tv Book TV CSPAN November 23, 2009 5:30am-6:15am EST
>> "washington journal" continues. host: with sarah palin's book coming out tomorrow, why did you decide to write a book called "the persecution of sarah palin "? guest: as i watched the press coverage unfold i was amazed at the myths and exaggerations' that were being told about her by some of our most established news media. people said that she was a supporter of pat buchanan. she was not. people said that she was a supporter of the alaska independence party. she was not a member. rumors about the maternity of her youngest child were circulated. all of these rumors and lies, i decided that we should catalog them to show that not only were all of these myths propagated, but also to try to explore the question of why. i think that why is the more interesting question.
sarah palin has this unerring ability to summon up the worst feelings in her opponents. it is really quite amazing. host: what is that quality? why is that quality bear? why does it have the effect that it has? guest: personally i think that she represents most of the things that the left in this country want to change about america. they do not like her forthright christianity. they do not like the fact that she is not a member of the feminist establishment. in fact she disagrees with much of mainstream feminism. they do not like that she is representing the people who are left out of the obama revolution. the job a plumber -- joe the plubmer's of the worlds. people without elite
scholarships and agrees. host: we are talking with matthew continetti on his new book, "the persecution of sarah palin," in which you talk about some of these rumors and lies. who were the biggest offenders? oguest: there were quite a few. "the new york times brandy issue of the alaskan independence party on its front pages. if you go to the museum -- newseum and look at the front pages of the nation's newspapers in 2008, it was filled with the pregnancy of her eldest daughter. this does not strike me as front-page news, certainly not something to be fronted without any consideration of the fact that it has on the family, the girl, or that it has on the child as he grows older.
host: what about the web? guest: [laughter] the blogosphere is pretty vitriolic. the maternity of three youngest son was kicked around on many leftist web sites. it was referred to by many established newspapers. all of these things kind of come to fruition, and we have to be skeptical of them. because of the new media, so much is on mediated. we have to take a step back. in the case of sarah palin, so much of this was not true. host: as we look at the role of the media in these elections, what do you see as the future? guest: based on the reaction to her book, i think that she will continue to get negative press.
but i think that sarah palin has discovered another avenue for communication. that is through the new media. one of barack obama's many achievements in the 2008 campaign was utilizing new social media like facebook and youtube, ways to communicate directly with your supporters. without getting much credit, sarah palin is doing exactly that. her facebook as close to 1 million followers. she is second only to barack obama in the number of friends on facebook. twitter, i think that is around 15,000. the last i checked it was growing. through these media she communicates directly, dispelling some myths. if you go to our facebook page, almost every day there is a lengthy essay posted there, including footnotes on various policy issues of the day.
host: brian, republican line. caller: good morning. i wanted to just agree with matthew. i think it is a thoughtful left- wing media bashing of someone. they make it so obvious, for she was not important and she did not matter -- if she was not important and she did not matter there would be no coverage of her. they are very afraid of her and going out of her way -- out of their way to discredit her and any one that agrees with her. it is just so obvious. i think that the american people are so far beyond this kind of trashing. no matter what they do, this
woman will rise. i do not know if she will run for office or not. i think that she will. i just think it is typical left- wing media. again, they make themselves so obvious, you know? if they did not care, they would not cover her. guest: i agree with you. of all the politicians that have written books, the coverage devoted to sarah palin -- remember, she no longer holds any office, she did not win the vice presidency, yet she is the story of the week. my favorite example so far of the negative coverage of her book is the associated press. they had 11 reporters write a fact check of her book. they took 11 ap reporters to discover that she is ambitious. it is ludicrous, the manner of
reporting on her and the reaction to her ability to drive her opponents bonkers. it is laughable sometimes. host: you write that this is a book about how "the beast hunted down its prey and how to pray fought back." guest: i think that her book is part of that fighting back. sarah palin has not been able to tell her side of the story. i think that her book is her attempts to tell her side of what happened in the campaign. this is something the she needs to do to start looking forward. while there is some policy discussed in "going rogue," it is somewhat backward looking, telling people about her life, in alaska and on the campaign trail, finishing with a brief look forward about what might be next. because she does not tell her
story, who will? certainly not the media. cocoa -- host: harpercollins is the publisher of sailor pale and's books -- sarah palin's book. matthew continetti is here talking about his book, "the persecution of sarah palin." fort lauderdale, florida, is on the line. mark? caller: my main question is this. this bunker mentality, sometimes hard questions are asked of sarah palin and right away is either an attack or people are trying to be-term. asking someone hard questions is not going after them, is it?
