Palin: Media Portrayal Would Be 'Prettier' If She'd Been Dem VP Candidate

Former VP candidate says media would've "loved" her had she been on Dem ticket.

ByLEE FERRAN via logo
January 9, 2009, 2:45 PM

Jan. 9, 2009 — -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is still fuming over the coverage she received during the presidential campaign and claims that if she were from a different "class" or political party, the her coverage would have much "prettier."

In excerpts of a Jan. 5 interview with a conservative filmmaker, Palin unleashed a barrage of criticism at CBS News' Katie Couric, comedian Tina Fey and the media in general.

In the video clip, which is just over nine minutes long, the former vice presidential candidate told John Ziegler, creator of the upcoming documentary "Media Malpractice," that she endured lazy reporting, unequal scrutiny and bias from the "mainstream media."

If she had been a Democrat, Palin said, the media would have "loved" her.

She also appeared to still be angry over reports that she had spent $150,000 of GOP cash on a new wardrobe while she was the party's VP candidate.

"It's a sad state of affairs in the world of the media today, mainstream media especially, if they're going to rely on anonymous bloggers for their hard news information. Very scary," the Alaska governor said. "Reporters, especially, not taking one extra step to get to the facts and report the facts, but instead continuing to spread things that are not true.

"Is it political? Is it sexism? What is it that drives someone to believe the worst and perpetuate the worst?" Palin continued.

Palin said her party affiliation likely had something to do with it.

"Had I been chosen perhaps to run as a reformer on the Democratic ticket, you would've seen an absolutely different, and I think if you will, a much prettier profile of Sarah Palin and the Palin family," she said.

To illustrate her point, Palin drew a connection between her campaign and that of New York Senate hopeful and Democrat Caroline Kennedy.

"I've been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled, and if she'll be handled with kid gloves or if she'll be under such a microscope also," Palin said. "I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here."

Palin Takes Aim at Couric and Fey

Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said Palin's expectation that Kennedy would be given preferential treatment has turned out to be wrong.

"Caroline Kennedy is not being treated with kid gloves," Sheinkopf told He noted the exhaustive and often critical coverage of Kennedy's "lack of clarity in answering questions" and "inability to articulate."

Torie Clark, a former Bush aide and consultant to ABC News, agreed.

"I've been surprised by the negative coverage Kennedy's gotten," Clark said. "I don't get where she [Palin] sees a real disparity."

Palin also took aim at CBS anchor Katie Couric, whose interviews with the governor, as Palin said, "didn't go well."

One exchange during the Couric interview that was frequently replayed was Palin's halting answer when asked which newspapers she read. Palin eventually said, "All of them."

"To me, the question was more along the lines of 'Do you read?' 'What do you guys do up there?' 'What it is that you read?'" Palin told Ziegler. "Perhaps I was too flippant in my answer back to her. Of course I read newspapers, I read publications. I spend a lot of time of course reading our local papers ... but also USA Today and The New York Times.

"I never saw the interview after Katie edited it, spliced it together, whatever they did. My understanding is so many other topics that were brought up certainly weren't portrayed as accurately as they could have, should have been after that interview."

Palin's criticism took on a more personal tone when Ziegler showed Palin a clip of a "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Fey parodied her and made a joke about her then-pregnant teenage daughter.

"The mamma grizzly rises up in me hearing things like that," Palin said. "Cool. Fine. Come attack me, but when you make a suggestion like that, that attacks a kid, that kills me. It kills me."

Palin grouped both Couric and Fey in with "a lot of people that are capitalizing, perhaps exploiting" her.

Clark said she is not surprised Palin took aim at the media with such gusto.

"I do think she got roughed up some by several in the media," Clark said. "I'm sure she still has hard feelings about how she was treated by the media and by the campaign."

Those hard feelings seemed to bubble to the surface twice during the Jan. 5 interview when Palin watched a clip of a Couric interview on the "Late Show." The CBS News anchor asked why no journalist had ever repeated the newspaper question to Palin.

"Because, Katie, you're not the center of everybody's universe," Palin quipped. "Maybe that's why they didn't ask that question. There are so many other things to be asked."

Palin's Media Complaints May Be Calculated

Sheinkopf said he believes there is more to Palin's interview than airing grievances.

"It's her trying to keep her national franchise going among Republicans," he said. "The joke is over and she's being very serious. By doing so, Republicans on the outside have someone to rally around."

"If it works, it's a smart way to get those who feel on the outside to cling to her," Sheinkopf said.

But it all could easily be just Palin wanting to get things "off her chest," said Clark.

"That's more the natural Sarah Palin. Be direct. Be forthright," Clark said. While it could be part of a broader strategy, Clark said Palin is likely just trying not to close any doors.

Regardless of the motivation behind Palin's words, Clark said that when the candid talk comes out, one thing is for sure: "That's Sarah Palin being Sarah Palin."