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Fox News’ Trace Gallagher Likens Sarah Palin To Bill Clinton, George W. Bush And Al Gore

Reported by Ellen - April 15, 2010 -

I’ll give Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and reporter Trace Gallagher some credit for not totally jumping to the defense of Sarah Palin with regard to her high-maintenance demands when giving a speech - demands that include bendable straws, a large Lear Jet and pre-screened questions. Still, Gallagher made a point of defending her hefty $100,000 + fees by laughably comparing Palin to former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. With video.

Gallagher's report, on America Live yesterday (4/14/10), focused on the dispute between a California State University foundation, which hired Palin to speak at a gala, and a student group demanding to know how much she was paid. According to ABC News, Palin was reportedly paid $75,000, an amount which is sticking in the craw of many students who have seen their fees rise and classes cut. After the foundation refused to reveal the amount it was paying, saying it was forbidden to do so by contract, students went “dumpster diving,” as Kelly put it, “and lo and behold, they found several pages (of Palin’s contract) in the trash.”

Gallagher did a reasonably balanced report on the dispute and, to my surprise, even spoke snarkily about Palin. After noting that a state legislator had likened the matter to Watergate, Gallagher said, “We’re not sure if he means Bottled Watergate, though, because some students… fished through the trash can on campus and... we found out what Sarah Palin’s requests were: She wanted to fly business or first class, or on a Lear Jet 600 which is larger than a normal Lear Jet, a one bedroom suite with two extra hotel rooms, two bottles of water on the lectern with a bendable straw - I hate those straight straws, don’t you?”

“They really can hurt the roof of your mouth,” Kelly said sarcastically.

“She also, by the way, wants her questions pre-screened,” Gallagher added.

But then, he said, “We did a little research. We don’t know exactly how much Sarah Palin’s making for this but we know she makes up to $100,000. They’re (the school) going to make about $200,000 on the speech.”

But how much has the school made in previous years, without her? Gallagher’s “research” didn’t seem to go there. It only seemed to go toward justifying the expense and comparing Palin to Clinton, Bush, Gore and Kerry. Gallagher noted that Clinton gets “200,000 and up,” Bush gets “$150,000 and up,” and Gore gets $175,000. “And just so you know,” Gallagher continued, “John Kerry makes sure that you cannot give him spicy food, doesn’t want chocolate, and he likes, along with his bottled water, Boost.” I don't know about you but for me, Boost and bland food doesn't quite compare to Lear Jets and pre-screened questions.

There’s another big problem with the comparison: Much as I disliked Bush, he is the former president. Clinton, Gore and Kerry held or still hold high public office. Palin, on the other hand, is a former vice presidential candidate who quit halfway through her first term as governor of Alaska and has proven over and over again to be a lightweight on policy.

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