• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Sarah Palin’s Media Paranoia Victimizes An Innocent Reporter

The American Spectator’s Quinn Hillyer documents the story of how a young Washington reporter ended up becoming the focus of Sarah Palin’s never ending war on the “lamestream media”":

Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller, one of the rising stars among political scribes and a meticulously careful and wonderfully polite, fair-minded young man (an aside: I’ve known him since he was in junior high school), wrote a perfectly fine story about Palin’s current stances vis-a-vis the presidential race. In it, one of the things she said was that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, well, of course she would endorse him over Barack Obama.

Fox Nation picked up the story and, in its own headline (not Pappas’, not the Daily Caller’s, but its own headline completely apart from anything Pappas ever wrote) played up the “Romney endorse” angle in a way that apparently did not make it clear that the endorsement might be in the general election, rather than the primary campaign. (The headline is no longer available at Fox Nation, so I can’t say exactly what the wording was.)

Anyway, the Palin team pounced. Specifically inviting over reporter Kasie Hunt from Politico so she could hear the exchange, Palin called Pappas’ cell phone and began berating him in a very scolding manner for writing a headline suggesting she supports Romney. Pappas didn’t even know what she was talking about. When he tried to say that neither he nor his editors had written such a headline, she said she didn’t have time for this, that she needed to go back to the “real people” at the State Fair, and hung up on him.

Here’s how Hunt described the incident in her report at Politico:

Sarah Palin, best known for blasting the “lamestream media,” showed she’s an equal opportunity critic today while at the State Fair, according to POLITICO’s Kasie Hunt – she audibly called up a Daily Caller reporter to complain about a headline she felt suggested she was open to supporting Mitt Romney:

“So you’re saying that I said that I support Mitt Romney?” she said to the reporter. “And what’s your headline? You need to be clear, otherwise people really lose faith in the state of journalists today and that is, I said ‘ABO’—anybody but Obama. And I would support the candidate who surfaces to take on Barack Obama. But no, your headline leads readers to believe that I’m supporting Mitt Romney at this time in this process, and no that’s not accurate.

Fox Nation, of course, is a potion of the Fox News website where all content is user generated. More than once, it’s become the “source” for outrageous stories about the President or other Democrats that turned out to be true, and Fox has ended up getting blamed for them even though they exercise no editorial control over the site. At this point, one would think they’d realize the site is a problem and police it better. In any event, someone with a Fox Nation account took Pappas’s story, spun it with a headline that made it appear that Palin was endorsing Romeny in the primary and Palin and her campaign ended up berating Pappas for something he had no control over. Moreover, as Hillyer goes on to report, when they figured out the truth, they didn’t even bother to apologize to Pappas for not just getting the facts wrong but having the gall to let Palin berate him over the phone in front of another reporter.

Hillyer concludes:

If Palin wants to get rid of the image of being a difficult diva with a rude streak, she needs to stop acting like a difficult diva with a rude streak.

The thing is, this isn’t just an anomaly. In the final days of the 2008 campaign, Palin complained that journalists who were asking questions about her and her record were violating her First Amendment rights and that such journalists were “a threat to democracy.” Last year, she essentially said that journalists who printed stories she didn’t like were a threat to freedom of the press. Palin’s bizarre treatment of Pappas isn’t something new, it’s part of a pattern since 2008 where she consistent portrays herself as the victim of a media that is out to get her even when, in most cases, the media is merely doing its job. It’s a pattern she wears as a badge of honor, and her supporters seem to love it, but it’s the kind of paranoia that doesn’t belong in a serious political leader.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    Sounds like someone is upset others are getting all the spotlight. It’s not easy being a world-class narcissist with perpetual victim syndrome.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 10

  2. It wasn’t that long ago that her people kicked conservative bloggers out of a public event that they they had been invited to for recording her comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. Franklin says:

    So she spent some of her oh-so-productive time making reality TV shows and horrible movies so she could berate someone for something they didn’t even do? Class act!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  4. Ron Paul 4 Palin says:
  5. Ron Beasley says:

    Can we please just ignore this modern day snake oil salesman? She has a problem with the media because they ask questions and she doesn’t have any answers.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  6. Laurie says:

    For me this story just reinforced my long standing opinion that she is not terribly bright. After a couple years battling the lamestream media she seems to have no clue how it operates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  7. legion says:

    Um, excuse me – but doesn’t Palin actually have a degree in Journalism? And she still calls up the individual reporter to complain about the headline, knowing full well the reporter had nothing to do with it?

    So, aside from being immature and unprofessional (I absolutely – absolutely - guarantee she will never apologize to that reporter), she also is – really and truly – stupid.

