‘Deference’

‘DEFERENCE’…. So, when might we see Sarah Palin talk to the media about, well, anything? According to Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, Palin won’t tolerate an interview “until the point in time when she’ll be treated with respect and deference.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace followed up, asking when voters can expect to see Palin answer tough questions from reporters. “When we think it’s time and when she feels comfortable doing it,” Davis said.

Josh Marshall explained why these aren’t “training wheels we can believe in.”

Sarah Palin could be the President of the United States in four and a half months. We tend to think of this as an abstraction; but it’s true. And yet today she’s so unprepared and knows so little about the challenges and tasks facing the country that she can’t even give a softball interview.

That’s really all we need to know. Yes, she’s off being prepped at some undisclosed location. And I’ve little doubt that by the time her debate rolls around she’ll be sufficiently pumped full of slogans and bromides to make a show of it. But now, this moment, is the one that tells us all we need to know.

As is so often the case, Palin is the incarnation of the Republican slurs. The darling of the hard-right; she gives a stem-winding speeches. She pushes all their buttons. But she’s such a lightweight, they can’t risk letting her answer a few questions. Not even on Fox. They know she’s not ready and probably never will be. But they think the politics might work for them.

Davis added that he perceives the media environment as “hostile.” The New York Times’ Clark Hoyt noted that an adversarial process is appropriate and necessary.

In our instant-news and celebrity- obsessed culture, Palin went from Sarah Who to conservative rock star in less than a week. In less than two months, she could be elected vice president to serve under the oldest president, at 72, ever elected to a first term, and one with a history of recurring melanoma. Intense, independent scrutiny by The Times and the rest of the news media of Palin’s background, character and record was inevitable and right. […]

By choosing a running mate unknown to most of the nation, and doing so just before the Republican National Convention, John McCain made it inevitable that there would be a frantic media vetting…. The drip-drip-drip of these stories seems like partisanship to Palin’s partisans. But they fill out the picture of who she is, and they represent a free press doing its job, investigating a candidate who might one day be the leader of the Free World.

The only thing I find frustrating about Hoyt’s explanation is that it has apparently become necessary to state the obvious.