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Greta Van Susteren Bristles At Being Called Todd Palin's “Handler” Despite Acting Like One

Reported by Ellen - May 12, 2009 -

When she's not doing softball interviews with the Palin family, when her husband isn't advising Governor Sarah Palin about her presidential ambitions, when Van Susteren is not criticizing the media for their unflattering coverage of the Palins, Greta Van Susteren might be playing host and Mama Bear to Todd Palin, shielding him from any unfair media attention. But don't call her a handler!

As we recently posted, Sarah Palin was invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner by Fox News. Naturally, we immediately suspected that Van Susteren had a little something to do with the invitation, even though she claims not to socialize with the Palins. Maybe she hasn't before but she certainly did over the weekend. After Governor Palin was forced to cancel, “first dude” Todd Palin took her place. In addition to the dinner, Todd Palin also attended a brunch where he was “led around” by Van Susteren, according to Politico. She also intervened and cut short an attempted interview by the same Politico reporter, Carol E. Lee. Reporting on the incident, Lee referred to Van Susteren as Palin's “host AND handler.

In a response blog, Van Susteren huffed, “I did not bring a guest to be interviewed or grilled by the press but, like everyone else in the media, I brought the guest so the guest could meet people and have a good social time.” Yeah, right. A good social time at a high-profile event that included, according to Van Susteren, “everyone else in the media” and guests such as Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Val Kilmer, Kyra Sedgwick, Brad Cooper, and Tyra Banks. A good social time that just happened to dovetail with Palin's higher political ambitions.

Van Susteren also said, “It was an attempt to interview him when he did not agree to it or ask for it — print paparazzi at a brunch /party! ...The reporter may have been working – but he was not.  He was at a social event and not looking to be ambushed by a surprise interview.”

Maybe Van Susteren sees it this way but does she really expect the rest of us to do so? Come on! We're talking about the husband of someone who is arguably the most famous governor in the country, one who was just recently a vice presidential candidate. I'm sure the First Dude knows that every public appearance is well, a public appearance, even if Van Susteren does not. If he doesn't know how to handle an impromptu conversation or interview (whatever!) with a Washington reporter, he should stay home. Or bring a handler.