Remember when during the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin was interviewed by Katie Couric? Couric asked Palin if she read any newspapers to shape her worldview (a perfectly innocent question) and Palin said yes. When asked which papers she read however, Palin was at a loss to name any....even just one. There was nothing tricky about it the question. Either you read newspapers or you don't. If you do, naming it/them should be a rather simple task. Palin later referred to this as a "gotcha" question.
Sarah Palin is not the first person to make such a claim, nor will she be the last. There does seem to be a pattern when people play the "gotcha question" card. The vast majority of times it is used, the person being asked the question does not like the question or just does not want to give the honest answer. Maybe they are asked about something they don't wish to discuss like Michele Bachmann and ex-gay "therapy." I recently posted a video where Governor Rick Perry (TX) was confronted with the FACT that abstinence-only sex education was not working and he looked stumped, fumbling for an explanation (P.S. the one he came up with was pretty much BS). That is the kind of situation where someone might pull the "gotcha question" card.
The thing is this. The nature of politics is such that politicians and public figures are put under a microscope. Their views and opinions, their statements, their writings, the lot of it. It's the nature of the beast. Questions like these deserve answers. It is not the media's fault that you look like an idiot unable to answer what is most likely a simple and straight-forward question, it is your own fault. If Palin and the rest can't handle the pressure of public spotlight, then they don't deserve the responsibility.