Editor’s Note: Sunday’s lineup of TV interview shows listed three of the four nominees on the two national tickets. The only no-show was Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, fitting with the decision since her selection not to have her subjected to questions from reporters.

In this guest essay, writer Mary MacElveen urges the U.S. news media to refrain from writing any more puff pieces on Palin until she makes herself available to reporters’ questions:

During the GOP national convention, Republicans were openly hostile towards the news media.

Given the fact that they have little to offer we the people and given these past eight years of failed leadership, it is understandable.

Yet we the people have the right to see how candidates such as Gov. Sarah Palin hold up to immense pressure.  It is a great indicator how they will react to it while on the job.

Washington, D.C., is very different than Wasilla, Alaska, or even governing Alaska itself in its complexity. I would have loved to have seen Tim Russert interview her and if he were still alive, much could have been learned from that interview.

After all, Palin can possibly be but a heart beat away from the presidency itself.

Most likely she is cramming for her one-time-only debate with Sen. Joe Biden and in that debate the questions are limited and the time to answer them is also limited. Biden knows the intricacies of foreign policy since he is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, but what of her knowledge?

Back in the 2000 presidential campaign, it was all about how many would like to invite George W. Bush to their backyard barbeques. Will this one be about how many would like to invite Sarah Palin to an afternoon tea? Here we go again.

I recall an old joke, “You know you are going to have a bad day when Mike Wallace shows up at your door.” No truer words could be said of Wallace. He was the champion when it came to getting the goods so to speak. I do think she would have squirmed in his hot-seat.

As I headed towards the grocery store on Saturday, I was listening to my car radio as they started to report on the Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae story. Every news station I listened to aired Sarah Palin’s opinion of the government takeover (by the way she favors this move).

Absent was any opinion coming from Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Joe Biden. But I did not care what her opinion of the government move was since she has yet to be fully vetted by any news organization.

Anyone can cite an opinion, but we the people have the right to have questions put to that person asking the all important questions of “Why” or “How come?”

As of Sunday morning, Sarah Palin has yet to meet the press, the last three words again reminded me of Tim Russert.

According to Politico.com, “Palin has yet to sit down for or even schedule an issues-oriented interview with any newspaper, magazine or television network.”
Ah, there is that operative word, “issue.” At this point, the Republicans are running as fast as they can from the issues and as we all saw at their convention were only prone to sniping at the Democrats and the “liberal elites.”

Why they think that the media is liberal is beyond me. The media is owned by various corporations, so it is the corporate media.

Biden Speaks

In fact, Joe Biden in this brass-knuckle response to the Republican convention stated in this feed, “What do you talk about when you cannot explain the last eight years of failure.”

Biden even quoted McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis saying, “This campaign is not about issues.”

Excuse me?! I do not know about you, but I would like to hear through detailed interviews of Palin how she will solve the problems most Americans are facing today instead of poking fun at Obama when she called into question his work as “a community organizer.”

America, nothing can be learned of how we as a country go forward when one reads, in the Politico article: In the meantime, Fox News is rolling out a special (as are other networks): ‘Gov. Sarah Palin: An American Woman,’ a one-hour biography hosted by Greta Van Susteren that includes ‘exclusive video and photos’ and ‘interviews with her family, friends and colleagues’ — but not Palin herself.”

Why bother to watch this program if Palin cannot be pinned down on how to solve the problems that many Americans are facing today?

Immediately after the Republican convention, viewers saw both Palin and McCain speaking to groups of supporters in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, both of which are battle ground states. Stations such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox covered them extensively. Where is the quid pro quo?

I would love to challenge the mainstream media not to cover any campaign stop by these Republican candidates. Why give them the air time when Palin will not avail herself to any questioning?

The people have the right to know. All we are hearing are the recycled quips we heard at their convention. Nothing new is being learned of Palin.

The other night, Sen. Barack Obama went into the lions den when he was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly who has been openly hostile towards Democrats and that is courage.

My fantasy would be for Palin to be interviewed by Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now.” This feisty governor would not know what hit her since Goodman herself has been addressing the many issues that Palin is not speaking of.

Will this be yet again another administration cloaked in secrecy when it should be transparent? I think that is a fair question.

Since Palin is against embryonic stem cell research, I would love to hear her interviewed on this issue with Michael J. Fox present. As we all know, he suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. 

Instead of being corralled, let her see for herself how many Americans are suffering.

She is against abortion even in the most extreme cases of rape and incest. I would love to see her interviewed at a rape crisis center. Wouldn’t you?

And speaking of abortion, why not put the question to her of exactly how she intends to care for so many women if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term? Will she be in favor of stacking more conservative/pro-life judges to the Supreme Court?

In closing, I would love for all the major news organizations to put forth a news blackout directed at the McCain/Palin ticket.

If they complain, it is up to the news media to say, “You avail Palin to us and then we will start covering your campaign.” It is as simple as that. Until such time, should I see her on my television set, I will simply turn the channel. So should we all.

Mary MacElveen, a Long Island-based writer, can be reached at her e-mail address, xmjmac@optonline.net

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