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Balanced Coverage, Or A Palin Pile-On?

Balanced Coverage, Or A Palin Pile-On?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Sarah and Piper Palin at a campaign stop. Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Political campaigns often complain about media coverage of their candidates, though they usually do it behind the scenes. That wasn't the case for the McCain campaign this week. In his Washington Post column today, Howard Kurtz recounts an interview with Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain's top campaign strategist. He told the Post that the press is "on a mission to destroy" Sarah Palin.

In an extraordinary and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels "under siege" by wave after wave of news inquiries that have questioned whether Palin is really the mother of a 4-month-old baby, whether her amniotic fluid had been tested and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child's parentage.
Arguing that the media queries are being fueled by "every rumor and smear" posted on left-wing Web sites, Schmidt said mainstream journalists are giving "closer scrutiny" to McCain's little-known running mate than to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Schmidt complained that some journalists had asked for details about Palin's last pregnancy, asked to see the birth certificate for her infant son, and inquired about her 17-year old daughter's pregnancy, among other questions about her family life. And an anonymous post on the Daily Kos, a liberal blog, questioned whether Gov. Palin was really the mother of her 4-month-old baby. That post resulted in a wave of questions from the mainstream media. All of which lead Schmidt to argue, "This is crazy."

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The campaign also pulled McCain from an interview with Larry King on CNN, after what they called an unfair interview with a McCain spokesperson on the network. Campbell Brown, the CNN reporter who conducted the interview on the topic of Sarah Palin and her experience said she was persistent, but fair, and stands by her questions.

With all the media coverage of Sarah Palin since the announcement last Friday, what are you seeing in the press? Is it a pile-on Palin?

One more note: here is Campbell Brown's explosive interview with McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds.