Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What do you think, Sarah Palin?

I wrote this and posted it a year ago on a new blog that I thought I'd maintain as a venue for my extended political and philosophical rants. After a year, this has remained as the only post, so I thought I'd shut it down and migrate the one post here, unedited.

The title of this post is something I never want to hear a broadcast journalist, political commentator, or really, anyone on TV ever ask… ever.
Alas, the national media is out to crush my hopes and dreams, since Mrs. Palin was asked to be a political commentator for none other than (come on, you know what’s coming, right?) Fox News. Link check:
Now, just this morning, I was reviled by the Huffington Post for “covering” the “debut” of Mrs. Obama’s new haircut… at the funeral of Joe Biden’s mother. This is not news, and I don’t want to support an outlet that reports on such triviality. Unfortunately, I still follow HuffPo on Twitter, and soon thereafter, I saw the link to Dave Letterman's cut-down of Palin's new appointment. I hadn’t heard about her upcoming Fox News gig, so I was, frankly, surprised.
I was also surprised when Karl Rove joined the Fox News team. But that made infinitely more sense. He was a great (albeit underhanded… which in the political world, I suppose, still means “great”) political advisor/planner/manipulator, and he had spent some important years advising some of the most important men on the planet (the Bushs).
I think Republicans try to distance themselves from media figures like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and I know Beck tries to come off as some sort of independent voice among the legions of stupid people in politics. But nobody’s fooling me. It’s all about the money and what sells, and what sells in politics and TV alike is sensationalism. Violence (war coverage), child abductions (Nancy Grace), Patriotism (O’Reilly / Fox News as a whole). Political sex scandals (Mark Sanford), political abuse of power scandals (Blagojevich). These are the things, apparently, that get America talking. But they are also the things that distract Americans from real issues. (As a side note: I do think that abuses of power should be made public and punished, but I don’t think the day-to-day media coverage of the level of the Blagojevich scandal should take place. It gives him celebrity status — a new power that he’s able to abuse — which only serves to corrupt things more.)
And what do you think Sarah Palin will be talking about on Fox News? It won’t be about real matters in foreign policy, because she doesn’t know any. It won’t be about real matters in domestic policy, because she doesn’t know any. I agree that at times, she was harshly criticized during her political campaign for vice president, but then again, she was in contention for VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. This is not a figurehead position. Palin and McCain wanted to turn the Executive Branch into the only branch of government, basically. Most pieces of media criticism during the election coverage focused on just how uninformed Palin was. And everyone was right. She didn’t know Russia from dogshit on her shoe, but she and McCain still got a significant vote from people in this country, and that deeply disturbs me.
When she stepped down as governor of Alaska, I was grateful. I thought she might prolong her celebrity status with a TV show, maybe a talk show like Oprah has. But I should have known that she would still try to be the innocent “new” face of the Republican party. You know, the one that cares about American values and smalltown values and small government power (despite her comments about enhancing the powers of the executive branch) and fuckall else that doesn’t really help to solve the nation’s problems. This is a branch of political ideology that is very deceptive. They talk about all these philosophical values that can’t possibly affect any sort of real-world political/national problems, and then they do whatever they want behind the scenes, and go to all efforts to cover up their tracks for the public when something goes terribly wrong (see: the reign of George W. Bush). (Of course, yes, yes, the democrats cover up their shit, and Obama espouses American values as well, but it seems to me that he’s giving more of an effort to speak in plain, constructive terms on issues and to offer solutions that he actually tries to implement. But maybe that’s just my liberal, ideal self interpreting him.)
Palin’s appointment to Fox News as a political commentator just serves to solidify my certainly biased views against both her and the station. In short, it’s sickening.

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