Networks Hype 'Palin Family Brawl': 'Like An Episode of Jerry Springer'

On Friday, all three network morning shows seized on reports that Sarah Palin and her family were "caught in a massive brawl" during a house party in Anchorage, Alaska. ABC's Good Morning America opened with substitute co-host Lara Spencer declaring: "One witness saying it was like an episode of Jerry Springer, her kids throwing punches. What sparked this rumble in the tundra?" The song Eye of the Tiger was heard playing in the background. [Listen to the audio]

In the full report that followed on GMA, correspondent Paula Faris pushed the tabloid story: "According to the Washington Post, Palin, along with her husband Todd and kids Bristol, Willow, and Track, arriving in a stretch Hummer. The Post also reporting that as the beer started flowing, that's when the fighting started." Supposed eyewitness Eric Thompson proclaimed: "I heard Sarah Palin scream out, 'You know who we are, don't you?' It was like we were just on a Jerry Springer episode."

After the report from Faris, news anchor Amy Robach urged other party guests to send in video of what happened: "Someone's cell phone had to be rolling. Come on, people." Co-host George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "If it was, we will find it."

Will Stephanopoulos bring that same tenacity to investigating his old bosses the Clintons during the 2016 presidential campaign?

At least ABC included someone who claimed to have actually been at the party, on NBC's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales was simply repeating internet rumors:

Now to a story picking up a lot of steam on the internet about a wild house party and a heated brawl reportedly involving the Palin family....Bloggers report that at one point, Sarah Palin yelled, quote, "Don't you know who I am?" Someone shouted back, "This isn't some hill billy reality show."

Morales never mentioned who any of the anonymous "bloggers" were. Of course, Today is the same morning that brought on left-wing Palin stalker Joe McGinniss to compare the former vice presidential candidate to Nazis and promote his book bashing her.

Like Spencer on GMA, co-host Matt Lauer included the Palin story in the opening of Today: "And Palin family brawl? Reports of an alleged fight at a house party in Alaska involving Sarah Palin and members of her family. What police are saying about the incident."

CBS This Morning was the most restrained in reporting the story, with co-host Charlie Rose simply offering a 19-second news brief in the 8:30 a.m. ET half hour:

The Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage says the Sarah Palin family was at a party where a brawl broke out. This happened over the weekend at a birthday party for Todd Palin, the former Governor's husband. Police say the brawl involved 20 people and alcohol was a factor. No one was arrested. The Palins haven't commented on the report.

Even if all the reports surrounding the Palins prove accurate, just consider the number of scandals surrounding current liberal office-holders that the networks have refused to cover, including Democrats running in the upcoming midterm elections.



Here is a full transcript of the September 12 report on GMA:

7:00 AM ET TEASE:

LARA SPENCER: And a wild night for Sarah Palin and her entire family, caught in a massive brawl at a house party after they showed up in a stretched Hummer. One witness saying it was like an episode of Jerry Springer, her kids throwing punches. What sparked this rumble in the tundra?

7:15 AM ET SEGMENT:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're gonna turn to Sarah Palin now, back in the headlines this morning with reports of a bloody brawl involving the former vice presidential candidate and her family at a house party in Anchorage. ABC's Paula Faris has what we know.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Palin Family In House Party Brawl; Police: Alcohol A Factor]

PAULA FARIS: This morning, Sarah Palin and her family at the center of a lively party erupting into a fight. Bristol Palin allegedly throwing a right hook.

ERIC THOMPSON [EYEWITNESS]: Bristol just reached back and started clocking him. And she hit him, you know, reached way back here and caught him right in the chin. Like, you know, I counted at least six times.

FARIS: Eric Thompson says he was one of 70 guests at a birthday party in Anchorage on Saturday. According to the Washington Post, Palin, along with her husband Todd and kids Bristol, Willow, and Track, arriving in a stretch Hummer. The Post also reporting that as the beer started flowing, that's when the fighting started.

THOMPSON: They were knocking his head back, and he was straightening his head back up and he'd get hit again.

FARIS: The Palin family was asked to leave the party after Track Palin allegedly attacked another party guest who had previously dated his younger sister Willow. That's when the 21-year-old's father stepped in to break up the fight. Once the fight was broken up, the former vice presidential candidate and her family left.

THOMPSON: I heard Sarah Palin scream out, "You know who we are, don't you?" It was like we were just on a Jerry Springer episode.

FARIS: Anchorage police only telling ABC News that members of the Palin family were indeed attending a party at this home Saturday night when a fight erupted outside.

THOMPSON: The police seemed to show up right after they left. You know, asking people questions and wanting to know what was going on.

FARIS: Overnight, Sarah Palin appeared on Fox News's Hannity show.

SARAH PALIN: Had Barack Obama listened to the best military advice...

FARIS: But made no mention of the alleged altercation. The Palin family could not be reached for comment.

Again, Anchorage police telling ABC News that no charges were pressed the night of the fight but this is an active, this is an ongoing investigation. George and Lara.

SPENCER: Yeah, but there's got to be more to the story.

FARIS: There is, we'll hear about it.

SPENCER: Okay.

AMY ROBACH: Someone's cell phone had to be rolling. Come on, people.

SPENCER: Yeah.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If it was, we will find it.

Here is a full transcript of the segment on Today:

7:00 AM ET TEASE:

MATT LAUER: And Palin family brawl? Reports of an alleged fight at a house party in Alaska involving Sarah Palin and members of her family. What police are saying about the incident.

7:16 AM ET SEGMENT:  

NATALIE MORALES: Now to a story picking up a lot of steam on the internet about a wild house party and a heated brawl reportedly involving the Palin family.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Palin Family Involved In Wild Brawl; Bloggers Report Sarah Palin In the Middle Of It]

According to the Washington Post, bloggers are revealing details of the incident that happened last Saturday night at Anchorage. Police confirm there was a brawl. Now, allegedly, it started when Track Palin spotted one of Willow Palin's ex boyfriends and then things got quickly out of control.

Bloggers report that at one point, Sarah Palin yelled, quote, "Don't you know who I am?" Someone shouted back, "This isn't some hill billy reality show."

Again, no indication right now, though, of any of the Palins facing any charges.

Conservatives & Republicans ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Sarah Palin Lara Spencer Natalie Morales