While discussing the potential upset of incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska after Sarah Palin endorsed her opponent and unknown candidate Joe Miller, Greta Van Susteren decided to pretend that Palin doesn’t have anyone advising her. And as Think Progress noted, this isn't the worst of Van Susteren's reporting on Palin.
Last night, Fox News aired the final part of its three-day special on oil drilling in Alaska, in which host Greta Van Susteren got the “inside story” from former governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd. The special, shot on location, featured airplane flights over the tundra, boat rides in Valdez harbor, and interviews with the Palins on their dock. As Media Matters noted, the special “basically boil[ed] down to a three-day infomercial of Palin touting her positions on ANWR and her record of ‘play[ing] hardball’ with oil companies as governor.”
Indeed, while the special included numerous interviews with pro-drilling advocates — including the Palins and a vice president of Shell Oil — “The Case Against Drilling in ANWR” was reserved for last night, confined to an interview with Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA).
Beyond the questionable seriousness of Van Susteren’s report, there is a deeper ethical concern. Van Susteren’s husband John Coale is one of “the figures charged with guiding Palin’s political image in Washington,” but Van Susteren never revealed this connection during the special. Coale has described himself as simply a “friend” of Palin, but has acknowledged that he helped her start her leadership PAC. “Others familiar with Palin’s political team insist that Coale has far more power than he is letting on — essentially helping to run Sarah PAC,” the Washington Post first reported.
Go read the rest. And for more on Greta pretending that Palin doesn't have anyone advising her since she didn't "see them" herself during her infomercial for Palin, here's this from TPM. I guess since they weren't doing interviews for Greta they don't exist. Van Susteren would probably like us to believe that Palin's ghost writers that wrote her books and what there is of her coherent Facebook posts don't exist either.
As Sarah Palin relaunches her image for the next stage of her political career, there's a small set of advisers who are shaping the former governor's policy positions and public persona.
The group, a brain trust of sorts, includes Randy Scheunemann, the lobbyist who advised McCain on foreign policy and was one of the architects of the Iraq War, and Kim Daniels, a little-known conservative attorney who specializes in "rights of conscience" health care issues.
For now, they are cementing their positions of influence in Palin's world as she sells books, gives $100,000 speeches, and hits the campaign trail for Republicans around the country.
No matter what Palin is planning to do next, it's worth examining who it is that has her ear.
Transcript via LexisNexis:
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's neck and neck. It's a nail-biter in Alaska. We are still waiting for election results in the United States Senate primary there between incumbent Republican senator Lisa Murkowski and tea party favorite Joe Miller, who endorsed by Governor Sarah Palin. Now, Miller right now holds a razor-thin lead in the race, but will the Palin effect give the underdog a win?
Former White House press secretary Dana Perino joins us live. Dana, I just -- I just threw the question also at your former colleague, Karl. But I'm curious, the Palin effect -- I mean, that is her home state, but She seems to have an effect all over the country, at least getting the media revved up.
DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: It's interesting to me to read the media because today, she's got -- you know, she won all five of her races. But I think it was just a week or two weeks ago that the media said -- I mean, a couple of the candidates she had endorsed didn't actually -- didn't win, that they said, Oh, the Palin effect is over. And it's sort of like watching kids when they play soccer. They all run to the ball. And they -- just to take a step back, she does have an impact! She brings enthusiasm...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Miller was a dark...
PERINO: ... and energy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Miller was a dark horse. I mean, the fact that they're even in this neck-and-neck right now (INAUDIBLE) look at it that -- you know, that there's -- there's some impact. Now, maybe even the people that she chose who lost, they would have fallen much farther behind. I mean, it's hard to tell. It's sort of like jobs saved. We can't even -- I mean, some things you can't calculate.
