Skip to main content

A (hopefully) last word on Palin

Once her and McCain lost the 08 election it was clear that the media was still obsessed with Palin. On one hand, she was a governor who had just run as VP. So its not like she wasn't a fairly high profile public official. And on top of that she was crazy and liked to demonstrate that fact by saying crazy things. A lot of people are good at doing that and generating media coverage.

But once she left office she should have become irrelevant. A half term governor of a reclusive state that is no longer actively running for a political office should not have gotten near the media coverage she did. I had a pretty solid idea why that was the case. And now I have some proof:

“We in the news business were her enablers, broadcasting her tweets, following her Facebooking, chasing after her aimless bus tours…What explains such behavior? Palin is box office. She drives traffic and ratings.”

As I said, I don't think the coverage of her during the campaign was too far off base. But once that ended there was no reason to keep up the overbearing coverage of her other than to fuel their own interest in ratings and thus profit. And as McGinnis points out, that is a dangerous thing for our country. The media is supposed to keep watch on the gov't. But in Palin's case, it enabled a crazy person to take advantage of the country for her own personal gain.

So when we look back on the ridiculousness that is Sarah Palin, the media should be a big part of the story. After McCain and the leadership of the GOP, then the conservative base, the media should be blamed for us having to endure this insane chapter in American politics. And we should keep this in mind when we think about everything the media does. Because sadly its at least as much about profit as it is getting to the truth and being a check on the gov't. And as Glenn Greenwald consistently points out, that is why we continue to fight unending wars and high level public officials and Wall Street can run afoul of the law without being punished.