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Couric Patronizingly Challenges & Lectures Palin; Coddled Biden --10/1/2008


1. Couric Patronizingly Challenges & Lectures Palin; Coddled Biden
In her day-on-the-campaign-trail stories about the VP candidates, Katie Couric didn't even try to deliver equal treatment. Last week, after her piece on her day with Joe Biden, CyberAlert outlined what she must do to be consistent with Palin this week. She failed. Unlike with Biden, in the "Sarah Palin: Behind the Scenes" story on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, Couric declared a McCain-Palin policy position "misleading," deliberately highlighted a policy disagreement between the two (drilling in ANWR), condescendingly demanded that Palin list the names of newspapers she read in Alaska and then treated Palin's conservative views as alien and thus in need of explanation -- pressing her on whether she agrees global warming is "man-made," hitting her repeatedly on whether it should be illegal for a 15-year-old rape or incest victim to get an abortion or the "morning-after" pill and requiring she offer her position on teaching evolution. Couric asserted that "it will take about ten years for domestic drilling to have an impact on consumers," before accusing Palin: "So isn't the notion of 'drill, baby, drill' a little misleading to people who think this will automatically lower their gas prices?" On how Palin is an ill-informed dolt: "What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?"

2. Matthews: Granholm a 'Genius,' So How Can She Play Palin?
On Tuesday night's Hardball, Chris Matthews wondered if Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, "an Ivy League grad" and "genius," was really a good choice to play the role of Sarah Palin in Joe Biden's debate prep. During a segment with Democratic consultant Nancy Skinner, who is prepping Granholm, the Hardball host implied the "Harvard Law" graduate may not be the best "fit" to play the Republican vice presidential nominee: "She's a genius. You think she is, in, in her manner, in her background and she's born in Canada. How does she sort of fit the role of Sarah Palin? Why is she a good sparring partner to play that role?"

3. Jack Cafferty's Palin Derangement Syndrome Reaches New Heights
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, true to his form over the past several weeks, launched another attack on Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday's The Situation Room. During his regular "Cafferty File" segment during the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, he played a clip from the latest interview the Alaska Governor did with Katie Couric, in which she partially answered her critics' questioning of her readiness by repeating the list of offices that she has held over the years. After she concluded with her past position of Alaska oil and gas commissioner, the CNN veteran condescended: "A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously?...When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, 'How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.'" When he returned at the end of the hour to read some of the viewer responses to the question, Cafferty read nothing but negative responses to the question, with one exception, and he continued his condescension after reading it. A woman named Trudy wrote: "Within three minutes, you remind me why I don't watch the opinionated news on CNN....Your condescending attitude towards Sarah Palin is another example of the lock-step Left trying to portray a Republican as less intelligent." Caffery then replied, "Trudy, when it comes to Sarah Palin, that's not much of a reach."

4. CNN's Fareed Zakaria Mind-Reads Palin, Rips Her Qualifications
CNN world affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria, in a column published in the October 6 issue of Newsweek where is he the top editor of the international edition, condescended towards Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, labeled her "utterly unqualified to be Vice President," and complimented Katie Couric for her "smart question" to the Alaska Governor in a recent interview. He later asserted clairvoyantly that "she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start." As a result of this slam, CNN host Wolf Blitzer interviewed Zakaria on Monday's The Situation Room, in which the analyst referenced Tina Fey's nearly word-for-word quotation of Palin from the Couric interview on last Saturday's SNL program, which was played earlier in the program: "The scary answer was on the economy -- the one you displayed switching back and forth between Saturday Night Live, because it was absolutely clear, that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question."

5. CBS's Smith Asks Palin's Parents About Criticism of Daughter
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith aired the second half of his interview with the parents of Sarah Palin, Chuck and Sally Heath, and described: "From mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, and now a vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's sudden appearance on the national scene has been celebrated, and increasingly criticized." Palin's father responded: "They're digging and digging for the bad side, yeah. And there is no real bad side. They're fabricating a lot of things, which I don't want to go into, yeah." Smith then followed up: "Is that hurtful to you as parents?" Palin's mother replied: "Very. Very. Mostly because you know how it affects the kids."

6. Congresswoman to ABC's Cuomo Panicking on Bailout: Calm Down!
A Republican and a Democratic member of Congress attempted to calm Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo during an interview on Tuesday. Cuomo interrogated GOP Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and her Democratic colleague, Mary Kaptur, about just what they would do now that the Wall Street bailout package had been rejected. After noticing the high pitched tenor in Cuomo's voice, Kaptur observed, "...You're very anxious." In a soothing voice, she instructed: "I can hear your voice there. For the sake of the country, and even for the sake of the markets, I think you should operate prudently and with a little bit of calm in your voice today." This was after a barely restrained Cuomo thrust responsibility onto those politicians who opposed the bailout: "Your vote and the failure of this bill- are you ready to accept the potential responsibility for bringing down this economy as a result of your vote?" Continuing to point fingers, he accused, "You saw yesterday, 50 percent of Americans hold stocks. You lost $1.2 trillion in value."


