Fox News and Sarah Palin, Like Family. . . Really

Upon seeing that, “on her show Tuesday night, Fox News‘ Greta Van Susteren devoted an entire segment to criticizing David Letterman” for having “made jokes about Sarah Palin and her family,” Political Animal blogger Steve Benen (3/19/09) notices that

there seems to be a pattern here. In fact, it’s hard not to notice that Van Susteren seems to enjoy closer ties to Palin than most media professionals. Matt Corley explained, for example, “In September, she hosted a one-hour ‘documentary’ on the GOP vice presidential candidate, titled Governor Sarah Palin–An American Woman…. After the election ended, Palin chose Van Susteren for her first national television interview. Since then, Greta has consistently covered Palin, keeping an eye out for any potential sleights of the governor and gushing over her popularity.”

As it turns out, there’s a reason that helps explain why Fox News‘ Van Susteren has taken on the role of media publicist for the Alaska governor–Van Susteren’s husband helps guide Palin’s political image.

[John] Coale, a well-known Washington lawyer and the husband of Fox News Channel‘s Greta Van Susteren… in an interview with the Fix, described himself simply as a “friend” of the Alaska governor but acknowledged that he suggested she start a leadership PAC and helped her navigate through some of the questions surrounding her family that lingered after the campaign. Others familiar with Palin’s political team insist that Coale has far more power than he is letting on–essentially helping to run Sarah PAC.

Benen quite reasonably asks, “Doesn’t this seem like the kind of thing Van Susteren might want to disclose to her viewers?” See the FAIR publication Extra! Update: “Sarah Palin: Maverick Feminist?” (12/08) by Candice O’Grady