John Ziegler's Exclusive Interview With Sarah Palin
If someone would have told me five months ago that in early January I would pay over $1,400 for an incredibly inconvenient plane ticket and $120 for a 3 am cab fare to get from sunny Los Angeles to Wasilla, Alaska, I would have told them there was a better chance that the Dow Jones would be below 9,000 and a gallon of gas would be less than two dollars.
If they would have told me that I would be glad I made the journey (even with a seven-hour, weather-aided, stop in Seattle), I would have told them Sarah Palin had a better chance to be John McCain’s running-mate. Of course, as well all now know, all that turned out to be true. And even though I still have the flu I got just before the trip, I am thrilled I got to experience -11 degrees in Alaska.
Obviously, I went there to interview Governor Palin for my forthcoming documentary on the media coverage of the 2008 election. My understanding is that the only reason that Governor Palin did this interview (while rejecting hundreds of other requests) is simply because she has a sincere devotion to setting the record straight on what really happened during the campaign and determining why the news coverage was as dangerously slanted as it so clearly was.
Largely because of absurd claims by Democrats that she was violating ethics rules by answering campaign questions on state grounds (one of several ways in which the Democrats there, who used to love her, are now totally invested in the “take Sarah Palin down” industry), we did the interview at the Palin home. At 9 am, without a security guard or handler within sight, Bristol Palin, eight days removed from giving birth, politely answered the door and Governor Palin, not yet fully put together, rushed out to tell me and our crew to make ourselves at home.
One of the things you quickly learn when you visit the Palins is that the legend that has been created around who they are and how they live is no myth. It appears to be absolutely real and everything about them seems 100% sincere. From the stuffed hunting trophies on the wall, to the Track’s military photo by the TV set, to Piper’s crayon school projects on the kitchen cabinets, everything is exactly as you imagine it might be.
What was particularly valuable about the perspective I had was that, I am not Charlie Gibson, Matt Lauer or Greta Van Susteren (who I understand now gets her mail delivered to the Palin home); the conductors of the three most prominent interviews done in the Wasilla house on the frozen lake at the end of the drive that has the sign “Palins” posted on a tree at the entrance. Unlike them, I am virtually unknown nationally and there was absolutely no reason for anything to be done differently as a “show” for us. We saw the genuine Sarah Palin and it is patently obvious that this is the only one that exists. She is the real deal.
As a former TV sportscaster and radio talk show host, I have interviewed a lot big-time “celebrities,” and I can honestly say that, even though you could argue that Sarah Palin was the most prominent I have ever spoken to one-on-one, she was also by far the nicest, most sincere and, seemingly, honest subject that I have ever questioned.
For context, I admit to being a fan of Sarah Palin from before she was ever named John McCain’s VP candidate. I attended her convention speech and consider it to be by far the finest that I have ever personally witnessed. But, being a world-class cynic, I also wondered if maybe there was at least some truth the to the negative media narrative that had been created about her. Maybe she really wasn’t that smart, maybe she was indeed a “diva” or a “wack job.” Well, if anything of those smears are remotely true, Palin should move here to LA permanently because she is a far better actor (not to mention better looking) than the vast majority of actresses in Hollywood.
Our interview started early and ended late (ask Barbara Walters how often that happens at this level). The Governor fully answered every question I asked, even though some of them brought up media episodes that clearly got her upset and, when the subject turned to her kids being targeted, even a little emotional. She then posed for pictures and signed autographs for the entire crew and casually discussed all sorts of topics, including how the local newspaper is absurdly still trailing the “story” that her youngest son is not really hers at all (this while Todd walked around with Trig on his back and Bristol cared for her newborn Tripp in a nearby bedroom; even Trig conspiracy theorist Andrew Sullivan would have had a hard time not seeing the insanity in his own delusions).
The madness of the local paper's efforts to prove that Trig is not really Sarah’s baby was not all we learned in the post interview conversations. Conservatives will be thrilled to know that she immediately “got” and seemed to fully appreciate my joke that Pete Wilson (and not Arnold Schwarzenegger) would go down as the last Republican Governor in the history of California, If that wasn’t enough, when she looked at the back cover of my first film (“Blocking the Path to 9/11” www.blockingthepath.com) and saw the photo of one of the film’s targets, Keith Olbermann, she literally let out a groan and, pointing to his photogragh, declared, “THAT guy is so EVIL! What is wrong with him?”
Beyond the great interview for the film (from which there is still plenty of tremendous stuff yet to come), the most important part of my visit to the Palin house is that there is a big difference between thinking that something is true and knowing for sure that it is. I now know that Sarah Palin is exactly who I thought she was.
I also know now, with morally certitude, that the media assassination of her, her character and her family was one of the greatest public injustices of our time and I am totally justified in devoting my life to correcting the historical record in my forthcoming film “Media Malpractice…How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Smeared” ( www.HowObamaGotElected.com )