As If We Didn’t Have Reason to Worry Before…

The most surreal moment of the Sean Hannity interview with Sarah Palin came at the end when she was asked about Tina Fey’s star turn last Saturday as her doppleganger:

HANNITY: One last question that I didn’t ask you: Did you watch Tina Fey on “Saturday Night Live”?

PALIN: I watched with the volume all the way down and I thought it was hilarious, she was spot on.

HANNITY: Do you think you could play her one day?

PALIN: Oh absolutely. It was hilarious. Again, I didn’t hear a word she said, but the visual was spot on.

OK, let’s draw a big fat line under that one with a star in the margin: Governor Palin watches comedy with the volume turned all the way down.  That’s the weirdest thing she’s said in the past three weeks (not that she’s said much). And, she thought it important enough that she said it twice in the span of five seconds even though her answer is a complete non sequitur to Hannity’s incomprehensible question (Did he really mean to ask Governor Palin if she could see herself playing Tina Fey?  Did she really mean to say she could?)

Ah, but wait.  There’s a purpose to this apparent madness.  By watching SNL with the volume all the way turned down, Governor Palin can try to have her cake and eat it too (although, in this case, it’s pretty lame and downright weird). On the one hand, she can pretend that she’s not too big to laugh at herself and that she’s got a mighty fine sense of humor (which we knew anyway from the dinosaur and creationism thing). On the other hand, by watching with the volume all the way turned down she doesn’t have to deal with the sharp end of sketch: she was brilliantly skewered for being a lightweight. Nor does she have to admit that some of the verbiage (or “verbage” as she pronounces it) was a little racy.

Now, did she really think it was funny?  Hmmm.  I’m thinking the most reliable source on that might be from the people who were on the plane with her Saturday night:

There were howls of laughter from the sizable press corps covering Palin’s first foray on the campaign trail without her running man as a chaperone.

But, from the front of the plane, silence. The flight attendants assured us Palin and her entourage were watching. What she thought, though, is anybody’s guess.

Apparently, Governor Palin laughs with the volume all the way turned down too.

– Austin

PS – As a secondary, but still noteworthy, point of amusement on this topic, the “did you like it” question was asked not during the interview itself but after the interview was over and Governor Palin was getting in the car to leave.  In other words, this is the ballsy, forward question Hannity decided to save for last so that if it pissed her off he wouldn’t lose the whole interview.

What a fearless guy.  Murrow would be proud. tax debt relief fine

5 thoughts on “As If We Didn’t Have Reason to Worry Before…

  1. Dave Jackson says:

    Ah, yes – verbage. I heard her say that word three times. One of my grammatical pet peeves. I suppose that makes me an elitist.


  2. Joe Loveland says:

    “I watched with the volume all the way down.” How lame is that? Nobody believes that.

    Why not just be a human being and say something like: “I saw it, and got a good nervous laugh out of it. Is it easy watching someone imitate you? Not really. But their job is to make candidates look silly, and they did their job well. It was a fun break from the campaign. Stay tuned for my Tina Fey imitation.”

  3. Hornseth says:

    Thank you, Prof. Austin, for a far better post on this than the one I had rumbling in my head but couldn’t pin down when I got lost pondering what on earth the possible motives could have been for that.

    In media trainings, one of the things I find myself asking trainees most often is, “So, given the answer you just gave me, what do you think I’m going to ask you next?”

    99 of 100 reporters or “pundints” would have heard that answer, paused for a second, diverted from their notes, looked bemused and said, “Hang on. You didn’t have the sound on? No kidding? Why not?” But not this one.

  4. Rove says:

    Better yet – why not say that you missed SNL altogether? Pop culture is the domain of Democrats. You’re above the fray, Sarah. You’re a proud Republican. SNL is for the unsophisticated and crass, people like Franken.

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