Couric Patronizingly Challenges & Lectures
Palin; Coddled Biden

In her day-on-the-campaign-trail stories about the VP candidates, Katie Couric didn't even try to deliver equal treatment. Last week, after her piece on her day with Joe Biden, CyberAlert outlined what she must do to be consistent with Palin this week. She failed. Unlike with Biden on September 22, in the "Sarah Palin: Behind the Scenes" story on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, Couric declared a McCain-Palin policy position "misleading," deliberately highlighted a policy disagreement between the two (drilling in ANWR), condescendingly demanded that Palin list the names of newspapers she read in Alaska and then treated Palin's conservative views as alien and thus in need of explanation -- pressing her on whether she agrees global warming is "man-made," hitting her repeatedly on whether it should be illegal for a 15-year-old rape or incest victim to get an abortion or the "morning-after" pill and requiring she offer her position on teaching evolution.

Couric asserted that "it will take about ten years for domestic drilling to have an impact on consumers," before accusing Palin: "So isn't the notion of 'drill, baby, drill' a little misleading to people who think this will automatically lower their gas prices?" On how Palin is an ill-informed dolt: "What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?" Couric wouldn't let go: "Like what ones specifically?" and "Can you name a few?"

Jumping to social issues, as the two sat on the campaign bus, Couric insisted Palin reiterate how she adheres to views Couric framed as extreme:

# "If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion? Why?...But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?"

# "You don't believe in the morning-after pill?...I'm sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill?"

# "Do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepted scientific principle or one of several theories?"

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Growing up, Palin "consumed newspapers with a passion." As for Palin's newspaper reading habits, Kaylene Johnson's biography, 'Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down,' recounts on page 21: "From the time she was in elementary school, she consumed newspapers with a passion. 'She read the paper from the very top left-hand corner to the bottom right corner to the very last page,' said Molly [Sarah's younger sister]. 'She didn't want to miss a word. She didn't just read it -- she knew every word she had read and analyzed it.'" Barnes and Noble's page for the book: search.barnesandnoble.com

Earlier in the piece, Couric had wondered: "Do you consider yourself a feminist?"

Biden faced no such onslaught of demands for his views on contentious issues, though few viewers know where he stands on such issues as partial-birth abortion, allowing minors to have abortions without parental notification, or same-sex marriage.

Instead, Couric had hailed him in a way she did not with Palin: "He's the close-talking, free-wheeling, ice-cream eating Democratic nominee for Vice President. Senator Joe Biden isn't holding back."

Couric's obsession with Palin's social issue views matched what ABC's Charles Gibson pursued with Palin three weeks ago. The September 15 CyberAlert item recounted:

He ran through several social issues -- from abortion to guns -- forcing her to state positions Gibson certainly realized would cement her to ideologically conservative positions seen as extreme by many of his viewers....

# "Roe v. Wade, do you think it should be reversed?...John McCain would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Do you believe in it only in the case where the life of the mother is in danger?...Would you change and accept it in rape and incest?"

# "Embryonic stem cell research, John McCain has been supportive of it."

# "Homosexuality, genetic or learned?"

# "Guns: 70 percent of this country supports a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons. Do you?"

Full rundown: www.mrc.org

The September 23 CyberAlert posting, "Couric Has Cushy Chat with Biden, Will She Be as Warm with Palin?" proposed:

If Katie Couric is to be consistent and treat Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin...as gently as she did Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden in her day with him Thursday in Ohio which became a story on the Monday night CBS Evening News, she will (Couric quotes from the Biden story in the parentheses):

See: www.mrc.org

Amongst the disparate aspects of the two "Behind the Scenes"/on the campaign trail stories, based on my list and so not counting the most obvious lack of any tough policy questions to Biden:

# Hail her outspokenness: ("You say what's on your mind and I think people appreciate that.") COURIC WITH PALIN: No such praise.

# Ignore obvious factual/historical flubs: (Biden: "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television...") FDR was not in office at the time of the 1929 crash and his "fireside chats" were on the radio. COURIC WITH PALIN: She corrected Palin on the supposed payoff to off-shore drilling and repeatedly followed up when she didn't get the answer she wanted.

# Relay as reality positive campaign spin about her attributes: ("Relating to the fears of the average American is one of Biden's strong suits.") COURIC WITH PALIN: No such equivalent connection made to the concerns of average Americans as Couric, instead, pushed Palin to espouse her presumed less-popular social views.

# Cue up campaign rally attendees to praise her: ("What was it about what he said that really resonated with you in particular?" Answers: "I think he expressed what most working Americans feel at the moment. He seems to relate to our pain." and "I want him in office because I believe he will do things for women.")

COURIC WITH PALIN: In about the only positive portion of the fairly lengthy eight-minute-plus story, Couric touted: "Speaking of energy, Palin has brought plenty of it to the campaign trail, attracting huge, enthusiastic crowds, like this one at Capital University." Viewers then heard from an excited woman in the crowd: "I strongly support McCain, but I love Governor Palin!" Even here however, Biden made out better: He got three glowing soundbites from attendees in the crowd which Couric set up: "What was it about what he said that really resonated with you in particular?"

Couric also cited how "her trademark feistiness is on display as she delivers a punchy soundbite about her rival, Joe Biden" ("I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade"), but Couric turned that into a negative: "You have a 72-year-old running mate, is that kind of a risky thing to say, insinuating that Joe Biden's been around a while?"

# Empathize with the challenge she faces at the upcoming debate: ("Are you worried you're going to have to pull your punches a bit because of her gender and you don't want to seem like you're bullying her? It's a different dynamic when it's a male/female thing, isn't it?") COURIC WITH PALIN: Didn't empathize with Palin's debate challenge.

