Palin goes 'Rogue' on Oprah: We watch so you don't have to
Sarah Palin kicks off the TV leg of her campaign to sell copies of "Going Rogue: An American Life" this afternoon on Oprah's syndicated talk show -- which, in one of those happy coincidences, is happening at the exact same time Oprah is deeply mired in a campaign to revive that same show's ratings. We're live-blogging at 4 o'clock.
4:00: Oprah Gets Rolling:
"You've been waiting and I've been waiting," Oprah says. Palin comes out and Oprah "woo-hoo's" her. They hug. Palin finger waves.
4:02: It took Oprah under 2 minutes to make it all about her:
"You know there were reports last year that I had snubbed you during the election by not having you on my show. Did you feel snubbed?" she asked and yes it was her very first question.
Palin says no, apologetically, she was really busy what with this and that.
"Really?" Oprah asks incredulously. "So at the time of the campaign when everybody was saying that I was snubbing you, you didn't even know about it?"
This is already the best Oprah interview ever.
"It didn't register. No offense to you -- but it wasn't the center of my universe, okay?" Palin says.
4:09: Bristol Pregnancy Missed Teachable Moment
Palin says she thought the skeleton in her closet was the fact she had gotten a D on a college course. Really? Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be her daughter, Bristol's pregnancy.
"I was surprised that they knew; but I was surprised, too, that we didn't handle that issue, that challenge, better," she said."If we had been given that allowance to deal with the issue in a more productive way, we could have sent a message [that] "this is not to be glamorized'."
4:21: Katie Couric is the Enemy
Oprah notes that in the book she says Katie Couric "had a partisan agenda." Oprah replays that infamous bit in which Katie asked Palin what she reads and she could not/would not name a publication/book.
I'm obviously a lover of books and magazines and newspapers," Palin says. By the time she was asked the questions, she said, "I was already so annoyed" adding she thought it was asked "in the context of 'Do you read?'"
Oprah and Palin talk at length about Trig, Palin's youngest child, who has Down Syndrome. Weirdly, neither of them ever calls Trig by name.
4:33: The Levi Question
"Everybody's waiting on The Levi Question!" Oprah says. The crowd "woo-hoo's!" with gusto.
Palin teeters briefly on The High Road:
"Because so much of the discussion with Levi has to do with his most beautiful baby boy, Tripp, my grandson, and Tripp's future, that I don't think a national television show is the place to discuss some of the things that he's doing and saying."
Then, plunges off that road and lands smack in Snarkville:
"I hear he goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now," she says. Oh snap!
"If that's the case, we don't want to mess up his gig he's got going," she adds. That gig? "Aspiring porn...I call it porn."
4:41: "Palin's Funniest Home Video"
Palin with Trig; Palin at the gym: "Sweat is my sanity."
Palin on taking daughter Piper trick-or-treating on Halloween: "I promised Piper that this time I would keep my distance so that I don't disrupt the fun that she has planned for herself and her friends," Palin said.
The ad breaks are now coming fast and furious, with little content in between. We're nearing the end.
4:50: Palin re-enacts resignation speech
After Oprah and Palin do the "women can have it all" blah, blah, blah, Oprah asks Palin why she resigned as Governor of Alaska last July. Palin dusts off the "I was heading into a lame-duck term" and that cues up Oprah for the old "why not just finished what you started?" follow-up question. It's all old material.
4:56: You are the Queen, Oprah
Only a few minutes to go, Oprah has to find a way to bring it back to being all about her. Can the queen of daytime TV do it?
"One final question," Oprah says. "Should I be worried? Because I have heard that you're going to get your own talk show."
"Oh," Palin says.
"Yeah -- come on," Oprah says sweetly -- only maybe not. Palin's not taking the hint. Finally, she gets it:
"Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows. There's nothing to over worry about."
"No, no," Oprah simpers.
"Yes," Palin insists, then, sensing this is playing big with Oprah, she plows ahead: "You can't shut off my mic so let me say this -- or maybe you can. You're the boss."
"No, I won't," Oprah assures her. "Go ahead" she insists.
"Okay, the inspiration that you have provided.....those were the years where I was a stay-at-home-mom -- got to watch you more than I watch you now... and being quite inspired by some of the challenges you were facing...you provided a lot of inspiration and I appreciate what you have done all these years," Palin cooed.
"Thank you for saying that," Oprah gushed.
It's official. They are in love.
5:00 The After-Show
The broadcast is over but, Oprah warns viewers, her interview with Palin continues on her web site. We are moving over to those bits now......
But Enough About You -- Let's Get Back to Me
Oprah, who appears to have felt not nearly enough time was spent during the show explaining how it's all about Oprah, returns to her favorite subject: "Even when people were saying I was snubbing you... I didn't appreciate it because I don't snub people" -- said the woman who snubbed David Letterman for how many years?
Then, remembering Palin was in the room, she adds: "Often times when you are a public figure, people say a lot of things about you that are, first of all, not true, can be painful, can be upsetting -- what was the worst for you?"
Palin, relieved to have finally found the question in there, says it was having her personal e-mails hacked....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
On a lighter note, Oprah wonders how Palin "honestly" felt about having Tina Fey parody her during the campaign.
Palin again goes into too-busy-to-have-noticed mode.
But, Oprah reminds her sweetly, she gave a quote to the press during the campaign, saying she had seen Fey play her, but with the volume turned off.
Palin recovers and says the first time she saw Fey as Palin, she actually thought it was herself on TV. Seriously, she did. We can't make this stuff up.
Palin also notes that when she finally went on "Saturday Night Live" with Fey, Fey needed some instruction in basic parenting skills, which she was only too happy to provide. Specifically, Fey was holding her baby, Alice, who kept looking back and forth between her mother who was made up as Palin, and Palin. So Palin stepped in and explained to Fey: "We are confusing your child."
"And we were," Palin adds, for good measure. We'll let you know how Fey responds to that crack.
And, finally, Oprah wonders whether the whole family got to decide whether she would run for vice president of the United States.
"This time there wasn't a family vote," Palin says.
"This was a mommy rules?" Oprah wonders.
"This was -- yep, " Palin says. "I'm going to make the decision," she adds, then quickly amends it to, "Todd and I would make the decision together." Great save.
Lisa de Moraes
November 16, 2009; 3:38 PM ET
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