For a long time before I became a reporter, I never paid attention to bylines — the announcement of who wrote a given article. That all changed for me one day when I was sitting at Jimmy T’s Diner in Washington, D.C., reading a hate-filled “fashion” column that was nothing more than the projection of angry liberal political views. It was so awful that I wanted to know who wrote it. The author, Robin Givhan, of course went on to win a Pulitzer. I’m part of a profession that rewards liberal political views above most all else.
Along similar lines, the woman who made me pay attention to the names of political operatives is Nicolle Wallace. Her behavior of simultaneously serving as Sarah Palin’s aide while dishonestly sabotaging her to a gleeful liberal media was so disloyal, self-aggrandizing and despicable that I decided to write her name down so I would remember to be wary of anyone who ever hired her.
Nicolle Wallace was recently hired by The View, a talk show that tends to feature three or four super-liberal hosts and then, supposedly, one conservative one. That’s always been a silly model, considering how unfair a fight it is and how it “others” conservative women despite the fact that we exist in the same percentages as liberal women.
But the notion that Nicolle Wallace could serve in this role is laughable and speaks to how completely out of touch with reality the producers of The View are. Of course, they also brought back a host who believes that fire can’t melt steel, so they’re not known for their grasp of reality.
Let’s get the Nicolle Wallace business out of the way. Basically there were two staffers on the John McCain for President campaign back in 2008 that leaked unhelpful information to pliant media like broken sieves. If various accounts are to be believed, these individuals were Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace. You can look at some of the evidence for those now-widely accepted claims here. Stuff like:
In a nutshell, the controversy centers on this sentence from the VF profile: “Some top aides worried about her mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old.)”
Now, I’ve been around enough campaign operatives to know that at some point on flailing campaigns, many of them start worrying about whether they’ll be blamed for the results of the election. So they start positioning themselves as smarter, better, wiser, whatever, than everyone else, most importantly the candidates themselves. There is nothing new about this.
But the McCain-Palin campaign was known for taking this to astronomically ridiculous levels. Doing stuff like, oh, I don’t know, personally purchasing expensive clothing for the VP candidate and then claiming it was all the VP’s idea. Or suggesting that the candidate had post-partum depression. Or completely failing to prepare a candidate for interviews and then suggesting that the candidate was the problem. You know, that kind of positioning that goes light years beyond normal positioning. If the leakers had spent a fraction as much time doing decent jobs as they spent talking crap, well, John McCain still would have probably lost. But either way, what reprehensible behavior for campaign aides.
In what world is Nicolle Wallace a good representative for conservative women? Her debut featured her trademarked Palin-bashing (yawn), Cheney bashing (yawn), and talk of an out-of-touch president mismanaging a disaster (hint: it’s not the one who’s been president longer than my Kindergartener has been alive. As Allahpundit notes:
Not pressing Wallace to badmouth conservatives would be like having Steve Schmidt on your show and asking him what he hates about Democrats. That’s not what he’s there for. Gotta give the man a few swings at fastballs down the middle to let him warm up, especially if this is, a la Wallace, his first at-bat.
So The View, which reportedly got rid of Elisabeth Hasselback for being — sit down — too conservative, has an audience too stupid to handle anything that doesn’t flatter their weak little egos? Kind of offensive.
Almost anyone else The View could have considered for this slot would be light years ahead of Nicolle Wallace. They invited Mary Katharine Ham and S.E. Cupp to sit in on the show, so it’s not like they didn’t have excellent options. But of course those lovely women would probably humiliate their poorly informed co-hosts through knowledgeable debate — and that’s not acceptable.
The View’s longtime executive producer was replaced by a guy who most recently was — no joke — Rachel Maddow’s executive producer. And guest stints on shows like that are where Nicolle Wallace really should remain — as a token so-called conservative the few liberals who watch MSNBC can count on to make them feel like they’re hearing from the other team. Isn’t The View hostile enough to conservative women without adding this one-note, ethically challenged self-promoter?