The fine art of blowing off a moderator

THE FINE ART OF BLOWING OFF A MODERATOR…. If you happened to catch “Saturday Night Live,” which has suddenly become politically relevant again, you might have noticed a great bit on Thursday’s debate, most notably the fact that Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin decided, on several occasions, to avoid the questions asked of her, and make up her own questions to answer.

This morning on “Meet the Press,” debate moderator Gwen Ifill argued that Palin “more than ignored” her questions; she “blew me off.”

Which, of course, is true. John Harris and Mike Allen reported Friday: “On at least 10 occasions, Palin gave answers that were nonspecific, completely generic, pivoted away from the question at hand, or simply ignored it: on global warming, an Iraq exit strategy, Iran and Pakistan, Iranian diplomacy, Israel-Palestine (and a follow-up), the nuclear trigger, interventionism, Cheney’s vice presidency and her own greatest weakness.”

Palin had a choice on Thursday: fumble through questions she didn’t know the answer to, or repeat unrelated talking points. Of course she “blew off” Ifill.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

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.