The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

19 September 2008

Media Elites Angry Over Sean Hannity's Sarah Palin Interview


Hannity's Highly-Rated Palin Interview Angers Media

*** Anger Over Radio Host's Savage Beating ***

With record ratings resulting from her appearance on the FOX News Channel, Palin Derangement Syndrome has begun to target those who merely interview the Alaskan governor as well as the candidate herself.

Yes, to gain the approval of Sarah Palin's liberal enemies, the interviewer apparently must insult her, question whether she can be trusted around teenage boys, or ask about her private (yet somehow hacked) emails.

Of course, that Sean Hannity was granted this interview, as opposed to Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews or Whoopi Goldberg, was bound to set off this crowd. And we should have seen the personal insults coming a mile away.

But is it really necessary to be quite so nasty? At least they've come up with one or two new ones: at, Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine derides Hannity as a "steak salesman":

Steak salesman was in rare form with Palin


Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the various other radio talkers are pitchmen, not conservatives. Their job is to sell you products, and they're pretty good at it. But only a complete moron - oops, I mean a populist - could take Hannity seriously when he analyzes presidential politics one minute and then gives a pitch for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse the next.

Though I confess it does make me want a steak aged in butter.

Seen in that light, Hannity's interview of Republican vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin Wednesday night was a new low in the descent into populism I lamented in my column the other day.

Palin has been dodging journalists from the day she got the nomination. This is always a bad sign. If you don't think you can handle any question anyone throws at you, then you have no business running for office. Until recently, John McCain's claim to fame was taking on all questions from reporters.

Palin though chose the most compliant of interviewers in Hannity.

Funny enough,
if Hannity didn't have advertisers (as is the case with our friends at Air America Radio), he'd be slammed for that as well. That's the way these guys play the game.

Perhaps what's really motivating this slice-and-dice analysis, however, is anger over the huge ratings generated by part one of the interview (part two figures are due soon):

Hannity & Colmes (well, mostly Hannity) welcomed Gov. Sarah Palin last night, and was helped to its second highest ratings in Total Viewers during 2008. In the A25-54 demo, it was the 3rd highest of the year.

Palin was involved in the top-rated H&C as well — it was the night of her speech at the RNC.

In prime time last night, FNC averaged 4,107,000 total viewers and 1,093,000 in the demo.

Obviously, no one expects Palin and Hannity to get a free pass from their opponents in the Obama campaign and his media fellow-travellers. But the depths to which they've been willing to sink in the name of destroying Sarah Palin are breathtaking.

For his part, Hannity took the opportunity to get a sense of Palin's personal nature, asking how she's felt about some of the attacks from the Obama campaign:

HANNITY: When you were first announced as Senator McCain's running mate, the Obama campaign put out a statement and here's what it was. It said, "Today, Senator McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000, with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat from the presidency." Perhaps they forgot you got promoted.

But how did that make you feel?

PALIN: Oh, you know, it's motivating to me, Sean. Because it's, OK, not only personally, well, I have opportunity to prove what the capabilities are here. But I so respected John McCain, his maverick streak in him there really being made manifest in choosing someone who has a track record of that commitment to reform, of being able to share the examples of the reform, the practices that have been implemented and have been good for the people whom I have been serving. I've been working for the people of Wasilla and Alaska. And in my job also in overseeing such a healthy portion of the U.S. domestic production of oil.

Those things that I add to the ticket, certainly our opponents are going to ignore all that and they're going to send their opposition researchers up to Alaska. They've got dozens of them up there now.

He also pressed her to address key points that were glossed over during Palin's previous interview with Charles Gibson:

HANNITY: You said that — in the last part of your interview with Charles Gibson — you said that you thought that Senator Obama, he probably regrets it now, in terms of not picking Senator Clinton.

Why do you feel that way?

PALIN: I think Senator Clinton had shown a lot of determination and stick-to-itiveness in her campaigns and I have to respect that. I don't have to agree with all that she tried to push through and parts of her agenda. In fact, I don't agree with all of it.

But there are some things that Hillary Clinton did that nobody can take away from her. And that is the 18 million cracks that she put there in that highest and hardest glass ceiling in America's political scene. She was able to affect that and I respect that.

Her nearly invisible Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has claimed she's "sheltering" herself from the media. But almost no one seems to be paying attention to the Delaware senator. What's worse, facing a barrage of personal attacks, or being ignored?

Palin's taking unprecedented heat because it's clear to the left that she's an effective leader. That has them running scared.

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  • Hello there;

    Why on earth is this low level these people slither to breathtaking? It's been the same for six decades. The rhetoric was bad in the 1940s, though it's become utterly vile. Then again, so has the rest of the culture.

    Nice post, btw.

    By Blogger Rudy Carrera, at 19 September, 2008 03:40  

  • Palin is The Holy Cross to Liberal vampires, she refutes the idiocy of the feminazi lifestyle and that enrages the buffoons to near psychotic frenzy.

    there is NO argument that a liberal can bring against her that isnt tinged with hypocracy or insanity.

    witness , my friends, the slow suicide of the last vestiges of the socialist core of the Dem Party

    even if "McGrandpa and VPILF Sara" Lose the greater damage has been done.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 September, 2008 06:20  

  • The agony of the Left is unending delight.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 September, 2008 07:28  

  • The beauty of McCain's strategy is that he is using Palin as the kook's lightening rod.

