The Reading Room

Fox cull

Former Alaska governor and Tea Party drum pounder Sarah Palin has enjoyed more than her 15 minutes in the media spotlight, thanks to a prolonged spell as a political contributor to Fox News on a rumoured million dollar a year contract.

This week she has been making news again as that relationship has now come to an end – the New York Times describing it as an amicable split, The Daily Beast say it was a falling out over a pay cut.

The Media Matters for America blog upped the ante, saying: “The move represents the end of a brief, ill-conceived era within the conservative media movement, and specifically at Fox, where in the wake of Obama’s first White House win Palin, along with preposterous cohort Glenn Beck, was irresponsibly tapped to become a high-priced pundit who trafficked in hate.

“At Fox, Palin represented a particularly angry and juvenile wing of the conservative movement. It’s the part that appears deeply obsessed with Obama as a person; an unhealthy obsession that seemed to surpass any interest in his policies. With lazy name-calling as her weapon of choice, Palin served as Fox News’ point person for misguided snark and sophomoric put downs.”

Good to know the yah boo name calling of party politics, particularly when under the agitating media spotlight, can be just as pervasive and high minded in the States as it is here – a welcome relief for voter/consumers from the grey corporatism and button-down, airbrushed soundbites of the grey men in suits that we are confronted with the rest of the time.

Like all politicians, Palin has the ability to come up with breathtaking nonsense while keeping a completely straight face. The New York Daily News reports that she ‘spins her exit from Fox News, claiming she’s leaving to reach a ‘larger audience’ which is an amazing trick.

Maybe Tina Fey’s comic impressions of Palin on Saturday Night Live and Letterman (check them out on YouTube) or her stridently right wing views over gun ownership and homosexualtiy over the years has had a cumulative drip-drip effect on her credibility and career, reducing her to a Republican millstone, like Clint Eastwood and his empty chair routine.

Whatever the reason for her departure from Fox, it doesn’t matter, as the network and the right in general is wandering around in America dazed and confused over how the Republicans lost the election when they thought Romney was a sure fire winner and a White House shoo-in.

Right now Sarah Palin’s future media career is a matter of little consequence when compared to the right-wing soul searching and post mortem going on in the Republican wing of the States. But it would be a brave and perhaps foolish person who believes she is just going to fade into the background and never be heard of again. Fox isn’t the only channel of the right in America’s media wonderland. And once you’ve had a taste of fame or infamy like Palin has, it’s a tough drug to kick. AW

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