A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready -- and until she's comfortable -- which might not be for a long while -- the media will have to wait.Grrrrr. If she can't handle a press conference, how can you argue she's ready to be vice president?
This fear-based, defensive, curl-up-inside-your-shell posture toward the press is killing the GOP. It's insane: Treat the press like the enemy and then complain about media bias. Oh, I wish Tony Snow were still alive to explain to these "senior campaign officials" why this approach doesn't work.(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)
UPDATE: David Frum calls attention to this MSNBC clip where McCain campaign communications senior adviser Nicole Wallace ridicules the idea that Sarah Palin should speak to reporters:
Politicians cannot treat reporters like this. This has nothing to do with whether you like or dislike Jay Carney. I've seen what happens to Republicans (and Democrats) who cultivate an adversarial relationship with the press. As soon as a scandal or a gaffe or some other bad news hits, and you want to get your side of the story out there, guess what? Nobody's listening. And why should they? You never did them any favors, you treated them like scum, and now when you need a little help . . . hey, good luck with that, pal.
Ed Morrissey scoffs:
It’s not as if she’ll be able to avoid reporters while campaigning, especially in this day and age . . .Oh, yeah? Go out on the road to cover the McCain campaign and see how much access to the candidate you get, Ed. I show up in Pennsylvania and tell 'em I'm from the American Spectator and it's like, "American What?" I show up and say I'm with Pajamas Media, and they're like, "Pajamas Who?"
Frankly, the Hillary campaign treated me a lot better, despite the fact that they understood I was essentially hostile (except in an "Operation Chaos" sort of friendly way). Two of the three times I covered Hillary on the trail, she gave press conferences, even though most of the questions were along the lines of, "Why don't you quit now, you stupid loser woman?" (That's almost a verbatim of the CBS News guy's question May 7.)
Hillary suffered badly in the later stage of the campaign because of her staff's earlier high-handed treatment of the press. It always -- always -- bodes ill for politicians when they treat reporters this way.