—-For Part II of this series, go HERE.
As nearly everyone knows, after months of promotion, HBO’s film on Sarah Palin and the 2008 campaign, Game Change, will air (finally) this weekend. Brian Stelter has a lengthy piece in today’s New York Times on the continuing charges from conservatives (and from Palin, who has not seen the movie) that the film is completely unfair and mainly fiction, plus a valentine to Obama from Democratic Hollywood. But the filmmakers claim it’s (sadly) all fact, except that Julianne Moore plays Palin even better than Palin played Palin.
The only thing surprising to me is that anyone at this late date would be surprised by any embarrassing facts about Palin. The truth has been known almost within hours of McCain lifting her out of obscurity back at the end of August 2008. There even persists in some quarters (including elements of mainstream media) the fantasy that Palin actually boosted McCain and drew support from women voters, when the facts (and the polls) always ran in the opposite direction.
Rather than in retrospect, I documented all this in real time in my daily pieces for Editor & Publisher, which were selected and collected in my popular 2009 book and e-book Why Obama Won (the first book published about the year-long campaign). This week I will be excerpting parts of that book here, leading up to the HBO film airing, to show how much was known about Palin immediately—not weeks, months or years later—and how many in the media distorted this for far too long. Yes, we will be getting to David Brooks.
August 29, 2008
GOP Senator Admits She Knows Almost Nothing About Palin
Looking for a quick reaction, and likely endorsement, of John McCain’s surprise pick today of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate this morning, CNN turned within minutes to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the experienced Texan who was also on McCain’s short list for the post. But, asked about Palin, all Hutchison could muster, just before the official announcement, was a few generalities about “spirit” and “enthusiasm,” before admitting, “I don’t know much about her.”