Even though the votes have all been counted, NBC couldn't resist taking one last shot at GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on this morning's Today broadcast.
Last week, CMI released a study  documenting the media's character assassination of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Analysts found that during a two-week period earlier this fall the media pushed three major narratives about Palin: that she was unqualified and unintelligent, that she's tearing apart the conservative movement and that she's little more than McCain's attack dog. All three networks reinforced the “unintelligent” theme by repeatedly playing clips from Saturday Night Live's skits ridiculing Palin, and embarrassing moments from Palin's interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric.
Reporter Savannah Guthrie virtually recapitulated CMI's study in a single news segment, rehashing all three narratives during her brief report on Palin's future in the Republican party.
First, the assertion that Palin did little more than attack during her campaign events. Guthrie noted, “The race showed Palin to be an effective campaigner able to deliver an attack with her own brand of bubbly sarcasm.”
Guthrie moved on to the topic of “influential conservatives” and their doubts about Palin. Columnist Kathleen Parker stated during the segment, “You can't feel very confident in the process that led to her selection. And in the possibility, even remote, that she could become president of the
Inevitably, Guthrie brought up concerns that Palin is unqualified and unintelligent. She noted that, “[for Palin to] be a serious contender [in 2012] there's an image problem to shake.” Guthrie punctuated this claim with a Saturday Night Live clip of Tina Fey as Palin stating, “I can see
Steven Zeitchik of The Hollywood Reporter appeared during the segment to talk about
The complete transcript is below:
MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: It is the morning after the election and you know what that means. Some political pros already looking forward to the next presidential election. Could Sarah Palin be the Republican standard-bearer the next time around? NBC's Savannah Guthrie has been covering the Palin campaign.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, reporter: Good morning, Meredith. Well, Sarah Palin will head back to Alaska today but now that's she's had a taste of presidential politics few think she will stay there for long and may run for president herself in 2012, a prospect that's already dividing some in her own party.
JOHN MCCAIN: I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin –
GUTHRIE: Thrust into national prominence, seemingly overnight, few think Sarah Palin will disappear as quickly.
MCCAIN: We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to
GUTHRIE: Many Republicans see her as the rising star of the party, popular with the conservative base and middle-America.
SARAH PALIN: Someone called me a redneck woman once and, you know what I said back? I said, why, thank you.
GUTHRIE: The race showed Palin to be an effective campaigner able to deliver an attack with her own brand of bubbly sarcasm.
PALIN: Thanks for the warning, Joe.
ED ROLLINS, former White House political director: I worked for four different
presidents. There are certain people who connect with audiences there. Are certain people who can excite a crowd. She has that ability to do that
GUTHRIE: But some influential conservatives have openly doubted her after early missteps like this interview with Katie Couric.
PALIN: Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the
KATHLEEN PARKER, conservative columnist: You can't feel very confident in the process that led to her selection. And in the possibility, even remote, that she could become president of the
GUTHRIE: So, how would Palin prepare for a presidential run? Her term as governor lasts two more years, some think she will run for Senate in 2010. Others believe she'll spend the next years pushing a more conservative social agenda to propel her to the GOP presidential nomination. But, to be a serious contender there's an image problem to shake.
TINA FEY as SARAH PALIN: And I can see
GUTHRIE: Something she's already started to address, packing three policy speeches into the final days of the campaign.
PALIN: Children with special needs. Matters of national security. Energy independence.
GUTHRIE: But Palin herself has consistently put off questions about 2012.
PALIN: As for furtherance in a political career, I'm not even going to think about that.
GUTHRIE: If not
ALEC BALDWIN: What do they call her again, Tina?
SARAH PALIN: That would be Caribou Barbie.
PALIN: Thank you for that warm welcome.
GUTHRIE: Some in the entertainment industry see star quality.
STEVEN ZEITCHIK, Hollywood Reporter: I think what a lot of producers are saying is you know, she could really be a very good candidate either for an afternoon syndicated talk show or a nightly cable news show. I think there are a lot of possibilities there.
GUTHRIE: And in her personal life, a big year ahead. Palin will become a grandmother in December when daughter
Back to politics for a minute. A senior adviser to Palin says don't just think about 2012, there is a possibility of 2016 or beyond. She's a young woman and many think she has a bright political future.