Sarah Palin is not bitter

In an interview about media bias in the election, the Alaska governor goes on the attack.


Alex Koppelman
January 9, 2009 1:30AM (UTC)

Shocking news of the week -- Sarah Palin thinks she was treated unfairly by the liberal media during the election, and she's not yet over it.

Palin was interviewed earlier this week by former conservative radio host John Ziegler for a documentary he's working on about how media bias got Obama elected. Excerpts from their conversation have now been posted to YouTube; they can be seen below.

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The interview seems to reflect pretty clearly what The New Republic's Noam Scheiber wrote about Palin in "Barracuda," an article about her that was published this past October: "A trip through Palin's past reveals that almost every step of her career can be understood as a reaction to elitist condescension -- much of it in her own mind."

Some of the claims she makes about media coverage of her are just patently untrue. She seems to believe, for instance, that reporters for mainstream publications were spreading the rumor that her son Trig was in fact the child of her daughter Bristol, but that's just not true. She also refers to "this report that Bristol and Levi [Johnston, Bristol's fiancé], they're high school dropouts and they're just going to look for government handouts to raise their child." If it wasn't obvious, no one has reported that last part -- plus, though Palin has been publicly fighting back against what she says are media descriptions of Bristol as a dropout, it's not clear what media outlet, if any, actually said that.

Palin also struck out at noted antagonists Katie Couric and Tina Fey, and slipped in an unsubtle jab at former McCain aide Nicolle Wallace, a frequent target for the ire of the governor's supporters, implicitly blaming her -- without naming names -- for sending Palin back for multiple interviews with Couric.

And she addressed the potential appointment of Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's seat in the Senate, saying, "I’ve been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope also. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.”

That's an argument where she may have more of a case, but that's still at least debatable. On the one hand, it seems true that Kennedy's class has helped her win support from people like Maureen Dowd, who wouldn't know her personally if it weren't for that. At the same time, though, Palin had plenty of people in the media who met her at some point, like Bill Kristol, out defending her. And people who don't know Kennedy haven't been treating her with kid gloves; the interview she did with two New York Times reporters was brutal, on the level of the Couric-Palin confrontations.

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Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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