It's hard to say why it happened, but all of a sudden Bill O'Reilly decided last night to stop tossing Sarah Palin the usual softball questions and Hannity Jobs she's become accustomed to during her tenure at Fox News. He asked her to finally get specific instead of bloviating in vague generalities about where and how she's achieve the budget cuts she's calling for.
It's not hard to say why it happened at all. FOX controlled all the variables here and while at first blush it does look like Sister Sarah is being prepared for Under-Bus Throwage, it seems unusually ham-handed for Roger Ailes's outfit.
What this smells like is a setup, to give FOX supporters and Palin supporters something to point to when the accusations of hand-holding by the network come roaring out the minute Palin announces her 2012 run. Everyone agrees that Palin isn't ready right now. I think this is part of Roger Ailes's plan to remedy that.
Look for more of these "not-so-softball" interviews ahead. It's not like the bar has to be set high for what qualifies as a "tougher" interview for Palin. As long as she doesn't trip over said bar when she's making a big production of gingerly stepping over it and doesn't burst into flame while doing so, she advances her narrative.
Eliza Doolittle, meet Henry Higgins.