual reporters were soon finding this out for themselves - and not even conveying the gist of that to their viewers and readers. Why not?

They kept taking Palin seriously as a veep candidate when she didn't come close to even minimal standards for passing a citizenship test. I'm sorry but I think this is a terrible failing, and it is a reason the mainstream media are imploding. They let the rules of the game over-rule their duty to tell the American people the truth as they began to discover it.

And then there's Palin's future. In FriendFeed, I've speculated that Palin wouldn't necessarily survive an entire Republican primary season, in which a half dozen or more eager politicos were gunning for her. So I figured she'd be more likely to go to the Senate. But a Senate run wouldn't be decided by us in the lower 48. For those of you who think that Palin and Ted Stevens are the only two dunces in Alaska, they have competition:

Palin could challenge the state’s other senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, in the primary when her seat comes up in 2010.

In 2002, Palin was disappointed when she was passed over for appointment to the seat by Murkowski’s father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski, who had vacated it to serve as governor. Instead, Murkowski tapped his daughter, prompting a nepotism controversy that Palin wielded to unseat Frank Murkowski in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary.

But it would be tough for Palin to unseat Lisa Murkowski in an election, asserted Ivan Moore, an Alaska pollster whose surveys have shown Palin’s approval ratings dropping from a high of 89 percent in mid-2007 to 64 percent in his most recent poll.

“It’s gotten to the point now where Sarah and Lisa’s numbers are really quite similar, so it’d be competitive,” he said, adding, “There was a time when there wasn’t anyone in the state who could take Sarah on and survive.”

Part of the problem, according to the article, is that McCain wasn't the only person who changed his early message to something different in 2008:

Palin hinted she was considering repackaging herself for her next foray onto the national stage by hewing closer to the image of good-government pragmatist that she projected here, rather than the fire-breathing partisan that emerged on the presidential campaign trail.

“You know, if there is a role in national politics, it won’t be so much partisan,” Palin told reporters. “My efforts have always been here in the state of Alaska to get everybody to unite and work together to progress this state … it certainly would be a uniter type of role.”

Incidentally, I recommend this article, Palin's Tricky Path Back, for anyone who wants to seriously examine Palin's post-McCain alternatives.

One thing for certain - Palin won't hire Nicolle Wallace as her spokesperson.

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