if you do not mind, i would like to maybe hang on and above what you might have to say. guest: i have no problem with people asking hard questions. as i write, i think that her real major misstep was her interview with katie couric. even sarah palin admits that it did not go well. she admitted that to oprah winfrey and talks about it in the book. every aspirant to high office should be it able to answer tough questions. what happened with sarah palin was a cultural revulsion. any rumored to be inherited, every fact that might confirm this caricature of her as some sort of radical conservative bent on taking us back to the stone age was embraced. every factor that contradicted that, which is most of her political profile prior to 2008,
directly rebuffs that khartoum. well, those facts were dismissed. host: caller? caller: it seems to me that everything you just said, she seems to have this mentality, as many like her do, that any type of questioning or the slightest bit of negativity is right away and attack. i have not read the book, obviously, it has not come out yet, i am looking forward to it, but from what i have heard a great deal of it is about the left-wing media being out to get her. guest: well, there is something to the fact that people are out to get hurt. it has something to do with what the earlier caller said. she is, in many ways, a threat, i think, to the current our configuration in washington.
mccall, the only time that john mccain was winning the presidential election last year, the only time that he was pulling ahead of barack obama was between his announcement of sarah palin as his running mate and the collapse of lehman brothers. one part of that equation he had something to do with, picking sarah palin. the other part neither sarah palin nor john mccain nor anyone else saw coming. they could not do much about it. host: matthew continetti, father of "the persecution of sarah palin," graduate from columbia. we have a call from jeff, california. caller: matthew, it is incredible that you are serious. i did not get any of my negative feelings about sarah palin from
left-wing media. i got it from watching her in hearing her speak. the fact that people refer these days even to liberal media it appears to be one of those things that among conservatives is a dinosaur. if you recall, the media back in the 1980's was either liberal or conservative. conservatives that did not like anything that they heard from the other side was because it was not their talking points of a call that led -- liberal media. -- talking points, they called that liberal media. now there really is liberal media. there is also conservative media. other people being trashed much more than her, just watch fox
news, the white power network. thank you. host: you raise an interesting point, saying that your negative feelings come from watching sarah palin. i happen to think that one of the reasons people have trouble taking sarah palin seriously is that accent. it is more minnesota than alaska, certainly not what you hear on the airwaves. certainly not what you hear on the coast the accent -- coast. the accent reminds people that she is not what you would call on the mainstream of american life. she is outside of the established networks. i think that tends to rub people the wrong way. then again, i will say that she has had some tough interviews. she had a lot of catching up to do. if you look at her closely now, as i write towards the end, i
think that she is doing some of that work. if you go onto her facebook page you will see a policy haft that might not have been so visible during the policy -- presidential campaign. host: in the past week from "the wall street journal" it says "can sarah palin make a comeback"? guest: looking at public opinion, you would find that she has become one of the most polarizing figures in american politics. republicans love her, democrats hate her and independent voters are divided. more independent voters disapprove the approved, but i think that that is somewhat manageable for her. there is only a seven. gap in the gallup poll that seems to hold up in other surveys. if she has more independent voters approving rather than
disapproving, they could serve most birders in the white house in 2016. host: one of our comments from twitter, "you believe that she writes for facebook entries"? another one questions if she wrote the book herself. guest: i believe that she writes to the extent that any political figure rights the material under the name. politicians tend to be bosses. they like to run things. that is why they are politicians. of course she had a collaborator of her book. she says that. as i read the excerpts coming from the book, it struck me that it was very much in her voice. it was informal and casual, very down to earth. that is one thing that her supporters like most. host: st. louis, back to the
calls. joe, republican line. what do you have to say? caller: i like sarah palin. she is interesting and i listen to her. people are not going to like her if you do not have conservative values or views. i was interested in what you were talking about with independent voters, i think that that is her problem in the presidential race issue decided iran. she does not have that ronald reagan quality -- if she decided to run. she does not have that ronald reagan holiday. she could run as a third -- reagan quality. she could run as a third-party candidate. my worry is that she could split the vote. what is your take on that? host: third-party chances? guest: i am skeptical. this is something that you hear about quite a bit, but i do not think it will happen.
