The XX Factor

Sharron Angle Explains the Media

Republicans really don’t want to throw Sharron Angle under the bus, because they so badly want to bring an end to Harry Reid’s stint in the Senate.  Conservative media institutions like Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh show have done their duty, conducting hand-holding interviews with Angle that make the leading questions fed to Sarah Palin look hard-hitting.  But even in the pillow-soft confines of Fox News, Angle can’t pull it together.

Angle sat down for an interview with Carl Cameron of Fox News, and he asked her why she runs like a frightened rabbit from every real reporter she sees.  Of course, he asked it in a soft, specifics-free way: “There was a tremendous amount of discussion about Sharron Angle’s taking the defensive posture.”  But Angle wasn’t about to let a little boost from a friend in the media get in the way of her ultimate mission of screwing everything up.  What followed made The Daily Show writers mash their teeth in comedic envy:

Angle: We needed to have the press be our friend.

Cameron: Wait a minute! Hold on a second … to be your friend?

Angle: Well truly …

Cameron: It sounds lame …

Angle: Well, no, no, we wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported and when I get on a show and I say send me money to, so that your listeners will know that if they want to support me they need to go to

As I said, the Republican Party has been doing everything it can to help Angle, because it really wants to be rid of Reid. The party’s sent in consultants and advisers of every stripe to spiff up her campaign, her spiel, probably even the way she smiles. And this is how she repays them, by parroting exactly what they said to her when coaching her on what she’s supposed to use the media for. Whoops, they forgot to advise her to simply act out the strategy, not repeat it to Fox News and hope they get on that soon. (They’re trying, Sharron, they’re trying!)

I do see a business opportunity for Republican-oriented campaign strategists, however. You could put together a crack team of consultants for the sole purpose of turning Tea Party candidates into real candidates. Unlike regular consultants, your team would know not to make mistakes such as assuming your candidate understands even the basics of politics or media, much less that your candidate has an ounce of common sense. Call yourself The Puppeteers, perhaps with the slogan, “There’s no shame in needing a little extra help.”

Photograph of Sharron Angle by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.