Thursday, September 25, 2008

Networks protest blocked access to Palin; Couric interview explains why access is blocked

The McCain/Palin handlers sequestered Gov. Sarah Palin away from the television networks on the occasion of Palin's visits with international leaders at the United Nations. {{Scroll below for frightening comments Palin made to CBS' Couric.}}
Huffington Post issued a compilation of reports from major media outlets (CBS, AP, ABC). This excerpt from ABC News summed up the situation:
There's a battle going on right now over how the networks will be allowed to cover Sarah Palin's big day of visits in NY with world leaders. Palin is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai shortly, followed by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and then with McCain advisor, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The networks had arranged for a "pool" camera- one camera to cover the meetings, whose video would be pooled or shared with all networks. Such arrangements are standard when dealing with intimate high-level meetings between leaders and candidates. But typically, along with cameras, there is an editorial presence-- at least one print reporter, one TV reporter and one radio reporter is standard. Today, the McCain campaign had said it would allow only one editorial person inside. Now, the campaign is saying it wants only the camera inside with no editorial presence. All of the networks are objecting. Stay tuned.

P.S.: The networks have just voted to BAN any use of the photographs/video in protest.

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A major CNN female anchor, Campbell Brown, charged the McCain campaign's treatment of Palin as sexist. The writer wondered whether this cloistering away of the VP pick would have happened were the VP nominee a man.
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Sarah Palin's appearance with CBS News' Katie Couric resolved any questions as to why the McCain/Palin handlers have kept the media away from Palin: She can be an unmitigated disaster when she is allowed to speak unscripted. Commentators such as myself have already expressed great discomfort with her comments. Her statements about Russia, Alaska and her fitness to lead in the international stage suggest to this writer naivete, ignorance and a flippant attitude toward the seriousness of having a deep understanding of international relations. Her statements to Couric profoundly underscore this impression, as reported this afternoon in in the Huffington Post:

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

URL link for above Couric interview.

Click here for a link to CBS News video showing the dizzyingly disorganized melange of cliches that constitutes Palin's thought [in Couric's interview with Palin]. All she does is string together phrases composed of standard economy and foreign policy buzzwords. Her speech does not indicate someone that has a well-conceived conception of policy.

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