Palin and the freedom of the press

PALIN AND THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS…. Sarah Palin was, if memory serves, a journalism major in college, and even worked a bit in broadcast journalism before becoming a mayor. She hasn’t demonstrated any real understanding of any issue since joining the Republican ticket, but presumably she knows something about the freedom of the press.

And with that in mind, Palin told Fox News yesterday a little bit about her perspective on the subject.

“As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we’ve really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press**, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege. We just want truth, we want fairness, we want balance.”

I haven’t the foggiest idea what this means. Does anyone here speak Palin? Can someone translate it for me?

On a related note, Palin told Fox News why she wasn’t able to answer Katie Couric’s question about which newspapers and magazines she reads.

“My response to her, I guess it was kind of flippant. But, I was sort of taken aback, like, the suggestion was, ‘You’re way up there in a faraway place in Alaska, do you know that there are publications in the rest of the world that are read by many?’ And I was taken aback by that because, I don’t know, the suggestion just was a little bit of perhaps we’re not in tune with the rest of the world.”

This isn’t even close to reality. Couric asked, “[W]hat newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed?” Palin dodged, saying she’s read “most of them.” Couric followed up, asking for specific examples. Palin said, “Um, all of them.”

At no point did Couric “suggest” that Palin lacked access to periodicals because of her home state. In Palin’s imagination, maybe, but not in reality.

She could have just admitted that she flubbed the question — or worse, admitted that she doesn’t actually read much — but that would have been embarrassing. Instead, Palin pretended to be a victim, badgered by a non-Fox journalist. How sad.

** This quote comes by way of ABC News’ report and Time magazine’s transcript of the interview. Apparently, however, Palin said “those fighting for the freedom of the press.” The oddity of her remarks, however, remains largely the same.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.