sarah palin has been a loyal republican since the age of 19. we went back and look at the voter registration, she has voted republican since the age of 19. i do not see her leaving. but it is important to the constituency that she represents, this tea party constituency of angry people, people angry at the way the party is headed, wanting the big spending that stop -- to stop, not wanting cap and trade in place, those voters will be integral to any republican come back. she is more or less the the fact a leader and she will have to be included in any republican movement. whether it is in 2010 or 2012.
you are right, to be like ronald reagan she will need to get to the center. here is the thing, she has done before. the sarah palin that ran for governor of alaska in 2006 was not as hard bitten cultural warrior that you hear about in the media. it is someone very different, someone campaigning on bipartisan issues, ethics reform, changing the tax code for the oil companies, making a critique that the people of alaska were being left out by the culture of being an insider in the state capital. i think that an argument similar to that applied to a national scale would be compelling to independent voters on 2012. host: we are talking about sarah palin and the media. hello. caller: when i first saw sarah palin i took myself back four
years when i was at a lower level at another state and was called upon to run. i had no idea the den of lions i was entering into. i empathize with her greatly. there was a lot of vitriol. she has a great deal offer this country. she is not perfect, but no politician is. i think she was horribly maligned. the vitriolic just astounded me. a friend of my son asked me what i thought of sarah palin. i looked at her and i said that i liked her. i thought the the woman was going to explode. that is what i found in the area i live in. i will continue to defend her.
she had more political experience than obama. to me she was raised by a good family, good parents. she is an athlete. i hope that she gets in there and wins. i think she is capable of doing it. remember, she was close. guest: i think that you will also enjoy my book, "the persecution of sarah palin," if i can put in a plug. [laughter] i think it is interesting that some of the ferocity might have been that sarah palin was a woman, very different from the type of woman we see on the political stage. most of them are older, past the age of raising their children. most of the most prominent women in american politics is that they are pro-choice, sarah
palin, as everyone knows, is pro life. i was fascinated that hillary clinton said she would be interested to me sarah palin. i think that that was an interesting acknowledgement of hers of sarah palin creek lamenting that -- frequently referring to clinton as a trailblazer. bill clinton often commented favorably of sarah palin, who understood early on that a lot of people, not everyone, but a lot of americans look at her and say that she reminds me of me. she talks like i do. she has the same values that i do, i kind of like that. host: written in "the post" over the weekend, "is the book tour an opening chapter to provide a
subtext to political plans"? "in addition to her book, the tour follows various smaller states and cities, a subtext for a bigger discussion of the political future she could have or more importantly, want to have. is she a political personality? or is there something that could be called palinism"? guest: [laughter] there are definitely palinistas, palin critics, but we are not at palinism yet. it is a great question, will she be able to cultivate this grass roots effort into something bigger? i think that she adopted a free
market populism, running against washington, running against the elite trying to run the economy, trying to design america according to their own theories about how society should work, i think that could get some traction. but i think she will have to prove to the independent voters that she is familiar with the issues, that she can hold her own in the debates, which i think she did it, as i talk about in my book. down the line, she will have to go in for a rematch with katie couric. host: east michigan, hello. caller: another interview with katie couric would be a blast. once again she would be caught in the headlights. what did she do for alaska? not really that much. they have the highest crystal meth problem. come on, people are alcoholics
up there. 286 seniors died on her watch because she did not want to fund health care. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: that is the democratic critique of sarah palin. it goes back to iraq -- her record in alaska, which i am happy to hear, because so much of a critique of her had nothing to do with a record in alaska last year. it is amazing, "the washington post" and " new york times -- and "the new york times" both went to alaska last year, never commenting that she had the highest approval ratings of any politician in the country. yes, like any politician, her record has its highs and lows. but until she was nominated for the vice president and became
