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TV Column
Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 04/03/2012

Sarah Palin joins “lamestream media” at ‘Today’; going head-to-head with Katie Couric

Sarah Palin joined the “lamestream media” for one hour at 8 o’clock as “guest host” of “Today,” rivalling the week-long hosting stint of Katie Couric at “Good Morning America.”

Thus far, she opened the show under a pile of newspapers, told Matt Lauer any candidate would be better than Obama and said no matter who is the GOP nominee, they would be “clobbered” by the “lamestream media.” Follow along with her hosting gig, here:


It’s Sarah Palin, left, vs. Katie Couric on the battle of the morning shows. (Stephan Savoia, Evan Agostini/AP)

9 a.m.: “We’re enjoying the last couple of minutes with guest host Governor Sarah Palin,” Matt says. “So how have you enjoyed being part of the lamestream media?” 

“Orchestrated chaos,” she responds, dodging the question. “If everything is under control, you’re going too slow,” she added, saying “it’s been a great morning.” 

Matt points out she was going to wear a different outfit than the all-black pants and shirt outfit she’s worn all hour. 

“I didn’t want to go all Johnny Cash on you,” Palin said, but explained she discovered at the last minute that the “pink jacket from the consignment shop” she had planned to wear was the same one she’d worn four years ago when Matt interviewed her. 

The “Today” gang standing with her outside agree she looks fabulous. 

“Thank you – you guys are awesome!” she said, shaking everyone’s hand. 8:40: Ann, Palin and some experts talk about  teenage girls. The problem is, there’s too much focus on reality TV stars, they decide. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor says teenage girls need to be taught the ratio of success to expectations. 

Palin wants the marketplace to somehow make the American viewer want to see reality TV series that are the antithesis of the current crop of reality docusoaps. (Palin’s daughter is going to star in a reality docu-soap). 

Fathers play an important role in how girls feel about themselves, says Dr. Taylor. Girls learn most from what they see at home and we place too much emphasis on the power of television, not the power of the home. 

Palin says there’s a fine line between a parent wanting to be their children’s friend and wanting to be a parent. Kids inherently want boundaries she adds. 

Ann has to work hard to cut them off to throw to commercial.

8:30: Tori Spelling, avid crafter and pregnant with fourth child, comes to talk about appetizers, etc. Ann Curry is doing the interviewing with Palin at Tori’s other side. 

“How do you have the time to do it Tori?” Palin asks.  Palin notes she usually does pot luck parties at her house.

8:18: On Ashton Kutcher cast to play Apple founder Steve Jobs in a new flick: “Do any of you have experience of people being paid a lot of money to pretend they’re you,” Palin asks the other panelists, deftly changing the subject to — Palin! She boasts, again, that she has not seen HBO’s “Game Change” in which she was portrayed by Julianna Moore, because “I don’t want to waste my time on…lies.” 

“But Tina Fey has been pretty clever,” Palin adds, in re Fey’s portrayal of Palin on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” 

8:17: On the new Facebook app that lets people list their enemies and see who shares their enemies. “It’s all about tearing people down,” Palin says. “I don’t see anything positive about this.”

Negativity is what politics is all about, counters Donny.

“It’s not just political. Look at the Bill Maher’s of the world,” Palin counters. “And when there is an app to…demean somebody and take them down it adds more darkness to our world.” 

8:16: On Jessica Simpson and her pregnancy weight gain and media criticism thereof. Donny asks her how she’d feel in the same boat. “I would have wanted to punch them in the neck. It’s not anybody’s business….Hollywood image is full of itty bitty people, unrealistically tiny, I think.”

“Once you go on the cover [of magazines] it’s everybody’s business,” Donny counters. 

8:15: Palin joins Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Sniderman to discuss this and that — but not as host. She’s one of the panelists. Is this right? 

They talk about Oprah Winfrey’s appearance on “CBS This Morning”  Monday in which she said she would have done Own differently, or maybe not at all, had she known back then what she knows now. 

“More power to Oprah,” Palin said of the woman who was one of President Obama’s biggest supporters when he ran for president and who also said on “CBS This Morning” she supports his re-election and loves him.

“She’s showing the guts and grit it takes to succeed. She’s representing what makes America great. You have the opportunity to succeed and fail and try again and that’s what she represents.”

8:02: Palin, outside Rockefeller Center with the “Today” gang,” says she’s not nervous. “I’m very excited to be here with all you New Yorkers and all you tourists” she tells the roaring crowd.

“Today” weatherman Al Roker points out she is not wearing a coat in the windy weather. Nor is he. Matt and Ann Curry are coated — wimps.

Lauer points out Palin used to be a sportscaster so this is like getting back on a bicycle. Wait — did he just say “falling off a bike?”

Palin tells viewers she’ll be talking about whether schools “and government” should be able to tell high school students what kind of prom dress they can wear to the school prom.

PRE CO-HOSTSING: Palin appeared at the top of the show, but not as co-host – as former GOP vice presidential candidate talking to Matt Lauer about various party candidates in this presidential race.

There is no perfect candidate, she told Matt. “I would warn voters to never put their faith wholly in an individual because politicians will diappoint you…they all have their strengths.”

And America will be better off with any of them and will “coalesce around” any of them, she said.

America, she said, is at a crossroads. “We will either build on the foundation of liberty and individual freedom, or go down the other road” of “socialist policies of the Obama administration.

Lauer pointed out the latest reports are expected to show the economy is improving, more jobs are being created, etc.

But it isn’t getting better fast enough, she countered.

“Is that a bumper sticker that’s going to inspire?” he asked.

If Mitt Romney becomes the GOP nominee should he choose someone with more experience on the national battlefield than she had when she became Sen. John McCain’s running mate, he asked Palin.

“I would put up my record as CEO of a city, state, as a gas regulator, against any nominee the last round,” she answered. But, she added, it doesn’t matter if any GOP vice presidential candidate has national level experience or not. “They’re going to get clobbered by the lamestream media.” She would advice the presidential nominee, when picking a running mate, “Don’t play it safe, that is, somebody who is just going along to get a long – who’s not willing to go rogue and shake it up.”

Lauer told viewers Palin was going to stick around “and join us at 8” as “Today” guest co-host, which, he told Palin, “technically makes you part of the lamestream media for that hour.”

She grinned.

This is the second day in a long week of morning jostling for ratings. Day 1 of Katie Couric’s guest co-anchoring stint on “Today” show competitor “Good Morning America” did not go so well for “Today” – its counterprogramming “surprise legend” guest turned out to be NBC News staffer, and former “Today” co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who dropped by to announce she’d be joining them in London to cover the Summer Games. Yawn. Day 2 was no better. Ryan Seacrest was supposed to make a “big NBC announcement” at 7:30, but instead tweeted that slight pain from “elbow surgery” made it impossible for him to travel to New York until Wednesday. Now it’s all up to Sarah Palin – who’s joining the “lamestream media” for one hour as 8 o’clock “guest host” of “Today.” Will Palin attract enough viewers to out-rate Day 2 of Katie on “GMA”?

By  |  08:00 AM ET, 04/03/2012

 
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