ABC's Harris Falsely Hits Sarah Palin as the 'Woman Who Says She Can See Russia from Her House'

Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris on Monday night mocked Sarah Palin for her new internet channel and falsely identified the conservative as "the woman who says she can see Russia from her house." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] No, she didn't. It was Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey in 2008 who uttered this line. 

In the tease for the report, Harris played the actual quote: "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska." So what is the point of misleading viewers with something Palin didn't say? Making his contempt clear, Harris derided the Republican as the "former half-term governor of Alaska." He then went on to deride Palin's new channel as too expensive. 

Harris reminded: 

DAN HARRIS: But if you want 24/7 Palin, it will cost you. A subscription runs $99.95 a year. That is more than Netflix, more than Amazon Prime. No one has ever said that Sarah Palin lacked moxie. 

Nightline's journalists clearly have an issue with Palin. The February 16, 2009 edition of the program highlighted the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll. Recounting the various careers of Barbie, David Wright dismissed, "Some would argue she also ran for vice president in 2008."

Considering that Nightline now airs at 12:35am and this segment appeared after one in the morning, it's unclear how many Americans actually witnessed Harris making up a quote about Palin. 

A transcript of the July 29 segment is below: 


12:35 tease

HARRIS: And she's back. 

SARAH PALIN: Hello, and welcome to a new project. 

HARRIS: The woman who says she can see Russia from her house –  

PALIN: You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. 

HARRIS: Now, you can see her from your house on the Sarah Palin channel. But you may be surprised at how much it will cost you. 

PALIN: Thank you for your sacrifices! 

...

1:04

1 minute and 38 seconds 

HARRIS: Pretty much everybody's got an opinion about Sarah Palin. And now, if you're somebody who loves her, or loves to hate her, you have an option to see a whole lot more of her. 

PALIN: Hello and welcome to a new project. This is a news channel that really is a lot more than news. This is a community. 

HARRIS: Sarah Palin, former vice presidential candidate, former half-term governor of Alaska, is adding a new line to her resume, proprietor of a brand new news channel. 

PALIN: Are you tired of the media filters? Well, I am. I always have been. So we're going to do something about it. 

HARRIS: Palin, as you may remember, famously struggled with mainstream media. 

PALIN: We've got to keep an eye on Russia. They're our next-door neighbors. You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. 

HARRIS: And she was mocked mercilessly for it on Saturday Night Live. 

TINA FEY: And I can see Russia from my house. I've just got to have to get back to Ya! Pew! Pew! Pew! 

HARRIS: Now, Palin is taking control with a new channel that will include interviews and more. 

PALIN: We'll also share some of the fun that goes on in the Palin household. 

HARRIS: But if you want 24/7 Palin, it will cost you. A subscription runs $99.95 a year. That is more than Netflix, more than Amazon Prime. No one has ever said that Sarah Palin lacked moxie. 

PALIN: Really, make this your chance. Together, let's live life vibrantly, purposely, and boldly. 

HARRIS: All for less than $100 a year. No word yet on how many people have actually signed up.

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