Palin on TV? You Betcha!

Nov 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The television world is Sarah Palin’s oyster.
Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren clinched the first interview with the former Republican vice presidential candidate. But TV’s talk and news heavyweights all want the Alaska governor: Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, Oprah Winfrey, the ladies of ABC’s “The View” and CNN’s Larry King are gunning for time with Gov. Palin.
Beyond that round of potential appearances, Gov. Palin’s media future depends on her own inclinations.
“She has the primary television skills,” said Tammy Haddad, who has been executive producer for Larry King, Tom Snyder, Maury Povich and Chris Matthews and now is president of Haddad Media, whose clients include Newsweek and the Washington Post.
Gov. Palin’s vivid personality is made for TV, agree the agents, producers and veterans of the politically hip TV world. Whether TV would help further her political goals, however, is a point of disagreement.
So all Gov. Palin has to do is make up her mind what she wants to be. Supporters already are shouting “2012!,” which means she must prove her TV mettle on the sober Sunday morning political shows—and make sure any potential TV perch positions her closer to her ultimate goal.
“There are going to be a lot of doors open to her,” said Suzanne Scott, Fox News Channel programming VP.
Gov. Palin proved she’s a big ratings producer for several Fox News Channel shows during the campaign, and Ms. Scott thinks there are probably as many requests for a post-election interview with Gov. Palin as for President-elect Obama.
Mr. O’Reilly wants her on “The O’Reilly Factor.” He said so on the show the night after a report by John McCain campaign correspondent Carl Cameron had recounted some of the juiciest slams against the Alaska governor made by the staff of her former campaign partner, Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
“I think she needs to come here Monday night,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “This isn’t going away for Sarah Palin. And the impression, unanswered, will stay. So if the governor has national aspirations, she’s got to come, she’s got to say look, here’s what I think happened here, here’s who I am, bup-bup-bup-bup-bup. She’s not under [the McCain] aegis any more. She can do whatever she wants.”
On “The View,” which has climbed the ratings ladder to two back-to-back record-setting weeks with its co-hosts’ full-volume political debates, Barbara Walters lamented that Gov. Palin had not accepted a standing invitation to appear during the campaign. “We supported her and we would have loved it if she had come on here. We’re usually polite, right? Well, not always.”
“The View’s” outnumbered conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who introduced Gov. Palin at some campaign rallies, did not disagree. And Ms. Hasselbeck’s boss, Ms. Walters, is one of the Big Three interviewers vying for a sit-down with Gov. Palin, according to her spokesman in Alaska.
Oprah Winfrey, who publicly backed Barack Obama but invoked a no-politics rule when it was suggested she interview Sen. McCain’s surprise female choice for running mate, is standing by her original statement that she’d “love to have her on after the campaign is over.”
Mr. King, who is the favorite interviewer of those in search of redemption or publicity, agrees.
Whether Gov. Palin needs redemption depends on which end of the polarized public you ask.
But she is undoubtedly a walking, you betcha-talking publicity machine. The press will wear a wide rut through the snow banks of Alaska when her daughter Bristol gives birth to Gov. Palin’s first grandchild in late December.
A syndicated daytime talk show would be the least likely option for Gov. Palin should she decide not to run for re-election when her current term expires. Gov. Palin’s appeal is heavily rural and white, said a syndication executive, and much of daytime talk’s audience comes from minority groups. Plus, local broadcasters, who must be careful about what kind of controversy they court with their programming purchases, might be leery of an overtly political personality.
Fox News Channel is winning the weekend time slot occupied by the popular former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Arkansas’ former governor is represented by CAA agent Alan Berger, who also counts Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos among his clients.
Whatever path Gov. Palin chooses, an informal survey shows agreement on one point: She’s not going away.


  1. What is with you people. Let her go home and stay home — but no. You’re gonna ram her down our throats in spite of ourselves. The American people spoke. They didn’t want her for VP, why would they want her for POTUS. Think about it, lipstick doesn’t give you a better brain, and unless you plan on sending her to college for the next 4 years to study Politics, Geography, History and even English (at the very least Presidential elocution; as if eight years of GWB was enough)– well you do the math. Perparing ourselves for higher office is a choice. Sarah Palin never made that choice — and therefore was far from ready )a huge McCain error). Maybe winning a beauty contest can get you the Mayor’s job in a town of 6.000, but if you give it an ounce of thought; in most beauty pageant in there US, there are more than 6,000 contestants. Needless to say, if the Alaskans still want her, let her finish out here term, and leave the rest of us out of it. I’m sure the talk show can easily survive without recontructing Sarah Palin. Hell, she thinks Africa is a country — that should tell you something. The woman doesn’t deserve to be Governor, for crying-out-a-loud.

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