Palin is NBC's answer to the much-hyped guests on the other networks' morning shows this week, including an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "CBS This Morning" today and Katie Couric's weeklong guest-hosting stint on ABC's "Good Morning America."
But as if to assure viewers that NBC wasn't going all Fox News in its Palin adoration, Lauer managed to get a dig in at the former Alaska governor when she called into "Today" on Monday to promote her appearance.
"What are you doing to prepare," Lauer asked. "Are you reading some newspapers?"
Palin (and the rest of the "Today" crew) responded with a classic schoolyard "Oooooooh."
"And it begins!" Roker called out.
But Palin managed to take the swipe, which referred to her awkward non-answer during a 2008 interview with Couric, in stride.
"That's a fine how-do-you-do," she said. "That's a great start. Here we go."
Palin said she was calling from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where she was en route to New York. She said she plans to talk about energy prices and national security issues.
"I really look forward to this," Palin said. "I appreciate NBC's boldness in having me on. Doesn't it reflect the diversity of opinion I hear you all espouse."
"Or desperation," said former "Today" host Meredith Vieira, who was on the show to announce her involvement with NBC's Olympics coverage.
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Sarah Palin. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press