# Not apply any ideological label: ("We decided to take a closer look at the 65-year-old Senator from Delaware.") COURIC WITH PALIN: Here Couric was balanced as she did not apply an ideological tag to Palin.

Tuesday's CBS Evening News report followed a just as slanted preview on Monday. The September 30 article, "Couric Badgers Palin on Pakistan; Had Cued Up Biden on Economy," recounted:

On Monday night's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric announced her day "on the campaign trail with Governor Palin" won't air until Tuesday, but CBS still made room for an excerpt of her time Monday in Ohio with Sarah Palin and John McCain in which Couric repeatedly pressed the two about an overheard comment Palin made Saturday about Pakistan, badgering them with five follow-ups before moving on to Palin's "reaction" to criticism of her answers during her previous Couric session. But a week-and-half-ago, when Couric's day on the campaign trail story with Joe Biden was delayed by news on the financial front, CBS ran video of Couric cuing up Biden on what he and Obama would do to resolve the crisis followed by one challenging question with no follow-up.

See: mrc.org

Now to the Tuesday story based on Couric's time on Monday with Palin:

The "Katie Couric Reports, Sarah Palin: Behind the Scenes" segment on the September 30 CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: The vice presidential candidates hold their one and only debate this Thursday night in St. Louis. Joe Biden and Sarah Palin spent part of this day preparing -- separately, of course. Now, before that debate prep, I spent some time with Governor Palin out on the campaign trail. And in an exclusive interview, she spoke frankly about a number of controversial issues -- including at least one disagreement she has with Senator McCain.
The day began early. After being briefed by her staff, Sarah Palin heads out with her 14-year-old daughter, Willow, in tow.
COURIC TO WILLOW: So nice to meet you too. I didn't realize you were going to be coming along. That's exciting. Are you having a good time with all this?
WILLOW PALIN: It's so fun.
COURIC: Is it really?
WILLOW PALIN: I love it.
COURIC: 8 a.m., she hits the ground running.
COURIC TO SARAH PALIN: Do you have any down-time, though? Do you ever feel like you can actually-
SARAH PALIN: I get to go running every day, which is my sanity. Sweat is my sanity.
COURIC: First, a photo-op with hotel staff. Then it's off to the McCain campaign plane, where we were invited up front to ask a handful of questions.
COURIC TO PALIN: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
PALIN: I do. I'm a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try to do it all, anyway. And I'm very, very thankful that I've been brought up in a family where gender hasn't been an issue. You know, I've been expected to do everything growing up that the boys were doing. We were out chopping wood and we were out hunting and fishing and filling our freezer with good wild Alaskan game to feed our family. So it kinda started with that.
COURIC: In Columbus, Ohio, the candidates sat down with me for their first joint interview, where we focused on energy policy, specifically, off-shore drilling.
COURIC: Governor Palin, it will take about ten years for domestic drilling to have an impact on consumers. So isn't the notion of "drill, baby, drill" a little misleading to people who think this will automatically lower their gas prices, and quickly?
PALIN: We should have started ten years ago tapping into domestic supplies that America is so rich in. Alaska has billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas onshore and off-shore. Should have started doing it ten years ago, but better late than never. It's gotta be an all-of-the-above approach to energy independence.
COURIC: I know you'd like to see drilling take place in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Senator McCain, you oppose this. You call it, quote: "one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world." Who's right?
McCAIN: Did you expect two mavericks to agree on, to agree on everything? We just have, we'll be talking more and more about this issue. But for us to agree on everything would make us, I think, a little bit boring and we're anything -- You can say a lot about us, but we're anything but boring.
COURIC: Speaking of energy, Palin has brought plenty of it to the campaign trail, attracting huge, enthusiastic crowds, like this one at Capital University.
WOMAN IN CROWD: I strongly support McCain, but I love Governor Palin.
COURIC: Her trademark feistiness is on display as she delivers a punchy soundbite about her rival, Joe Biden.
PALIN, ON STAGE: I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade.
COURIC TO PALIN: You have a 72-year-old running mate, is that kind of a risky thing to say, insinuating that Joe Biden's been around a while?
PALIN: Oh no, it's nothing negative at all. He's got a lot of experience and just stating the fact there, that we've been hearing his speeches for all these years. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience.
COURIC TO PALIN: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
PALIN: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
COURIC: Like what ones specifically, I'm curious that you-?
PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.
COURIC: Can you name a few?
PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested it seems like, "Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?" Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.
COURIC: Our conversation continued aboard the campaign bus.
COURIC TO PALIN: What's your position on global warming? Do you believe it's man-made or not?
PALIN: Well, we're the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state up there with the changes in climate and certainly it is apparent. We have erosion issues and we have melting sea ice, of course. So, what I've done up there is form a sub-cabinet to focus solely on climate change. Understanding that it is real and-
COURIC: Is it man-made, though in your view?
PALIN: You know there are man's activities that can be contributed to the issues that we're dealing with now, with these impacts. I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate because the world's weather patterns are cyclical and over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn't matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it's real; we need to do something about it.
COURIC: We also talked about her positions on a number of social issues.
COURIC TO PALIN: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion? Why?
PALIN: I am pro-life and I'm unapologetic about my position there that I am pro-life. And I understand good people on both sides of the abortion debate. Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to see, taking it one step further, not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country, but I want then those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported, for adoptions to be made easier.
COURIC: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?
PALIN: I'm saying that, personally, I would counsel that person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And, if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having had an abortion, absolutely not. That's nothing that I would ever support.
COURIC: Some people have credited the morning-after pill as, for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning-after pill?
PALIN: Well, I am all for contraception. And I'm all for any preventative measures that are legal and safe, and should be taken, but Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see-
COURIC: Ergo, you don't believe in the morning-after pill?
PALIN: I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And again, I haven't spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that.
COURIC: I'm sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill?
PALIN: Personally, and this isn't McCain-Palin policy-
COURIC: No, that's okay, I'm just asking you.
PALIN: But personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception.
COURIC: Do you believe evolution should be taught as an accepted scientific principle or one of several theories?
PALIN: Oh, I think it should be taught as an accepted principle. And, you know, I say that also as the daughter of a school teacher, a science teacher, who has really instilled in me a respect for science. It should be taught in our schools. And I won't ever deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth. But that is not part of a policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught in science class.
COURIC: The Governor told us, though she's not a member of any church, she visits a couple of them regularly when she's home. She took issue with news reports that one of them, the Wasilla Bible Church, sponsored a conference where gays could be made straight through prayer.
PALIN: When the media gets it wrong, it frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and be able to make up their mind on, about a person's values. And I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed and I don't know what prayers are going to be answered or not answered. But, as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay, and I love her dearly and she is not my "gay friend," she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I'm not going to judge people.
COURIC: People may judge her after Thursday's debate where she'll be unfiltered and unedited -- something reporters complain the campaign has resisted.
PALIN: The campaign knows that I am an open book. My record is out there and my life is out there.

