CBS: Sarah Palin ‘Launched an Offensive’ Against Media

Michelle Gielan and Maggie Rodriguez, CBS On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez described Sarah Palin’s recent attempts to set the record straight about her daughter Bristol’s pregnancy this way: "Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has launched an offensive against the news media, again." In contrast, on Tuesday’s broadcast, fill-in co-host Chris Wragge was concerned about Barack Obama being in the media spotlight: "Coming up, life in the media bubble. How is Barack Obama adjusting to the press following his every move?"

During Friday’s show, correspondent Michelle Gielan reported: "Governor Palin has always had a love/hate relationship with the media, but what has her fired up now are reports that she calls inaccurate and she's personally contacted People magazine, the Associated Press, and the Anchorage Daily News to tell them they're wrong...From the moment she burst on to the national stage as John McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin has battled the media."

On Tuesday, correspondent Ben Tracy did not see a similar adversarial relationship between Obama and the press: "And the media's trying to strike a balance between covering the person who's about to be the most powerful man in the world and also giving him his space to just be himself."

Gielan’s report featured public relations expert Michael Levine, who criticized Palin for talking to the media outlets: "Oh it's profoundly unusual. I mean, and, in some ways, demeaning of the position that she has. It's so clearly an effort to try to go on offense against a bad situation."

After Gielan’s report, Rodriguez offered some defense of Palin: "I got to say on this one, I can't blame her at all...You can say anything you want about me, but you say something about my kid, that's it. I'm coming out swinging, too."

Here is the full transcript of the Friday segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Pitbull with Lipstick. Sarah Palin personally calls members of the media to defend her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend. We'll tell you why she's angry and what she had to say.

7:12AM TEASE:

JEFF GLOR: Also, Sarah Palin versus the media. Alaska's governor comes out swinging in defense of her daughter.

7:18AM TEASE:

GLOR: Up next here this morning, why Sarah Palin is taking on the media about her daughter Bristol.

7:22AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has launched an offensive against the news media, again. CBS News correspondent Michelle Gielan is here with the story. Good morning, Michelle.

MICHELLE GIELAN: Good morning, Maggie. Governor Palin has always had a love/hate relationship with the media, but has her fired up now are reports that she calls inaccurate and she's personally contacted People magazine, the Associated Press, and the Anchorage Daily News to tell them they're wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The next Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin!

GIELAN: From the moment she burst on to the national stage as John McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin has battled the media.

SARAH PALIN: This is all about gotcha journalism, a lot of it is.

GIELAN: Palin's most recent gripe with the media: erroneous information published about her daughter Bristol, Bristol's fiance, Levi Johnston, and their education or lack thereof. According to People.com, Palin left a personal phone message with the magazine saying: 'You need to know that both Levi and Bristol are working their butts off to parent and going to school and working at the same time...they are certainly not high school dropouts.'

MICHAEL LEVINE: Oh it's profoundly unusual. I mean, and, in some ways, demeaning of the position that she has. It's so clearly an effort to try to go on offense against a bad situation.

GIELAN: 18-year-old Bristol, a high school senior, and Levi Johnston, now working as an electrical apprentice and finishing high school through a correspondence program, had their first child Saturday. In her first public statement since welcoming her new grandson, Governor Palin sounded enthusiastic but cautious: 'We are over the moon with the arrival of this healthy beautiful baby. The road ahead for this young couple will be not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.' Palin goes on to say that she initially looked at the pregnancy with some fear and a bit of despair, but now considers it an amazing joyous blessing. Photos of that joyous blessing, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, have yet to surface, but you can imagine many people will be racing to get that first glimpse.

RODRIUGUEZ: I got to say on this one, I can't blame her at all.

GLOR: Yeah, no-

RODRIGUEZ: You can say anything you want about me, but-

GIELAN: Not my kids.

RODRIGUEZ: -you say something about my kid, that's it. I'm coming out swinging, too.

JEFF GLOR: Yeah, and I don't think there was any question that during the campaign she was a little unhappy, at times, at the way that she was handled and she was trying to do her own thing and she was speaking out, as she is now.

RODRIGUEZ: Right.

GLOR: So-

RODRIGUEZ: But she wasn't -- she wasn't quite as aggressive, I think, as she is now which, to me, makes sense.

GLOR: Yeah.

GIELAN: Yeah, she has a chance, she might as well, you know, put that out there before things change. So-

RODRIGUEZ: And now, she has nothing to gain. She's not running for anything, so she's just -- I don't think she's going to hold back.

GLOR: Though her daughter has plenty to gain with these photos, money-wise.

RODRIGUEZ: No kidding

GIELAN: I wonder if they're going to get the same money that 'Brangelina' kids did.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, remember when we had the editor from People.com here the other day, he said they just don't go after these -- that's what he said -- as much as they would the others, money-wise.

GLOR: Oh, maybe to charity. We'll see.

RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, there you go.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC