Opinion: Sarah Palin’s ‘700 Club’ interview (and it’s not just about religion)
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Since Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was announced in late August as John McCain’s choice as vice president on the GOP ticket, her campaign staff have done their best to keep her far, far away from reporters and their pesky questions.
There have been no formal press conferences (the one this weekend on “Saturday Night Live” doesn’t count, alas). Television has been limited to the obligatory sit-downs with the evening news anchors -- the last of these, with NBC’s Brian Williams, will be broadcast Wednesday and Thursday -- and a visit to the friendly confines of Fox News’ ‘Hannity & Colmes,’ where Sean Hannity grilled her with such tough questions as “How are you dealing with some of the harsh attacks against you?” and “Do you see media bias in this campaign?”
So it’s not surprising that her next television appearance, on Tuesday, is on “The 700 Club,” the religion-oriented program hosted by televangelist Pat Robertson. But before you dismiss this as just another opportunity for Palin to hit softball questions out of the park, you should know that her interviewer -- David Brody, the political reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network -- has a reputation as a straight-shooter who, as the Los Angeles Times noted in a 2007 profile, “embraces some liberals and takes aim at some conservatives” and whose reporting is often cited as a must-read/see by the mainstream press.
Brody offers a preview of his interview with Palin at his website, the Brody File. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Why doesn’t she go on “some of the 24/7 cable networks,” such as MSNBC and CNN?
‘Well, sometimes it just doesn’t do any good. I mean, you set yourself up just to continually be mocked, you know, so sometimes that doesn’t do any good, but what I have done in this campaign is in reaching out to the American voters through our rallies, through the one-on-ones, through the small meetings that we’ve had trying to get our message out, our plans for this country out there minus the filter of some of the filter of the mainstream media because, because that filter as, as we see every day when we turn on the news, too often there is this, this opaqueness, there is this, this spin, this contortion of a person’s words and intentions and that does more harm than good, so it’s a greater challenge for me and for John McCain to try to get our message out there without that filter of I think some of the world’s media. It’s a greater challenge, but again, it does make us work harder and try to reach more people. That’s why we’re traveling around so hard and fast and aggressively across the U.S. is to reach more people.’
Why didn’t she give a specific answer to Katie Couric’s question about the newspapers she reads?
‘And it’s not just that question, but it was some of the other questions that she asked me also and, and it was, I guess, my being such an outsider from the Washington elite and the media elite is the questions she kept asking me were, I kept thinking why aren’t you asking me things that really, really matter right now about our economy and about how we’re going to win the war and about protecting our constitutional rights in this country, some of the questions that were being fired at me, I was kind of impatient and I think that showed, it’s like come on, Katie, let’s talk about the things that really matter. And two, the other part of that was I knew that whatever I threw out there, whether it’s the USA Today, or New York Times or whatever I said, that’s just more fodder for someone to not only mock, but tear apart and presume to at least claim that that is a reflection of my own beliefs, so you know, so I just felt like, let’s just move on to the next question.’
She also talks about her faith -- and offers her thoughts about Tina Fey, whose pitch-perfect impression of Palin is a highlight of “Saturday Night Live.”
‘The 700 Club’ is broadcast on cable and satellite on the ABC Family network and the Trinity Broadcasting Network, plus some additional stations. Brody’s interview with Palin is Tuesday; check your local listings for time and channel.
-- Leslie Hoffecker