Earlier in the year when it was announced that Sarah Palin would be joining Fox News as a contributor, the former half-term Alaska Governor was quoted as saying, "I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News...It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."
Then on March 2, during Jay Leno's first week back at the helm of NBC's Tonight Show, Palin appeared as a guest. Responding to Leno's question about having joined the media -- i.e. Fox News -- Palin said (emphasis added):
"I had studied journalism...my college degree there in communications and now I am back there wanting to build some trust back in our media. I think that the mainstream media is quite broken and I think that there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there...that's why I joined Fox."
"Those years ago that I studied journalism, it was all about the who, what, where, when and why. It was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories. So, I would like to see, in order to build trust in the media, because it is a cornerstone of our democracy, Americans deserve to have more of that factual fairness."
If Palin did join Fox News to "build some trust back in the media" harkening back to the good old days when reports were "not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories," then why does she spend so much time on what Fox News describes as its "opinion" programs?
According to a quick Nexis search, Palin has appeared on the following Fox News "opinion" shows since joining the network:
1/12/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
1/13/2010 - Glenn Beck
1/14/2010 - Hannity
1/19/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
1/20/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
1/20/2010 - Hannity
1/27/2010 - Hannity
1/27/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
1/28/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
2/16/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
2/25/2010 - Hannity
Don't get me wrong, I don't for a second buy the idea that there is a distinction between what Fox News purports to be its "news" and "opinion" programming, but the conservative network certainly makes that case, without much to show in terms of evidence, at every turn.