Humor Column: Snark Attack
Fox News hates Sarah Palin
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
"It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."
-Sarah Palin, on joining the Fox News team
Like a wild Alaskan salmon swimming upstream to return to its place of birth to spawn, Sarah Palin began her new career last week as a commentator for Fox News.
While this revelation has inspired tidal waves of hateful vitriol from competing networks and magma-like flows of incendiary spurn from bloggers across the Web, I find Ms. Palin's return to the airwaves refreshing and far past due.
She has proven time and again that although she doesn't speak with the same accent as many Americans, she serves as a megaphone for their Busch-soaked voices.
Her wisdom is like moonshine, homemade from the finest American ingredients. It offends the palates of the uninitiated, but those cultured enough to have the taste for it are left violently intoxicated.
Fox News should feel fortunate to have her.
Instead of welcoming Ms. Palin into the fold with a warm embrace, however, Fox News trotted out cold and callous thugs Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck to berate and batter her like two cougars on a catnip mouse.
Honestly, it was like watching a two-headed Lou Dobbs gnaw on a terrified puppy.
Ms. Palin's first appearance was on "The O'Reilly Factor," where the titular host introduced her by playing a video montage of jealous pundits denigrating her and her new employer.
"Unfortunately," Democratic commentator Paul Begala said in a clip from CNN, "there's just going to be one more ignorant right-winger on Fox News."
Instead of coming to Ms. Palin's defense and denouncing Begala's words as the liberal ramblings of a blatant misogynist, he used the attack as an opportunity to tout the popularity of his own show.
"Now here's how dumb that comment is," O'Reilly limply retorted. "'The Factor' beats CNN five to one (in number of viewers) at 8 p.m., and we expect that to increase with Sarah Palin on board."
O'Reilly never denied that Ms. Palin - or he himself - is an "ignorant right-winger" like any other decent American would have. He simply noted that she draws positive ratings.
O'Reilly also displayed an utter lack of decorum when he pumped Ms. Palin for hard answers on America's relationship with Iran. Everyone knows that the first day at a new job is a blow-off day, but here was old Red-Face O'Reilly trying to paint Ms. Palin into a corner during her first official segment.
To her credit, Ms. Palin dodged the question like a pro.
Fox's assault on Ms. Palin continued later in the week with an hour-long interrogation by the perpetually teary Glenn Beck.
Throughout the interview, he referred to Ms. Palin as "Governor Palin," telegraphing the fact that he had not paid close enough attention to her career to remember that she resigned abruptly - albeit patriotically - from her gubernatorial duties in July of last year.
It's called "research," Glenn. Look into it.
He also tried to stump the former governor by asking the "gotcha" question, "Who's your favorite (founding father)?"
Again, Ms. Palin deftly maneuvered around the issue - as she did with Katie Couric's patronizing question about what news sources she read to stay informed - by responding, "Well, all of them."
But Beck's most egregious violation of trust came when he attempted to lead Ms. Palin into the poorly-rated lion's den by suggesting that they co-host "Saturday Night Live," the same show that helped destroy her public image.
She laughed indulgently as Beck marveled at the ignorance it must have taken for the public to confuse Tina Fey's witless caricature with the actual vice presidential candidate. How was it possible, he wondered aloud, that he and Ms. Palin picked up on the joke but others didn't?
"There are other people dumber than us?" he quipped.
Yes, Glenn, there are. They're the people who don't believe that Sarah Palin is the future of this country. I suggest that you and your network shape up and get on board while you still can.
Contact John Houder at email@example.com.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article