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Meet The Parents?

 I just received a media advisory alerting me that "EARLY SHOW co-anchor Harry Smith will conduct an exclusive interview with Chuck and Sally Heath, Gov. Sarah Palin’s parents, at their home in Wasilla, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 27.  The interview will be broadcast on THE EARLY SHOW on Monday, Sept. 29 (7:00-9:00AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network."

Call me soft, but this gives me the willies. It's one thing to spotlight Palin's husband, whose overactive role in her public duties suggests he could do with constant media oversight. (Hey, someone needs to keep an eye on the guy.) I even see a certain logic to sniffing around Palin's children, seeing as how the governor and her party have made her supermommy credentials central to this campaign.

But Palin's parents? Is there really anything substantive to be learned from Ma and Pa Heath? Sure, they raised Sarah and may have instilled her with some of their conservative values and political ideas. Then again, maybe not. I mean, the governor is a grown woman who has presumably had several decades to think through these issues and drawn her own conclusions. So although I'm sure we'll all be charmed by the Heaths' parental reminiscing about what a spunky, focused, bright, and personable go-getter Sarah was even as a tot, I'm just not sure what that will really tell us about the kind of vice president she would be. And trotting them out to be gawked at by millions of Americans--even assuming they perform better than their daughter has in recent interviews--strikes me as just the teensiest bit exploitative. 

Of course, if at some point Chuck Heath breaks down and starts dishing about Sarah's secret commie sympathies or dabbling in occult, I take it all back.

--Michelle Cottle