On Wednesday morning, the campaign released a statement from strategist Steve Schmidt denouncing "a faux media scandal designed to destroy the first female Republican nominee for vice president of the United States who has never been a part of the old boys' network that has come to dominate the news establishment in this country."
Then the campaign arranged a news conference for prominent Republican women to denounce what they called unfair media accounts of Palin's record as governor.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, September 05, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Sarah Palin: An article in Thursday's Section A about GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican National Convention said her debate with the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, would be Oct 8. It will be Oct. 2.
"The Republican Party will not stand by while Sarah Palin is subjected to sexist attacks," said former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina.
"All of us up here have been subjected to the stereotype of show horse, not workhorse," Fiorina said. "They are trying to treat her as a show horse, to say 'nice little girl, nice show horse, but not qualified.' "
Palin didn't complain about sexism in her speech, but she did say: "I'm not going to Washington to seek [the media's] good opinion; I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."
"The media are now part of the McCain campaign plan," the senior McCain advisor said. "The tactic is to make the media part of what we're running against. . . . The media are less popular than the Congress."
Thompson, a veteran of decades of political campaigns, said he wasn't surprised by the volume and intensity of the media's Palin coverage.
"She's the only story in town," he said, shrugging.
But he added that a tussle with the media can often leave a candidate stronger -- if the candidate survives.
"I think this is probably inuring to her benefit," he said.