Tuned In

CNN Poaches Palin From Fox (For a Few Minutes)

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CNN deployed its resources across the country for yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, as far as the vast state of Alaska, to which it sent a single camera crew. And of all Alaska’s cities and towns from which to cover Alaska’s Republican caucus, it happened to pick Wasilla, because of—oh, no particular reason, right? As it happened, CNN’s crew was on the scene as Wasilla’s most famous resident, Sarah Palin, showed up, and they convinced Sarah Palin, caucusgoer, to answer a few questions as Sarah Palin, GOP celebrity and potential brokered-convention candidate. (“I thought we were going to get busted walking through here,” she said, indicating husband Todd, “and here you are!”)

The twist, of course, is that she also happens to be Sarah Palin, Fox News analyst, who was in this case making news on the air of a competitor. (While we’re disclosing affiliations, here’s where I should state that CNN and TIME are both owned by Time Warner.) So while it may have been solely in the interest of the public’s right to know that CNN rushed out an interview transcript and the video clip above to media writers, it’s not hard to imagine a little tweaking of the competition here too. And the CNN studio seemed to be giddy over the magnitude of their get, as John King and Wolf Blitzer fed questions telephone-game-style to reporter on the ground Paul Vercammen.

As for Palin’s answers themselves: she wouldn’t comment on Rush Limbaugh’s calling a Georgetown law student a “slut” and “prostitute” for advocating insurance coverage of contraception, except to say that it has “hypocrisy” to demand an apology of Rush when unnamed liberals have also made offensive comments. (This, as we see demonstrated in every such political controversy, is what I like to call the But Somebody Else Did Something Bad Once Too defense.) And, she said, she would not “close the door” on a Presidential run in 2016 (“Anything is possible for an American”), or standing as a draft candidate should there be a brokered convention in 2012—a possibility that cable pundits spent much of the night dreaming about to liven up Mitt Romney’s apparent, if unpretty, slog to the nomination.

Palin would not, however, tell CNN whom she had voted for in the caucus. As if in a kind of restitution to her employer, she saved that for Fox Business Network, where she said she voted for Newt Gingrich, “the cheerful one.”

So congratulation, I suppose, CNN, on poaching from the competition. Now maybe you could get Fox to take that eerie “virtual convention floor” off your hands. Are those zombie delegates?:

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