Palin To Leno About Media: 'A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around The World Before Truth Can Get Its Pants On In The Morning'

Sarah Palin said Tuesday the mainstream media is quite broken.

Speaking with "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, the former Alaska governor said she joined Fox News "to build some trust back in our media." 

"Those years ago that I studied journalism, it was all about the who, what, when, where and why," she continued. "It was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories...Americans deserve to have more of that factual fairness."

Of her own treatment by the media, she quipped, "It's like the old saying where a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth even has a chance to get its pants on in the morning" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, media discussion begins at 3:41, bonus coverage of Palin doing stand up routine at end of post):

JAY LENO, HOST: Now, the media has been critical of you. Now you are a member, you have joined the other side.

SARAH PALIN: It's kind of full circle for me. I studied journalism. My college degree there in communications. And now I am back there wanting to build some trust back in our media. I think that the mainstream media is quite broken. And I think that there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there. That's why I joined Fox.

[ Cheers and applause ]

LENO: Oh, fair and balanced.

PALIN: Fair and balanced, yes. You know because, Jay, those years ago that I studied journalism, it was all about the who, what, when, where and why. It was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories. So, I would like to see, well, in order to build trust in the media because it is a corner stone of our democracy, Americans deserve to have more of that factual fairness.

LENO: You know, I watch, I'm always amazed --

[ applause ] I think it's fair to say MSNBC, a lot of people feel has one opinion and Fox has another opinion. But you know what it is, I watch both. I mean, I switch around. And I like to get all sides of all stories.

[ Applause ] I mean, I'm always amazed that people feel, "Oh, you only want --" if you like -- I just don't watch what I like. I like to watch what other people like just to get a feel for it.

PALIN: That is healthy and that's helpful. As long as there is not the opinion under the guise of hard news story, though. I think that there needs to be clear differentiation.

LENO: I know one rule the media always had. You know, the media's a bit like the Mafia. You go after the person, you don't touch the wife or the family. But with you, it seems like they kind of went after the family. Unfair?

PALIN: I think, yes, that a line was crossed there. And I'm still waiting for that line to be uncrossed. Just some common decency. Allowing the kids to not be the -- I guess, kind of a, victim in all of this because they certainly don't deserve it. I have very strong, independent, well-adjusted kids. And I so respected that the media had left other politicians' kids alone. And I just would ask for the same treatment.

LENO: Yeah, yeah. I mean, do you find --

[ applause ] but the media does try to get a a rise out of you. They sort of poke you to get you to react. And sometimes your reaction becomes bigger than whatever the initial story was. Have you sort of learned maybe, "Okay, I'm not going to comment on that one 'cause I know it'll only get bigger?"

PALIN: What I would desire is more opportunity to follow up on a a comment that perhaps I've made. But that's not always --

LENO: Like, give me an example. What's one where you sort of made a comment, you didn't get a chance?

PALIN: Oh, my gosh. There are so many. The recent one on the "Family Guy," somebody making a joke that wasn't so funny because it was a lame episode of the "Family Guy." But a special needs family asking me what I thought about the episode. I commented and then that gets out there in the blogosphere. It gets out there in the different forms of the mediums that we have today. And then it's left there. Not an opportunity for me to follow up and, kind of, elaborate on what I really meant and what I really thought of the thing. It's, Jay, you've gone through this, too, especially in these last few months, it seems.

[ Light laughter ] It's like that old saying --

[ applause ] It's like the old saying where a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth even has a chance to get its pants on in the morning. So, if there were just more opportunity to be out there and clarify and just get the truth out there I think would be a a much healthier dialogue.

For those interested, Palin did a stand up routine after the commercial break that many will find quite humorous (relevant section at 3:15, h/t Story Balloon):

LENO: I know you are going to try something tonight you have never done before. I think it's very brave of you. I told you, we were talking, and I said, you know, to do a talk show you have to do a monologue. Are you willing to make your comedy debut tonight?

PALIN: You know, I am, and not even using cue cards. I will know these jokes like the front of my hands. I will try this.

LENO: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very excited, Kev. We have a new comedian on the show tonight. She's from Wasilla, Alaska. Making her comedy debut, please welcome Sarah Palin.


PALIN: Thank you, Jay. Thank you. Thank you. I am so happy to get to be here. This is the thrill of a lifetime, really. And Alaska, being so different from Los Angeles -- here when people have a frozen look on their face, I find out it's Botox.

(Laughter and applause)

It is so beautiful here, though, so warm and beautiful. Back home, ooh, it was freezing. It was 5 degrees below Congress' approval rating.

(Laughter and applause)

But great show tonight, Shaun White on the show. Oh, what an amazing athlete! I watched him do a Double McTwist 1260, and the only other people to do a Double McTwist 1260 was last week -- the White House, on health care.

(Laughter and applause)

It will be great to be on the same show as Shaun White. Last time I was this close to the Flying Tomato was when someone threw one at me at a book signing. And they did, it's true.

(Laughter and applause)

It's not funny. It's true.

I watched the Winter Olympics: skiing, fighting on the ice, skating, bobsledding. In Alaska, that's our morning commute.

(Laughter and applause)

And how about that amazing closing ceremony? It was beautiful. The minute I saw the giant moose, I remembered, hadn't cooked anything for the kids' dinner.

(Laughter and applause)

And that's because I've been really busy, and I have been really busy. Picked up a gig in Las Vegas at the Legends show playing Tina Fey.

(Laughter and applause)

And next, next I get to headline. I'll be the speaker at the NRA convention. So be there, or else!

(Laughter and applause)

The truth is though I'm glad that I'm not vice president. I'm glad because I would not know what to do with all that free time.

(Laughter and applause)

But Jay, thank you so much for inviting me. I saw where it's been a few weeks of unfair, non-stop criticism, people who don't know the real story. And I just say, 'Jay, welcome to my world.'

NBC Tonight Show Sarah Palin
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