O’Donnell: Newsweek sold out to Palin, lied on its cover

posted at 4:48 pm on July 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Larry O’Donnell isn’t alone among those accusing Newsweek of selling out for its profile of Sarah Palin, but let’s start with the MSNBC host first.  On The Last Word yesterday, O’Donnell railed at Newsweek for its supposed puffery of Palin, taking over six minutes of the broadcast to accuse reporter Peter Boyer of writing “a love letter” to the former governor of Alaska, whom he calls “the most unpopular politician in America”:

As to why Newsweek decided to give Palin the softest treatment the lamestream media ever has, the answer actually lies at the end of the article, where Newsweek inadvertently confesses to the deal it obviously made to Palin for the cover, the flattering photography, and the puff piece.

“’The mainstream press is becoming less and less relevant,’ she said. Adding that she would have no hesitation in shunning media outlets she does not trust. ‘I would say no to those who have lied about me. There is no need to reward bad behavior. I`ve learned, you know, once bitten, twice shy. I have learned.’”

There’s Newsweek telling you that she would have no hesitation in shunning media outlets she does not trust. That means Newsweek had to make promises to her to get her trust. I have specifically avoided mention of the author of the Newsweek piece because he has done good work in the past and he surely will again and should not be known for this love letter to Sarah Palin.

All of this amuses Tim Graham at Newsbusters, who recalls that Newsweek hasn’t exactly treated Palin with kid gloves in the past.  He also wonders where O’Donnell is on the sellout watch at MSNBC.  “O’Donnell never has a problem when Newsweek is offering its long, adoring profiles to Barack or Michelle Obama. But Palin-boosting is corrupt, since it promotes the corrupt conservatives.”  As to the notion that the cover is somehow a lie because it quotes Palin accurately as predicting she can win an election against Obama, Graham wonders whether O’Donnell has lost his mind:

It’s awfully tiring to hear O’Donnell claim it’s a “lie” to predict a crystal-ball proposition. Is it a “lie” that O’Donnell promises that MSNBC’s job is to “lean forward”?

Having the quote appear as such, with quotation marks, as well as it being in the first person, makes a pretty good case that the argument came from Palin and isn’t an argument that Newsweek is making.  As it happens, I do agree with O’Donnell on the comparison to Michael Dukakis; it’s a pretty lame stretch.  Dukakis returned to the governor’s office because his term was unexpired.  The last sitting governor to lose a presidential general election before Dukakis was Alf Landon, who ran for President in 1936 instead of re-election, and who returned to his office for about two months after the election.  The same was true of Al Smith in 1928.  That doesn’t make Boyer a sellout, though, just a weak writer and researcher.

O’Donnell as some company, though, as John Ziegler thinks Boyer sold out, too:

After my essay “The Sarah Palin I Know” ran in the Daily Caller, Boyer emailed me and asked me to call him. He wanted to discuss the story of my two years on the fringe of Palin’s world, having produced the only film for which she ever did an interview and been an informal advisor to her for a period of time.

Over several days we talked for well over three hours. He never told me exactly what story he was working on, but he strongly led me to believe that the article would focus on my experiences and crusade to tell the truth about Palin (both good and bad). You wouldn’t know it from the story he ended up writing, but he seemed to totally understand how absurd it is to think she could be elected president in 2012. Numerous sections of it appeared written by a completely different person than the one I spoke to all that time.

As is almost always the case with reporters, I figured he would eventually either wimp out or screw me, so my expectations for what he would do with our discussions were low (if you wonder why I would bother to even talk with someone I expected to do me wrong, you are obviously smarter than I am). So when he went silent for awhile I figured the story was dead. When he emailed me saturday morning and laughably claimed that my narrative, though interesting, required more space than he had, I chuckled to myself and emailed him back that he was full of crap (I wish people just had the balls to tell you the the truth when they are doing you wrong).

For me, I don’t think Boyer sold out as much as he and Newsweek gave their cover subject a chance to present her case.  Given MSNBC’s huge tilt to the Left — to the point where Joe Scarborough has to defend his show’s treatment of Obama by noting that Democrats have a 10:1 advantage on Morning Joe — O’Donnell’s hysterical reaction is, well, hysterical.

