Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska who was propelled on to the world stage as Republican vice-presidential candidate, has come out with guns blazing against the media, whom she blames for giving her unfair and class-biased treatment during the election campaign.
In an interview with a rightwing documentary film-maker, Palin attacks local and national newspapers, TV network news, anonymous bloggers and stand-up comics for presenting a distorted image of herself, her family and her Alaskan administration.
Not even staff working for the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, escape her wrath.
In the sharpest attack, she predicts that the media will wear kid gloves in comparison when they talk about Caroline Kennedy, John F Kennedy’s daughter, who is campaigning for Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat. “As we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove there is a class issue here that is a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy,” she says.
In embittered comments to the talk radio host John Ziegler, who is making a documentary that seeks to show that media malpractice lay behind the election of Barack Obama in November, Palin said she became the victim of “absurd” gossip. Blogs were rife with the rumour that she was not the mother of her infant child Trig, born four months before her nomination — rumours that she said persisted today. “It’s a sad state of affairs if the mainstream media is going to rely on anonymous bloggers as the source of their information. Very scary,” she said.
Palin confirmed reports from the time that relations were tense between her and the media handlers working for McCain. She blames them for subjecting her to several interviews with the CBS newscaster Katie Couric, even after the first encounter did not go well. “Going back for more was not a wise decision.”
The Couric interviews helped sustain a view that Palin was naive, ignorant and ill-equipped for presidential office.
In the most embarrassing exchange, Palin appeared unable to answer a Couric question about what newspapers she read. She now says she may have been “too flippant” in answering that question, but insists she interpreted it as implying Alaskans did not read at all. “Of course I read newspapers! I read publications. I spent a lot of time reading our local papers — because that’s my job to know the business of Alaska, but also USA Today yes, and New York Times.