    The media keeps attacking Palin and McCain is able to stay above the fray.

    And what is so delectable is the far left realizes they are playing right into this magnificent strategy, but just like lemmings jumping off the cliff, the wackos can't stop themselves.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 19 September, 2008 09:10  

  • Only problem conservatives, your own party is rejecting Palin. Even the neo-cons like Charles Krauthammer are calling out Palin's lack of ability to lead. From Charles Krauthammer to Chuck Hagel, conservatives are rejecting Palin....

    and Palin has had an opposite effect on women voters. I know the truth is horrible cons but it must be pointed out. Before Palin McCain had the lead amoung White female voters, now Obama has the lead....... Overall post Palin Obama gained big time in the over all female vote, pre Palin, both candidates had equal support from Females, now Obama has over 52% of the female voters and 58% of White female voters......

    It has backfired.........

    Hannity-cons and ditto-heads of course are ignoring these trends and ignoring wht their own people are saying........

    and yes... Hannity kicked ass in the ratings, but that interview did nothing to win over voters.... NOTHING..... It was the soft-ball world series.

    note: funny how Maloney is not talknig about the incredible ratings Rachel Madow received in her first 2 weeks. Her NEW show was the highest EVER rated debut talk show in cable news history.... She is a few hundred viewers away in the 25-54 age group from Hannity and Colmes.
    Silece from the radical right, is all I hear..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 September, 2008 10:40  

  • Brian wrote:
    "Her nearly invisible Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has claimed she's "sheltering" herself from the media. But almost no one seems to be paying attention to the Delaware senator. What's worse, facing a barrage of personal attacks, or being ignored?

    First , she is being sheltered from the media. When is she going to be made available to the media as a whole, rather than just a select few softball tossers?

    Regarding the "invisible" Joe Biden: It's not Biden's fault that he is not being covered by the media. I'm sure he would welcome some coverage.

    Regarding Benson's observation that McCain is staying above the fray, there is no doubt that the less McCain is examined, the greater his chances are of winning.
    It's laughable he complains about Obama not jumping out with a position on the AIG bailout. This after McCain came out firmly against the bailout, and then flip-flopped and supported the bailout on the early show the next morning.

    Perhaps Obama figured McCain had both sides of the issue covered all by himself.

    By Blogger Ezsuds, at 19 September, 2008 12:12  

  • The Star-Ledger's Paul Mulshine has to get has last digs in since he may soon be out of a job (and New Jersey's liberal mouthpiece may be closing its doors):

    By Blogger The Pot, at 19 September, 2008 12:58  

  • As a conservative I felt the interview was a disaster. I don't need to know how she feels about the Obama camp and I certainly don't need Hannity to point out the false attacks the Dems are making (just like the left doesn't need anyone to tell them McCain's ads aren't pure, either)... Palin needs hard questions and intense criticism - its the only way to convince those of us who are Republican but not in the base she can take the reins if need be...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 September, 2008 16:29  

  • the rino anonymous said: "Palin needs hard questions and intense criticism"

    Of course she is running for the 2nd slot.

    Wouldn't it be nice if anonymous and the media felt the same way about Obama who is running for the #1 slot.

    But all we see are repeat videos of Barack dancing with Ellen Degeneres over and over again.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 19 September, 2008 22:49  

  • Blogger The Benson Report said...

    "Of course she is running for the 2nd slot.... Wouldn't it be nice if anonymous and the media felt the same way about Obama who is running for the #1 slot."

    I agree completely; Obama's their darling and Heaven forbid he be thoroughly vetted... or Biden for that matter.

    However I know I'm not going to vote for Obama; I don't know enough about Palin to be confident that she will make a good president. I'm just saying Republicans need to know, and these puff pieces aren't quite cutting it.

    We have the debates coming up, though. Palin can show us she's ready; Biden can show the country he's got a comb over.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 September, 2008 00:27  

  • I frequently listen to WHMP and its asiblings when I'm in Western Massachusetts, and they run plenty of commercials...usually for local merchants and service providers in Hamden and Franklin counties. When WTTT-AM 1150 was running non-stop far-right-wing talk, they had nothing but Andy Willoughby("How in the world are you today?") 3-step plan spots or get out of debt without making a hit on your credit report spots.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 September, 2008 14:09  

  • Anonymous said: "However I know I'm not going to vote for Obama; I don't know enough about Palin to be confident that she will make a good president.

    Well, if you aren't going to vote for Obama and you have not been able to make up your mind after almost 4 weeks of the most intense scrutinty of Palin by the every type of media, I doubt her participation in a debate with Joe "Plugs" Biden will sway your opinion.

    You better start researching your choice for President of the USA. You can select: Bob Barr, Charles Baldwin, Cynthia McKinney, or Ralph Nader.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 20 September, 2008 20:05  

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