Skip to comments.Master media manipulator [Guess who?]
Posted on 06/06/2011 3:44:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Sarah Palins One Nation bus tour through Americas historic sites could be the start of a presidential campaign. Or she could be kicking off a new reality-TV series. With Palin, its often hard to tell the difference.
She insists she is still making up her mind about a White House run. But we do know that Palin represents a new archetype in our public life, the politician-as-celebrity or celebrity-as-politician who has mastered the modern media environment better than anyone else. With the possible exception of Donald Trump, who had pizza with Palin when her tour hit New York.
That means big trouble for the Republican Party should Palin decide to run. If she wins the nomination, the party will field a candidate even many Republicans regard as unqualified and unelectable. Karl Rove, one of the savviest GOP strategists, has repeatedly questioned her gravitas and warned that the American people have high standards when picking a president.
Polling reinforces Roves point. In a recent Gallup survey, 62 percent said they would definitely not vote for Palin. Even among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents 37 percent view her unfavorably, ABC reports.
If Palin seeks the nomination and loses, her candidacy could still damage her party in two ways. Her potent ability to attract media attention could make it more difficult for more serious but less visible candidates such as Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman to emerge from the pack. And her doctrinaire conservative views could pull the whole primary field to the right, making it harder for the eventual nominee to pivot to the center during the general election.
Thats why the prospect of Palin has long delighted Democrats. As David Plouffe, a top adviser to President Obama, described the Republican dynamic, These guys are going to be running through hoops to please the far-right folks who are kind of the acolytes of Sarah Palin. Now maybe shell be running herself. Something tells me we wont get that lucky.
Still, Palin remains a master manipulator of the media landscape. During her current bus tour, she seldom tells reporters where or when shes going, and prefers to communicate by transmitting photos and messages directly through social media. I dont think I owe anything to the mainstream media, she told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, one of the great understatements of the year.
Palin has been following a similar strategy since the last election. In effect, she has created PNN, the Palin News Network, her own system of connecting to her followers through tweets and Facebook messages, books and speeches, reality-TV shows and paid appearances on Fox. And in none of these forums does she have to face the kind of tough questioning that unhinged her in 2008. As Robert Draper put it a New York Times magazine profile, Palin can land a hard punch without ever setting foot in the ring.
But her understanding of the media goes beyond PNN. She knows she can force mainstream reporters to write about her for one simple reason: She delivers eyeballs. With every media outlet in a desperate race for online traffic, which translates into ad revenues, putting Palin on your splash page is simply irresistible. Right there next to Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and starlets in bikinis.
Trump exploited that same media vulnerability. According to a study by the political website FiveThirtyEight, he received far more coverage than any other GOP figure this spring, 40 percent of the total; Palin, who made few public moves before the bus tour, still placed second.
Press critic Robert Lichter was talking about Trump, but he could have been discussing Palin, when he told USA Today: Theres an unspoken collusion between journalists who are happy to have someone sell papers and increase clicks and Trump happy to raise his image, which he leverages to make more money.
This unspoken collusion was on full display during last falls campaign. By far, the most-covered figure was Christine ODonnell, the Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, who lost badly but filled that celebrity-as-politician profile by saying wacky things, such as I am not a witch in a campaign commercial.
In fact, eight of the 11 most-covered candidates lost, according to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The amount of coverage, the report concluded, shows that the media will focus on a candidate who despite little chance of winning makes headlines with provocative statements and actions out of character with most mainstream politicians.
In other words, Sarah Palin.
Some of this sounds familiar:
None of (the Trump, Gingrich, Palin group is) going to be president of the United States. None of them is going to be the Republican nominee. But youve had this theater of the absurd taking place over the course of much of the spring. In there somewhere is a serious campaign waiting to get started. And I think when you look at the Republican field right now, youre looking at three serious candidates. And theyre Governor Pawlenty, Governor Huntsman and Governor Romney. ~Steve Schmidt, pro-gay former McCain, Bush and Schwarzenegger aide.
And did you ever wonder why almost every Democrat, jourbalists and Lefty wants the Republicans to run one of three RINO candidates? Either Willard RomneyCare Romney. Tim "Who?" Pawlenty or Jon I love you, Barry! Huntsman. Could it be theyd like to see the South, Evangelicals, Tea Partiers, Pentacostals, Baptists, pro-lifers and other conservatives stay home on election day or vote third party?
Hmmm... Sarah Palin, master manipulator?
The same Sarah Palin that the same press tries to convince us is dumber than a box of rocks?
My first thought, too. What horrid people.
The dims are correct about one thing... if the republicans nominate either romney, huntsman, pawlenty or santorum... millions of us will not vote for them... regardless.
Typical MSM carp.
She is using like the cheap whores that they are while she smiles at the stupid questions that they ask.
Thats why the prospect of Palin has long delighted Democrats.
Wow. The BS meter pegged so hard it flew off the desk.
Don't ya just love it when the sun is shining on through right in the middle of an afternoon rainstorm.
‘You know what...You never hear winners complaining.’
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.