Filmmaker John Ziegler has released a new documentary about the media’s coverage of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin before the election — and he asserts that Palin was held to a “completely different standard” than the other candidates.
Ziegler, whose film is “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted,” appeared on the “Today” show on Monday morning. In a sometimes heated exchange with host Matt Lauer, he said:
“I was outraged during the primaries. I think the Hillary Clinton supporters have an awful lot to be outraged about. A lot in this film is about the primaries and how the media completely treated Barack Obama differently than they did Hillary Clinton.
“Then when Sarah Palin entered the picture we got to a whole new level of media malpractice. I felt there had been a lot of misinformation about Sarah Palin and I set out to prove that…
“I think the evidence is overwhelming that Sarah Palin was held to a completely different standard than Barack Obama or Joe Biden, and I think John McCain and Hillary Clinton were also held to different standards. You guys were in love with Barack Obama from very early on and it showed in every single element of the news media coverage…
“Matt, you’ve been up to Wasilla. You know Sarah Palin. You know that this is a lie that she’s some sort of an idiot or a moron.”
Lauer interjected: “But that’s an extreme statement.”
Ziegler said: “Is it not a lie that she’s an idiot?”
Lauer acknowledged: “Of course it’s a lie.”
Ziegler continued: “So you’re acknowledging that the media perception of her is a lie.”
Lauer responded: “I don’t think everybody in the media ran out and said Sarah Palin is an idiot. Let me stick to the questions here. When she was asked some pertinent, basic questions that you would want your vice presidential candidate to answer, did you think she handled them well?”
Ziegler said: “I did not. But I also now believe, in fact I know because of my interview with her and the research we’ve done and put in the documentary, numerous episodes in that interview have been completely misstated and misunderstood and used by the media to eviscerate her credibility with independent voters that were so drawn to her, that threatened the Barack Obama candidacy…
“I am all for rigorous questioning. However it should be the same for Barack Obama as it is for Sarah Palin, and what happened with Sarah Palin was that the answers she gave were treated in a completely different fashion than similar bad answers given by Joe Biden or Barack Obama…
“Voters knew all the bad information about Sarah Palin because people like you repeated it constantly, over and over, even though you know since you’ve been to her home that it’s a lie that she’s some sort of a moron.”
Lauer sought to defend himself by claiming he never called Palin a moron.
As for Sarah Palin’s future in national politics, Ziegler said: “I personally believe it’s going to very difficult to overcome what the media did to her in four years. I personally would like to see her run in eight years because you guys are going to make sure Barack Obama gets re-elected no matter what.”
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