So now journalists have to beg Palin to answer questions?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Seems kinda sad, if you ask me.

As Karl Frisch noted earlier, Jake Tapper at ABC News recently launched a Twitter campaign to try to lure Sarah Palin to appear on ABC This Week as a guest.

LIke Karl, I hope she accepts the offer. But I don't think she'll bite, for the very simple reason that she has categorically refused to answer any questions from non-right-wing journalists, and non-Fox News cheerleaders, for going on a year now. That's a fact. But you don't hear Beltway journalists complain. (They don't seem to mind being habitually snubbed. In fact, they reward her with more free news coverage.)

We've simply never seen an instance in modern American politics where a high-profile political figure was able to not only hide from the press, but advertise the fact that he/she was going to boycott the press. (And do it with glee!) And then have the press roll over and accept the categorical rejection. I mean c'mon, reporters now routinely type of Palin's Facebook notes as news.

Does anybody honestly think that if, say, after his 2000 election loss, Al Gore basically refashioned himself into some sort of relentless attack hack, a kind of whirling dervish of partisan misinformation, and positioned himself for a possible run in 2004, and Gore refused to answer questions from the Beltway press for more than a year, that an ABC News host would try to cajole Gore into appearing on his show?

Of course not. Gore would have been absolutely crucified in the press for dodging questions from professional reporters. Crucified. (Good Lord, Gore had the temerity to accurately warn the nation about the looming invasion of Iraq and Beltway elites practically stoned him alive.)

And can you imagine the media caterwauling if Hillary Clinton published a book, as Palin recently did, and then refused to sit down with a single nonpartisan cable TV host, radio talker, or political reporter from a major newspaper or magazine? If Clinton roped off the press while she only did interviews with The Nation, Rachel Maddow, and Air America? The Beltway press would have gone berserk mocking Clinton for her timidity. But Palin completely snubbed the D.C. press corps, and rather than calling her out, journalists rewarded her with probably tens of millions of dollars in free book publicity. (Not that most Americans even cared about her book launch.)

As I wrote in January:

If Palin steadfastly refuses to engage with journalists and insists on hiding behind her Facebook page, there's simply no reason reporters should give online press releases from a failed VP candidate (and half-term governor) the slightest bit of attention.

Instead, we're now at the point where journalists feel like they have to launch public campaigns to get Palin to simply answer questions. And not campaigns to shame Palin, mind you. But to politely, gently, pretty-please ask if she might be willing to grace their shows with her presence.

And BTW, one obvious question about the ABC Twitter campaign is this: Who cares what Palin thinks? I realize that within the Beltway media complex that considered an outrageous thing to even say out loud. But if you look at the polling, which has been amazingly consistent for more than a year now, it's obvious most Americans don't hold Palin in high regard, they don't think much of her a politician, and they certainly don't want in her any kind of position of power.

So again, the obvious journalistic question is why would ABC News launch a campaign to land Palin as a guest?

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