As you can read below, Sarah Palin has signed on to speak at the first ever Tea Party convention next month in Nashville. Also speaking to the Tea Party activists will be Joseph Farah from the discredited wingnut outpost WND, and who considers it to be a "personal privilege" to be " to be on the same bill with Gov. Sarah Palin." Indeed, WND is promoting the event as the "Palin-Farah ticket."
Farah, as Media Matters has tirelessly documented, is, among other things, an avowed gay and Muslim-hating conspiracy theorist who still clings to the whackadoo notion that Obama wasn't born in America. That's who Palin has agreed to share the spotlight with in Nashville next month. To date however, there's been no press reaction that I've seen or heard raising any questions about Palin's decision to hob knob so publicly with the likes of Farah. (CNN remains silent in this dispatch. As does Politico.)
With that in mind, I'm curious what the chattering class reaction would be if the tables were turned. What would the press response be, for instance, if Al Gore, just one year after leaving office, agreed to speak before a group of fringe activists and if he agreed to share the spotlight with a proudly anti-semitic, 9/11 conspiracy theorist? Do you think that might become a thing in the press? Do you think journalists would press Gore about the association and demand that he clearly articulate his thoughts about the anti-semitic, 9/11 nut who was being welcomed as a feature speaker alongside Gore at the frothing, partisan convention?
I don't think there's any doubt Gore would come under extraordinary media pressure if he ever agreed to be seen among fringe radicals. But will Palin? We'll see if the press holds her to the same standard, or creates a second one just for her.
UPDATED: David Weigel at the Washington Independent explains why the "Palin-Farah" ticket ought to be news [emphasis added]:
Two months ago Farah appeared on the same stage as Bachmann and other conservative House Republicans to promote WND's "pink slip" campaign against Congress, and political reporters pretty much ignored it. And WND has sponsored CPAC in the past. But CPAC has explicitly ruled out a "birther" forum at this year's event, and some Republican activists have called for conservatives to cut ties with the birth certificate and conspiracy-obsessed WND. And here you'll have Sarah Palin, giving her first political speech in months, on the same stage as Joseph Farah.