Sarah Palin knocks "lamestream media" while getting two hours free publicity on NBC's Today
Now I know why Sarah Palin calls it the lamestream media.
Halfway through the first two hours of Palin's "guest hosting" stint on NBC's Today show this morning, I was still waiting for the former Alaska governor to actually do some hosting, as the show shuffled her through interview and debate segments like guiding a small child through a maze.
No doubt, given Palin's habit of reducing her public statements to a collection of corny catchphrases, limiting the windows where she might speak extemporaneously to the camera was probably smart.
Still, the sum total of Palin's first hour on Today mostly amounted to gag visuals -- sorting through a pile of newspapers while joking that a tourist mistook her for Tina Fey -- and a long "exclusive" interview where she warned the GOP presidential nominee he would get "clobbered by the lamestream media who does not like the conservative message."
Of course, people could hear her warnings because NBC had turned over TV's top-rated morning show to showcasing her personality, flying her out from Alaska for the day. How lame could they be?
(At least, host Matt Lauer gave a jab back, noting Palin's "guest hosting" gig "technically makes you part of the lamestream media.")
Over on ABC, the reason why Today opened its doors to Palin continued her own cutesy takeover of Good Morning America, as ex-Today show host Katie Couric mugged her way through a taped bit visiting Madam Tussaud's wax museum and eating pizza with GMA's on air crew (minus George Stephanopoulos, who had the good sense to bail on this bit of fluff).
The whole thing felt like GMA was somehow introducing Couric to Manhattan like a tourist -- despite the fact that she's been based in New York for decades.
As I wrote Monday, this is all about NBC desperately trying to avoid seeing its 16-year winning streak in the ratings snapped by Couric's surprise guest host gig. But the last-minute "surprises" arranged by NBC for this week feel a bit flat -- including a much-hyped announcement by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest planned for this morning which was moved to Wednesday.
The bit may have backfired: Fans of the Today show have posted a steady stream of negative comments on the show's Facebook page, saying they tuned to ABC because Palin was on NBC this morning.
Lauer cited a tweet from Seacrest to explain why he blew off this morning's show -- the host had just had elbow surgery and said he couldn't travel. So apparently, all the satellite TV hookups from Los Angeles were taken today and Seacrest was too busy to pick up the phone and call NBC.
All part of the lamestream media's effort to keep viewers hooked to increasingly lame morning shows which have sacrificed substance and informative segments for hokey stunts and transparently self-serving "surprises."
Turns out, Palin is a more perceptive media critic than I ever realized.