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I dare anyone to still say Ziglier is pro-palin

unseen on July 12, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Ziglier is pro-palin

CW on July 12, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I dare you to believe it!

tom on July 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I think she is well on her way to earning that respect and once she does it’s a different ball game

unseen on July 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Isn’t it amazing how every time you ask John Ziegler about Palin, he spends most of the time talking about Palinhimself.

He’s almost like Joe McGinnis……

tom on July 12, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Oops.

I blame Woodrow Wilson!!!

/Glenn Beck

tom on July 12, 2011 at 8:51 PM

dare you to believe it!

tom on July 12, 2011 at 8:50 PM

it is out of the realm of reality. Even his documnetary “defending” Palin wasn’t about “defending” palin it was about attacking the Media. her record was never discussed it was an attempt to turn her into a victim of the media. She is well done with that guy.

unseen on July 12, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I blame Woodrow Wilson!!!

/Glenn Beck

tom on July 12, 2011 at 8:51 PM

It could have been teddy roosevelt.

unseen on July 12, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Gallup finds that she has the highest “strongly favorable” rating among Republican and Republican-leaning independents of all the candidates and it’s not due to name recognition either.

That Palin has the best “strongly favorable” numbers among Republican and Republican-leaning indies isn’t due to name recognition because the numbers that Gallup provides in the link above are among those who know the candidate.

http://conservatives4palin.com/2011/07/gallup-finds-that-among-republican-and-republican-leaning-indies-palin-has-the-highest-strongly-favorable-rating-of-all-the-candidates-and-its-not-due-to-name-recognition.html
So 25% of the 95% who recognize Governor Palin have a “strongly favorable” opinion of her. 20% of the 74% who recognize Michele Bachmann have a “strongly favorable” opinion of her. 18% of the 86% who recognize Mitt “peacetime” Romney have a “strongly favorable” opinion of him.

Overall, around 24% of all Republican and Republican-leaning indies have a “strongly favorable” opinion of Governor Palin while around 15% of all Repubican and Republican-leaning indies have a “strongly favorable” opinion of Michele Bachmann and Mitt “peacetime” Rommey.

unseen on July 12, 2011 at 8:54 PM

On MSNBC’s The Last Word on Monday, host Lawrence O’Donnell suggested Newsweek magazine is not only failing badly at the newsstand, it’s allegedly making corrupt deals with Sarah Palin to boost its own flagging sales.

How bad would MSNBC ratings be if they stopped talking about Palin?

DSchoen on July 12, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Wait, MSNBC host admits: Palin is a money maker. Which is more than they can say about Obama!

Sharr on July 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM

O’Donnell and Hannity: Ying and Yang. And I hope that Newsweek’s Palin piece soars to show THEM and the rest of the media that the game has indeed changed.

ProudPalinFan on July 12, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Why is Mr. Ziegler the go to person on Gov. Palin? He seeming a bit odd to me.

Cindy Munford on July 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Mayhap, even in his implosion, Ziggy is ironically & unwittingly helping to burnish SP’s reputation.

It may well be that Boyer’s intent was to do a hit piece (“good work” for the Dems), but after talking for hours over several days, he figured Ziegler was a bonafide nut and Boyer couldn’t help but refudiate Ziggy.

AH_C on July 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Mayhap, even in his implosion, Ziggy is ironically & unwittingly helping to burnish SP’s reputation.

It may well be that Boyer’s intent was to do a hit piece (“good work” for the Dems), but after talking for hours over several days, he figured Ziegler was a bonafide nut and Boyer couldn’t help but refudiate Ziggy.

AH_C on July 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM

that could be. It would only take a normal person about 15 minutes to figure out Zig is a nut case. so it might take a liberal an hour or two

unseen on July 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM

The Palins recognized that Ziegler is a bit “out there” and wisely distanced themselves from him. In a fit of pique, Ziegler turned on them. Do I detect a wee bit of narcissism there? As for O’Donnell…he’s a dick.

SKYFOX on July 13, 2011 at 6:19 AM

Wow they libs really chomp down hard when they turn on their own.

MarkT on July 13, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Comment pages: 1 2