The problem of Sarah Palin isn’t really Sarah Palin at all. The problem is all those entities who keep granting her seconds on her allotted fifteen minutes of fame so they can cash in on it. Because in any other universe, at any other time in history, Sarah’s erratic public behaviour, total disrespect for her Commander In Chief, wild stories of impossible childbirths and outright lies about and to the American people would never have led to a multi-million dollar book deal or a lecture circuit worth $100k per gig. In any other universe, at any other time, reputable journalists and news commentators across the nation would have dispelled, disproved and discarded her the day after she quit her job as Alaska’s governor. A year plus change after her failed bid for the White House, Sarah’s tales would, at most, be page three lining for the bird cage.
But not today. Today Sarah is the poster girl for purchased-politics. By allowing a television station to buy their candidates and run their campaigns for them, Republicans have embraced technology. (No, not for useful things like teleprompters or IT researchers, silly.) Republican goals have replaced the American vote with television ratings. What they get in exchange for their unquestioning servitude to the Gods of Fox News Channel is a public forum upon which their candidates are granted the unabashed ability to speak unaccountably on any subject, at any time, sans consequences. A pollie’s dream come true. No longer shackled by the cumbersome ritual of fact-checking, the new Republicans can make any claim they so desire regarding the Democrats or even Republicans they don’t especially like. Protocol is a thing of the past. Decency to one’s fellow man was never even a twinkle in Rupert Murdoch’s eye.
Don’t like your opponent? Can’t back your statements with facts? Heck just smile into the camera and tell the nice folks on the other side that your opponent did crack in college. Doesn’t matter if it’s not true. You said it on Fox News. That’s all that counts.
Sarah Palin represents the new and the worst of Republican politics. Her motivations have nothing to do with improving the quality of her government. Her strategies have nothing to do with professionalism or educaton. Her qualifications have nothing to do with recorded accomplishments or public service. Her bible-spouting, apocalyptic ideals upon which she rests all her expertise, have nothing whatsoever to do with governing a nation of three hundred million people, organizing necessities like health care, seeing to it Americans aren’t cheated by unscrupulous insurance companies or making the rewards of living in the land of plenty available to everyone, not just the wealthy. The Republican’s new brand of politics with Sarah Palin at their helm has little to do with governing at all. It’s now all about turning a profit and – television ratings.
Those who subscribe to this brand of politics get away with their nonsense because Fox News Channel isn’t about reporting news at all. It’s about delivering entertainment. And entertainment doesn’t require being factual.
Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck bombard the airways daily with their uncouched, fact-challenged rhetoric, holding the prime spots on FNC because they successfully rile up the already discontent, those people who would do practically anything to change their lives. Bill, Sean and Glenn are well-paid for making outrageous, unfounded claims (that only truly uneducated people would absorb without question) because their constant promise to overturn current government so their viewers lives will be better - keeps their viewers coming back. That’s not politics. That’s entertainment – and entertainment = ratings
And now Fox News has won the trifecta of ratings races. They’ve found a genuine cash cow, guaranteed to deliver the goods for them no matter how she performs. When she’s good her fans love her. When she’s awful, her fans love her more. When she insults her president, the youtube hits soar. The FNC Execs need only to keep her away from the other Fox News commentators because she has this one little quirk of alienating everyone with whom she comes into contact who doesn’t share her personal brand of religious fanaticism. Solution?
Fox News Channel is setting her up with her own studio in Wasilla Alaska where her self-harming inadequacies can’t be readily observed or exposed by angered colleagues or underpaid staffers who might decide to make a buck on their own and sell her Faux Pas to Harper-Collins. Safely tucked behind a fence sporting a No Trespassing sign she’ll be insulated from any and all intelligent scrutiny. She already refuses all other media access to her speaking events. Sarah’s the new FNC Cash Cow. Plain and simple.
In 2012 the FNC will profit even if their cash cow doesn’t make it to Washington. They could care less how it turns out for Sarah. The cameras are in place. Exclusive rights to her inevitable, disasterous end is already paid for, in full. All they have to do in the interim is milk the cow for all she’s worth – and wait for self-destructive bombs to start dropping.
A word of advice to the FNC Execs: Don’t forget to shut and lock the barn door boys, you know how mavericky these Alaskan bovines can be…
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: Catching Up: Cash Cow Politics and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
PS. Forgot to thank the contributing commenters from the previous post for the information, links and thoughts provided which helped form this post. Oz