Nets' Sunday Morning Shows, PBS Avoid Weiner Issue

The network elites completely avoided discussing Weinergate on the chat/interview shows this weekend. On Sunday, NBC's Meet the Press was off due to the French Open. ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, and CNN's State of the Union all failed to utter even the name of Anthony Weiner - which was especially bizarre on CBS, since host Bob Schieffer interviewed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Would Pelosi dismiss Weiner's antics as a "personal matter" like DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz? CBS skipped it.

The same goes for Friday night's Washington Week on PBS. So much for the "week in review." Washington Week host Gwen Ifill did find the time to write an opinion piece on Thursday night attacking Sarah Palin for "giving a clinic on how to occupy center stage without having to be held accountable to anyone except perhaps for her visibly unhappy little daughter..."

Ifill writes a "Gwen's Take" piece most weeks. Last week's began: "It never gets old listening to Bill Clinton. Like a thoroughbred watching the race from the sidelines, he is always champing at the bit to get back on the track...I'd spent some time covering the Clinton Presidency - ("eight years giving me hell," he reminded me backstage) - and was there for the good old days of federal surpluses."

(If anyone believed Ifill was a hellraiser against Clinton, they might want to revisit her "Starr Report was a truck bomb" clip. )

That article was titled "The Gospel According to Bill Clinton." But Palin is disreputable, Ifill huffed:

And there you have the story of Sarah Palin. There are no lines. No rules. If I had not sat yards away from her on a debate stage as she represented her party as its 2008 Vice Presidential nominee, I would take her for being just as anti-establishment as she claims.

Trouble is, anyone who thinks they want to be President of the most powerful country in the world has to have some taste for the establishment. But at this point in the process, and in a surly political year, it hardly helps to publicly embrace that part of formula.

...Palin said it was just a coincidence that she happened to land in tiny New Hampshire on the day of the Romney announcement and she would never have come if she thought he was offended. For the record, he said he was not.

But whether or not she is trying to annoy other Republican aspirants intentionally, Palin is giving a clinic on how to occupy center stage without having to be held accountable to anyone (except perhaps for her visibly unhappy little daughter, who accompanied her mother everywhere).

It must astonish veteran politicians who spend their days dialing for campaign dollars and their nights on the rubber chicken circuit to see the Palin parade.

And it must frustrate elected lawmakers who next week will retreat again with Vice President Joe Biden behind closed doors at Blair House to wrestle over deficit negotiations. They have to know their efforts -at actual governing - can never hope to be as interesting as the parades rolling by outside.

But if they are looking for lines in the sand, they better hope Palin's bus is heading for the beach.

Earlier: Gwen Ifill's 'brilliant baby cousin' Sherrilyn Ifill scours Sarah Palin as 'offensive to black women'

-Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Tim Graham on Twitter.