this extremely polarizing political figure, she was remarkably popular. there has to be reason for that. host: san antonio. jack, good morning. caller: i like your comments on a couple of items. one, the resignation of her governorship. seemed like the democrats were going by out of their way to file these ludicrous actions against her, which eventually i guess drove of her legal bills? she was going to rely savings? which is ironic, as you see the left criticizing her after they orchestrated the situation. the other item that i noticed is that the criticism of her seems to be based more on how she seems to break the liberal mold of a successful woman, a someone who actually sacrificed family
for a career, and instead of being -- instead of having a good family and a good marriage, etc. etc., is basically getting what she wants in life without following that difficult path. thank you very much. guest: great questions. first, the resignation, i do not feel that she has adequately explained it yet, but the situation that she returned to when she came back was untenable at best. there were plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum the told me that they did not think that she would run for a second term. no one told me that they thought she could rock -- resign at a time. it speaks to her impulsiveness
as a political figure. the reason that she did it, as the caller mentioned, were these mounting complaints against her, most of which have been dismissed, frivolous, mostly ethics complaints. there were two other reported reasons. we tend to forget, as this was not covered when she appeared on the national stage, but the bulk of her support in the legislature in alaska came from democrats. she had run on a campaign of reform and had overturned the the republican power structure in alaska. as a result, not many republicans in alaska like her, to this day. so, to get those legislations through, she relied heavily on democrats. well, as soon as she became the running mate of john mccain, her
democratic support evaporated. when she returned, she could not get anything through the legislature. republicans hated her for going up against the state party chair and the democrats hated her for being sarah palin. that, combined with ethics complaints, as well as her new political persona, the most famous republican women in the world, every time she left alaska to communicate with supporters, she would be pilloried in a local press. i think that she saw those things and said that it was time to move on. on the feminism, i have an entire chapter devoted of feminism in my book. one of the points i do make, i think that the caller is right, there is a narrative for many women that you have to trade off a successful personal life for professional success. sarah palin shows that that is not necessarily the case, which i think it got her criticized
and made fun of in some cases, ridiculed by the feminist establishment. host: this caller is calling from alaska, says she is -- calling from arizona, says she is from alaska. caller: first of all, i would like to say that sarah palin gave her reason for resigning, she owed $500,000 in legal fees for defending herself against so many ethics complaints, of which she was convicted, several of them, including taking money from the state for eating at her home, taking money for taking her family traveling around the country, and several others that she was not convicted of but there were still muddy waters when it was solved, at least in the eyes of many alaskans. host: what does all that mean to you, caller?
caller: personally, i voted for her. i was willing to give her a chance as governor. she did very little of what she promised. in my eyes she became a drama queen. anytime things that none over way for any time that she got criticism, she became quite venomous towards the people that criticized her. she could not live with even a small bit of criticism. how ridiculous of her to pick on john mccain staffers in the book. i did not plan to read the book, but i saw on your show that she is planning to complain about republican staffers. that shows how low she is planning to go with it. guest: i think it was more sarah palin it -- sarah palin responding to the mccain advisers ticking on her. we do not know their identities,
but they were talking about background reports of blaming sarah palin for the loss of john mccain. if anything, i think that she helped john mccain close the gap. i think that many people voted for john mccain who would not have if sarah palin was not on the ticket. she excited the grass roots. i think she is trying to put her story out there, rather than picking out anyone. the caller makes a good point on the per diem issue. i do not exonerate her of everything. like all political figures, she has pluses and minuses. on the troopergate issue, while one report tried to blame her for not taking stops -- not taking steps from stopping or husband from contacting public safety, the other report by judicial council exoneratied
host: her. -- exaggerated heard. host: "emerging as a nemesis in the excerpt, charges were made out." if you go the other publications, john mccain calls her book a good account. then he acknowledged tension and a lot of back-and-forth, as well as contradiction, but he said it was a ghraib. what to believe? guest: -- but he said it was a good book. what to believe? guest: it takes us back to the mccain campaign, a ramshackle organization the entire time he was running for president. schmidt has emerged as one of sarah palin's biggest critics.
