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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Liberal Media Unwittingly Proves the Point of Ziegler's Documentary

Reaction To My Palin Interview Proves The Point
By John Ziegler

Unless you were hanging out with Joe the Plumber in Gaza this past week, you probably heard that I did an exclusive interview with Governor Sarah Palin for my forthcoming documentary, “Media Malpractice… How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Smeared.”

The reaction to the interview excerpts has been far more intense and far more deranged than I expected. Quite simply, the media response has done more to prove the basic point of the documentary than just about anything I could have produced in the film.

Here are just a few ways in which this episode felt like I had suddenly become Alice in Wonderland (without the dress or blond hair).

Governor Palin’s comments about being taken out of context were clearly taken out of context and her statements that they were being taken out of context were themselves taken out of context in a blatant, though thus far, unsuccessful attempt to turn the Governor and I against each other.

The Governor’s measured, rational and accurate attempts to correct the historical record about the basis for which a Presidential election was decided were “reported” by the left as being “whiny,” “catty” and “delusional.” Folks, there’s a reason why there’s such a thing as a war crimes tribunal; some things you just have to get to the bottom of.

Palin’s incredibly mild and humorous pushback against two very grownup media stars (Katie Couric and Tina Fey) who clearly had it out for her, helped destroy her candidacy and who benefited greatly from doing so, was somehow “reported” as an “attack,” “taking shots,” and “not taking responsibility.” Please. This is almost like ripping a Jew for making a Nazi joke (No doubt, THAT will also be taken out of context).

Both the vaunted New York Times and the tiny liberal rag, the Alaska Dispatch (it was difficult to tell them apart since neither bothered to contact me before writing very deceiving pieces), figured out a way to discuss everything about the interview excerpts except the primary issue, which, of course, was their own malfeasance during the campaign. It’s become patently obvious we’ve reached a point where, especially when you’re a conservative, blatant bias, combined with the incredible shrinking attention span of the media and public, make it absolutely impossible to get a message out that is remotely nuanced. And once conventional wisdom is cemented, even when done so by a comedian on SNL with a clear agenda, there’s virtually no chance to set the record straight (again, especially if you’re a conservative and even more so if you’re seen in any way as a threat to Barack Obama).

While I’ve been most concerned with the unfair assaults on Governor Palin and the ignoring of the basic truths she reveals in our interview, I’ve also taken more than my share of shrapnel. It began with a bizarre appearance on MSNBC with David Shuster.

Instead of even bothering to pretend to find out the background of the interview or the nature of the “real Sarah Palin” (forget about why I did the interview or why I’m making a documentary), you would have thought I’d been accused of a major crime. I guess at MSNBC trying to get out the truth about Barack Obama and Sarah Palin may indeed qualify as such.

Judge for yourself how this episode went down:

At one point after that appearance I was booked to do three more spots on Obama’s pet network (two of which had already been scheduled) as well as two more on Fox, one on CNN and one on Saturday’s version of the “Today Show.”

Next up was a live shot with Norah O’Donnell, with whom I’d gotten along great with the previous day during a lengthy interview (only 6.3 seconds of which was actually used, I believe) for that morning’s “Today Show.” After waiting around 30 minutes watching their largely non-condemning coverage of the post-impeachment press conference of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, I was not happy.

When O’Donnell hit me on the air with a totally out of context statement from the Governor’s office I hadn’t seen that made it sound like they thought I had misled them, I thankfully and correctly didn’t believe her and tossed the question aside. But on the follow up I let loose.

Here’s what that looked like:

After that, I was suddenly bumped from “Hardball” on MSNBC, which I was very much looking forward to. (Chris Matthews is not only one of the stars of my new documentary, he also grew up with my deceased mother and many of my aunts and uncles in the Somerton section of Philadelphia. The only time I met Chris was at the home of my grandfather who passed away the day after the Palin interview). I didn’t view the cancellation as a coincidence. I was also bumped from “No Bias, No Bull” on CNN, which I had really wanted to do, if only for the inherent irony in it.

As for Keith Olbermann, he cherry picked an inaccurate description I gave (and have since corrected after being able to view a tape that I previously didn’t know existed) about how the Governor reacted to seeing his photo. It is my only regret of this entire bizarre week that I was not more accurate in that initial post for Big Hollywood and gave that professional liar even more of a chance to gloat over being called “evil” (doesn’t THAT say everything about MSNBC) than was warranted by the facts. He, of course, did not have the courage to even pretend to have me on his show.

Finally, Shuster, I guess feeling he hadn’t gotten much of me the first time, heavily promoted a “rematch” on his afternoon show. His behavior and journalistic ethics (is there such a thing any more?) hadn’t improved in the ensuing few hours between confrontations.

Here’s Round #2:

The next day I received a call at home from Governor Palin. We briefly discussed a miscommunication with her staff that led to some on the Alaska state side (who had nothing to do with the actual interview, which was conducted at her home) to be unprepared for the coming storm even though I had informed my contact person of my intentions the morning before the story broke open on Big Hollywood and Drudge.

The Governor also mentioned she had watched my first documentary,“Blocking the Path to 9/11,” and thought it highlighted just how deep the issue of media bias really goes. But mostly we discussed how the pathetic news coverage of this event proves the need for my new documentary. I think this episode has strengthened the resolve of both of us, each in our own way, to keep fighting to get the truth out on this subject. Once again, I was amazed at her courage to not back down when the average politician would do a George W. Bush and just lie in the fetal position. Sarah Palin is apparently no George Bush, and for that we should all be thankful.

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