Editor Confesses: Not a 'Single Reporter' Thinks Palin 'Should Be President'
On Tuesday's Morning Joe, former Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei, now executive editor of The Politico, flatly stated that not a 'single reporter at any media organization' thinks Sarah Palin 'can be President or should be President.' The blunt observation from a top media insider of his colleagues' obvious prejudice against Palin comes after a weekend of frenzied efforts to plumb through the ex-Governor's e-mails, only to find 'not a lot of bombshells.'
VandeHei's assertion came after he referred to an op-ed by Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough in Tuesday's Politico, in which Scarborough revealed his own tales of the media's 'venemous' attitude toward Palin, with reporters at the 2008 Republican convention 'gleefully' passing along the loathsome Internet lie that Palin's son, Trig, was not her own child.
To a neutral observer, the story was an obvious hoax, but unfortunately for their audience, the mainstream media were not a neutral observer when it came to the GOP candidate. [MSNBC's] Mika [Brzezinski] received a number of calls from her friends at the major networks gleefully passing along the Internet lie before cheering for Palin's demise. 'God, I hope it's true,' a former co-worker said to her.
Here's the full quote from VandeHei, followed by a lengthier excerpt from Scarborough's June 14 column in The Politico:
JIM VANDEHEI: Palin wasn't on the stage, but people continue to be obsessed with her. Joe has a good column on our site today where he talks about this, this bizarre media obsession with Sarah Palin, in which he talks specifically about those e-mails. And, I guess I'll be curious to hear a little more from Joe, because you guys talk about her a lot, we write about her a lot, yet if you talk to any single reporter at any media organization that we're aware of, I don't think that anyone thinks she can be President or should be President, yet she gets a ton of coverage and I think that the emails really capture that moment.
And now, a little more from Scarborough's piece, headlined: 'The Palin Obsession'
A quick scan of presidential polls shows that Sarah Palin will not be elected president of the United States anytime soon. That reality makes the media's treatment of the former GOP vice presidential candidate disproportionate to her sway over national events. And yet the media's obsession with Palin reached absurd heights last week with the publication of those 13,000 emails from her time as governor:
Dozens of reporters were dispatched to Alaska to sift through Palin's correspondence with her staffers, her husband and even her children. Journalists spent hours collecting, digitizing and compiling the emails into searchable online databases....
I'm sorry, but at this point the media's fixation with Palin is getting downright creepy. And they have been strangely obsessive since she burst onto the national scene in 2008.
When my co-host, Mika Brzezinski, and I arrived at the Republican National Convention that year, we were met by excited network chiefs and newspaper reporters who were chasing down a sleazy Internet rumor that Trig Palin was not Palin's child. To a neutral observer, the story was an obvious hoax, but unfortunately for their audience, the mainstream media were not a neutral observer when it came to the GOP candidate.
Mika received a number of calls from her friends at the major networks gleefully passing along the Internet lie before cheering for Palin's demise.
'God, I hope it's true,' a former co-worker said to her. That view was echoed by calls she got throughout the convention. The cocktail chatter we heard during the GOP convention was equally venomous.
- Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.