Sarah Palin and Greta Van Susteren – Reflections of a “Hateful Blogger”
By Jeanne Devon
She will run, she won’t run, she will, she won’t, she will…
Everyone is weighing in. Everyone is asking. Hints are being dropped. Money is being raked. And yes, I believe that Sarah Palin is getting ready to inflict herself upon the nation once again. The national spotlight beckons to her like yummy brains to a zombie. (Here, you can imagine her doing a robot walk with stiff knees and arms stretched out muttering “Must…Have…Attention…”)
But before the official announcement is tweeted to the world, the ‘lamestream’ media must do its due diligence and feel around for any kind of hint, or indication that the inevitable is going to happen. This time it was Greta Van Susteren’s turn to ask. Now, if you recall, Palin has called her the most influential journalist today. OK, it was because she couldn’t actually think of any journalists, nor could Todd when she asked him, and then conveniently she saw Greta standing there like the back of a flash card – but at least it was some kind of answer.
The full clip is 10 minutes, but we’re going to start about 5 and a half minutes in – partly because I find Newt Gingrich uninteresting, and partly because it would involve transcribing five additional minutes of Sarah Palin. I’m fairly certain at this point that one loses 10 minutes off the end of life for every minute of Palin transcription, and frankly I’m worried about what my tally is at this point.
So, let’s roll ‘em! (As always, my comments appear in red)
Greta Van Susteren: I know you haven’t made a decision, but do you have a fire in your belly? Do you really want it?
Sarah Palin: Ohhhh… that’s a great question. I think my problem is that I do have the fire in my belly. (I think her problem is that ALL she has is a fire in her belly) I am so um… adamantly… um supportive of the good traditional things about America and our free enterprise system, and I want to make sure that America’s put back on the right track and we only do that by defeating Obama in 2012. I have that fire in my belly. It’s a matter for me of some kind of practical, pragmatic decisions that have to be made. (Oh, really? Do tell…)
One is, with a large family, understanding the huge amount of scrutiny and the sacrifices that have to be made on my children’s part in order to uh see their Mama run for President. But, yeah, the fire in the belly – it’s there.
(This puts me in mind of a passage from the recent book The Lies of Sarah Palin by Geoffrey Dunn in which we learn that the family meeting in the living room when she polled her children to find out if they wanted her to accept the VP nomination, and they all said “Go for it, Mom!” actually went something like this:
When the Palin family entourage landed in Ohio, Palin took [McCain aide Steve] Schmidt aside and asked him to tell her daughters the news about her selection. She hadn’t told them yet. Neither had their father. (snip) Bristol, as Schmidt knew, was pregnant.
After hearing the news and realizing their young lives were about to be turned upside down, a “strained silence” followed. And thus concluded the family meeting and the “vote.” But, I digress.)
GV: You talk about your children… Haven’t your children been through sort of the hell of it? (See above) At some point, you just reach the saturation point. I imagine for children of politicians, they’ve heard it all. I mean is there really anything, … in terms of the personal cost, haven’t they heard it all? (Translation = Greta calls BS on Palin’s excuse.)
SP: Yeah, and you know, that’s a good point, and I know that my kids have heard it all, and yet you know the darts and the arrows keep flying. You see that movies are being made, books are coming out… um, hoarded emails from a disloyal former staff member (points at Frank Bailey) have been compiled by a hateful blogger, (points at self) and those are going to be released. (points at the Blind Allegiance Amazon page where you can pre-order this season’s most highly anticipated political memoir. Wink.) Things like that that are taken out of context and told a story around ‘em.
(I particularly like the fact that Palin does not call Bailey “dishonest” or “disgruntled” but “disloyal.” Apparently being on the receiving end of getting thrown under the bus doesn’t agree with her.)
GV: That kind of stuff sticks in the beginning, but after a while it’s like you know – really?
SP: Yeah, yeah, really.
GV: I mean even in our business, every day I get emails saying how terrible I am on TV and I do this and I do that, and I’m all these horrible things, but you know after twenty years on TV it’s like yeah OK. (I wonder if any of those emailers criticize her for saying things on national TV like “it’s like you know really?” and “it’s like yeah OK”?)
SP: Well, exactly Greta and I’m at that point of saying, “Yeah, you know, whatever.” (Yes, her blase almost zen-like attitude in which she lets all this roll of her back is inspiring) It’s gonna keep on comin’ and I feel like I have a prayer shield in front of me that deflects a lot of that. I just want to make sure that for my loved ones, for my parents, for my spouse and my children and those close to me, that they have that that tool to deflect also so they’re not adversely affected. (Sooo… she’s hogging the “prayer shield” tool and leaving the rest of the family out there unprotected?)
