In the wake of her supposedly non-campaign bus tour of America, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace let Sarah Palin continue to "speak through Fox News," this time with an "exclusive" half-hour long interview. Not content to promote Palin simply by handing her half his Sunday program, Wallace began an all-day Palin-cheerleading session by declaring in the second half of his show that her performance was "boffo." He went on to add that she was "sharp on the issues" and that she has "a serious possibility to be president."
But that was only the beginning of Wallace's pro-Palin Sunday media blitz.
After his show, Wallace appeared on Fox News and said that in the Fox News Sunday interview, "I think you see Sarah Palin the way people never quite have before. [She] talks in great depth and I think with a good deal of expertise about the economy, about the debt, about Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, about our involvement in Afghanistan."
Later Wallace again appeared on Fox News' America's News HQ and told host Shannon Bream: "I have never seen her as impressive and specific on the issues as she was, whether it was the debt or the state of the economy or what the situation is on the ground in Afghanistan":
WALLACE: I have interviewed here a bunch of times now over the last two years and I have never seen her as good, as impressive. I mean, she was always an entertaining interview, but I have never seen her as impressive and specific on the issues as she was, whether it was the debt or the state of the economy or what the situation is on the ground in Afghanistan.
I don't think any fair minded person could look at that debate and not say that she is potentially a serious candidate for president of the United states. Now, that doesn't mean she is going to run, but this is the first time I have to say that I looked at her and I thought she could be a real player in a 2012 election.
Of course, Wallace's praise for his Fox News colleague, while grotesque, is hardly surprising. Fox is, after all, the friendliest place on Earth for her. But his assessment of her as a serious contender for president in 2012 only strengthens the case that Fox is facing an ethical crisis by continuing to employ her as a contributor.