MSNBC Entertainment Editor Furthers Misinformation About Palin

MSNBC entertainment editor Courtney Hazlett spent all of two minutes on "Morning Meeting" with Dylan Ratigan and still managed to get her facts wrong.

Noting former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's scheduled November 16 appearance on "Oprah," Hazlett told viewers that the former Alaska governor "famously said no to appearing on Oprah" during the 2008 presidential campaign, because Palin knew "you get more publicity rejecting Oprah than possibly going on."

The only trouble is, as my colleague Noel Sheppard noted earlier today, that is patently false. It was, in fact, Obama-endorsing Oprah Winfrey who refused to book Palin on her program during the campaign season, although she expressed an interest in having her on after the election.

What's more, while Hazlett seems to portray Oprah as doing Palin a favor, Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes today noted that the scheduling move may serve Oprah's best interest by reaching out to disaffected conservative women who used to be fans of her program:

Oprah Winfrey, on a campaign to climb back from last season's ratings slump, will attempt to kiss and make up with conservative viewers on Nov. 16 when she has Sarah Palin on her syndicated talk show .

You may have noticed that the appearance by the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is happening smack dab in the middle of the November ratings derby.

It's also the day before Palin's new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," is scheduled to hit bookstores.

Oprah's production company, Harpo, claims it will be Palin's first interview about the book. We'll see about that.

More important, Harpo also claims it will be the first time Oprah and Palin will have met, and Harpo should know.

It's not just another show booking for Oprah. She's going whole hog this season to try to recover from the ratings tumble she took last season when her audience slid to under 7 million viewers. And, during one awful week in July, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" suffered its smallest ratings since its debut way back in 1985.

Industry navel gazers speculated Oprah had turned off some of her conservative viewers -- or, more accurately, they had turned her off -- when she not only endorsed then presidential candidate Barack Obama but even campaigned for him. (Palin, of course, was the running mate of Obama's rival, Sen. John McCain.)

It was the first time Oprah had stripped off her apolitical veneer and publicly endorsed a political candidate. At the time, Oprah told CNN's Larry King she did it because "what [Obama] stands for" was "worth me going out on a limb for."



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