A MOCKERY OF THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS…. Earlier this month, reporters were told they could attend a Sarah Palin rally, but all journalists would be prohibited from talking to voters who attended the event. A week later, Palin aides told an NBC affiliate in Maine that she’s willing to be part of an interview, but only if the McCain campaign could choose the reporter asking the questions.

Taking this bizarre attitude one step further, Palin offered a CBS affiliate in Des Moines five minutes for an interview. Reporter Cynthia Fodor explained the catch: “[W]e had to submit which topics we wanted to discuss ahead of time which is not standard procedure.”

Think about that for a second — Sarah Palin was afraid she couldn’t get through a five-minute interview with a local television station without getting a few hints first.

Her excuses are running a little thin at this point. She’s been a candidate for national office for two months, and in eight days, Palin wants voters to put her a heartbeat from the presidency. Her fear of questions is not exactly reassuring.

For what it’s worth, the station agreed to Palin’s demands and gave her the topics in advance. Not surprisingly, the interview was dull, and featured Palin rattling off a series of talking points.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Fodor had shown up for the interview and asked questions about different topics. Would Palin have gotten up and left?

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.