When ABC's Barbara Walters deems Sarah Palin one of the year's "Most Fascinating People," it's a backhanded compliment. Walters knows Palin has an adoring fan base, and she's definitely not part of it. When the Dec. 2 special began, Walters greeted Palin with "Many people find the thought of you as president a little scary."
This is not what Walters asked President Obama in yet another gooey Barack-and-Michelle hour-long ABC interview on Thanksgiving night. Clearly, a large, energized chunk of the American electorate believed -- and continues to believe -- the idea of Obama as president to be horrifying. Instead, Walters lobbed softballs like this:
"When we come back, we'll hear about family life in the White House, just who slept through the midterm elections, the importance of SpongeBob SquarePants and the night the Tooth Fairy didn't show up. Stay with us."
Liberals like Walters always assume that if you're liberal, you're smart; if you're conservative, you're either evil or stupid. Or both.
It was Michelle Obama who claimed she went to bed early on Election Night, like she always does (so much for Walters being a skeptical interviewer). And it was Michelle Obama who tried to make excuses for the Democratic fiasco by sounding remarkably uninformed.
"I mean, my understanding is that, number one, every president in history has lost Congress at the midterms," the first lady claimed. "Maybe that's overstating it, but it's happened for every president in my lifetime." The president tried to clean it up: "It's the norm."
Walters just sat there, lost in her adoring gaze, accepting these assertions, which were flat-out wrong. Even the last president didn't lose Congress in the 2002 elections (Republicans kept the House; Senate Democrats had captured the majority earlier that year with the switch of Sen. Jim Jeffords). Neither did the first George Bush in 1990 (Congress was firmly Democrat), or Ronald Reagan in 1982 (when the Senate stayed Republican, and the House stayed Democrat).
Is Walters that dumb? Or is it blind loyalty to one party matched by equally blind hostility to the other?
It's the never-ending problem for Sarah Palin. There's a certain malice in the implication that she doesn't read books or newspapers. There's a certain catfight quality as well when the inquisitors are Katie Couric and Walters. These are female journalists who felt discriminated against when people suggested they didn't have the same heft as the male anchors of the evening. Never let them talk about a "glass ceiling" while they throw mud at Palin.