Since the 2008 presidential election, journalist Katie Couric has gotten a lot of mileage out of her interview with the then GOP vice-presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, which many have claimed irreparably damaged the politician’s public image.
But this past Tuesday (April 3) — an interesting choice of a day, since Tuesdays are often election days across America — now-former Gov. Palin faced off with Couric on the news anchor’s most familiar turf, a network morning show, and took home a victory.
That was the case again on Tuesday, when Palin stepped in on “Today” to do an interview with host Matt Lauer and to act as a guest host with Lauer, Ann Curry and Al Roker during the 8 p.m. ET/PT hour.
Per the Nielsen Fast National data, “Today” garnered 5.497 million viewers, with 2.209 million in the target Adults 25-54 demographic, up against “GMA’s” 5.141 million viewers, with 1.917 million in the demo.
This morning (Wed., April 4), Palin commented by email about the experience:
“The people backstage,” she writes to Zap2it, “who make the ‘Today’ show happen are top-notch! Todd (husband Todd Palin) said to let you know, Kate, that ‘…they put my home TV crew to shame’ (That would be my crew of Todd and a buddy — and sometimes the kids helping out — in our Wasilla studio located in the back of Todd’s airplane hanger).
“Really, it was a lot of fun to work with every single one of the folks at the ‘Today’ show. I have so much respect for the workerbees at my FOX job, and to see this network support staff working just as hard to produce their network’s product reinforces my belief that it’s the good people with their elbow grease and nose to the grindstone who make the world go ’round. They make the talent look good!
“And, frankly, I’m ecstatic we beat the ‘perky one,’ although I wouldn’t have gone up against ABC’s vacationing Robin Roberts, because she’s such a good egg. By the way, both Robin and Matt Lauer have traveled the long journey to Alaska and dealt with unglamorous, rugged conditions to see more of our world; they’ve shown respect for a more unconventional Americana lifestyle, and we appreciate that.”
On Tuesday evening, Palin dropped by Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” show and discussed her morning-show-host debut with host Sean Hannity and fellow panelists Dana Perino of FNC’s “The Five” and Stuart Varney of Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.”
During that conversation, Hannity asked Palin about her comments on “Today” that Oprah Winfrey might want to consider adding conservative voices to her struggling cablenet OWN to boost ratings (although Palin doesn’t specifically recommend herself for the job).
Via Mediaite, here’s the “Today”-related portion of her appearance (click here for video from foxnews.com, which spotlights Palin’s comments on the GOP primary).