MSNBC Anchor Touts Journalist Who Compared Palin to Larry the Cable Guy: 'It Is a Good Line'

MSNBC's Peter Alexander on Friday eagerly agreed with a journalist who attacked Sarah Palin as "Larry the Cable Guy, minus the class and intelligence." Talking to Cathy Areu, contributing editor of the Washington Post magazine, Alexander gushed, "It's a good line." [Audio available here.]

As first reported on NewsBusters, Areu slammed the former Alaskan governor on CNN, Wednesday. Playing to MSNBC's left-wing audience, an onscreen graphic playfully asked, "Palin the Cable Gal?"

After explaining that Bill O'Reilly asked Areu to come on his show and defend her remarks, Alexander sympathized, "Areu said thanks but no thanks to Fox. Saying she wanted to appear right here on MSNBC. We don't blame her."

The Washington Post journalist clearly had good reason to feel comfortable on MSNBC. Alexander obviously shared her elitist attitude. He offered this gratuitous aside about the town that Palin was a mayor of: "Having been to Wasilla, Alaska, Wasilla, Alaska doesn't look like a lot of the nice places around this country, admittedly. It leaves a lot to be desired, some would say."

And when Areu made rambling, confusing attacks on Palin, Alexander didn't ask her to clarify. Consider this comment:

AREU: [Palin is] your next door neighbor. Not your boss. But she is your boss. I mean, when someone gets promoted, usually the co-workers chatter. And they talk. And she's no longer part of the team. She's okay. She's part of the team.

What does that mean?

A transcript of the MSNBC segment, which aired at 3:38pm EDT on April 16, follows:

PETER ALEXANDER: What happens when you criticize Sarah Palin? You're about to find out. Cathy Areu is the publisher of Catalina magazine. She appeared on another network, Wednesday, and was asked to comment on the former vice presidential candidate. And here's what she said.

CATHY AREU: Sarah Palin could do no wrong for so many people. I mean, she is a female Larry the Cable Guy, minus the class and intelligence.

MSNBC GRAPHIC: Palin the Cable Gal?

ALEXANDER: Those comments, calling her a female Larry the Cable Guy resulted in some angry reaction on conservative blogs and an invitation from Fox News to appear with Bill O'Reilly to defend her remarks. Areu said thanks but no thanks to Fox. Saying she wanted to appear right here on MSNBC. We don't blame her. So, here she is. Cathy Areu is owner and publisher of Catalina magazine and a contributing editor with the Washington Post magazine. She was also named one of the most influence women in New York City by the Oxygen Network.

AREU: Thanks for having me.

ALEXANDER: So, were you surprised by the reaction to this on the web and elsewhere?

AREU: What I said was that her supporters would support her no matter what. And I was right. They will. I said, no matter if she makes $12 million since July they'll think she's a Walmart mom. And she's not a Walmart mom.

ALEXANDER: So, if she's not a Walmart mom, how do you define Sarah Palin? Who is Sarah Palin?

AREU: She's Larry the cable guy minus the class and intelligence.

ALEXANDER: So, expand on that, if you will.

AREU: I thought it was a good line. But, it's true.

ALEXANDER: It's a good line. So, let's go behind it. She's clearly having an impact, raising dollars for the tea party and for the Republican candidates.

AREU: But, she's a Larry the Cable Guy. She's your next door neighbor. Not your boss. But she is your boss. I mean, when someone gets promoted, usually the co-workers chatter. And they talk. And she's no longer part of the team. She's okay. She's part of the team.

ALEXANDER: Aren't a lot of Republicans and others going to say right now, well, the problem is that the people in Congress and folks in the White House, they look like they belong as bosses and they are not one of us. And we need someone who's one of us running the country?

AREU: But, she's not. That's the whole point. If she made $12 million since July, she's clearly not one of us. Not a Walmart mom. She doesn't go to Walmart. She doesn't have to wait in lines. She flies first class. She rides in a limo. She wears Chanel lipstick. The lipstick that goes on a pig is now Chanel.

ALEXANDER: True. Fair enough. But, agreed. Having been to Wasilla, Alaska, Wasilla, Alaska doesn't look like a lot of the nice places around this country, admittedly. It leaves a lot to be desired, some would say. It is-

AREU: Population 6,000. Right?

ALEXANDER: Right. Agreed. You were invited to appear on Showbiz Tonight because they knew your opinions about Sarah Palin. How did that come to be?

AREU: They asked if I was fired up about the subject and I certainly am.. As a female small business owner, I definitely am. I mean, she's someone who says she doesn't read. When Katie Couric asked, "Do you read," she didn't know what she said. I'm a magazine publisher. I write for the Washington Post magazine and I'm offended when someone says they doesn't read.

ALEXANDER: Was that questioning fair? Was Katie Couric's line of questioning fair? Republicans have said- Sarah Palin said it's not okay.

AREU: What do you read? She didn't know because she didn't write it on her hand. Had she written it on her hand, she would have known what she reads.

ALEXANDER: Fair enough.

AREU: Thank you.

ALEXANDER: Do you think this sense of outrage from the right has been real or would you say it's manufactured at this point, to what you said?

AREU: Oh, my god! It is so real. I've gotten voice mails. I've gotten e-mail. They are nasty. They are ugly. Someone told me I am dumber than a box of rocks. I think that's rude.

ALEXANDER: Fair enough. Fair enough. I think the Republicans are not content with what you said.

AREU: But, I think they feel that. I think they really believe I'm dumber than a box of rocks. I mean, they really believe it. Her supporters will support her no matter what. She's made $12 million. She doesn't need your help. She's okay. Don't worry.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org