It’s hard to believe this is actually happening.
Sarah Palin and her advisers are refusing to tell members of the media where she is going on her current bus tour — and the former Alaska governor seems to be enjoying the cat and mouse game that’s resulted.
“I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media…. I want them to have to do a little bit of work on a tour like this, and that would include not necessarily telling them beforehand where every stop’s going to be,” she told fellow Fox News employee Greta Van Susteren in an interview from the bus.
When Palin says she wants news organizations to “do a little bit of work,” what that means is she wants media outlets to simply follow her bus, wherever it might go. And wouldn’t you know it, actual news organizations are doing just that.
Right now, as Palin’s bus travels to destinations unknown, it’s being followed by an informal caravan of 15 or so vehicles — including a CNN bus — filled with reporters and producers. They don’t know where they’re going, and they don’t know what they’ll do when they get to where they’re going, but Sarah Palin is in a bus, and so they remain in pursuit.
CBS News producer Ryan Corsaro described this as potentially dangerous, since 15 vehicles are following closely behind Palin’s bus — they’re afraid they’ll lose sight of it — increasing the likelihood of a crash. Corsaro added, “It feels like she’s baiting us and treating us like paparazzi.”
I feel for the reporters who’ve been told to drop what they’re doing and stare at the back of a bus for hours on end, without so much as a hint about their destination. Some of these folks are real journalists who’ve been put in a position of playing a ridiculous game of cat and mouse with a conspicuously unintelligent Fox News personality, which can’t be fun. Making matters worse, even when the bus eventually stops, there are no actual news stories to report on.
The whole thing is just painfully stupid. The former half-term governor of Alaska has effectively told news organizations, “Catch me if you can!” To which the media responds, “We’ll be right behind you!”
This might sound crazy, but if major media outlets feel like they’re being jerked around, and don’t like being treated “like paparazzi,” they could … I don’t know … go cover something else? Maybe the news organizations could get together, agree to send an intern with a cell-phone camera to follow the bus and serve as some kind of pool reporter, and end this madness?