Sarah Palin officially joined the “lamestream media” this morning as guest and co-host of NBC’s “Today.” The paid Fox News contributor was a “hit” as she joked with Matt Lauer and the gang and paid tribute to Tina Fey’s impersonation of her as “pretty clever.”

palin on todayThe program “humanized” Palin, who plays the role of shrill attack dog on Fox. Today showcased Palin as “cultural” vs. political icon.

It worked.

Palin’s appearance was a shrewd counter-programming move by NBC against arch-rival ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where Katie Couric held court today. Couric famously demolished Palin’s Vice Presidential bid by asking the former half-term Alaska governor about the papers that she read. On Today, Palin joked about the Couric ordeal and was shown prepping for the appearance by appearing with a stack of newspapers.

During the program, Palin talked about Oprah Winfrey’s woes at the OWN network and suggested that having some conservative guests would help put that cable network on track. She also said Mitt Romney isn’t the sure-fire Republican nominee because there still could be a bit of a shake-up in the race.

Sarah didn’t hint that she may throw her hat into the ring at this time. Her choice for president is “anybody but Obama.”

Palin’s Fox News contract expires next year. With President Obama re-elected, Fox News chief Roger Ailes is unlikely to renew Palin’s contract. A future role in the lamestream would keep Sarah in the public’s eye until the election of 2016 rolls around.