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Sarah Palin says she isn’t going to “waste time” on Katie Couric anymore, because Katie Couric represents the “sorry” state of modern journalism. That’s what she reportedly told FOX’s Sean Hannity in an interview to be aired on Monday.
How’s that for a misinterpretation of what happened in that fateful interview in 2008?
Essentially, Palin is saying because she studied journalism in school that she knows more about journalism than, well…journalists.
Now there is nothing at all new or original about Republican politicians refusing to be interviewed, or, on those rare occasions that they allow it, refusing to answer questions (or like Joe Miller, refusing to allow said questions to be asked), but the Couric interview is an interview apart, isn’t it? It is probably the most important interview of the past decade, in that it exposed a candidate, Sarah Palin in this case, as completely unprepared to hold high office and derailed the candidacy of John McCain. Couric received two awards because of the interview: Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Journalism Excellence.
Palin’s take? “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.”
Apparently, asking questions and expecting answers shows some sort of bias. But if bias there is, it is only a bias in favor of reality. As in, what do you really know? And Palin’s answer was the wrong answer: “Not much.”
But it’s the “lamestream” media that’s to blame? The “liberal media elite”?
No, it’s clear that Palin has a grudge against Katie Couric, not the other way around. Couric’s sin was to not ask Palin questions she knew the answer to, though to be fair, it is difficult to imagine how Couric could have “dumbed-down” her interview sufficiently to allow coherent answers from the former governor of Alaska.
Instead it all becomes Couric’s failing; it can’t be Palin’s, after all. So this is what Palin proposes to do to fix things:
“I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism.”
First of all, one would expect better sentence composition here. This one is a mess, which again, given the speaker, is unsurprising. We should be happy she is not actually inventing any words to get her point across.
“And I have a communications degree. I studied journalism, who, what, where, when, and why of reporting.” Are you amazed? I’m amazed. What school did she attend? Makes certain to never send your kids there.
“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.”
The only problem here being that Palin didn’t know any facts. How can she not understand this? Surely she has to be jesting with us.
I mean, what is it that Couric asked that was so unforgivable, such a violation of journalistic ethics?
“When it comes to establishing your world view…what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read?”
How hard is that. Do you know anyone who can’t answer that?
But Palin had no answer. None. She was completely befuddled by the question. Here’s how it went:
PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —
COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.
PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.
COURIC: Can you name any of them?
PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.
That Couric is a pretty horrible person, asking a major political figure what she reads! How dare she! “Journalistic ethics be damned,” Katie Couric must have told herself. “I’m going to ask her what she reads!”
There is a special circle of hell reserved for such people as Katie Couric.
But Palin’s take?
“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 a controversy, I swear to you, I will not my waste my time with her. Or him.”
We have to wonder what Palin intends to do to fix journalism? If she becomes president, a royal edict? Banish Catie Couric to Iceland, perhaps? Is she going to – gasp! – endorse new federal regulations governing journalism? Perhaps make it illegal to ask questions? I might actually welcome that sort of ban; at least I would not have to listen to a completely ignorant and befuddled Sarah Palin try to answer them.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.