CNN’s Jack Cafferty Returns to Palin Bashing After Three-Week Hiatus

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgRegular CNN commentator Jack Cafferty may be "on the mend" after a three-week break for a "unanticipated encounter with a surgeon’s scalpel," as he put it, but he certainly hasn’t recovered from his Palin Derangement Syndrome. He launched a new attack on the Alaska governor on Wednesday’s Situation Room. This time, Cafferty returned to the issue of Trooper/Taser-gate and brought up two additional issues that came up this week -- how the RNC spent $150,000 on Palin for new clothing, make-up, and hair care for Palin, and how she used taxpayer’s money to pay for her children to travel with her to official functions. He then came to the following conclusion about the Republican vice-presidential candidate: "How do you present yourself as any kind of candidate of reform when the practices you employ put you in the very same category as every other two-bit, sleazy, opportunistic politician that has come before you?"

Cafferty then asked as his hourly question, "Should Sarah Palin reimburse Alaska taxpayers for her children’s travel and entertainment expenses?" Of course, when Cafferty read some of the viewer responses to this question, he lined up nothing but anti-Palin comments.

Between August 29, 2008, when McCain announced Palin as his running mate and September 26, 2008, the CNN commentator devoted 35% of his ‘Questions of the Hour’ on The Situation Room to the Alaska governor, or about once a day. On September 30, his last day before taking his three-week hiatus, his Palin Derangement Syndrome reached a new height when he made this condescending statement: "A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously?... When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, ‘How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.’"

Jack, you’ve had a tough time recently, between your wife’s recent death and the unscheduled surgery. Isn’t about time that you just let the subject of Sarah Palin go?

The transcript of Cafferty’s segment from Wednesday’s Situation Room, which began eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour and the transcript of the viewer responses, which he read just before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour:

-4:08 pm EDT 

JACK CAFFERTY: Some things don't seem to change a lot, Wolf. We’re learning more and more about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- you know, the Republican vice presidential candidate who is running on a platform of reform. First, there’s that ongoing investigation into whether Governor Palin abused the power of her office in order to fire the former Public Safety Commissioner of Alaska. Now, we learn the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on Governor Palin’s wardrobe, hair, and makeup shortly after John McCain named her to be his running mate. This included one $75,000 shopping spree in Minneapolis, $4,000 spent during the month of September alone on her hair and make-up, and big tabs run at places like Saks and Nieman Marcus.

But here’s the best part of what we're learning -- the Associated Press reports Sarah Palin charged the state of Alaska for some of her children’s travel expenses since she became governor -- more than $21,000 worth of airfares and hotels all on the Alaska taxpayers’ dime, according to AP. AP reporting that Palin altered expense reports to indicate that her children were traveling on official business. The kids weren’t even invited to some of these events they were flown to.

How do you present yourself as any kind of candidate of reform when the practices you employ put you in the very same category as every other two-bit, sleazy, opportunistic politician that has come before you?

Here’s the question: Should Sarah Palin reimburse Alaska taxpayers for her children’s travel and entertainment expenses?

-4:58 pm EDT: 

Lauren writes, 'She should repay the taxpayers of Alaska. This kind of entitled behavior is what I expect from entrenched politicians, not a maverick reformer. Many of us mothers have to travel for our jobs, but no one I know gets reimbursed for family members who tag along. Even if she didn't violate Alaska tax laws, her behavior was highly unethical.

LaVerne in Los Angeles, California: Sarah Palin should reimburse the Alaska taxpayers for her family’s travel expenses. She wants everyone to think that she is just like everyday people, yet the McCain campaign spends $150,000 on clothes for her and her family. How many everyday people shop at Nieman Marcus or Saks? Then they stage a political stunt by just dropping into Wal-mart to pick up Pampers for her baby.

John writes: It's too late. Palin can apologize and reimburse all she wants. We’ve already seen what kind of a "reformer" she is.

Barrows says, 'Let me remind you that Governor Palin informed us with glee that she was someone who would fight against the misuse of government funds by officials. Well, I’d like to know how she defines misuse, because clearly she has her own definition for a lot of terms.'

Jack in Washington [DC] writes, 'I gotta tell you this reform she’s claiming got me all confused and worked up here. This lady is running around in a frenzy criticizing Obama for tax cuts for the middle class when she’s the first one to spend taxpayers’ money on her family. How hypocritical is that?'

Christine in Edmeston, New York: 'So she took the money out of the Alaskan taxpayers’ pockets for her own use. What’s the problem? Hey, Joe the Plumber, look! It’s Sarah Palin showing you what "distributing the wealth" really means.

And Buki writes, 'How can someone who calls herself a reformer spend $150,000 or so on wardrobe in 2 months? That’s my household income for 4 years.'

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center