The election is over, but quite clearly the Palin Derangement Syndrome suffered by many in the mainstream media isn't. This morning's CNN Reliable Sources was typical. Joining host Howard Kurtz to discuss Sarah Palin were Beth Fouhy, an Associated Press political reporter, Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, and Julie Mason, the Washington Examiner's White House correspondent. Mason opined: "I don't think she helped herself at all this past week. I think she actually probably made it worse." To Zurawik, the Alaska governor's recent interview with NBC's Matt Lauer "shows you how in a way, deviously clever Palin is in trying to repair her image." Then it was the AP reporter's time to take a few shots:
FOUHY: Well, I think what we learned is that she is extremely ambitious. I guess we already knew that, but she's as ambitious as ever despite the brutal campaign that she herself described that she went through. But she's also pretty unprepared.
I was really surprised by the interviews that she did, because she didn't really come with an agenda other than to just put herself out there and say, hey, I'm still around and I like talking to you guys. She didn't clearly articulate what she plans to do next, she didn't focus on issues that she wants to stress as governor. And she also was given a pass on a bunch of things which I thought was very surprising about why she didn't appeal to women more.
I mean, the fact is polling showed that she was a real drag on the ticket. And she was never really confronted with that issue. Like, how could she really rehabilitate herself to go forward as a national figure given how badly overall she did as a candidate?
There are polls and then there are polls. Fouhy could have mentioned the exit poll cited by the Pew Research Center: "Yet those who cited Palin's selection as a factor in their vote -- 60% of all voters -- favored McCain by 56% to 43%." Or she could have noted the Rasmussen poll taken after the election that found: "Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republican voters say Alaska Governor Sarah Palin helped John McCain’s bid for the presidency. . ."
Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote today of how Sarah Palin helped the GOP ticket:
For skittish conservatives looking for more evidence that McCain understood their needs and concerns, Palin did the trick. It's hard to imagine conservatives rallying to McCain -- even to the relatively limited extent that they did -- without Palin on the ticket. And without the base, McCain's loss could have been far worse.
On CNN, Reliable Sources aren't so reliable. Democratic partisans masquerading as objective reporters aren't satisfied merely to have helped put Obama in the White House. They now need to damage Sarah Palin's political future.