When Sarah Palin made her debut as the host of “Real American Stories” on Fox News on Thursday night, she described several triumphs of regular people over insurmountable odds, but she missed an obvious one: her own.Carr mentions Palin's Going Rogue mega success and another book coming, Fox commentary, new 8 part TV series on Alaska--in general amazing success at everything she puts her hand to.
After her failed bid for the vice presidency, she was more or less told to head back to Alaska to serve out her term as governor — a kind of metaphorical kitchen.
Instead, she quit her day job and proceeded to become a one-woman national media empire, with the ratings and lucre to show for it.
Carr compares her media success to that of other politicos who have turned to media jobs. He notes that though their success was gradual, hers was instantaneous and huge.
Other people have crossed the border from politics to media to very good effect — George Stephanopoulos, Patrick Buchanan and Chris Matthews, to name a few — but the transition was far more gradual. Ms. Palin turned on a dime and was a ratings sensation from the word go: her first paid appearance, as a commentator on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Jan. 12, was good for an extra million viewers.Beyond incredible talent, Carr finds that Palin has "authenticity".
Back in September 2008, when [Palin] was unveiled in St. Paul during the Republican convention, a longtime political reporter told me that her appeal would burn off over time. I wondered about that. I’m from Minnesota, which is sometimes considered the southernmost tip of Alaska, and her way of speaking in credulous golly-gee may have been off-putting to some, but there is a kind of authenticity there that no image handler could conjure.Carr chides his media colleagues for their lack of insight into why Palin is a success.
Many observers thought her unwillingness to serve out her term would be fatal to her ambitions, but the fact that governance did not suit her — she resigned as governor back in July — has become a kind of credential.Carr clearly doesn't like Palin's politics, but he gets what most of his media colleagues don't. Sarah Palin "represents vast swaths of the American public".
Ms. Palin still gets a session in the media spanking machine every time she does anything, but the disapproval seems to further cement the support of her loyalists. Ms. Palin may or may not be qualified to represent America around the world, but she certainly represents vast swaths of the American public and has a lucrative new career to show for it.
If we don’t see why, then maybe we deserve the “lamestream media” label she likes to give us.
Maybe the New York Times should hire more reporters from Minnesota.