As I was planning out an elaborate hoax for April Fool’s day, I came across this video and decided that NBC had beaten me to it: Sarah Palin Co-hosts TODAY on Tuesday.
The video is posted on the NBC News YouTube channel, so it isn’t a product of Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show. There is, however, no indication of it being a joke. Nevertheless, there are reasons to be suspicious.
First and foremost, why on earth would any allegedly credible news enterprise employ Sarah Palin as a host? Sure, she fits right in as a political analyst at Fox News because their prerequisite for political analysts is to be either ignorant or dishonest. Palin has both of those criteria covered. And she can assume hosting duties of an Alaskan travelogue where she spends her time hurling dead fish across the deck of a boat (or maybe not since that show was canceled after the first season with steadily declining ratings). But hosting a news program, even one that is jammed with trivialities and traffic reports, seems above her capabilities.
Secondly, Palin is still under contract to Fox News. Her exclusivity has been exercised on a strict basis, keeping her from appearing on most other media, even for an interview. She has appeared only once on one of the non-Fox Sunday news programs in this election cycle. When she made her announcement that she was not going to be a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination on Mark Levin’s radio show, her boss, Roger Ailes, exploded with rage saying that “I paid her for two years to make this announcement on my network.” It seems unlikely that her appearance as a co-host on a competing network (especially their nemesis, NBC) would be permitted under the circumstances.
Of course the primary reason that Palin doesn’t do other media is that she is unable to form a coherent thought and knows that she would embarrass herself by attempting to do so. Any news anchor other than a friendly Fox colleague would stump her mercilessly by asking gotcha questions like “What do you think about that, Sarah?”
I have no evidence that the promo for Palin’s Today Show stint is anything but genuine, but I still can’t shake the feeling that it’s a prank. If it is real then it’s a depressing devolution of integrity by the mainstream media (if that’s possible). There is simply no justification for elevating Palin to this role when she has no experience or talent for it. It could be considered a desperate ploy for ratings, but the Today Show is already #1 and, thus, not desperate (perhaps CBS should have tried to snag her). The only thing this booking serves to accomplish for NBC is to provide conclusive proof as to who the fools are this April. One way or another.