A new kind of media ‘interview’

A NEW KIND OF MEDIA ‘INTERVIEW’…. Josh Marshall noted last night, “It looks like Fox [News] has created the perfect interview show vehicle for Sarah Palin. An interview show based around her interviews with people she’s never interviewed.”

I thought he might be kidding. He wasn’t.

Hours after LL Cool J complained that Fox News was recycling an old interview with him for a new program hosted by Sarah Palin, representatives for the country musician Toby Keith, who was also listed as a guest for the show, made a similar charge against the cable channel.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Elaine Schock, a publicist for Mr. Keith said: “I have no idea what interview they are using. Toby’s talked to Fox a number of times, and I had no idea that this was going to be on Sarah Palin’s special. Fox has never contacted me — not now, not when they were putting this together, not at all. I have no idea what they’re using.”

It’s almost farcical. Fox News announced that it would air a show called “Real American Stories” tonight, hosted by former half-term governor Sarah Palin. Promotional work for the program seems to have been deliberately misleading — “several accounts” of the show “reported that Ms. Palin herself would be talking to the guests in the show.”

A Fox News website, for example, said Palin “will kick off her new Fox News series with one of the most diverse guest lineups in memory…. The three very different guests will speak to Palin for her inaugural episode of ‘American Stories ‘ on April 1st.”

Except, they didn’t “speak to Palin” at all. Fox News is taking old interview footage, and just repackaging it. Sarah Palin’s guest list is made up of people who’ve never met Sarah Palin.

And at least two of those three guests aren’t happy about it. LL Cool J said the network has “lifted an old interview” from 2008 and is “misrepresenting” his remarks. A spokesperson for Toby Keith said Fox News didn’t even alert the country musician about Palin’s show, or the fact that his previous remarks would be aired. Asked if Keith had ever spoken to the right-wing politician, his spokesperson said, “Absolutely not.”

Is anyone really supposed to take Fox News seriously as a professional outlet? For that matter, if Palin is going to host an interview special, would it have killed the confused conservative to actually … I don’t know … conduct an interview or two?