CBSNews.com transcript and video, which does not match what is above since the posted transcript includes portions not aired, the text above reflects corrections to that transcript and also includes a few exchanges aired but not in the CBS transcript: www.cbsnews.com

Matthews: Granholm a 'Genius,' So How
Can She Play Palin?

On Tuesday night's Hardball, Chris Matthews wondered if Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, "an Ivy League grad" and "genius," was really a good choice to play the role of Sarah Palin in Joe Biden's debate prep. During a segment with Democratic consultant Nancy Skinner, who is prepping Granholm, the Hardball host implied the "Harvard Law" graduate may not be the best "fit" to play the Republican vice presidential nominee: "She's a genius. You think she is, in, in her manner, in her background and she's born in Canada. How does she sort of fit the role of Sarah Palin? Why is she a good sparring partner to play that role?"

[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Tuesday evening on the MRC's blog: newsbusters.org

A little later in the segment Matthews painted Palin as empty-headed as he worried the "neo-conservatives" would "home-school" her in the "ideology of the right," like they did to Dan Quayle and George W. Bush.

The following exchanges occurred on the September 30 edition of Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Joining me now is Democratic consultant Nancy Skinner, who helped prep Jennifer Granholm, the Michigan governor, who is playing Sarah Palin in Joe Biden's debate prep. What an interesting role you're playing. Also with us MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. Nancy, tell me why you think Governor Granholm, who's what, an Ivy League grad law? What? Didn't she go to Harvard Law or something? She's a genius. You think she is, in, in her manner, in her background and she's born in Canada. How does she sort of fit the role of Sarah Palin? Why is she a good sparring partner to play that role?

...

PAT BUCHANAN: Let her own philosophy, her own personality come through. Let her be, Sarah be Sarah. If she loses then you lose, but you don't lose on somebody else's game-plan.
MATTHEWS: Pat, you have forgotten the nature of a neo-conservative. They find these-
BUCHANAN: She's not a neo-conservative!
MATTHEWS: No, no!
BUCHANAN: Yeah.
MATTHEWS: The people briefing her are, in this home-schooling exercise that's going on. It's just like they did with Quayle or George W. Bush. They get a newcomer who hasn't had a lot of book learning in the ideology of the right, and they teach them the right words. You don't think that's going on right now? Randy Scheunemann is not filling her with that ideology right now?

Jack Cafferty's Palin Derangement Syndrome
Reaches New Heights

CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, true to his form over the past several weeks, launched another attack on Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday's The Situation Room. During his regular "Cafferty File" segment during the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, he played a clip from the latest interview the Alaska Governor did with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, in which she partially answered her critics' questioning of her readiness to be Vice President by repeating the list of offices that she has held over the years. After she concluded with her past position of Alaska oil and gas commissioner/regulator, the CNN veteran condescended: "A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously?... When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, 'How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.'"

When he returned at the end of the hour to read some of the viewer responses to the question, Cafferty read nothing but negative responses to the question, with one exception, and he continued his condescension after reading it. A woman named Trudy wrote: "Within three minutes, you remind me why I don't watch the opinionated news on CNN.... Your condescending attitude towards Sarah Palin is another example of the lock-step Left trying to portray a Republican as less intelligent." Caffery then replied, "Trudy, when it comes to Sarah Palin, that's not much of a reach."

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Tuesday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

For more on Jack Cafferty's almost constant criticism of Sarah Palin, see the September 29 CyberAlert item "Cafferty Exhibiting Palin Derangement Syndrome, Scolds Blitzer" at: www.mrc.org

In fact, Cafferty is so eager for the destruction of Sarah Palin's political career that when he read the viewer responses to his question during the 5 pm Eastern hour, he graphically described his anticipation for the vice presidential debate on Thursday evening. When a viewer suggested that all three Senators on the two main presidential tickets return to Washington, DC to work on the financial bail-out, he quipped in reply: "[A]s long as they don't compromise the debate on Thursday. I would crawl through a barbed wire fence nude to get a seat in front of a TV set for that."

