Posted by: jbunn | July 26, 2009

Why does the Media love Palin?

The Daily Beast had an article “The Top 25 Sarah Palin Scandals” basically outlining the top Sarah Palin stories that got media coverage. Here are a few “scandals” that I remember getting a lot of coverage:

Going Rogue

1) Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s—Palin visited them all during her fall campaign, and the Republican National Committee footed the bill for over $150,000 to clothe her in enviable outfits. A campaign aide described the shopping spree to Newsweek as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.” Palin’s face got the luxe treatment as well—her makeup artist was the campaign’s highest-paid staffer in October.

Media Spotlight (particularly relavant)

4) Frequently accused of lacking intellectual curiosity, Palin sometimes didn’t help her own cause. One of the gaffes to come out of the governor’s infamous September interview with Katie Couric was her inability to name a single newspaper she read regularly, prompting some to wonder: Does she read anything at all?

5) Another moment that did nothing to dispel such perceptions: “I can see Russia from my house!” OK, so that was Tina Fey was paraphrasing Palin on SNL. But the governor did cite Alaska’s proximity to Russia as evidence of her foreign-policy experience. “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska,” she told Couric.

6) Taking advantage of Palin’s apparent credulity, two Canadian radio pranksters called her up and pretended to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In an outrageous French accent, the man suggested Palin should be running for president. “Haha, maybe in eight years,” she replied.

Bristolgate

7) Shortly after McCain announced her as his running mate, Palin, who supports abstinence-only sex education, made her own announcement: She was about to be a grandmother at 44, thanks to her teenage daughter, Bristol. But no worries, Palin assured us—Bristol would be marrying the father, Levi Johnston (dubbed “Sex on Skates” by New York magazine), who was trotted out at the Republican National Convention in suit and tie. Despite this assurance, the young couple has since split.

Back To Alaska

20) David Letterman incurred Palin’s wrath when he joked about her daughter getting pregnant. “Sarah Palin went to a Yankees game yesterday. There was one awkward moment during the seventh-inning stretch: Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez,” he cracked. Palin shot back angrily, saying his comment disparaged women and created a culture that tolerated “statutory rape,” since it was 14-year-old Willow, not Bristol, who was at the game. Letterman eventually apologized for eight minutes on his show and asked Palin to come on a guest. “It would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman,” Palin said in her refusal on her Facebook page.

Resignation Shocker

23) Palin surprised the nation when she announced her resignation on Fourth of July weekend, in what might have been an unsuccessful attempt to bury the shocking news. She said the state was wasting millions of dollars fielding frivolous ethics-violations inquiries, but some suspect her resignation is a strategic move to better her presidential prospects for 2012.

It’s no wonder the media loves her so much. “The Daily Beast” opens their story saying,

Only days after John McCain tapped the little-known Alaska governor as his running mate, Sarah Palin announced her teenage daughter was pregnant. Since that moment, the surprises have continued to arrive in a steady stream, culminating with Palin’s bombshell Fourth of July weekend announcement that she would be resigning as governor. Will she now retire to a quiet life bereft of scandal? Just in case, here are 25 we won’t soon forget.

If you consider those occurrences newsworthy scandals, then she is a great subject for the media. There were plenty of stories that were easy to spin in a way that draws in viewers. But how many of the things they talk about were scandals? What makes something a scandal, and what makes something newsworthy? Some of the “scandals” I didn’t know about prior to reading the article.

How will Sarah Palin use her time now that she has stepped down? Will Palin use her time now to learn how to handle the press?Will she be able to avoid media attention for a while?

Other articles on the same site about Palin included:

Click To Listen To President Faux-Bama’s Voicemail for Sarah Palin

What Does She Do Now?

and

Run, Sarah, Run!

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