    Can we please stop paying attention to her for anything now? She’s really undeserving of any treatment other than being ignored.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug:

    Fox Nation, of course, is a potion of the Fox News website where all content is user generated. More than once, it’s become the “source” for outrageous stories about the President or other Democrats that turned out to be true, and Fox has ended up getting blamed for them even though they exercise no editorial control over the site.

    I had to read that 3 times before I was sure it was a typo. Not picking at nits, it was genuinely confusing.

    tom

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    @ legion…
    Well actually…after attending 5 schools she got a degree in Communications, with an emphasis in Journalism. This is not a journalism degree. Also keep in mind that this is a Batchelors degree…so credit hours dedicated to degree studies is actually pretty limited – maybe 30% +/-. Even combined with a very short stint as a sportscaster in a miniscule television market this does not make Palin an expert in journalism by any stretch of the imagination. And as you point out – it shows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  10. jan says:

    Palin has become more of a political ‘celebrity’ rather than a political candidate. As far as being a diva, perhaps she is. However, must I point out how the media ravaged her during the ’08 election, vis-a- vie going through her trash, defaming her children. obtuse interviews. It was a concerted effort by the media to destroy her credibility. And, in a way they were successful. I think she has become unattractively hardened by the experience, and therefore her threshold of patience for any media miscommunications is way too thin. Hence, the incident with Pappas — a good Greek guy like my husband.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  11. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    “…through her trash, defaming her children. obtuse interviews…”

    WTF are you talking about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  12. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    You’re kidding, right? Palin was largely protected from the media during the VP campaign. She never even had to do an actual press conference. I guess the McCain people figured out pretty quickly that it was best to shield this idiot from the press as much as possible.

    This latest incident goes to show that she’s the same old thin-skinned narcissistic bitch she’s always been. She can’t stand up to the kind of scrutiny other politicians routinely face, which is why she’s not likely to run for president. If she’s such a baby about a few headlines she doesn’t like, how will she ever face questions to which she doesn’t know the answer, aside from blaming the media for her own gaping ignorance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  13. jan says:

    @bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm):

    Get a compass Norm, and go back over the articles written about her. The media fell all over themselves in their attempts to dig up dirt on her, unlike any other candidate. I’m not going back over all of it. But, you can certainly google it yourself. This is one aspect of Palin that both the right and left agree on about her — the unrelenting battle with the media.

    In fact, it was going over her emails, by the NYT, that finally put the media’s obsessing about Palin, over-the-top, and they received much due criticism for it. She is now bitter towards them, and enjoys deriding them with her own “Lamebrain media” attribute. However, having a thin skin, when you are in politics, only back fires on how people perceive your ability to handle a job on the national stage.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  14. Melly says:

    Didn’t she go to journalism school? She should know that most reporters don’t write their own headlines, or don’t have control over the final ones. She shouldn’t have called anybody, but since she just couldn’t help her impulsive, thin-skinned self, she should have at least called the right people, Pappas’s editor or publisher.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm): Norm, she is a victim. Don’t you get it?

    ps: love the “bpo”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  16. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    Jan…
    Don’t make ridiculous claims if you can’t back them up.
    Of course that would nullify 99-44/100ths of your posts…but still. Veracity is important. Opinions based on fallacy are just that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  17. Fiona says:

    @Jan–Palin’s unrelenting battle with the media has been largely one-sided. She couldn’t even answer that infamous “gotcha” question by Katie Couric–what newspapers do you read. Michele Bachman could rattle off a list from the top of her head but stupid Sarah was stumped because she probably doesn’t read much of anything besides fashion magazines.

    The reason Palin resorted to attacking the media, whose mainstream members treated her with kid gloves, is because she couldn’t handle the kind of interviews, like those with Gibson and Couric, any respectable pol can do. These interviews showed Palin for the not-ready-for-primetime player she was and is. Hilary Clinton and Michele Bachman have faced equally harsh criticisms and tough interview questions and have done just fine–they don’t blame the media. But La Diva Palin–it’s the media’s fault she’s ill-informed rather than her own glaring intellectual limitations.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  18. molinelobo says:

    @jan: You must be very well paid. Palin during the campaign did NO interviews of importrance. How many appaearances did she do on any News networks? Can you recall all of the Sunday Morning News shows with questions and follow up questions were answered by Sarah? Nor does the nation. She has been and always will be a thin skinned fool. Do you see any other politician whining like her? No scurilous things were wtitten about her kids. She made that up as a victim always does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  19. Anonne says:

    lol. The only thing obtuse about the interviews was Palin herself, unable to handle softball questions.

    Every single other contender in the GOP field now could handle Katie Couric’s questions. It’s not as if she were grilling her on specific nuances of foreign policy. A lot of the questions asked were just things that people could relate to, and she showed that she didn’t want to relate, she wanted to parrot empty talking points and get away with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  20. WR says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t know. I miss Hey Norm. But this does give me the opening to the question I keep meaning to ask: Why did you decide to change your “name” from TomP to OH?

