Sarah Palin appeared on Today this morning, first as a guest and then as a cohost of the 8 a.m. hour. The mood was jovial when Palin was shown prepping for the gig, buried in newspapers on the couch and sharing a story about a stranger who, when Palin told her she was headed to 30 Rock, had said she knew Palin was Tina Fey. During Matt Lauer’s interview with Palin about the GOP presidential race — voters in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia head to the polls today — the conversation turned more serious. Her message: “Anybody but Obama will be so much better for our country,” and it doesn’t matter whether a GOP presidential candidate picks a running mate who’s been battle tested on a national level because “they’re gonna get clobbered by the lamestream media who does not like the conservative message.” As Lauer then pointed out, Palin was about to become part of the lamestream media for an hour. Mood lightened!
Overall, the hour was enjoyable: Palin got so involved in conversations with Tori Spelling and experts on raising teenage daughters that a patient Ann Curry had to abruptly wrap up the segments as a producer, no doubt, yelled in her ear. I’d say the most awkward moments came during the “Today’s Professionals” segment, when Palin joined the panel to discuss hot topics like Oprah Winfrey admitting she made mistakes with OWN and the new EnemyGraph Facebook app, which allows you to create a list of enemies instead of friends.
Palin said more power to Winfrey, who represents what makes America great — you have the opportunity to succeed and to fail, and you keep trying. Palin, asked by Lauer if she thinks OWN will be around in a year, answered “If she’ll get some conservatives on the show, some patriots who understand the Constitution.” She was laughing, but fellow panelist Star Jones looked unamused. “Let’s move on,” Matt wisely said.
The panel agreed that in an age of cyberbullying, this EnemyGraph Facebook app — whose makers believe people can bond over their mutual enemies — is nothing but destructive. “Maybe they’re learning from the politicians,” Donny Deutsch said. “All we see from politicians is pure negativity and ‘enemyism,’ for lack of a better word. So this is kinda throughout our culture.”
Palin said it wasn’t just in politics. In the world of entertainment, when words are used to demean people, there’s a darkness. “What was interesting was, I was listening to your interview,” Deutsch told her, “and your whole point was ‘anybody but Obama,’ setting up the enemy versus ‘This is what we need to do.’ I’m not criticizing you, it’s all politicians today. So this is an extension of that.”
Palin matched his civility. “I don’t think that saying ‘anybody but Obama’ is necessarily such a negative thing because that opens the door to talking about the positive solutions that I would like to talk more about when it comes to the other side of the aisle and the solutions to propose.” They agreed to disagree.
The panel also discussed the casting of Ashton Kutcher in a Steve Jobs biopic. Palin asked the panel if any of them had experience with people being paid a lot of money to pretend they’re them. Deutsch asked her what she thought of Julianne Moore playing her in the recent HBO movie Game Change. Palin gave her a thumbs down. “I didn’t see the movie, and I wouldn’t waste my time seeing the movie,” she said, smiling. Jones didn’t believe her. “Didn’t see Game Change,” Palin insisted. “No, because I don’t waste my time on false narratives, on lies.”
But she did give Tina Fey props. Watch the “Today’s Professionals” segment below, which also tackles critics of Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy weight gain, along with Palin’s sit-down with Lauer.