I finally got to see Sarah Palin on Oprah. Decent stuff. I noticed the same thing that several conservative talk show hosts noticed as well, there was no shots of the audience. The way it was edited, it seemed like there was no audience at all. I’d be interested to know the real story on that. Conservative talkers seemed to think Oprah didn’t want to show an audience full of people nodding in agreement with Sarah.
Here are a few observations I have.
1. People need to wake up to the heavily clouded media lens. If you haven’t seen this Oprah, watch it and listen closely to Sarah’s side of story about the Katie Couric interview. The journalistic standards in the country are very low. I’m not saying that Couric should have taken it any easier on Palin. But, an honest viewer has to see that the media did take it much, much easier on Obama and Biden to the point of propaganda. I think only now, a year later, the media is starting to fidget with the idea of asking Obama some tough questions. All you need to do is simply imagine if Palin or Bush would have been remotely tied to an organization like ACORN. We would have heard the end of it.
2. Would-have, could-haves. When Palin explained her side of the story about her response to Couric’s question about what specific magazines and newspaper Palin read, I believe her. She said she was frustrated. She thought it wasn’t a question that would have been asked any other candidate and felt it was an insult to her and Alaskans. Oprah did us a service in showing that footage from the Couric interview and Palin’s story fits with the reaction and body language I saw. If I could do it over again for Palin, I’d just simply have turned the question around on Couric. What magazines and newspapers do you read?
3. Recommendation for Palin. Figure out how to clearly communicate why you stepped down as Governor. Whatever it is that she’s saying doesn’t come through well. I can’t tell if it’s because the attention that followed her from the campaign was hindering her ability to lead Alaska’s government or if she felt she could have a bigger impact in the U.S. in a private role. Whatever the reason, it still isn’t coming through in a compelling fashion.
4. Oprah? Oprah was harping hard on the degree to which Palin said she was handled during the campaign, like how she was scripted and clothes picked out and provided for her. Oprah. Wake up. Your guy is handled as well. He doesn’t pick out or pay for his suits. Michelle doesn’t either. He has a team of speechwriters, consultants, stylists and advisers to make him and her appear as they do. Oprah, look at yourself, you don’t do all the work to make you look good all by yourself. You have a rather large team to make it all happen.
But on the other, I think the handling is telling of our society. Politicians are products. They are made up by polls and focus groups. They are, generally, who we want them to be (or who their consultants think we want them to be). They’re phony. It would be refreshing to see a real person running for office. I would love to hear a politicians say, “This is what I believe in, this is what I’m going to do, this is what you’ll get if you vote for me. If you don’t want those things, vote for the other candidate.”