Sarah Palin is more celebrity than she is governor-turned-activist- turned-TV journalist. Her multi-million dollar deal with TLC to air a new reality show called “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” demonstrates that the former Republican vice presidential candidate has indeed a movie star like persona.
Media covering the political spectrum pay lots of attention to Palin, regardless of what the best-selling author says or does. Her infamous “crosshairs” Facebook page for example, generated national publicity when she put 20 Democratic congressional districts in gun sights, linking her PAC Web site.
It’s debatable if Palin was naïve in her attempt to thwart healthcare reform by posting such as disturbing graphic. Many believe she was creating high drama by leveraging a highly volatile news cycle. The key issue here however is not so much about the map but the amount of news media that gave her a national platform.
Sarah Palin is not known for her command of political domestic and international issues, which became very evident during and after the 2008 presidential election. Whether or not she possesses awareness of this subject matter still remains to be seen.
So why do media on both sides of the political spectrum continue to cover the former Alaska governor? There’s probably a certain je ne sais quoi at play here. Palin is popular nevertheless, with 1.5 million fans on Facebook. She also gives the media something to report, whether it comes from the left or right. It’s good fodder. Opinionated news shows from MSNBC and Fox thrive on this type of drama. It’s about attracting eyeballs. More people reading or watching leads to more ad revenues.
It’s not only the news media that are benefitting. Palin raked in an astounding $12 million since she left office 11 months ago. Until the music stops, Palin will continue to play the media beautifully, singing all the way to the bank.