Why Sarah Palin launched her own online TV network

The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live Sunday, aims to 'cut through the media’s politically correct filter.' It also includes a clock calculating the time left in the Obama administration, out to the second.

Charlie Neibergall/AP/File
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in West Des Moines, Iowa, on April 27. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, bills itself as a 'direct connection' for the former GOP vice presidential candidate with her supporters, bypassing media filters.

Sarah Palin hasn’t held office for five years, but the former Alaska governor’s reach only seems to grow.

The one-time GOP vice presidential nominee has launched her own Internet TV network, named – drumroll, please – The Sarah Palin Channel. It’s a subscription-based service, and she’s charging $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year.

“I want to talk directly to you on our channel, on my terms – and no need to please the powers that be,” Ms. Palin says in a video on the site, which went live Sunday. “Together, we’ll go beyond the sound bites and cut through the media’s politically correct filter.”

No word yet on how many people have signed up, but given her intensely loyal fan base, it seems a promising venture. And it offers far more than Palin communicating directly with her fans. There’s also a link to a blog by her daughter Bristol Palin. Her mother, Sally Heath, offers a “word of the day” – starting with “rectitude.” Subscribers can also submit questions to Palin and take part in video chats with her and other subscribers, Variety reports.

There’s also a “quote of the day” (first up, Thomas Paine) and an “image of the day” – a social-media-ready drawing of colonists and their muskets with the caption: “Remember when the Colonists stood in line to register their muskets...? … me either.”

Atop the home page is a debt clock and the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds left in the Obama administration. Palin also has a section on her topic du jour, what she calls “the scary I-word,” impeachment.

“It’s time to take action and do what we can to stop this imperial president,” says Palin, who serves as the site’s executive editor.  “That includes the House doing its job and impeaching.”

Earlier this month, Palin took the long-simmering tea party chatter about impeaching President Obama and blasted it into the open in a column at Breitbart.com. That was music to the ears of the Obama White House and Democratic campaign committees, which are fundraising up a storm around impeachment. Never mind that, by all indications, House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio has zero intention of going there and so impeachment is likely to remain a mirage on the horizon until Obama leaves office in 2017.

Maybe Democrats will cheer, too, about Palin’s new online channel. After all, it’s a new way for Palin to spread her polarizing brand, establish a home base for her community of followers, and get them whipped up. Or maybe not. Maybe, as a paid service, it isolates her partisans and keeps them away from the rest of the world.

The first possibility seems more likely. Palin is still a paid contributor on Fox News, and can still inject herself into public discourse whenever she wants via columns, Facebook, and other social media. She’s also earning free media in the 2014 midterms as she endorses candidates and makes personal appearances around the country. And as much as Democrats relish her at-times-over-the-top rhetoric, she knows how to motivate voters. The closest the Dems have to their own Palin is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) of Massachusetts, though she’s not an exact analog (we say, anticipating a wave of angry e-mails).

One more point caught our attention from the rollout of the new Palin channel. According to Variety, it’s being produced in partnership with Tapp, an online video venture started in March by former executives from NBC and CNN, outlets that don’t exactly line up ideologically with Palin. Another co-founder used to be chief technology officer at The Onion, another outlet that, it’s safe to say, isn’t staffed with Palin voters.

But when there’s money to be made, ideology rides in the back seat.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Why Sarah Palin launched her own online TV network
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today