Still Not Reading
If Katie Couric never contributes anything further to good journalism (she hasn't, and she won't), she deserves credit for helping to expose Sarah Palin. In September, 2008, she had the following exchange with the would-be vice-president:
Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
Couric: What, specifically?
Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.
Couric: Can you name a few?
Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, "Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?" Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.
"Why, of course she reads newspapers!" we heard from the right, except when we heard "who reads newspapers anymore, anyway?"
But Palin was stung by the criticism she received for inadvertently acknowledging she was ill-informed. And two years after she and Senator McCain were rejected for higher office, she boasted she does like to pick up a dead tree scroll. After being criticized by a Wall Street Journal reporter, she pointed to a different WSJ article which allegedly buttressed her viewpoint. She crowed on Facebook "Now I realize I'm just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper. I'm surprised a prestigious reporter for The Wall Street Journal doesn't."
Except that it now appears that she doesn't read newspapers either or, rather, relevant magazine articles of social significance. On December 18, she would write on her Facebook page "Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us" (comment from The Young Turks, below). ButfFive days later, questioned by GOP TV's Greta Van Susteren, Palin would admit “I haven’t read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it."
Sure, the ex-governor jumped to conclusions when she impulsively defended Phil Robertson and chastised his critics. But she would have gotten away with it if she simply had taken fifteen minutes out of her publicity-crazed schedule to read the interview.
But then Sarah Palin wouldn't have been Sarah Palin. Still, she would have been the pol who was tapped five years ago by John McCain to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, a position in which she could have explained that she would have bombed Iran even if she had first read the briefing papers.