Sarah Palin is all about free speech — unless it's directed at her. Speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday night, Palin gave her first interview since the January 8 shooting in Tucson. She repeatedly invoked the country's right to free speech, but condemned what she called the "lamestream" media's response to her comments around the Arizona shootings.
But first! Palin wants you to know that this isn't about her. "This isn't about me and my response four days after the horrendous events. My defense wasn't self-defense, it was defending those who were falsely accused."
The crosshairs map that featured Giffords and her district, well, everyone uses crosshair imagery — even Democrats. "Democrats have been using them for years," she told Hannity. But anyway, "it has nothing to do with an apolitical or perhaps left-leaning criminal."
While her interview with Hannity was technically on friendly terms, there seemed an undercurrent of tension between the two. At one point, Hannity diverged from all the Tucson shooter talk to point out to Palin just how many people hate her. Showing quotes from Madonna and Sandra Bernhard (of all people), Hannity asked Palin whether all the hate affected her political chances. "Some people say Sarah Palin is radioactive. How does this impact your political future?"
Palin responded by recalling Martin Luther King Jr. "On this day, celebrating the legacy and the life of Martin Luther King,
he reminded me we would be well to remember one of his famous quotes. He had reminded listeners 'a lie cannot live.'"
And she doesn't mind being a martyr — really, it's okay. "I'm thankful for the opportunity that I have to speak for many. I'll take the darts and the arrows because I know that others have my back," she told Hannity.
But will she run for president? Will she? "I am not ready to make an announcement about what my political future is to be. I'm not going to sit down. I'm not going to shut up."