Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Does Stuart Varney Get A Thrill Up His Leg When He Spins For Sarah Palin?

Reported by Priscilla - July 3, 2009 -

Obviously, the leg thrill thing is a reference to Chris Matthews infamous quote about his reaction to Barack Obama. But I had to wonder if Varney was experiencing the same frisson during his two hours coveragepalooza of Sarah Palin’s announcement that she was resigning as governor of Alaska. While his format met the requirements of fair and balanced, Varney’s bias was clearly evident in his commentary. With the exception of “campaign” Carl Cameron’s short piece, Chris Wallace’s (filling in for Bret Baier) show (the 10 minutes that I saw) looked really “fair and balanced” by comparison.

MSNBC was doing a day of prison material. CNN was doing their regular news with lot of Michael Jackson. But good old Fox was at the ready for all Sarah, all the time – at least from 4 to 6PM. As I said, Varney spoke with a couple of democrats as well as republicans and conservatives (not all of whom were supportive of Palin’s move). But that didn’t stop Varney from exposing his not so subtle affection for Sarah Palin shared by “campaign” Carl who said for Palin, “faith and family” is so important and that she has “lots of support which could serve her well in the primaries.” (But is she really running?) I wonder what the Romney folks think about Cameron’s description of Palin as a “conservative purist.” Cameron mentioned the “tremendous toll” that Palin has experienced in defending herself against ethics complaints. But when folks like political analyst Professor Larry Sabato, and journalists Byron Yorke and Rich Lowry said that they didn’t really understand the reason behind the decision and how this would help Palin, Varney praised her and said that “she broke the mold.” Despite both Lanny Davis and a Democratic analyst describing Palin’s speech as “rambling,” Varney smiled when, at one point, he asked “have you ever heard a speech like that?” Varney gave Mike Huckabee quite a bit of time to praise Palin (Huckabee did say that politics can be brutal but stopped short of saying that if you can’t take it you shouldn’t be there.) Varney said “I’m with you all the way.” Varney also interviewed Palin praiser Lynn Forrester (the Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild who supported Hillary Clinton but then endorsed John McCain.). When Varney said that “some people are saying that Palin is breaking under pressure,” Forester effused about Palin being a “fighter” and a “real factor going forward.” To Varney’s comment that “democrats are saying that Palin is running away,” Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton said that Palin is saying that “she can make a difference” outside the governor’s office. Varney asked, “which attacks and there have been many, have affected her the most? Can I raise the Letterman joke that must have gotten to her.”

Varney commented, to Lanny Davis, “she is the target of vicious personal attacks.” Using a phrase that was repeated during the two hours, Varney added “she’s stepping outside the box and speaking from her heart.” Davis said that while he sympathized with her regarding the attacks, “the speech made no sense.” Varney claimed that the speech made sense to the Alaskans who understand her motivation. In interviewing a democratic spokesperson, Varney asked “how to you feel, as a woman, about those democrats who made such scurrilous, disgraceful, and personal attacks on this woman? How do you feel about Letterman’s comment? (Varney mentioned the Letterman thing several times during the two hours) Varney asked if any other political woman has been attacked in this way. The woman (sorry, I was cooking dinner and trying to take notes so I didn’t get her name) quickly said “Hillary Clinton.” She added that Clinton’s one time “cleavage” was the subject of much media attention. Varney, indignantly and loudly said “I don’t think that you can compare that with the joke from David Letterman.” But then the coup de grace – “Do you think the level and intensity of hostility thrown at Sarah Palin by democrats is a measure of their fear of her?” (Could you be specific, Stuart?) Before she could answer, Varney broke off the conversation because he had new video of another part of the rambling speech. Wallace’s show began after that. Cameron talked about Palin’s “bruising experiences” since last year’s campaign. Mercifully, Wallace then went on to foreign affairs. Also interesting was the constant playing of Palin video footage which included a three section screen with a still portrait of Palin in one of the sections. Varney could barely contain his admiration for Sarah Palin. His talking points were in synch with Palin and her supporters. ("The elites despise her") Maybe he could be her presidential press secretary. I’m sure Sarah would have been pleased with his “coverage.”