Notable Quotables Flashback: Ten Months of Media Scorn for Sarah Palin
Published: 7/4/2009 12:05 PM ET
In announcing that she was stepping down as Alaska Governor on Friday, Sarah Palin noted the unrelenting hostility of liberal media elites. In the barely ten months since she burst onto the national scene, Palin has been scorned and mocked by journalists - including many supposedly objective reporters - like few other politicians. Here are a few of the choicer attacks, as compiled from MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter:
"She is a far-right conservative who supported Pat Buchanan over George W. Bush in 2000. She thinks global warming is a hoax and backs the teaching of creationism in public schools. Women are not likely to be impressed by her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter in a "Web exclusive" posted on his magazine's Web site, August 29, 2008.
"[McCain has] done it [picked Sarah Palin] at great cost, because the whole Republican convention...was going to be the slogan, 'He's not ready to lead,' meaning Barack Obama. Well, Sarah Palin makes Barack Obama look like John Adams. I mean, it's just, it's no contest."
- Newsweek's Howard Fineman on MSNBC's Countdown, August 29.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift: "This [McCain's selection of Sarah Palin] is not a serious choice. It makes it look like a made for TV movie. If the media reaction is anything, it's been literally laughter in many places across news-"
Host John McLaughlin: "Where is that? See that?"
Clift: "In very, very many newsrooms."
- Exchange on The McLaughlin Group, August 31, 2008.
"I'm not that convinced that that's her baby....The daughter - who we know is fertile because she's knocked up again, or maybe for the first time...she did like take a five-month leave from high school because she had [uses fingers to indicate quote marks] 'mononucleosis' right around the time the baby was being born. And the mother, the so-called, you know, okay, maybe it is the mother, but, you know, she was back to work three days later. You don't smell something?...It's not like they're not willing to lie about everything else."
- HBO's Bill Maher on Real Time, September 5, 2008, promoting the left-wing conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin's infant son is actually her daughter Bristol's baby.
"If [Bobby] Jindal had been governor of Louisiana in 2005 [during Hurricane Katrina], everything would have been different, and he would be John McCain's running mate instead of this wacko right-winger."
- Co-host Mort Kondracke talking about Sarah Palin on FNC's The Beltway Boys, September 6, 2008.
"Before Gov. Sarah Palin came flying in from the wilds of Alaska for the Republican convention in St. Paul, there was a lot of sniggering in media rooms and satellite trucks about her beauty queen looks and rustic hobbies, and the suggestion that she was better suited to be a calendar model for a local auto body shop than a holder of the second-highest office in the land....In the press galleries at the convention, journalists wrinkled their noses in disgust when Piper, Ms. Palin's youngest daughter, was filmed kitty-licking her baby brother's hair into place."
- New York Times media writer David Carr, September 7, 2008.
"You know, the one thing that I don't think anybody's said yet is that she's very mean to animals, this woman. Why does she have it in for these poor polar bear and the caribou and she aerial kills wolves? That's a very mean thing to do. I think that that's an important point."
- ABC The View co-host Joy Behar explaining her opposition to Sarah Palin, CNN's Larry King Live, September 9, 2008.
"Is this a, like a Clarence Thomas where they wanted to pick an African-American for the Supreme Court so they picked the kind they wanted?...They have a person [Palin] here, who's apparently, to some extent, in terms of foreign policy, tabula rasa. Someone they can fill up with all this neo-conservative thinking....Is that what they wanted, just sort of a vessel to sell and carry their product, rather than someone with independent thinking on foreign policy?"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, September 16, 2008.
CNN's Jack Cafferty: "If John McCain wins, this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should....That [Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric] is one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen for someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country. That's all I have to say."
Wolf Blitzer: "She's cramming a lot of information."
Cafferty: "There's no excuse for that. She's supposed to know a little bit of this. You know, don't make excuses for her. That's pathetic."
- CNN's The Situation Room, September 26, 2008.
"Is this [vice presidential debate] about her brain power?... Do you think cute will beat brains?...Do you think she'd do better on the questions on Jeopardy or the interview they do during a half-time?...My suspicion is that she has the same lack of intellectual curiosity that the President of the United States has right now and that is scary!"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews during the 7pm EDT Hardball on October 2, 2008 a couple of hours before the debate.
"Here's what's disturbing: Either she didn't know, because actually the legislative role [of the Vice President] is just about zero as Biden says, or - scarier - she has a little bit of Huey Long in her. The kind of - you could see her being a demagogue, saying 'I got to do this, the rules are in the way, to heck with the rules, let's do it.'"
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas reacting to Palin suggesting at the debate that a vice president has a legislative role, on Inside Washington, October 3, 2008.
"Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president...She has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start....For John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible."
- Newsweek international editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria in his Oct. 6, 2008 column, "Palin Is Ready? Please."
"The fact of the matter is, the comparison between her [Sarah Palin] and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, October 14, 2008.
Reporter David Wright: "Last summer, McCain mocked Obama as an empty-headed celebrity....But then he created a celebrity of his own."
Clip of John McCain: "When you get to know her, you're going to be as impressed as I am."
Wright: "Many were impressed, but plenty of others came to see Sarah Palin as an empty designer suit."
- ABC's World News, November 5, 2008.
"Sarah Palin: Ill-informed, inarticulate shopaholic has ego bigger than Alaska - and she's still the darling of the GOP."
- From Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" column, December 29, 2008-January 5, 2009 issue.
"Sarah Palin - now don't laugh - is writing a book. Not just reading a book, writing a book. Actually, in the word of the publisher, she's 'collaborating' on a book....What an embarrassment! It's one of these 'I told you,' books that jocks do. You know she's already declared - I mean, why they do it like this? 'She can't write, we got a collaborator for her.'"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, May 13, 2009.
"Here's the question: Would you rather listen to a speech by Sarah Palin or a speech by Newt Gingrich...or would you rather just stick needles in your eyes?"
- CNN's Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, June 9, 2009.
Ex-MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams: "Sarah Palin, to me, is like the representative of everything that's gone wrong [for the Republican Party] lately."...
Comedian Chuck Nice: "Sarah Palin to the GOP, this is what I've got to say: She is very much like herpes - she's not going away. Okay? That's it."
- Exchange on NBC's Today, June 9, 2009.
-Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.