How about pressing the governor when (like Obama) she ducked a straightforward question about whether insurance giant AIG should receive a government bailout?
If I had been thinking clearly, I would have known this interview would have nothing to do with journalism and everything to do with buttressing the Fox brand.
Much as John McCain secured his conservative "base" by choosing Sarah Barracuda in the first place, Fox played to its most loyal fans by leaving uncontested the view of Palin as a charming and accomplished everywoman.
Van Susteren made that strategy even more apparent during her embarrassing interview with Palin's husband, in which she seemed to morph into a cheerleader. Go Wasilla High Warriors! Go Todd!
Todd, don't you know, helped build his own home! Flies his own float plane! Fishes for sockeye! Drives his snow machine 112 miles an hour!
Palin somehow maintained his composure and dignity in the face of this frenetic new fan.
At one point, perhaps trying to gently guide his interviewer toward a substantive question, he noted that he had worked to improve Alaska's vocational training programs. But Van Susteren, determined to treat her subject as Klondike Jack, ignored that segue into actual public policy.
She sighed about the spectacular view from Todd's doorstep lake.
"They love you here! They love you here!" Van Susteren fairly squealed, as the First Dude smiled sheepishly. "So that must be fun for you!"
Never mind asking Palin about his role in "Troopergate," the investigation into whether his wife tried to use her high office to have her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired. Never mind asking Palin whether his First Dudeliness, who appears to have involved himself deeply in some Alaska policy matters, might play a similar role on, say, national security issues, if his wife is sent to Washington.
Going to a final station break, it seemed as if Van Susteren was not promoting her next segment, but announcing a Palin skit on "Saturday Night Live."
"Coming up," Van Susteren trumpeted, " . . . you will hear why the Palins' freezer is sometimes packed with moose and caribou!
"How does it taste? Todd will tell you!"