PERINO: Right. Well, it's interesting to me that a lot of us did -- I think, a lot of us thought that Murkowski would win. And she's the incumbent and she ran a good race. I heard today from -- that one of -- somebody who knows her campaign staff well, about a month ago, three weeks ago, they said, We could be in trouble here because Joe Miller is surging and doing better. So they kind of knew that it was coming. What's interesting is that the rest of the country and the media didn't. I mean, we all were focused on Arizona. We were focused on Florida. And here we have the most interesting race of this past -- Tuesday's primary in Alaska.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's all sort of interesting because you have Joe Miller, who's -- who's been -- has a tea party following. And she's associated, of course, with many members of the tea party. On the other hand, there's also the sort of the chatter, the behind the scenes that Lisa Murkowski and Governor Palin have some sort of feud going because she's -- she beat her father, Murkowski's father, to become essentially governor of Alaska and that those two might have some feud and so that's why she went with Joe Miller. I don't know, but...
PERINO: You hear that in states -- and you know, Karl writes about it in his book, about the intra-fighting amongst -- even within -- within the party that you have in Texas, for example, that you've had for years. And every state has that.
But she does bring an enthusiasm and an energy to a race, and where it matters in terms of voter turn-out, she can help be the deciding factor, right, because now they're having to wait for absentee ballots. I don't know how those are going to break, if Lisa Murkowski can pull it out or not.
But I think also people just assume that women will support other women, right, and that's not necessarily the case. I think that people are making their decisions based on who they think will be the best candidate, and Sarah Palin thought that Joe Miller would be.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting about Palin, though, is that she's not currently in office. She has not indicated she's going to run for office. And yet she's able to raise money and to get people enthusiastic. And so -- why?
PERINO: Well, most of the people that are your usual suspects that would run for the Republican nomination have not said that they're actually going to run for president. They've all sort of (INAUDIBLE) hang out there.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think she's going to run for president?
PERINO: I don't know. I really don't know.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I have no idea, but I mean -- I'm pretty sure, if I were a betting person, I think Gingrich is. I think Santorum is. I think Romney is. I think Huckabee. I mean, I'm pretty -- I mean, none of them -- none of them has said that, but I...
PERINO: I would imagine that there's a camp of hers that looks at this and says, Look at what you're able to do in these different states.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I don't think she has a camp!
PERINO: ... the nomination.
VAN SUSTEREN: It was sort of interesting. We were up there last...
PERINO: I saw that.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... (INAUDIBLE) doing the drilling. She doesn't have any, quote, "camp"!
VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't see one single, you know, staff person. It's just Governor Palin, her husband and her children!
PERINO: Which is what is so remarkable. And maybe that's one of the things that would make it different.
VAN SUSTEREN: But she has to have some machine up there, that, you know, machine full of people.
VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't see one aide, one assistant. I saw nobody! I mean, that was so bizarre. It's like, you know, she's up -- she's essentially up there, like -- she and Todd are, like, a two-person machine!
PERINO: Well, and she can almost -- in all -- we're talking about it tonight. All the media is talking about it. They constantly talk about her. So in some ways, she gets all of the earned media that she doesn't have to pay for.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what is it? You know, what is it about Palin that every single person in the media's talking about her?
PERINO: Well, I think that she's intriguing on many different levels, on -- you know, people -- like, on the left, they like to hate her. On the right, they like to support her, but they're kind of confused by her. They're not sure if she's going to run, is she not. Some people disagree with her leaving the governor's office, you know, sort of mid-stream and they think she should have stayed. And they're not really sure if they think she has enough experience.
There are those on the other side, though, that think, You know what? She's like us and we can trust her. And that anti-Washington feeling was palpable throughout the country yesterday. And I think incumbents of all stripes are in a little bit of trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: But there's something weird about the fact that she shakes up the voters. She shakes up the people running for office. And she shakes up the media. And it's just the two of them. She and Todd are in Alaska and then she comes down periodically, gives speeches and goes back. I mean, there's something...
PERINO: I think also, she confounds people because she doesn't care about being knocked around. I mean, people call her all sorts of things. They write all sorts of things about her in the media, and she just gives it right back. And I think that there's a little bit of people appreciating the fact that she has that kind of a fight and spirit in her.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's interesting to watch. I don't know if she'll run or what impact she'll have on other races...
PERINO: I don't, either.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... but you know, everybody certainly is following it.
PERINO: Well, and also people (INAUDIBLE) an impact in the primary, but will it be a good impact in the general election if she endorsed them in the primary?
VAN SUSTEREN: We'll see. Dana, thank you.