After the commentator read two more viewer responses, substitute anchor John Roberts asked half-jokingly, "You [are] enthusiastic about this debate on Thursday?" Cafferty replied, "I can't wait! I can't wait!" Roberts cracked, "It's an interesting visual."

The full transcript of Jack Cafferty's Cafferty File segment, which began nine minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Tuesday's The Situation Room; and the transcript of the viewer replies, which aired 57 minutes into the same hour:

JACK CAFFERTY: Last Friday, we ran a piece of tape from an interview that Governor Sarah Palin did with the CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. She was asked about the bail-out package. Palin rambled on incoherently for a minute or more, about trade and jobs and health care, and all manner of things except the bailout package. Her answer made no sense at all. That segment of The Cafferty File found its way on to YouTube after the broadcast last Friday. As of about an hour and a half ago, it had received one million, one hundred thousand hits. Well, guess what? She's back. Palin did another interview with Couric. This time, she was asked about the first interview. Check this out:
KATIE COURIC: Governor Palin, since our last interview, you've gotten a lot of flak. Some Republicans have said you're not prepared, you're not ready for prime time. People have questioned your readiness since that interview, and I'm curious to hear your reaction.
SARAH PALIN: Well, not only am I ready, but willing and able to serve as vice president with Senator McCain, if Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them -- ready with my executive experience as a city mayor and manager, as a governor, as a commissioner/regulator of oil and gas --
CAFFERTY: A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously? Here's the question: is Sarah Palin helping her chances by continuing to do these (laughs) interviews with Katie Couric? When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, 'How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.' Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile. You can post a comment on my blog. It must be embarrassing on some level to John McCain to have to go around sweeping up after her.
JOHN ROBERTS: I talked to him this morning, and we'll actually play some of that later on today, and he still has full confidence in her and her ability to be president should the need, God forbid, ever arise.
CAFFERTY: I'll bet that's not a true statement.
ROBERTS: Check please. Thanks Jack.
CAFFERTY: (Laughs.)

....

ROBERTS: Jack Cafferty asked a provocative question earlier this hour. He's back now with some of his responses.
CAFFERTY: Thank you, John. The question this hour: is Sarah Palin helping her chances by continuing to do these awful interviews over there at CBS with Katie Couric? They're -- they're just frightful.
Karen Missouri writes, 'No. She didn't do the interview with Katie Couric. Palin and McCain did the interview with Katie Couric. He didn't let her answer a lot of questions that she was supposed to answer. Palin always sounds the same. She sounds like a wind-up doll. Oil and gas regulator? Excuse me?'
Liz in Tucson [Arizona]: 'I have no doubt she fits right in in Alaska but not the world stage. McCain ought to have not asked her. If she were a sincere and honest person, she would not have accepted the place on the ticket. This was clearly not a decision for the betterment of our country.'
Trudy writes, 'Within three minutes, you remind me why I don't watch the opinionated news on CNN. It's difficult for the Republican Party to run against Obama and the entire broadcast media. Your condescending attitude towards Sarah Palin is another example of the lock-step Left trying to portray a Republican as less intelligent.' Trudy, when it comes to Sarah Palin, that's not much of a reach.
Saar, Tel Aviv, Israel: 'In the 1970s, Bette Midler said it best, and this is what John McCain must believe too. Midler said, "Of course, I have standards. They may be exceedingly low, but I do have standards."'
Kay in Tallahassee: 'I think she made it worse in the second interview. She had to bring Daddy McCain along to help her. She looks like she can't talk to the press on her own.'
Carolyn in New York: 'I agree with you completely. I have never before felt frightened for my country, but the idea of Sarah Palin becoming president is truly beyond belief. John McCain put our national interest in last place when making this selection. Country first? Far from it.'
And Kev writes, 'Katie Couric may very well be saving the U.S, and perhaps the world, from the idiotic words of Sarah Palin. Can you imagine four years of her? I'm not sure she's qualified to be governor of Alaska. It's great, though. You couldn't write this stuff.' Indeed, you couldn't. If you -- she makes Tina Fey look legit.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Mind-Reads Palin,
Rips Her Qualifications

CNN world affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria, in a column published in the October 6 issue of Newsweek where is he the top editor of the international edition, condescended towards Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, labeled her "utterly unqualified to be Vice President," and complimented Katie Couric for her "smart question" to the Alaska Governor in a recent interview. He later asserted clairvoyantly that "she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start."

As a result of this slam, CNN host Wolf Blitzer interviewed Zakaria on Monday's The Situation Room, in which the analyst referenced Tina Fey's nearly word-for-word quotation of Palin from the Couric interview on last Saturday's SNL program, which was played earlier in the program: "The scary answer was on the economy -- the one you displayed switching back and forth between Saturday Night Live, because it was absolutely clear, that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question."

