Palin Media Avoidance Watch, Day Seven

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the Republican ticket one week ago, and she has yet to answer questions from reporters.

Yes, some of the comments from the punditocracy about her have been untoward, even sexist, but given the importance of the job she accepted Wednesday night in her nomination speech, it's entirely reasonable for voters to expect Palin to answer questions from journalists about her positions and her record.

If Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., or Joe Biden, D-Del., refused to answer questions from the press, the RNC and the McCain campaign would never stop carping about it -- and rightly so.

In fact, they have done so in the past when Obama has gone several days without talking to the media.

So what are we to expect from Gov. Palin?

Time magazine's Jay Carney tried to get McCain spox Nicolle Wallace to answer this question the other night.

Watch HERE.

Carney: We know now that Sarah Palin can give one hell of a speech, she’s a natural, and that’s no mean feat. We don’t know yet, and we won’t know until you guys allow her to take questions, you know, can she answer tough questions about domestic policy, foreign policy –

Wallace: Wait, wait. Questions from who? From him, from you? Who cares? No offense, but –

Carney: I think the American people care –

Wallace: I think the American people want to see her, but who cares if she can talk to Time Magazine? She can talk to the American people. They want to see "How am I going to save my home?"

Carney: The American people need to know, just like they need to know about Joe Biden and Barack Obama –

Wallace: That she can talk to you?

Carney: Not just to me — that she knows things about domestic and foreign policy that presidents and vice presidents need to know.

Wallace: Right. But, but here’s the thing… the media did something to this family that I’ve never seen before. In my life. And I think she took the stage last night and, you know, she made her own points. She put this discussion and this race and this convention in her own terms. And she didn’t do it by talking, all due respect, to people like you. She took the stage and talked to the American people about things they care about, how they’re going to save their homes.


So what does that mean, practically speaking? Will the woman seeking to be a heartbeat away from the presidency avoid talking to the media? Obama sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly Thursday -- hardly friendly terrain. Is Palin willing to do the same?

So far I haven't heard back from the McCain-Palin campaign about this question.

- jpt

UPDATE: McCain campaign spox Jill Hazelbaker emails to say "of course" Palin will do interviews and press conferences. On the other hand, our friend Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic reports that a senior McCain campaign official tells him that "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. The campaign believes it can effectively deal with the media's complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: 'Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters.' Not out of the question are appearances on lighter, fluffier television shows. But -- not for a while."

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