The Sarah Palin November sweeps TV roadshow, a.k.a. the Audacity of Hype Book Tour, is in its Barbara Walters-ABC News phase today. And the former governor of Alaska is still getting an easy ride from ratings-hungry interviewers to sell her books, try to re-write her controversial history and take cheap shots at those she sees as opponents. And now, that she is past Oprah Winfrey, a supporter of President Barack Obama, Palin is taking some hard shots at the White House.
Bob Thompson, the Syracuse University pop culture scholar and decades-long friend, called Winfrey's interview with Palin "an informercial for the book" in a conversation we had Monday night after it aired. Even by Oprah's schoozy standards, it was softball chat. I was disapppointed in Winfrey.
And now comes Palin with Barbara Walters saying this about President Obama's Afghanistan deliberations: "[General Stanley] McChrystal gave the president the advice and said, 'We need essentially a surge strategy in Afghanistan, so that we can win in Afghanistan. And that means more resources, more troops there.' It frustrates me and frightens me -- and many Americans -- that President Obama is dithering around with the decision in Afghanistan."
In case you didn't get the point: Real men and frontierswomen don't dither. George W. Bush didn't dither; he just plunged the nation into two wretched and budget-busting wars that we still can't extract ourselves from.
I am no fan of Obama's war on Fox News and I am not much impressed with his failure to create new jobs, and while I am at it, I am growing increasingly concerned about what seems to be an administration policy of arrogantly force feeding huge social change without thinking through the cost or possible unintended consequences. But that said, who in the heck is she to question anything about foreign policy after the woeful lack of knowledge she exhibited with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric?
Walters did question Palin about her claim that the Democractic healthcare reform would mean "death panels" for the elderly, a particularly reckless and dangerous charge. Obama rightfully denounced Palin's words in his address to Congress as "a lie, plain and simple."
Was the president lying when he said that? Walters asked Palin.
"He is not lying, in that those two words will not be found in any of those thousands of pages of different variations of the health care bill," Palin acknowlewdged. "No, death panel isn't there. But he's incorrect, and he is disingenuous."
How is he incorrect?
I hope interviewers will stop letting her pivot and go on the attack just when she is on the point of being cornered for her ignorance, deception and recklessness.
But I guess that isn't going to happen -- especially with Sean Hannity up next. The Shill, Baby, Shill TV interviewers have been selected with way too much care.