Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters did a great job pointing out how a recent exchange on Chris Matthews' Hardball program revealed that it really didn't matter how Sarah Palin would have answered Katie Couric's infamous "What do you read" question. She would have been lampooned no matter what it was.
After Palin told Barbara Walters recently that she likes to read C.S. Lewis for divine inspiration as well as Newsmax and the Wall Street Journal, Sheppard provided the evidence in the form of a transcript:
MATTHEWS: But Newsmax. Explain Newsmax, why she would say something like that. That's a digest of conservative to right-wing thinking. You don't have to read. They just tell you the little items you're supposed to know.
NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, that's her base. That's exactly her base, is Newsmax, people who read Newsmax, people who watch Newsmax.
MATTHEWS: Well, why would you say that's among your reading every day?
Your thoughts about that? Why would you say something like that? It's like I'm getting ingested. I don't read.
WOLFFE: It's not reading it for the news in Newsmax, is it? (CROSSTALK)
MATTHEWS: Just looking for one-liners.
No mention of the Wall Street Journal or the other papers Palin listed. Matthews chose to zero in on a conservative news site as being unacceptable reading. So Sheppard's point is well taken: Palin could have said anything and it wouldn't have mattered.
But the best part of this Palin-criticizing exercise on Hardball actually came when expert Palin-basher Richard Wolffe humiliated himself taking on Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis:
WOLFFE: All "The Chronicles of Narnia." (LAUGHTER)
WOLFFE: Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids books? I don't think C.S. Lewis would really want Newsmax in -- (CROSSTALK)
MATTHEWS: But I wouldn't put down C.S. Lewis.
WOLFFE: No, I'm not putting him down.
WOLFFE: But divine inspiration? There are things she could have said for divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.
How classic is that? Wolffe is attempting to mock Palin's lack of literary knowledge and depth. Yet Wolffe is apparently blissfully unaware that Lewis wrote far more than just the children's series "The Chronicles of Narnia" (which, by the way, are profoundly deep allegories to Scriptural truths).
Lewis authored "Mere Christianity," "The Problem of Pain," and "Miracles," and is commonly regarded as one of the greatest Christian apologists and thinkers of all time. Something Wolffe might have known if he ever read anything outside of the Huffington Post.