Bob Higgins

A Response to ‘Rennaissance’ in Profiles in Cowardice

Posted in News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 7, 2010

Robert J. Elisberg takes some of the more notorious teabaggers to task for their rabbit like timidity when faced with the press unless the interviewer is a firm supporter or a niece or nephew. A commenter takes issue and complains about Katie couric’s treatment of Palin in that long ago interview.

This is a response to a commenter (rennaissance) to Robert Elisberg’s Profiles in Cowardice at Huff Post this morning.

renaissance comments:

So you can’t seem to understand how “What newspapers do you read?” is a “Gotcha” question..
It is demeaning, and insulting, and disrespectful, to treat an accomplished Governor as if they do not read, or can’t read somehow, and have never picked up a newspaper.

Higgins’ response

She comported herself and spoke in terms that lead people to believe that she was somewhat under-informed. There is nothing demeaning about journalists inquiring into the bona fides of a candidate. “What books or magazines do you read” is a standard question from journalism 101. Unfortunately for Ms Palin the “gotcha” question caused her to flunk “Candidate 101” and she went on to flunk “Governor 101.”

renaissance comments:

It is beyond ridiculous. Why wasn’t Obama asked what newspapers he read? (at least before the Couric question became a Dem talking point) Because it is a stupid and obvious attempt to demean and marginalize a politician with whom CBS disagrees on policy. I understand why Palin would react with disgust and refuse to give such a question any response.
I would have done the same.

Higgins’ response:

I’m sure that at some point in his career when he was less well known he was asked that question and responded with a list of sources that he read on a regular basis as one would expect from someone with his academic and professional background. There was no attempt to demean or marginalize Palin, she did that herself by treating a legitimate question offered to learn something about her, through asking about her reading habits, as beneath her dignity.  It turned out that she had neither, reading habits nor dignity.

renaissance comments:

She had just published an Op-Ed in the New York Times the week before, and you really think she couldn’t think of the name of one newspaper to name..

Higgins’ response:

It seems that she should have been able to think of the New York Times but maybe someone else wrote the op-ed for her and she forgot to write NYT on her paw.

renaissance comments:

You really think she was too stupid and too ignorant a hick to name a couple of newspapers?!?

Higgins’ response:

I was surprised that she didn’t at least come up with the  Skagway News or the  Anchorage Daily News or the school lunch menu on the front page of the Wasilla Frontiersman but in short, yes.

renaissance comments:

That says more about you than Palin.

Higgins’ response:

I live in Ohio and sometimes read the Anchorage Daily News and I’m not running for anything.

renaissance comments:

You are the coward for hiding behind diversions like the Couric badgering, unable to face Palin’s ideas, only able to call her stupid and ignorant.. And you wonder why most Americans view outlets like CBS, NBC, ABC, New York Times, etc. as biased beyond all measure.

Higgins’ response:

I watched the interview at the time and I’ve seen it several times since. I saw Couric conduct herself as an experienced and professional interviewer, and I saw no badgering. I’ll admit that she seemed slightly perplexed and maybe frustrated that Palin was unable to respond to the simplest of softball questions. Elisberg’s article is about the lack of courage or timidity shown by many of these Teapartiers when faced by the press, nowhere does he call her stupid or ignorant. That would have to be the subject of another… much longer article.

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