Sunday 26 January 2020

Sarah Palin to co-host NBC's Today show

Sarah Palin (left) and Katie Couric
Sarah Palin (left) and Katie Couric

Amy Willis

SARAH Palin will make her debut appearance as co-host on NBC's Today show on Tuesday, where she will come up against her old rival, Katie Couric.

Mrs Palin will appear alongside Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry in the early morning segment, part of the television network’s bid to match guest stints by celebrity hosts on other channels.

The booking is clearly an attempt to blunt the impact of "Today" alumna Katie Couric's weeklong return to morning TV as a guest host on ABC's "Good Morning America." Couric joined ABC last year and was co-host of longtime ratings leader "Today" for 15 years before leaving for CBS in 2006.

Speaking ahead of the show, Mrs Palin told Matt Lauer she was really looking forward to co-hosting alongside him.

"I really look forward to this," Mrs Palin said. "I appreciate NBC's boldness in having me on. Doesn't it reflect the diversity of opinion I hear you all espouse."

In an infamous series of interviews with Ms Couric, then CBS News anchor, Mrs Palin was asked about her claim that Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her an insight into foreign affairs.

Her stumbling answer - describing how "[Vladimir] Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America" - helped reinforce the impression that she was not ready for high office.

She also failed to name a single newspaper or magazine. Ms Couric asked her:

"When it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?"

Mrs Palin replies: "I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media."

Ms Couric: What, specifically?

Mrs Palin: "Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years."

Ms Couric: "Can you name a few?"

Mrs Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, 'wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America."

She later complained about the questioned she was asked in the interviews.

"In those Katie Couric interviews I did feel that there were a lot of things that she was missing in terms of an opportunity to ask what a VP candidate stands for," she said.

"What the values are represented in our ticket. I wanted to talk about Barack Obama increasing taxes, which would lead to killing jobs. I wanted to talk about his proposal to increase government spending by another trillion dollars."

Besides Mrs Palin's surprise star turn on Today, the programme will also include "a big NBC announcement" by Ryan Seacrest, according to a Twitter posting by NBC on Sunday night.

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