The E! entertainment network chose to use Governor Palin as the subject of the Thursday episode of their "True Hollywood Story." Strangely enough, most of the show was based out of Alaska...
The entire purpose of E! doing this show is clearly to push the narrative that Governor Palin is more of a "celebrity" than she is a political figure. I lost count of the number of times the show actually referred to Governor Palin as a "celebrity." Given Hollywood's general political affiliations, it would make sense that they would apply their resources to continue the theme.
Salon.com seems to think that this hurts her with the electorate, even though she had nothing to do with the production of the show. The clips that E! shows of Governor Palin being interviewed are from John Ziegler's 2009 movie titled "Media Malpractice." Unfortunately, viewers who have not seen Ziegler's documentary will have the false impression that Governor Palin agreed to be interviewed by E!. She was not interviewed by them for this show, nor were any of her family members or staff.
Having learned some of the names of the people E! chose to interview for the show prior to it's airing, I was prepared to see a skewed version of Governor Palin's biography, which I did. They opened the show talking about Governor Palin's younger years growing up in Alaska, at which time they got the actual name of the town the Heath family moved to when the governor was just small child, wrong. There were much more than geographical errors in their reporting, but mix-ups that obvious should serve as a warning flag to viewers that what they were watching wasn't very accurate.
One of the first faces to appear being interviewed by E!, was a woman by the name of Anne Kilkenny. Oddly enough, they ran a segment of Kilkenny discussing Governor Palin's religious background. This is odd because Kilkenny is a Wasilla resident most known for filling part of the vacuum created when the McCain campaign fumbled media coverage of the VP selection roll-out in 2008. Kilkenny, an active Democrat, submitted a highly inaccurate, politically motivated email to national news agencies during that time. She is responsible for establishing some of the earliest misnomers and outright lies about Governor Palin, many of which hinting that the governor is some sort of religious extremist. On the E! program, Kilkenny also repeats the meme she helped to create, that Governor Palin wanted to ban books in the Wasilla Library while she was Mayor. Thankfully, E! also interviewed the former Wasilla Deputy Mayor, Judy Patrick who shot down that lie by stating "I can not say that strongly enough, that she did not ask for any books to be banned."
Another face featured throughout the only slightly true Alaska story, was Andy Barr of Politico fame, and someone I affectionately refer to as "Skippy." Barr does his part to downplay the level of corruption Alaskans were dealing with at the time that Governor Palin resigned in protest from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. This subsequently downplays her actions to bring that corruption to light, and discounts the effect she had in helping clean up the states business.
Barr also brings up the ridiculous Bush Doctrine clip from the Charlie Gibsin interview, during the 2008 presidential campaign. According to Skippy, the Bush Doctrine is specifically "using force before a situation escalates." It's amusing that liberals tried to make a political point with this in 2008, and it still is today. The left are the only people who used that phrase. Republicans as a whole, had no idea what Gibson specifically meant by that question, as he condescendingly peered over his glasses at the governor.
The E! show used some of the journalists they interviewed (including Skippy) to discuss what is known as "Troopergate." Overall the program did a very poor job of covering this topic. Barr said that the ethics commission found that Governor Palin "probably violated ethics rules" in the matter but in all actuality the Alaska Personnel Board cleared Governor Palin of any wrongdoing, and that was never disclosed on this show.
Another topic E! touched on but failed, was Palin's resignation from the governorship. They amusingly interviewed a well known personality in Alaska, named Shannyn Moore to talk about it. For those of you who don't know who Moore is, this would be the equivalent of interviewing Rush Limbaugh to discuss Barack Obama's term as Senator... Moore states that when Governor Palin returned to Alaska from the 2008 campaign, she "came home to absolutely no friends." And by "fiends" Moore means her own friends in Democrat politics. E! never discusses the avalanche of frivolous "ethics" complaints that Moore's friends were filling against the governor, nor do they mention the toll that this was taking on conducting state business.
During the interview, Shannyn Moore tries to imply that Governor Palin was torn between her role as Alaska's Governor, and national politics. In another geographical error for the program, Moore states that Palin was attending "anti-choice rallies" in "Ohio" and "California." But in reality, Governor Palin had only attended one pro-life event in Indiana. Moore and her friends pitched public fits any time Governor Palin did anything, much less leave the state for 36 hours after discussing it with legislators.. They created phony controversies out of nothing, and trashed Palin on a daily basis. One wouldn't get that impression from watching the E! program.
Many people were interviewed over the course of the show. While I am happy that they spoke to a couple of people who defended the governor, I am still astonished by the particular critics they chose to talk to. Granted the show was only an hour long, and I will concede that they cleared up some old rumors about the governor; however, viewers won't come away with very accurate picture about who Sarah Palin is.
As stated above, I think the main reason to produce such a show about Governor Palin is push into the public conscious that she belongs in the world of celebrity, over the world of politics. While it's true that the governor did an eight-part series for TLC, mostly showcasing her state of Alaska, she isn't currently on any non-news related television, nor is she taking part in anything related to Hollywood. Anybody who saw or read her speech from Wisconsin, or keeps up with her on Facebook, knows where Governor Palin's strengths are. This is a woman who has battled corruption, has been the first to take on the current administration on major issues, and has proved her strength by helping many commonsense conservatives get elected last November. She isn't going to be marginalized into some meaningless celebrity status just because the entertainment industry wishes it so.