It seems whenever Sarah Palin performs poorly in an interview (as she did with Katie Couric) or says something off-putting or simplistic to the ears of those in the news media, they’ll make a huge case about it and wonder about her qualifications.Â But, if Joe Biden says something silly, they’ll ignore it as not being newsworthy, given how legion his gaffes have become.
Now, given how often they go after Palin, and given that by their definition, her gaffes are as legion as those of Biden, shouldn’t we then pay them little heed?
Byron York may be right that the McCain campaign erred in first sending Palin to the major broadcast networks who would be all to eager to curry favor with the pundits for the major dailies by “proving” the Republican vice presidential nominee is a lightweight.Â Hence, the gotcha questions of Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.
Palin, however, seems to have taken their animosity is stride.Â It’s too bad she didn’t respond to their questions in kind or try to dance around them with clever Clinton-esque evasions, answering the question by not answering it.
When Hugh Hewitt asked her about the Gibson and Couric interviews, Palin did not respond by whining that she was being treated harshly as might some Democratic presidential nominees, instead she said it was par for the course:
I’m going to take those shots and those pop quizzes and just say that’s okay, those are good testing grounds. And they can continue on in that mode. That’s good. That makes somebody work even harder. It makes somebody be even clearer and more articulate in their positions. So really I don’t fight it. I invite it.
If she invites such tough questioning, she needs to learn to respond better. Maybe it will pay off if she delivers a strong performance Thursday night. Still, Byron York thought it might have been better for her to do her first interviews with conservative media (as she did today in talking to Hugh):
. . . she would have had widespread exposure to the voters most favorably disposed to her. Of course the campaign press corps would have complained, but they would also probably have been forced to use snippets from Palin’s talk-radio interviews, which means that what Palin said in a friendly atmosphere would ultimately make its way to an even wider audience, one that includes independents and undecided voters.
Even then, the MSM would likely have found some way to mock or twist her remarks. Yet, it interesting to see the grace with which she handles their mockery. Do you think Barack Obama would be as gracious should, “the AP–or the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or CNN, or CBS, or NBC, or ABC,” in the words of John Hinderaker, “devote[d] the same energy to trying to get the goods on every sentence uttered by Barack Obama.”