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

For Zakaria's column in Newsweek, "Palin is Ready? Please," go to: www.newsweek.com

Zakaria, a naturalized American citizen who declared in May 2008 that "era of... 'American exceptionalism' is over," began his column in a snotty fashion. His title: "Palin is Ready? Please." His lead sentences stayed in this vein: "Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, 'to spend more time with her family?'" He then brought up the interview with Couric, whom he characterized as having a "trademark sympathetic style." He must be only catching Couric's interviews with liberals like Obama and Al Gore, since that's usually when she's "sympathetic."

For more on Zakaria's declaration that "era of... 'American exceptionalism' is over," see the May 6, 2008 CyberAlert item, "Newsweek Editor Declares Era of 'American Exceptionalism is Over'" at: www.mrc.org

After excerpting the "money" excerpt from the Couric interview about the economy, Zakaria brought up Campbell Brown's "sexism" charge against the McCain campaign for keeping Palin "under wraps." He "corrects" this assertion with his version of "common sense:" "Some commentators, like CNN's Campbell Brown, have argued that it's sexist to keep Sarah Palin under wraps, as if she were a delicate flower who might wilt under the bright lights of the modern media. But the more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that's causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb."

Zakaria then continued by stating his final conclusion about McCain's running mate, including a backhanded compliment of the Alaska governor: "Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start."

He ended his column by more or less questioning John McCain's patriotism: "In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true."

Zakaria continued his Palin bashing during the Blitzer interview:

WOLF BLITZER: ...Fareed, you wrote a provocative column. I woke up this morning and read it in The Washington Post. Among other things, you said this, you said, 'Senator McCain says he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.' And basically, you say it's time for Sarah Palin to drop out for the good of the country. Explain what you have in mind.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Well Wolf, I'm really not looking at this as a game. I'm looking at this as a serious matter of governance. I think you've just been watching -- you've been anchoring very well exactly what is going on here. The American financial system is in the greatest crisis it's been in since the 1930s. The economy is probably more stressed than at any point from various different areas, and this is complicated stuff. I think that there is a fundamental test of governance that is going to have to be applied, and is going to have to be applied to the House, and to the House Republicans in particular. But look, it applies all the more seriously to the people we are considering having as president and vice president. They have to be able to govern. You know, we can talk about the games and the gaffes, but what has become absolutely clear watching Sarah Palin, in her responses to interviews -- and the Katie Couric interview was the last straw -- frankly, there were others. Is that it's not that she when asked these complicated questions or difficult questions. It's not that she doesn't know the right answer. It's that she clearly does not understand the question. This is way beyond anything we have ever seen from a national candidate.
BLITZER: Well, what about the argument that Senator McCain makes -- she's got a proven track record. She's very popular in Alaska as governor, has the highest job approval rating of any sitting governor right now -- 80 percent like what she's doing in Alaska, and she brings this executive experience with her that neither Joe Biden nor Barack Obama has.
ZAKARIA: Well, you know, if you delve into that, you discover that the executive experience is running a very small town. Alaska itself is an unusual state. 85 percent of its budget is -- comes from oil revenues. Basically, you're just distributing oil revenues that are being provided for you by digging holes in the ground. This is good training to be president of Saudi Arabia, not the United States. Look, what is absolutely clear is we are dealing with very, very difficult issues. The financial crisis is probably the most complicated financial crisis we have experienced yet, and it was absolutely clear -- the most scary answer in the Katie Couric interview was not on foreign policy. The foreign policy stuff was funny. The scary answer was on the economy -- the one you displayed switching back and forth between Saturday Night Live, because it was absolutely clear, that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question. This is a woman who is going to be, as the phrase goes, a heartbeat away from a 72-year-old man if McCain wins. The actuarial odds of her becoming president are very high. They are actually significant. It's sort of about a one in five chance.

CBS's Smith Asks Palin's Parents About
Criticism of Daughter

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith aired the second half of his interview with the parents of Sarah Palin, Chuck and Sally Heath, and described: "From mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, and now a vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's sudden appearance on the national scene has been celebrated, and increasingly criticized." Palin's father responded: "They're digging and digging for the bad side, yeah. And there is no real bad side. They're fabricating a lot of things, which I don't want to go into, yeah." Smith then followed up: "Is that hurtful to you as parents?" Palin's mother replied: "Very. Very. Mostly because you know how it affects the kids."

After the clip of the interview was played, co-host Julie Chen asked Smith: "Did they talk about how difficult it is to hear their daughter be the butt of so many jokes ever since she stepped out onto the national spotlight?" Smith responded: "Well, you know, it's interesting, because we talked to Chuck about that. He saw the -- at least the first episode from 'Saturday Night Live' and he said that he thought Tina Fey did a good job. I'm not so sure they would have appreciated this past Saturday night's episode, though." Chen replied: "Yeah, I agree." On Monday, Chen remarked on that latest SNL skit, declaring: "Tina Fey has just so much material to work with, this is like, probably a dream come true for her."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The full transcript of the Tuesday segment:

7:30AM TEASER:
HARRY SMITH: And also coming up in just a couple of minutes, part two of my exclusive interview with Sarah Palin's parents. We went to Wasilla, Alaska. They had amazing things to say about their daughter and the family. We'll hear that in just a little bit.

7:35AM TEASER:
SMITH: When we come back from this commercial break, part two of my exclusive interview with Sarah Palin's parents.

