The day after her dinner at the White House with Ted Nugent and Kid Rock in tow, Sarah Palin entered “enemy” territory on Thursday when she sat down with Jake Tapper for an interview on CNN. But it’s the comments she made about Bill O’Reilly’s ouster at Fox News that are getting the most attention.
Tapper broached the topic carefully, warning her that the nature of the topic was “sensitive” before adding, “but you’re a strong woman who worked at Fox News Channel as a contributor.” He wanted to know what she makes of the apparent change in “corporate culture” that led Fox to finally fire O’Reilly.
Palin ended her working relationship with Fox News in the spring of 2015 (for the second time), as she stressed to Tapper. "Well, I think the key there is that you said I used to be with Fox," she said, repeating, "I used to be with Fox."
“Women don’t deserve — they should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating workspace,” Palin continued. “At the same time, if a woman believes she is being intimidated and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it, not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years and then after the fact complain about what she went through.” She urged other women to “take a stand” and “blow the whistle” on whoever is “doing the bad stuff so that the culture will change.”
Then came this tense exchange between the CNN host and his guest. “Did you ever witness or experience, God forbid, anything like that at Fox?” Tapper asked.
“I wouldn't put up with anything that would be perceived as intimidating or harassing,” Palin said very tentatively. Asked if it was “part of the reason” that she left the network, Palin didn’t say no. Instead she answered, “Um, you can ask them why I'm no longer with Fox. You know, I'm not going to speak for them. My contract wasn't renewed — that is, um, that's the line.”
“I don't want to be a jerk, but it sounds like you experienced something,” Tapper said in response to that vague explanation.
“I just, you know, it was just time to part ways and get out there in I guess a more diverse arena to express views and to speak for the public, and that's what I've been able to do now,” Palin said.
“All right, well, I'm not going to push any farther on that,” Tapper said before ending the interview there. Perhaps he felt he had gotten as straight-forward an answer as he was going to get on that line of questioning.