Palin Takes On Lauer, Couric With ‘Today’ Show Appearance

Tuesday, 03 Apr 2012 09:45 AM

By David Alliot and Michelle Lopata

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Morning show wars are heating up with Sarah Palin taking center stage. The former governor and vice presidential candidate co-hosted this morning’s “Today” show on NBC with Ann Curry and Matt Lauer.

Palin took on Lauer but she also was facing off against Katie Couric, who is filling in for “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts on ABC. Palin was visiting Couric’s old stomping grounds — Couric was a “Today” host from 1991 to 2006.

In a segment called “Going Rogue: Matt One-on-One with Sarah Palin,” Palin launched right into gas prices when asked by Lauer about the economy. She said, "Things aren't getting better fast enough and they should be," hammering home that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected.

Editor's Note: Who Do You Think Is the Best GOP Candidate? Vote In this Urgent Poll.

The “Today” show covered various topics from raising teenage daughters to Oprah Winfrey’s struggling OWN network. Lauer asked Palin if she was surprised that after being “the queen of afternoon television for 25 years, that viewers have been so slow to embrace OWN.”

Palin responded by saying Oprah’s success is what “makes America great. She has the opportunity to succeed and to fail, and to keep trying again — more power to her.”

When asked if Oprah’s network would be around in a year, Palin took the opportunity to encourage a more balanced approach on Oprah’s show: “I think it’s going to be around if she gets some conservatives on the show.”

Guest Donny Deutch, a former CNBC host, took exception to a new app for Facebook that allows users to create a list of enemies, called EnemyGraph, saying app developers were “learning from the politicians. All we see from politicians is pure negativity, and ‘enemyism.’”

Directing his comments to Palin, he said: “I was listening to your interview [earlier] and your whole point was ‘anybody but Obama.'” Palin shot back, defending her view of Obama: “I don’t think saying ‘anybody but Obama’ is such a negative thing. It opens the door to talking about positive solutions.”

Guests seemed to be genuinely taken with Palin’s candor, and when the topic came up of whether Jessica Simpson was receiving undue flak over her pregnancy weight gain, Dr. Nancy Schneider coined Palin’s phrase of the media, saying, “I don’t like it when pregnant women get piled on by the ‘lamestream media.’” Palin agreed, saying that there is too much pressure placed on the “Hollywood image” that the mainstream media pushes.

On teenage daughters, Palin said there is too much focus on reality stars and urged more accurate portrayals. “You know what would be nice, though, is if the marketplace would demand that maybe some reality shows would start portraying some very healthy, independent young women who are striving for strong work ethic examples and doing those things that are kind of the antithesis of so many of the things that we’re seeing portrayed in reality shows today.”

Editor's Note: Who Do You Think Is the Best GOP Candidate? Vote In this Urgent Poll.

Palin received rousing applause from the crowd gathered outside 30 Rock as she embraced the cool weather in New York, reminding New Yorkers that being a Mama Grizzly she has embraced harsher climates. Earlier in the show, she joked that on the way in to 30 Rock (where NBC is located in New York) someone mistook her for Tina Fey, who portrayed her on “Saturday Night Live.”

The buzz for Palin’s visit started before her visit to “Today.” Looking to cash in on Palin’s star quality, and anticipating a ratings bonanza, NBC prompted Palin to give a phone interview from Minnesota on Monday.

In the interview Palin praised NBC for providing an opportunity to provide “diversity of opinion” lacking in the mainstream media. “Today” has held the No. 1 spot in the ratings for 16 years, but ABC is catching up, according to The New York Times.


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