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FOX Friends heart Sarah Palin

Reported by Chrish - September 4, 2008 -

I remarked to my colleagues yesterday that nothing short of Sarah Palin's soiling herself on stage would prevent the cheerleaders at FOX from pronouncing her as "hitting a home run" with her speech last night, so I woke up laughing as Steve Doocy announced that program viewers emailing their thoughts had "overwhelmingly...thought she knocked it out of the park." The hosts were similarly enthusiastic.

She "delivered under pressure," she was "relaxed and in her element," "good with the teleprompter;" members of the mainstream media have "pummeled" her. What was "most amazing" to Gretchen Carlson was how "understated" yet "effective" Palin's speech was, she was "straight down the middle" and "so refreshing," and so many people are going to be able to relate to her because she's just like one of them!" (Again, I suspect that was the reasoning behind the choice: although FOX and Friends regularly praises the effectiveness of the "celebrity" ads McCain has run about Barack Obama, the real elite label has stuck to the old white multi-millionaire with a month's groceries on his feet and a private jet for travel between his multiple homes.)

The Friends went on a three-headed tear about how the media is "sexist" because they are investigating and asking questions about Palin's family and background, questions that would not be asked of a male candidate. They demanded to know why the media hasn't been asking about Joe Biden's family this week, ignoring the fact that Sarah Palin is a complete unknown and has just been nominated by a desperate McCain campaign for the second highest position in the country.

The Friends cited a snippet from Palin's speech and were "blown away" by it: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate." They failed to note that this, along with numerous other attacks on Obama, is false:

"Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis came on, and said "some people" told him she was "Thatcheresque," and praised her performance and poise. He claimed not to pay attention to the news media,moments after noting the media reaction to the new-product rollout last Friday. Several times the talking point that Palin has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined was brought out. Understandably, Davis praised and promoted the Republican candidates as the Friends sounded their agreement and approval.

Susan Estrich, a Democratic strategist, agreed wholeheartedly with the Friends that the media has been unfair and sexist in its reporting on Palin, and expressed disappointment in liberals who question Palin's choices about pre-natal care and childcare for her infant. In order to have her personal choices respected, said Estrich, she has to respect other women's choices. That does not prevent her from strongly disagreeing with Palin's political stances, for example her position that abortion should be criminalized, even for victims of rape and/or incest or to save the mother's life.

As I check in at FOX, I've seen the same glowing promotional tone all morning from numerous sources. During the Democratic Convention we were much more likely to hear from Obama-Biden critics, many of them the same ideologues I'm seeing now praising the McCain-Palin ticket.

FOX will claim the most fairandbalanced coverage because they'll squeeze in an agreeable Democrat or two and even allow a critic on occasion, but the critic will be rebutted after their appearance and the agenda message reinforced by the familiar cast of characters: Bill Kristol, Karl Rove, Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee, Fred Barnes, Dick Morris, Juan Williams, Mort Kondracke, PUMA members, and McCain supporters.

As I write this I've heard Chris Wallace call her "a breath of fresh air," Bill Kristol say she was "fantastic" and comparable to Reagan, Juan Williams was "knocked out by her," and here's Chris Wallace again calling her a "smash hit." Such unabashed slobbering from the fairandbalanced network - ugh.