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Joe Miller vs. the Palins: Do Leaked Emails Suggest Sarah Palin May Have a Presidential Endorsement Deal in Place?

This post first appeared on Media Matters. On August 20, Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller in the Alaskan Republican senatorial primary, which Miller went on to win. Yesterday, Alaska-based progressive blogger Jeanne Devon released what she said was a leaked e-mail from Sarah Palin's husband Todd to Miller and Sarah Palin PAC treasurer Tim Crawford. In the e-mail Palin appears to respond negatively to Miller's non-answer after Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked him during a September 19 interview, "Do you think that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and would you like to see her run?" In the e-mail, Palin says:
Hold off on any letter for Joe. Sarah put her ass on the line for Joe and yet he can't answer a simple question "is Sarah Palin Qualified to be President". I DON'T KNOW IF SHE IS. Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided.
This raises a few questions and concerns about Sarah Palin and her role at Fox News. For instance, here is Palin touting Joe Miller during an August 30 appearance on Fox News' Hannity: The e-mail from Todd Palin, if authentic, seems to confirm that Sarah Palin is at least doing some early work towards running for president in 2012, while being employed by and regularly appearing on Fox News as a political analyst. At the same time, Palin is promoting candidates like Miller on-air at Fox, and according to the email, her husband at least seems to expect that when asked (by a Fox anchor) if Palin is qualified to be president, they should be answering in the affirmative. If that's the case, it would mean Fox News is employing and promoting a presidential candidate while also providing a forum for endorsements of Palin by candidates she promotes on Fox News. There isn't any way such an arrangement could remotely be considered ethical. And it gets even worse. According to conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, a source "close to Palin" suggests that the e-mail was leaked from within the Miller campaign by what McCain calls "Huckabee loyalists" in order to discredit Palin. That would be Mike Huckabee, possible 2012 presidential candidate... and Fox News analyst/host. Combined with Fox parent News Corp.'s donations to the Republican Governors Association and the Republican-leaning Chamber of Commerce, this is ethics quicksand.
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