"Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow complained on Wednesday's show about a lack of access to Sarah Palin during the vice presidential candidate's trip to the United Nations in New York. The ABC journalist snidely commented on the Republican's meetings with world leaders: "But aside from a few photo ops, New Yorkers aren't getting much more than a glimpse of Sarah Palin." She added, "New York City is a pretty easy place to get lost in the crowd, even, it turns out, if you're a potential vice president."
Regarding the exits and entrances of Palin, Snow remarked, "Outside, a clear shot of her exit. Until, a patrol car and Secret Service SUV just happened to pull up right in front of our cameras." While discussing camera footage of Palin talking to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, she fretted, "The pool camera got 15 seconds. With Henry Kissinger, even less."
Kate Snow hasn't always had to complain about a lack of access. She has repeatedly received exclusive interviews with Bill Clinton, in particular. And in return, provided fawning coverage to the ex-president. During the August 4 edition of GMA, the journalist actually prefaced a question by telling Clinton he didn't need to answer: "Pretty simple question. And maybe you don't want to answer it right now and I respect that fully. But, if you want to answer it, do you personally have any regrets about what you did campaigning for your wife?"
On July 24, 2007, she went with the former commander in chief to Africa as he promoted his Clinton Global Initiative charity. Snow rhapsodized, "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former president, shouting ‘Bill! Bill!’" The reporter also cooed that Clinton might "redefine the role of first spouse in America." (Snow has also extolled Senator Hillary Clinton during her run for the White House.) Is it likely to think that coverage of a conservative Republican like Sarah Palin would be similarly glowing?
It should be pointed out, however, that Snow's ABC colleague Jake Tapper actually did note when a Democrat restricted access. On July 24, 2008, during Barack Obama's tour of the Middle East and Europe, Tapper complained from Obama's plane: "Inside, the plane has been redesigned to separate the senator and his staff from us lowly reporters."
A transcript of the September 24 segment, which aired at 7:31am, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: But first in this half hour, with just one week until her debate with Senator Joe Biden, and six weeks until the election, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is essentially getting a crash-course in foreign policy. She's here in New York spending time meeting with heads of state at the United Nations. "Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow is here with the latest and is joining us in Times Square. Kate?
ABC GRAPHIC: Sarah Palin at the U.N.: Tense Times With Press
KATE SNOW: Good morning, Robin. We're told Governor Palin and her husband, Todd, stayed in last night. No Times Square night life for them. The goal of this trip is to bolster her foreign policy credential, to get her familiar with world leaders. But aside from a few photo ops, New Yorkers aren't getting much more than a glimpse of Sarah Palin. New York City is a pretty easy place to get lost in the crowd, even, it turns out, if you're a potential vice president. We caught a few frames of the governor as she left her hotel, Tuesday. Zipping off to her first meeting ever with a foreign head of state, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. After she slipped in through a side door, the campaign allowed cameras and one producer in the room for 29 seconds. The campaign says they talked about security in Afghanistan, the need for more U.S. troops and energy policy. We heard Governor Palin ask the president about his young son, born last year.
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: What is his name?
AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: Mirwais.
SNOW: Outside, a clear shot of her exit. Until, a patrol car and Secret Service SUV just happened to pull up right in front of our cameras. Next up, Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe. They reportedly talked trade. The pool camera got 15 seconds. With Henry Kissinger, even less.
UNIDENTIFIED VOICE TO CAMERA MAN: Would you please turn around and walk out the door? Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, guys. Please. Thank you.
SNOW: Outside, a quick good-bye. And even quicker exit.
MATTHEW DOWD (ABC News analyst): The campaign is trying to protect themselves and Governor Palin, from putting her in a position where a mistake can be made.
SNOW: While Governor Palin played diplomat, husband Todd and the kids were secretly sight-seeing, taking pictures in front of the Statue of Liberty, visiting Ground Zero, eating hot dogs in Central Park. And trying on princess dresses at FAO Schwartz. Constantly in motion, Palin side-stepped questions and fans as she was whisked from one meeting to the next. In fact, the one Palin who was talking wasn't really a Palin at all.
SARAH PALIN IMPERSONATOR: Hi. This is Sarah Palin.
SNOW: The Daily News caught this look-alike Palin on tape. But the real governor was far more elusive.
DOWD: I think they over-thought this and over-planned this in such a way that it actually could hurt. It makes her seem like she's just another politician that's doing the things that everybody thinks is necessary.
SNOW: Today, there are more meetings on tap. Governor Palin meeting with the leaders from Ukraine, Georgia, Iraq and Pakistan. Some of those meetings are solo. Some of them are alongside her running mate John McCain. And, in fact, they meet also with Bono, the lead singer of U2, with his One campaign. And, Robin, we're wondering whether they can sneak Bono in through a back exit.
ROBERTS: Yeah. That's a little tough, especially in this town with Bono. Hey, Kate, thanks so much.