7:38AM SEGMENT:
HARRY SMITH: Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, the vice presidential candidates, will square off in a debate Thursday night at Washington University in St. Louis. And we decided we wanted to learn a little bit more about Sarah Palin, so we visited with her parents in Wasilla, Alaska. This is Sarah Palin country. And a visit to her parents home is a little like being in a natural history museum.
CHUCK HEATH: Everything in here has a story and this is my best find, what I consider my best find ever.
SMITH: This one right here?
HEATH: I found this summer. Gold mine, it's called a Steppe Bison and they went extinct about the time of the mammoths.
SMITH: Really?
HEATH: And the mammoths went extinct, oh, 8,000 - 10,000 years ago. And we found him frozen in the permafrost.
SMITH: People who haven't been here, I'm not sure they get Alaska.
HEATH: You have to live here and experience it. Yeah.
SMITH: You got some serious antlers working here.
HEATH: These are -- people say, 'gee, did you shoot all those?' No. Those are all sheds, you know, antlers are shedding.
SMITH: Oh, of course. These are a lot of, a lot of antlers. Chuck and Sally Heath moved to Alaska from Idaho 44 years ago.
HEATH: I told Sally we'd come up for one year, I knew better, but we'll try it for one year and which a lot of guys tell their wives, here we are.
SMITH: What did you think?
SALLY HEATH: I was all game for an adventure. It was going to be a challenge with three tiny kids at the time, but we were willing to do it, young and dumb.
SMITH: The Heath's third child, Sarah, was outspoken and competitive. Did you have a sense what she was going to be when she grew up?
HEATH: No. She sure didn't give us an indication it would be politics.
SMITH: From mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, and now a vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's sudden appearance on the national scene has been celebrated, and increasingly criticized.
CHUCK HEATH: They're digging and digging for the bad side, yeah. And there is no real bad side. They're fabricating a lot of things, which I don't want to go into, yeah.
SMITH: Yeah, yeah. Is that hurtful to you as parents?
SALLY HEATH: Very. Very. Mostly because you know how it affects the kids.
SMITH: And they're worried about what the future might hold.
HEATH: I'm concerned about how the kids will adapt to it, that living in Washington D.C., because they're Alaskans, they snow machine and they ski and they do all of these things here. Not too many snow machines in Washington D.C., yeah.
SMITH: Despite having braved the wilds of Alaska for four decades, nothing has quite prepared them for the storm of attention that has followed Sarah. Did you see it coming?
HEATH: The governorship has finally sunk in. But this VP, it hasn't sunk in at all yet, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I'm still 'what?.'
SMITH: Yeah, yeah? Seemed like a dream almost?
HEATH: Yeah. You know, a dream or fantasy. Yeah, yeah.
SMITH: Good dream or bad dream?
HEATH: Well, I think -- I hope it's going to be a good dream, yeah, I'm sure it's going to be a good dream, yeah.
SMITH: Yeah, yeah.
HEATH: She's never let us down yet, yeah.
SMITH: Yeah, as they say, you almost have to be from Alaska, or at least go there, to get it, to really understand it. And I really want to thank Chuck and Sally Heath for opening up their home to us over the weekend and giving us the opportunity to visit, guys.
JULIE CHEN: Yeah. Did they talk about how difficult it is to hear their daughter be the butt of so many jokes ever since she stepped out onto the national spotlight?
SMITH: Well, you know, it's interesting, because we talked to Chuck about that. He saw the -- at least the first episode from 'Saturday Night Live' and he said that he thought Tina Fey did a good job. I'm not so sure they would have appreciated this past Saturday night's episode, though.
CHEN: Yeah, I agree.

Congresswoman to ABC's Cuomo Panicking
on Bailout: Calm Down!

A Republican and a Democratic member of Congress attempted to calm Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo during an interview on Tuesday. Cuomo interrogated GOP Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and her Democratic colleague, Mary Kaptur, about just what they would do now that the Wall Street bailout package had been rejected. After noticing the high pitched tenor in Cuomo's voice, Kaptur observed, "...You're very anxious."

In a soothing voice, she instructed: "I can hear your voice there. For the sake of the country, and even for the sake of the markets, I think you should operate prudently and with a little bit of calm in your voice today." This was after a barely restrained Cuomo thrust responsibility onto those politicians who opposed the bailout: "Your vote and the failure of this bill- are you ready to accept the potential responsibility for bringing down this economy as a result of your vote?" Continuing to point fingers, he accused, "You saw yesterday, 50 percent of Americans hold stocks. You lost $1.2 trillion in value."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

In a bipartisan manner, both Congresswomen attacked Cuomo's argument. Republican Musgrave reasoned, "We didn't pass a flawed bill. We not only answer to Wall Street, we answer to Main Street. We answer to our constituents." Democrat Kaptur asserted she would not be "railroaded because someone who spent his life on Wall Street wants to become master of the universe and have the American people give $700 billion to the Treasury."