    There’s no subtext here, by the way. Just curious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. An Interested Party says:

    However, must I point out how the media ravaged her during the ’08 election , vis-a- vie going through her trash, defaming her children. obtuse interviews by asking her about the Bush Doctrine as well as what newspapers and magazines she read.

    They were just so mean to the poor dear…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  22. Steve Verdon says:

    In the final days of the 2008 campaign, Palin complained that journalists who were asking questions about her and her record were violating her First Amendment rights and that such journalists were “a threat to democracy.” Last year, she essentially said that journalists who printed stories she didn’t like were a threat to freedom of the press.

    Is she related to Hugo Chavez or Kim Jong Il? No, really, the above indicates somebody with a wide authoritarian streak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  23. jan says:

    Palin during the campaign did NO interviews of importrance. How many appaearances did she do on any News networks?

    As Fiona stated in another post above, there were the Gibson and Couric ones that stand out. Gibson supposedly nailed her on the “Bush Doctrine” question. But, there really wasn’t a clearly defined “Bush Doctrine.” It’s basically a widely interpreted and disputed term used to detail what Bush had done in his response to 911, and was construed by many as an unfair question by Gibson.

    Couric’s interview was deemed condescending, especially when so much was made out of Palin’s answers to what publications she read. Palin’s answer was vague and unsophisticated, after which it was immediately translated by opponents as showing how dumb she was. No one even stopped to think that maybe she just didn’t want to answer that question in a serious vein, because she didn’t consider it to be a serious question. For instance, when my son was tested for his IQ, the woman remarked that some questions he refused to deal with. The guidelines she had to follow was to mark him down on it. But, she admitted she couldn’t judge as to whether he did or did not know the answer. So, she put his IQ down as “+ or – 151,” giving him more of range, or the benefit of the doubt.

    Palin, as I read her, doesn’t attempt to fit into a mode that the media is accustomed to reporting on and interviewing. I don’t think she puts them on any pedestal, nor does she feel the need to perform such a way so they like her.

    However, the media grind, that I was referring to as being below the belt, were the hits to her personal life, her family, her special needs child, her daughter’s pregnancy, all normally taboo subjects in other candidates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  24. Murray says:

    “Fox Nation ,,, where all content is user generated.”

    No way! It’s basically a cheap right wing version of the Huffington Post and relies on the same tactics to get its members exited. Catchy & misleading headlines linking to outside content following the same recurrent themes. In other words, FOX News on the web.

    There is absolutely no mechanism for users to influence the editorial content.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    @ Jan…

    “…disputed term..”

    disputed by whom?

    “…deemed condescending…”

    deemed by whom?
    Drudge? The American Thinker? Some other far right wingnut like you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WR:

    A couple yrs after I got out of HS I found myself working at a law firm. For entertainment during my slow times I would hang out in the library (yeah, I was a little wierd) Anyway, during my perusals of various law books, I came across this:

    An Ozark hillbilly is an individual who has learned the real luxury of doing without the entangling complications of things which the dependent and over-pressured city dweller is required to consider as necessities. The hillbilly foregoes the hard grandeur of high buildings and canyon streets in exchange for wooded hills and verdant valleys. In place of creeping traffic he accepts the rippling flow of the wandering stream. He does not hear the snarl of exhaust, the raucous braying of horns, and the sharp, strident babble of many tense voices. For him instead is the measured beat of the katydid, the lonesome, far-off complaining of the whippoorwill, perhaps even the sound of a falling acorn in the infinite peace of the quiet woods. The hillbilly is often not familiar with new models, soirees, and office politics. But he does have the time and surroundings conducive to sober reflection and honest thought, the opportunity to get closer to his God. No, in Southern Missouri the appellation ‘hillbilly’ is not generally an insult or an indignity; it is an expression of envy.

    Why now? Probably cause a yr ago the wife and I bought our cabin in the “wooded hills and verdant valleys”. It’s just 12 and a half acres (layed out flat, it would be closer to 20), but it is way back in the boonie woods.

    Anyway, follow the link and read the case summation (5 mins) It’s a hoot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Fiona says:

    Couric’s interview was deemed condescending, especially when so much was made out of Palin’s answers to what publications she read. Palin’s answer was vague and unsophisticated, after which it was immediately translated by opponents as showing how dumb she was. No one even stopped to think that maybe she just didn’t want to answer that question in a serious vein, because she didn’t consider it to be a serious question.

    Bwah hah hah! If you’re not kidding, Jan, you’re just plain delusional. The question about what stuff she read was a total softball, easy enough for Palin to hit out of the park as opposed to flubbing it. If Palin interpreted it as being condescending, that just goes to show how stupid and thin-skinned she is.

