John Ziegler is known for his tireless defenses of Sarah Palin, especially for his outstanding documentary Media Malpractice, which builds a powerful case for media bias in the differing media treatments of Palin and Barack Obama.  His combative exchanges with media hosts had made his appearances on national shows rare, especially on MS-NBC.  Today, though, John gets a late spot on Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and has a somewhat mellow exchange with Scarborough while giving an uncharacteristically dour analysis of Palin’s chances in 2012:

As it happens, I agree with John that the moves Palin has made are brilliant for someone who wants to focus more on activism than electoral politics, and for the reasons that John gives in this appearance.  At least in 2010, Republicans need to have a big draft among disaffected independents in order to gain a governing coalition in Congress, and then they need to maintain that reach in 2012 if they want to make Barack Obama a one-termer.  The nominee will have to have credibility with both the base and with independents in order to achieve the necessary cohesion and energy to defeat an incumbent President, which is somewhat rare over the last 100 years; only Taft, Hoover, Carter, and Bush 41 have lost such efforts (excluding Ford, who wasn’t elected in the first place). Palin’s moves since 2008 have gone in the opposite direction.

That doesn’t mean that Palin can’t do it.  There is plenty of time for her to focus less on her base, which is already tremendously loyal, and start working on her appeal to independents, if she’s interested in the 2012 race at all.  Her appearance on Leno last night was a good step in that direction, but she may be playing for a longer game than her fans and critics think.

John still gets in his dig at MS-NBC, which has mainly consisted of Obama jock-sniffing for the last three years, with the exception of Scarborough.  MS-NBC manages to get its dig in on John, too, as the graphic shown in the front-page pic attests.  The only two notable events they can highlight is that John started off as a sportscaster and got fired from a TV gig?  Really?  Should a network that has a sportscaster as its “news anchor” be throwing stones in that direction?