Cuomo's "pass anything" attitude could also be seen in a one-sided graphic from a previous segment that set up the interview. It read, "Great Bailout Goes Bust: Wall Street to Congress: 'Idiots'"

A transcript of the interview, which aired at 7:08am on September 30, follows:

CHRIS CUOMO: So, that gives us our feel on Wall Street. The question bounces back to Washington, D.C. Where are their heads? Specifically, the people who voted against this plan? So, let's bring in a couple of members of Congress right now. We have Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio. And we also have Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican from Colorado. Can you both hear me? It's good to have you this morning.
MARCY KAPTUR (D-OH): We can hear you.
MARILYN MUSGRAVE R-CO): Good morning. Yes.
CUOMO: All right. So, let's begin with what this vote could mean. Both of you, answer this in hand, if you would. Representative Kaptur, we can begin with you. Your vote and the failure of this bill- are you ready to accept the potential responsibility for bringing down this economy as a result of your vote?
KAPTUR [Graphic: "Voted 'No' to bailout"]: Well, first of all, our vote, if that were the only issue in what is troubling this economy, we couldn't possibly bring it down. We need to have a good bill. Not a fast bill. We have to be prudent in what we do. Our banking committee is fundamentally strong. The problem with what's happening in the markets today is a credit crunch, not a liquidity problem. One of the things the President of the United States could do today is to get his S.E.C. Chairman to change the accounting rules for mark to market to loosen up these credit markets. And then the other issue that we have is the market foreclosure challenge and every main street across the country. This bill did not effectively deal with that. We have to address the real estate issue and get that mortgage market working again. This bill would not do that. So, I think that we have to really look for something that will make the markets function in the way that they should, not reward bad behavior and give all these bills to the American taxpayer who didn't cause this problem. We have a strong system. We have a strong economic system. The markets will work. And frankly, for Wall Street, I would say, calm down. Don't panic. Don't be led to anxious behavior. Franklin Roosevelt said, the greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself. Don't be led by fear. Be led by responsible and prudent behavior and we'll get through this.
MUSGRAVE [Graphic: "Voted 'No' to Bailout"]:You know what? You're not going to see partisan bickering today or any partisan rancor. But what you will see is a Republican and a Democrat coming together to say we need a bill that is good. We're not going to act in haste. That bill was flawed from the very beginning. I was out opposing it before all the thousands of calls started coming in to my office overwhelmingly opposing it. But you know what? We know that inaction is not the answer. And we're coming back to work on Thursday.
CUOMO: But- But inaction- Right. But, representative, inaction has been the answer because you didn't pass this bill. If you talk to people in the markets, they say you see what happens- But you see what happens yesterday-
MUSGRAVE: We didn't pass a flawed bill. We not only answer to Wall Street, we answer to Main Street. We answer to our constituents.
CUOMO: But what about Main Street's interests? But what about Main Street's interests, representative? You saw yesterday, 50 percent of Americans hold stocks. You lost $1.2 trillion in value. That's more than the bailout amount, one single day. You have to know that the credit markets affect people at home, their credit cards, their auto loans.
MUSGRAVE: What we're doing is we're coming back on Thursday. And we're coming to work and craft a good bill. Marcy and I are in a working group together. We're trying to come up with the very best solution for this country. And the responsibility that we feel is to pass a good bill.
CUOMO: What does that mean exactly? Define good bill for me.
MUSGRAVE: We're not going to get out of it in 72 hours. We're not going to get out of it in 72 hours.
CUOMO: Right. But can you tell me more about what makes it a good bill? I'm sorry. We're just dealing with the communication from Wall Street to New York.
MUSGRAVE: Accounting rules need to reflect reality.
KAPTUR: Let me just say that, now, you're very anxious. I can hear your voice there. For the sake of the country, and even for the sake of the markets, I think you should operate prudently and with a little bit of calm in your voice today. What we want to do is be responsible, not for what happens on Wall Street. But for what happens to the American taxpayer, generations hence.
MUSGRAVE: Yes.
KAPTUR: There is a credit market seize-up. But the answer to that is not the bill that we had yesterday. The answer is for the President to go and call his S.E.C. chairman today and to change those mark to market rules that are making it difficult for inner-bank lending. That would do so much to help the economy. And that does not require legislation by the Congress. That's a regulatory change. The other deal we have to do is have a deal that talks to the housing crisis, which is at the heart of what has caused this implosion. And we need those workouts. We don't need to hemorrhage anymore on Main Street. This bill did not do that. We are working to try to do a bill that meets the needs of America.
MUSGRAVE: We are.
KAPTUR: That will be the best thing we could do for Wall Street.
CUOMO: Right And of course both of you understand that any anxiety here is because of the interests of team on Main Street, and wanting to make sure they don't get caught up in politics. So, the question to you two is, what are you going to put in this bill that will make it what you keep calling a good bill? Do you have a solution?
KAPTUR: Yes. That's what I was talking about. A change in the accounting rules that would ease up the credit crunch, which is really at the heart of what some of the anxiety in the marketplace. That can be done from an accounting standpoint. I think one of the problems is that Mr. Paulson is a day trader. He's not a banker. And there's a different psychology that operates on Wall Street. We need to use the regular tools we have through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which has been employed, if you look at some of the resolutions that have been occurring. But we need to- We don't need to lose anymore banks. We need to ease up on those accounting rules so that the normal system can un-seize and those loans can be made across this economy. Then, we need to deal with the housing situation, with dispatch. And this bill did neither yesterday. So, we're going to work together here. We're going to try to inject some reason into this debate.
MUSGRAVE: Yes, we are.
KAPTUR: And not be railroaded because someone who spent his life on Wall Street wants to become master of the universe and have the American people give $700 billion to the Treasury.
CUOMO: The concerns are certainly there. I appreciate you two coming on to make sure that everybody knows they are addressing their concerns at home. Because at the end of the day, that's what we're all worried about. So, thank you to both of you for being with us this morning.
MUSGRAVE: We'll be working together. Thank you very much.

-- Brent Baker