You know it is a slow news week when something which happens on CNN’s dreadful “Parker & Spitzer” show makes “news,” but that is what happened when I appeared on the not-long-for-this-world program last Thursday. The full story behind the appearance may be even more interesting than why it was deemed by many to be “buzz worthy.”
The reason I was asked on the show was that my latest documentary film, “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted,” is in the process of being re-released nationwide in a truly unprecedented fashion (a major development that is being missed by most of the media) via mainstream stores and virtually every Video On Demand provider in the country.
The only reason anyone cared that I went on the show was that, for some inexplicable reason, I was apparently the first person to ever confront Kathleen Parker, who is billed as a “conservative” on the show, about how and why she could have possibly endorsed Barack Obama for president while also allowing herself to be used by the left-wing media to help destroy the VP candidacy of Sarah Palin. This in itself is truly stunning to me and an indication that conservatives do an incredibly lousy job of enforcing even a meager amount of accountability on those who betray the cause for no substantive reason and with the obvious motive of augmenting their elite television and dinner party invitations.
Frankly, the only reason I agreed to even do the appearance was to get the chance to finally confront Parker about her obvious sell out. Nothing else about the show appealed to me. The timing was all wrong; they wanted me to go from Los Angeles to New York (my schedule required me to take a “red eye” flight), and the show is taped in such a bizarre way that I had no trust that what I said wouldn’t be edited in a nefarious fashion. I would later find out (while in the make-up chair right next to Arianna Huffington) that there is no way to even know what day the taped segment would air, if at all.
In fact, I was told when I arrived at the studio that the segment would not air the night of the taping (last Thursday) and this convinced me that I had made a mistake even coming to New York. After all, knowing I was in the lion’s den of CNN’s obvious liberalism, I would have to be edit myself just to make sure that anything I said had a legitimate chance of airing (I decided telling Parker & Spitzer that they were a perfect team because one was a “John” and the other was a “whore” probably wouldn’t make the cut).
So instead I decided to throttle back to about a 5 on my 10 scale of outrage and still plenty of fireworks ensued. Most of the focus has been on Parker responding to my attempts to get her to admit the treason she committed in 2008 by going in the other direction (in what I perceived at the time as a knee-jerk “fight or flight” response) and actually bragging that she “led” the “assassination” of Sarah Palin 1.0 (which is a term I have used to describe Palin’s pre-Fox News persona, which I see as fundamentally different than the one she was forced to create due to the media’s unfair targeting of her).
Apparently sensing that something had happened that people might actually find somewhat interesting, the moment I got off the set I was immediately told by CNN producers that the interview would be cut into two segments and would lead that night’s show.
While Parker’s admission about “leading” the “assassination” of Palin (1.0) was both bizarre and shocking (and elicited a rather perfect tweet from Palin herself), almost totally lost in that skirmish is that Parker blatantly lied when she denied ever endorsing Obama as a presidential candidate. A simple look at Charles Krauthammer’s evisceration of Parker’s Obama folly reveals that this was really the most remarkable revelation of my appearance.
As for the larger issue of “media bias” which was allegedly the primary topic of my appearance, the big picture of what transpired here proves the case of my film as well as any of the hours of facts and details I spent over a year compiling for my film and its DVD special features. Here I was, a “conservative” (immediately identified as such, unlike most liberals on TV) having to bend over backwards and self-censor in order be on a show on the allegedly “non-partisan” cable channel, hosted by a disgraced Democrat (when was the last time a scandal-ridden conservative got a prime-time show of any kind?) and a sometimes “conservative” willing to sell out in a heartbeat. Then, the next day the show decides to follow up on my episode (now calling me “ultra-conservative”) by examining the issue of “Palin bias” by inviting on … wait for it … a liberal commentator most well-known for having hosted a show on MSNBC. Shockingly, the verdict was that there is no anti-Palin bias, but without even once going beyond the most superficial analysis that, “We all know Palin is stupid and so the negative coverage is warranted.”
Gee, no liberal slant here at all!
The funniest thing about all of this to me is that how easy it is to rock the stogy, inbred world of cable news television. All I did was politely confront someone who should have been questioned about her obvious transgressions two years ago. But the culture of television “news guesting” seems to be: “Gee, isn’t this awesome that us nerds are all on TV?! Why would any of us be the slightest bit perturbed or dare to jeopardize future invites by possibly irritating the wrong person? After all, the truth is not nearly as important as augmenting our speaking fees!”
I had an incredibly dim view of cable news television before I went on “Parker & Spitzer.” Somehow it got even darker.
John Ziegler is currently a documentary filmmaker who most recently released a movie on the 2008 election called, “Media Malpractice… How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted.” He has also been in radio talk show host in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Louisville and Nashville. Ziegler has written two books and has appeared live on numerous national television shows including the Today Show, The View, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC.