NEXT GIG ... Harley-Davidson Dealership Grand Openings.”
Matty2Shoes, commenting at The Daily Beast, offered that prediction of the next professional adventure for Sarah Palin®, political personality, former nominal governor of Alaska and reality TV trivia question answer whose 15 minutes of fame (or certainly notoriety) on the Fox News Channel have come to an end.
Various media outlets reported that Palin, Arizona Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008, would not be renewing her $1 million-a-year contract as a Fox News analyst. Palin was reportedly offered a new contract at a significantly lower salary, but rejected it.
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Some folks at Smart Politics (a political Web site affiliated with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota) have entirely too much time on their hands.
Editors at the Web site parsed the totality of Palin’s Fox verbiage, providing a count for words uttered on “Fox News Sunday,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” even her presumably sage financial advice on “Your Money With Neil Cavuto.” Palin gave good word count in all the more meaningful Fox News dayparts (until she was taken off the air in mid-December).
What’s next? Assuming Palin doesn’t take Matty2Shoes advice, there may be some kernel of information about her plans in a Palin interview with Breitbart News: “I’m taking my own advice here as I free up opportunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation.”
Translation from the original Claptrap tongue: She’ll be in one of the busier lanes of the information superhighway real soon. Ya betcha®.
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IN SEPTEMBER 2009, I wrote that a Palin tie-up with Fox News made a kind of sense:
“Fox [is] the network that, politically speaking, would be the perfect media scaffold for her views and values.” ...
“Putting Palin on Fox gives that network at least a quick, cheap short-term bump in its perceived willingness to step further outside the white-male mold of talk-show hosts.” ...
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And to think it all started with such promise in January 2010. “She is one of the most talked about and politically polarizing figures in the country. First off, we hope she brings that,” said Bill Shine, Fox News executive vice president, to the Los Angeles Times, that month. “The expectation that Palin will utter something controversial will likely drive viewership.”
But the bloom got off the Palin rose in a hurry. Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News laid it out for Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC in January 2010. “Populists historically have pretended not to know anything. They’ve actually been part of a fairly intellectual group of people. But she really doesn’t know anything, and it’s in God’s plan that she not learn anything.”
It’s telling that, even after the short-term wildfire exposure she achieved in the aftermath of the 2008 campaign (a best-selling book, magazine covers, reality TV), only 11 percent of those voters surveyed in a February 2010 Gallup poll supported the notion of a Palin presidential campaign in 2012.
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PALIN’S BEING cashiered from Fox makes two indelible statements. It’s a clear indicator of how far and how fast Palin’s stock has fallen on the media commodities market. Her first book, “Going Rogue,” stormed the culture in November 2009, and was a healthy bestseller. The 432-page, five-chapter tome distilled her freewheeling, iconoclastic style. A style that extended to what was between the covers.
In a November 2009 e-mail to Politico, John Weaver, a former McCain strategist, expressed his misgivings with Palin’s recall of certain campaign events. “Sarah Palin reminds me of Jimmy Stewart in the movie 'Harvey,' complete with imaginary conversations. All books like these are revisionist and self-serving, by definition. But the score-settling by someone who wants to be considered a serious national player is petty and pathetic.”
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No matter; Palin started the year 2010 on fire. No one could know then: That was the high point. That was as good as it was going to get.
I noted in late December 2010:
Palin’s second book, “America by Heart,” hasn’t been moving. Shannyn Moore, an Alaska radio host, Huffington Post contributor and longtime Palin monitor, notes that Alaskans won’t even show up at her book signings now. “Sarah Palin has really fallen in Alaska,” Moore said last night on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” “… Just recently Costco is sending back pallets of her books. They had a thousand wristbands to hand out for signing her books and I think they gave out three hundred. She's really not a big deal here. We're not that into her.”
And on and on. She got rhetorically slapped around by everyone from Juan Williams to Aaron Sorkin, who went on CNN and called her “a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman.”