Sarah Palin – welcome! You’re one of us now, a member of the media fraternity. Maybe you never had to cover a school board meeting, or local opera, but then again, neither did George Stephanopoulos. That’s one of the beauties of journalism. One appearance, and you’re forever a pro.
But, Ms. Palin, if we may ask, why bother? You’re already a multimillionaire. “Going Rogue,” your best-selling memoir, has seen to that. I’m sure Fox News waved a big check in your direction, but there are unglamorous aspects to working in the media, too. Deadlines, for instance. Inane repartee. And those lights – spend a couple of hours in a TV studio, and you’ll feel like you’re working inside the world’s biggest tanning bed.
I guess there are some obvious reasons you agreed your new deal with Fox News, though, that transcend your affinity for the network.
Here are a few:
1. You're a 'polibrity.' Recent years have seen the rise of a new kind of famous person: the out-of-office politician whose prominence is sustained by the ongoing drama of whether they’ll run for president. They’re hybrid politician/celebrities, or “polibrities.”
Think Newt Gingrich, or Mike Huckabee, or (now) Sarah Palin. A guaranteed media platform only increases a polibrity’s reach.
2. Building the Palin brand. The book tour is over, so it is time to take the step to stay in the public eye (see “polibrity,” above). The Fox News deal ensures a continual, and probably friendly, forum for your opinions. It fits nicely with the fact that you’ve signed up with the Washington Speakers Bureau to book your paid speeches.
3. Palin on Palin. Every US political journalist knows that readers and viewers can’t get enough about Sarah Palin. Those who love you, love you. Those who don’t love you appear to enjoy how mad you make them feel.
So the actual Sarah Palin reporting on what Sarah Palin thinks is a double dose of win – kind of like hot fudge on chocolate ice cream. The ratings should be phenomenal.
It all starts tonight, on the "O’Reilly Factor," at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Fox News, with your scheduled first appearance. All the best! And remember, in journalism there’s no such thing as a “mistake.” There are only “errors inadvertently introduced in the editing process.”
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