    As for the question on the Bush Doctrine, on the right of this country to start a pre-emptive war if another country seriously threatened our national security, it could be explained in a sentence. This was not a gotcha question.

    However, the media grind, that I was referring to as being below the belt, were the hits to her personal life, her family, her special needs child, her daughter’s pregnancy, all normally taboo subjects in other candidates.

    None of this stuff was fodder for the mainstream media. Bristol’s pregnancy was obvious news. If she was going to be on the campaign trail–and Palin willingly used and uses her family as props–Palin had to own up to it, especially given her family values, abstinence only stances. If one of Obama’s daughters was older turned up pregnant and unwed, you can bet the media would have a field day.

    Most of the truly vicious stuff about her special needs son and whether she was the actual mother was stuff for the blogosphere. You can bet Obama and Hilary were treated to far worse treatment than Palin ever was. The way the media treated her was nothing out of the ordinary except maybe it was too soft. She was never really subjected to a lot of critical scrutiny by the mainstream.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  28. Fiona says:

    Palin, as I read her, doesn’t attempt to fit into a mode that the media is accustomed to reporting on and interviewing. I don’t think she puts them on any pedestal, nor does she feel the need to perform such a way so they like her.

    Nope. She avoids the media as much as possible because she’s at least smart enough to know that she doesn’t have the chops to do interviews with any other than the friendly folks at Faux (although O’Reilly has challenged her on occasion–haven’t seen her on his show in a while. . .hmm). I guess avoidance and undue aggression toward anyone who doesn’t kiss your ass is a mode the press isn’t used to when it comes to someone running for a major political office. But the reason she avoids the press is because she can’t do a regular interview without stumbling all over herself and committing major gaffes. It’s a brilliant policy decision in that it gives her more control over her images and prevents excessive amounts of stupid from leaking out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  29. bACHMANN pERRY oVERDRIVE (formerly Hey Norm) says:

    @ Jan…

    ‘…However, the media grind, that I was referring to as being below the belt, were the hits to her personal life, her family, her special needs child, her daughter’s pregnancy, all normally taboo subjects in other candidates…”

    Palin marched her family out in front of the world. Once you do that…use your family as campaign props…then they are fair game. If you use the birth of Trig to prove your anti-choice bonafides then the birth of Trig is open to discussion. If you use Bristol as a pro-abstinence billboard then Bristol’s behavior is open for examination.
    Shorter version: If you don’t want your family subjected to the spotlight do not put them in the spotlight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  30. WR says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sounds like you’ve found a great way to live and great place to do it in. Congrratulations. And thanks for the explanation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. michael reynolds says:

    Just a little “I told you so” if I may. Back when this ninny first appeared on the national stage some conservatives argued that she just needed seasoning, that she would learn. I always said it would never happen, that we shouldn’t study or learn anything about policy. Ignorance is not a bug with the Palin supporters. Ignorance is what they’re looking for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WR: A lot of work, and a lot more to go, but we will get there.

    Did you follow the link? seriously, go there, it is a laugh a 5 secs:

    But apparently in Stone County, Missouri, there are Four Freedoms recognized:

    the right of a man to be master in his own house,
    the right of a man to fish and hunt with his friends at reasonable times without interference from the wife
    and the right to deal and trade in livestock without the wife’s intervention.
    (no mention what the 4th is; maybe they don’t count very well?)

    My favorite:

    Husband has a right to go fishing without constant and ever-present impediment of female presence and participation, if such be against husband’s will, and wife’s studied, constant, and repeated interference with such right over long period of time can, under certain conditions, constitute an indignity as ground for divorce.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Gulliver says:

    You have to be in love with being stupid to join in with the liberals here on OTB. There’s simply can be no other explanation. I guess they’re right when they say liberalism rots the brain. Nothing comes quite so quickly to mind as the ready visual image of vacant glazes and spittle-flecked lips evidenced by the liberal commenters here in regard to anyone who is to the right of Marx.

    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…. it’s like a mantra with you folks. Get over yourselves. Seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  34. jukeboxgrad says:

    jan:

    However, the media grind, that I was referring to as being below the belt, were the hits to her personal life, her family, her special needs child, her daughter’s pregnancy, all normally taboo subjects in other candidates.

    When a politician puts their kids in the spotlight, those kids are going to get coverage. Lots of politicians put their kids in the spotlight to some extent, but Palin took this to an extreme. Example: she set up a press photo session for Trig when he was three days old. This photo session quickly led to the predictable headlines that impressed her pro-life base. Can you think of a more egregious example of a politician using their kid as a prop? I can’t.

    Palin encouraged the press to pay attention to her kids, and then complained because the press was paying attention to her kids. Typical Palin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0