ABC, CBS, NBC Go Palin Bashing: GOP at ‘Lowest Point’ in History

UPDATE: Not wanting to be left out of the Palin slamming scene, ABC's "Good Morning America" joined the fray on Nov. 4, interviewing the same people as CBS' "Early Show" and criticizing Palin on the same points. 

From accusing her of igniting a civil war within the Republican Party to calling her "nutty" antics a "treasure" to the Democrats, the mainstream media is once again shamelessly slamming Sarah Palin.  

On Nov. 3 CBS' "Early Show" interviewed Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, co-authors of "Sarah from Alaska," a "very revealing" book about Palin on the campaign trail.

"Later this month, Palin's highly anticipated memoir hits bookstores," said CBS' Harry Smith. "But another book beats her to it."

To start off the interview, Smith asked Conroy (who, by the way, also works for CBS) to explain what was going on "behind the scenes" when John McCain gave his concession speech on Election Day last year.  

Conroy wasted no time painting Palin as a media hungry mongrel, saying:

Well, really it was a remarkable internal war between the McCain and Palin camps on this last night of the campaign. A speech had been written for Sarah Palin by Matthew Scully. She was set to deliver it in her mind, but John McCain's senior aides decided they did not want her to give the speech ... basically Governor Palin tried to create some confusion and see if in the end she would be allowed to be able to speak, but of course we know that she never spoke.

Smith, eagerly leaning forward and rubbing his chin, replied, "And doesn't this sort of exemplify the clash between these two people and both sort of camps within the campaign from the very beginning?"

Walshe replied, "Absolutely - especially the second half of the campaign." She went on to say:

[Palin] really felt that she should follow her instincts and that she wasn't being directed correctly. And the McCain campaign - or the senior strategists in the McCain campaign felt like she was number two on the ticket and that she should follow direction. And it really turned in to an all-out civil war.

By this point, Smith's lead-ins became absurdly obvious. "And you go to that night," he said, "and was there a point at which she ends up on stage and, in the book, what do they - the McCain folks literally turn the lights off on her?"

"Right," Conroy said. "Later that night, she went back out on stage to take pictures with some of her family members who had come from Alaska. And some of the McCain staffers got wind of this and thought that maybe she would give the concession speech after all and they were so furious about it that they ordered the sound board operator to literally turn the lights down on their own candidate."

They were just "terrified," explained Walshe, "that she would embarrass John McCain even after the campaign had officially ended."

"Wow," said the enthralled Smith. "The difference in cultures is really profound."  

They went on to accuse the "nutty" Palin of not informing her family about her nomination to be the GOP vice presidential candidate, leaving it instead to her chief strategist, Steve Schmidt. And even when her family did know, Walshe then accused Palin of not allowing the family to "take a vote on it" until after she had "already shook hands with John McCain and accepted that offer."  All of this, of course, was "very interesting" to Smith.

Walshe was kind enough to concede that Palin did get a "raw deal" with the "clothes controversy," saying that "she was one of the only people in the room that said" her wardrobe was too expensive. But after that short bashing hiatus Smith quickly returned to the topic of Palin's failed bid for VP, pointedly asking, "Whose fault is it in the end?"

"She was supposed to be the vice presidential candidate," replied Conroy. "And she was supposed to go along with what John McCain wanted to do and she's sort of taken ownership of this phrase ‘Going Rogue,' but really, to many of the McCain staffers, it was very irritating that she time and again - towards the end of the campaign especially - was going off and doing her own thing."

NBC's "Today" show also segued into a Palin slamming segment by the same route: a book. This time it was "The Audacity to Win" written by David Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager. Although Plouffe managed to throw a few zingers in Palin's direction, the interview was at least shorter than CBS', and "Today's" Meredith Viera did a slightly better job than Smith at masking her partisanship.

"You talk about Sarah Palin in the book," Viera said to Plouffe. "You call the decision to pick her as McCain's running mate - quoting you here: ‘downright bizarre, ill-considered and deeply puzzling choice.' At what point did you, within the campaign, realize that was going to backfire or believe that would backfire on McCain?"

"Well, we thought immediately so," replied Plouffe.

Plouffe called McCain "reckless" for his choice, saying, "He had been criticizing us for lack of experience for five or six months and then unwound that really in one moment with the selection of Palin."

Plouffe, unable to hold back a grin, then said, "And listen, Palin continues to be something in our party we treasure because what she's doing up in New York 23, along with her partners ..."

"... supporting the conservative, right?" Viera finished.

"Yes," replied Plouffe. "I think they're driving moderates out of the party. And let's remember, comparatively, the Republicans are at the lowest point they've been in their history. Why? Centrists and moderates are abandoning that party."

"So you don't think you're underestimating her?" Viera asked.

Plouffe paused and then concluded,"No. Listen, she's obviously got powerful support amongst an element of the Republican party, but that doesn't reflect the country as a whole."  
Political Groups Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans ABC CBS NBC Today Good Morning America Early Show Video Meredith Vieira Scott Conroy Shushannah Walshe Sarah Palin David Plouffe

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