GV: Well, all the candidates that decide to run – they’ve got to know that we’re going to go after them, and we’re going to hopefully do it with good manners, but we’re going to be very aggressive, prying into everybody’s past… (Uh-oh…)
SP: OK then Greta, what you, and you can help lead your colleagues in this mission – come after us based on our record, based on our present day statements about what we intend to do to, for, and with this country. Don’t come after us for little petty stupid things like… (Like our past, or previous decisions, ability to use good judgment, honesty and integrity, contents of emails, stuff like that. Nothing to see there.)
GV: Then don’t take the bait. (Zing! And let the stammering, finger-pointing, defensive, strained explanations begin!)
~”Hateful” screen capture of Sarah Palin
SP: Here’s the bait. Here’s how we do it. Here… here is how the bait though is almost impossible sometimes not to nab. Somebody emails the other day from a tabloid and says, “We hear a story about one of your kids.. bla bla bla.” And they have the facts so wrong that obviously… and they say they’re gonna write the story no matter what and if you don’t respond, then the record won’t be set straight, (Get ready, she’s about to nab that bait!) so dang it, you gotta respond to at least get the facts out there that that uh can help set the record straight. Well, boom, you just, you just took the bait. Now they have an opportunity to perpetuate whatever story it is that they have. (OK, so they’re going to write a story regardless, and you take the bait, and then they run the story. So the reason it’s impossible not to take the bait is because you take the bait. Now, I see.) I think it’s sick. I think it’s ridiculous. It’s such a waste of time. Time is our most precious resource. I’m tired of wastin’ it.
So yeah, I’ll take you up on that, in me being committed to not taking the bait, and you being able to lead your colleagues in just gettin’ the facts out there – who, what, where, when and why in reporting. Hammer away at our records and our intentions and what our view for America is. Lay off the petty stuff.
(Yes, I’m sure Greta is pleased that they’ve reached agreement in this fictitious bargain she never agreed to – Sarah Palin not taking the bait, and Greta Van Susteren leading the mainstream media in a crusade to not report anything negative, or go digging for facts, and to remind themselves of the 5 w’s of Journalism 101. I can see how this is a brilliant career move for Greta.)
GV: Well, you know this is going to be an interesting season. Whoever runs, whether you run or not, and I hope we can go after everybody aggressively, and anybody’s got any dirt though, really bad things in the past you know, voters need to know that. It’s fair. Some of it’s ugly, but it’s fair…
SP: That’s fair. (But… but… but you just said…)
GV: Arnold Schwartzenegger’s a perfect example if he were to run again. If he’s going to betray his wife and his children, maybe he’ll betray the voters, so I think it’s a legitimate topic. And some of the stuff stings and hurts, but it’s the process and I guess that’s where you know you’ve gotta have that fire in your belly to take it.
SP: It is. And that’s fair for the media to come after candidates based on that kind of criteria – what really matters and have their past actions been a reflection of their character and how perhaps they would govern and try to lead, so that is very fair. (We grip the arms of our chairs to steady our inner ear from this instant 180 degree change in position. Then we realize that she has suddenly remembered that even though she doesn’t want the media doing it to her, this is what she did and intends to do with Obama. How will she reconcile the two positions? Let’s watch…) What isn’t fair though is when it’s only one-sided, when it’s only the conservatives, say, who get hammered away at.. um those things that the press wants to know. You know, we, um, the perfect example of um the media one-sidedness is Obama’s record not being explored – his associations in the last campaign not being explored, and now revelations of maybe some of his upbringing, some of his background, certainly his associations, how they impact his world view and how that affects his decisions today.
(And suddenly on the table is marital fidelity, “associations”, upbringing, background, more “associations”, world view, and how all these things affect decision making. I’m imagining this would include, oh… I don’t know… emails from her campaign and gubernatorial administration. Wouldn’t you think? Oh, but she’s a conservative and they’re always getting picked on…)
GV: I, you know, I, I, I, think that’s you know it’s I mean everyone should be challenged the same way equally… (Wow)
And I think at this point, we’ll leave these two masters of the word salad, and suggest that if Sarah Palin continues to have a fire in her belly that she take an alternate solution than foisting herself on the American people in a presidential run.