Sarah Palin’s “discussion” with Katie Couric should be shocking for anyone with a brain. The content of the interview itself is of little critical interest – there’s no need for any commentary beyond what’s offered in this week’s New Yorker cover.
What I do find interesting is the way the interview has been handled. CBS News clearly understood the power of what they had in the can and it certainly would have made a splash regardless of how it was released. Recall that ABC aired Palin’s first interview, with Charlie Gibson, in a couple long segments. This produced two real days of new news and youtube clips for horrified voters to distribute via email. CBS apparently took this tactic even farther; each day since the Couric interview, there has been a new question with a frightening “answer” that makes it to the top of political blogs and email inboxes. Every day, the country gets a new dose of Palin’s foolishness. The McCain campaign must be quite frustrated having to fight this viral video in every news cycle.
What worries me is the reception these displays of ignorance. It’s obvious that Palin is stuttering and losing her train of thought (to be generous). But if the viewer is just as ignorant as she, how offensive will her political illiteracy be? It’s a lot easier for a stupid gaffe to make waves than it is for a verbal vacuum to outrage people.
Recently, these ridiculous performances are causing many a commentator to find himself at a loss for coherence (I guess it’s communicable through the video à la Stephen King’s Cell). I usually find CNN’s Jack Cafferty to be insufferable, but this “impression” was/is needed (the good stuff starts around 1:50):
Now we just need that to come out of Tom Brokaw’s mouth.