Former reality show novelty act and dabbler in political stuff, Sarah Palin will be briefly “co-hosting” The Today Show Tuesday with the show’s regular host, the tragic hairline of Matt Lauer:

With Today and its morning-show bridesmaid Good Morning America closer than usual in the ratings, NBC and ABC are trading publicity stunts. Former Today host Katie Couric has switched sides and is guest-hosting GMA this week, while in response, NBC is bringing on Kim Kardashian and the Kim Kardashian of politics, Sarah Palin. Although her hosting gig isn’t until tomorrow, Palin called into the show as a teaser today and was promptly put down by Matt Lauer, who invoked … his old partner, Katie Couric.

“What are you doing to prepare? Are you reading some newspapers?” Lauer asked Palin to a collective oooooh from the Today gang, alluding to Couric’s infamous Palin gotcha. “That’s a fine how do you do,” Palin said, playing a good sport.”That’s a great start. Here we go!”

As Steve notes, her brief appearance (1 hour! because quitter can’t see anything all the way through) is all about showing that smartypants elitist Katie Couric that you don’t need no newspaper larnin’ to be a big time morning show celebrity:

Needless to say, she’s going up against Couric because Couric hurt her feelings in 2008; she’s going up against Couric for one day only because (a) even though she’d love to be a TV star, she hasn’t actually had the self-discipline necessary to learn the process of being a full-time broadcaster, and (b) she knows that if she makes one appearance only, she may outdraw Couric in the ratings that day, partly because curiosity-seekers will tune in, and partly because, while watching Couric is something normal Americans will do if they feel like it, watching Palin is a sacrament for right-wingers. Not watching her would be, for them, like being given the opportunity to kiss the feet of Ronald Reagan’s shriveled corpse and passing it up — they wouldn’t dream of it.

And if she does beat Couric in the ratings for one day, every right-wing media outlet will shout SUCK IT LIBRULS!! in one voice.

Of course, Sarah Palin is a perfect fit as part of the Today Show’s Very Special Freak Week with additional guests including currently-on-a-media-blitz bulk baby pooper Octomom, human cartoon Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian who is a whore.