Palin’s words came in response to former Bush aide Karl Rove’s claim that her upcoming TV gig makes her not a serious candidate for President of the United States, were she to seek that office.
“Now look-it. I’m not in a reality show,” Palin countered during an appearance on ‘Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace‘ (watch the full video here). “I have eight episodes [of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska'] documenting Alaska’s resources, what we can contribute to the rest of the U.S. to economically and physically secure our union, and my family comes along on the ride because I am family, family is us…. So Karl is wrong right there in calling it a reality show.”
Rove had taken aim at Palin’s show in an interview with the London Telegraph, saying, “With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show… I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office’.”
“There are high standards that the American people have for [the presidency],” Rove continued, “and they require a certain level of gravitas. They want to look at the candidate and say, ‘That candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world.’”
To that part of Rove’s argument, Palin responded, “I agree… that those standards have to be high for someone who would ever want to run for president.” She then posed, “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’… or something? Ronald Reagan was an actor.”
Rove also took a shot at a promo for TLC’s ‘Alaska’ in which Palin is seen in the wilds declaring, “I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office.” Rove suggested that her statement will lead potential voters to believe Palin can’t be trusted to work hard for them.
After Chris Wallace previewed a short clip of Palin on a rock-climbing adventure, the Fox Newsman told her, “I think you’re having too much fun, I think you’re making too much money…. I don’t think you’re gonna run!” To that, Palin answered, “If the country needed me… I would be willing to make the sacrifices… for America.”
Palin’s attempt to categorize her show as something other than a “reality” show underscores the ongoing debate over what is reality TV and what is not. The “reality” category is pretty inclusive these days, encompassing everything from competition shows (e.g. ‘Survivor’ and ‘Top Chef’) to the dozens of “unscripted” series (from ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ to ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Deadliest Catch’).As such , it’s possible Palin is striving to distance her show from the reality pack so that no one lumps her in with Snooki, Kim Kardashian or Kate Gosselin.
Still, ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ seems like a “reality” show, and until someone comes up with another name for it, that’s what we’re going to continue calling it.
So how about it? Do you think Sarah Palin can make the leap from reality TV star to the presidency?