HBO’s controversial movie adaptation of the book “Game Change” aired this weekend. The book focused on the decision by the campaign of John McCain to select Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. The “controversy” was generated, and foolishly fed by Palin and her allies, by complaints about whether or not the movie accurately portrayed Palin’s frequent meltdowns during her two and one-half months in the national spotlight.
I do not know if Palin ever actually stood in a stairwell, arguing with Nicole Wallace on her cell phone before throwing the device against the wall and screaming that she was “ruined.” But, the basic narrative of the script was undoubtedly accurate and the filmmakers interspersed clips of news coverage of Palin from that time to make the point. When Fareed Zakaria looks into the camera and suggests that Palin’s problem was not that she couldn’t provide answers to questions but that she clearly did not understand the questions, that was not acting. That was a contemporaneous clip. And, that was the problem with Palin.