Palin to Be Hannitized

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 13 2011 4:53 PM

Palin to Be Hannitized

"Hannitize" is not my neologism. It's what listeners call it when the radio host is given a chance to speak to and convert someone -- he has been Hannitized.

This news begs a second definition of Hannitization:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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Sarah Palin is scheduled to sit for her first extended interview since the Tuscon shooting rampage on Monday night, on the Fox News Channel.

An executive at Fox News Channel said that Ms. Palin would appear on the program of the conservative host Sean Hannity, and that the interview was scheduled to run through several commercial breaks.

Through the commercial breaks! It's as important (or disturbing) as The Day After ! Also, a special TV interview/event four days after a book-closing video statement -- doesn't this imply that the statement was not a media-tweaking home run, and actually sort of a disaster?

Anyway, the second definition of "Hannitize": (v) To clean up a messy situation with a softball interview, typically one conducted by Sean Hannity . Here's an example I saw in person, from April 2010. Michael Steele was being criticized everywhere after an FEC report recorded reimbursements made to a racy nightclub, which a young fundraiser had gone to in order to impress clients. Steele gave his first interview about the mess to Hannity. Here was Hannity's part of the conversation, which was also the day Justice John Paul Stevens and Rep. Bart Stupak retired.

Mike, well, first of all, your reaction to Justice Stevens. 

All right, but the bottom line is Barack Obama showed no signs except to be the rigid ideologue that he really is. So the question is, why would America expect anything other than an extreme justice? And would you want the Republicans, if he appoints a radical left winger, to oppose --

Let me ask you. Bart Stupak -- by the way, and I want to -- I'm not going to pat myself on the back. I said from the beginning he would cave. I knew he'd give in just like Ben Nelson was bought off. Do you think he's afraid to run in this reelection?

You know, everywhere we've been and we've watched this with the Tea Party Movement around the country. Massive crowds, massive intensity. Does that translate what happened in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey? Does this intensity hold through November?

You walked out here tonight and you got a massive reception from the crowd here in New Orleans. You had a strong defense from Newt Gingrich. Governor Palin defended you. Some have attacked you. Some have gone after you. What is your reaction to that and response to those that have been --

You have three victories under your belt.

One of the things I'm always afraid of is this sort of circular firing squad that conservatives have against each other. And it seems to me, you know, the Democratic Party and the president now are at a record low. There was a Fox News poll that came out earlier today. Newt Gingrich said that Barack Obama is the most radical president we've ever seen in American history. Liz Cheney said that Barack Obama has put America on a path to decline.  Rush Limbaugh, he is inflicting untold damage on this country. Governor Palin, you know, it's like a kid, you punch me and I won't retaliate, which was a line that --

That bolded part was all Hannity asked about the scandal! So you see how Palin can use this to do whatever cliche has replaced "fire back at her critics."

 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.