she hits back in this book. i would say that she can hit back now, but the caller has made excellent points, if she wants a political future she will have to start talking about the country as a whole. she will have to use that criticism and they met at barack obama. host: we have a twitter question about policy. "she lacks substance and have to pander to red state values for higher q ratings. -- ratings." this gets back to your issue of the direct to the voter ways of communicating. what is she saying, policy-wise? guest: basically it is the conservative message, at this point. health care with more regulations would add to the cost of business, having unforeseen consequences, not all of which would be good. she is saying that cap and trade
with actively raise energy prices and that if you are going to be responsible things, why not start drilling offshore? she is going after the obama budget, saying that it spends too much money and that they need to be careful. more or less a republican critique of the obama policy. i would say that the twitter commentator makes a good point. she has been judged by the court of public opinion for now. the thing is, opinions of public leaders change over time. hillary clinton is one of the most polarizing figures in american politics, and she came very close to winning the democratic nomination. now she is one of the more popular figures in the obama cabinet. look at ronald reagan, whose political career had been declared dead many times before he won the republican nomination in 1980. host: a quick word about the dynamics within the party, this is from charlie crist, a sure-
fire republican becomes a right- wing target. "and intelligent former speaker of the house, a reagan night that answers to mr. obama by the national review. what is going on there within the party? of desk of the same thing that we saw in the special congressional election in new york 23. we are seeing it with florida. there is a revolt among some conservative grassroots against established republicanism. in new york resawed conservative voters that wanted nothing to do with a liberal republican that had been put on the ticket by the party establishment and backed by the republicans in washington, d.c. something similar is happening with charlie crist. the most of -- the most enthusiastic voters right now are on the right, the people
that show up for the tea parties. they are going to have to find a way, the republican party, to keep those voters involved and active. this same thing happened with that the democrats after the 2004 election. lots of people were saying that they would hurt the party. but the democratic party was able to incorporate the network voters while reaching out to the middle. then we have 2006 and 2008, with barack obama in the white house. host: democratic line, good morning. caller: i am listening to what your saying about sarah palin being down to earth, but we should not confuse the language of the people with being simplistic and naive. god help us, her whole approach on the view of things is so simplistic and night eve.
the world is not like that. it is much more complex than that, much more complex than sarah palin is allowing it to be. about this attack on her, as another person said, just listen to what she says during the interviews, you will see that the woman has no knowledge, no broadness of thought in any area whatsoever. guest: you raise an interesting point, this idea of sophistication and the world being too complex for sarah palin's message. i think that one dividing line in politics today is along those lines. for lack of a better word, the liberal view of reality is that it is so complex that it takes people with a more sophisticated technocratic background in order to manipulate it to get the outcomes that we want. the conservative that you might say that that is true to some point, but what is also
necessary as a set of values and foundational principles. because the world is so complex, we do not always having answered everything. because we are human beings, often we do not know enough to change the world to our liking. more important than expertise knowledge would be a broad set of political values. i think that that is what sarah palin's supporters like in her. i would also mention that the one interview that people go back to is the katie couric interviewed. as i write in my book, that was a bad interview. sarah palin admits it to this day. but that was only one interview. sarah palin gave many others. if you look at those other ones, you might have a very different opinion. host: next caller, good morning. caller: i like her because she is honest. during a conference about this
administration, who boxes of their questions in the ways that they want it to be read. sarah palin gives interviews from the heart, but obama has surrounded himself with communist czars. she would take a good cabinet, but people want to hear. obama has to read the teleprompter. that is the sad part. host: are you going to see a lot more interviews as opposed to these and direct to voter affairs? guest: we are seeing the big- name interviews this week with the book rollout. i think that those are meant to humanize her, say that she is not a caricature. but i do not know what is going happen. i would say that if she is serious about continuing to be a national political figure, she will have to return to those more serious interviews. like i said, she will have to revisit, not only with charlie
gibson, but also with katie couric and the other networks, proving that she can handle them. once she does that i think that the opinion of her might change. the bar is set low because of the demonization, it is kind of easy to walk over it. host: grand junction. hello. caller: i have been an independent for a long time. i think that sarah palin was the brightest light in the republican campaign last year. it looks to me that mccain was going into the dump her until she showed up. -- dumper until she showed up. you should understand another thing. very little chance i would vote for president. we have had enough people like bush and so forth in there. she would be the extreme of that. the other part of that, i think
that the republican party is really missing the boat by not sending a team there to rumor. because sheesh -- she shows things on television that another good for some of the people. one of the earlier callers mentioned a sort of image of shallow nests -- shallownewss. -- shallowness. in a phone booth, where majority rules, that does not matter much on account of the fact that when you get into that phone booth people are thinking a lot like she thinks. host: thank you. final thoughts on where all of this is going for sarah palin? guest: as the caller mentioned, bush. bush hurt sarah palin. the country went through eight
years of george w. bush, two unpopular wars. bush's on popularity was extremely high. we entered a recession in december 2007. there are similarities between her political profile and the political profile of george w. bush. the bush hang over is going to continue for some time, limiting her ceiling as a political future. otherwise i was fascinated with the reaction to my book, her book, her as a person. she is not going anywhere. that is for sure. everyone has an opinion, she seems to like to be in the middle of things. host: her book comes out tomorrow, officially. matthew continetti has been talking about his b matthew continetti has been talking matthew continetti has
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