Michael Scherer puts on his WWE referee uniform and writes this:
This debate boils down to an interesting question of analysis: Is Palin's popularity of the political or entertainment variety, is it People Magazine or TIME magazine? (People tends to outsell TIME at the newsstand, but a People cover matters far less in an election year than a TIME cover.) The reason this is such a tough question to figure is that so much of the political debate now is driven by self-described entertainers--Jon Stewart, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck. We don't know where politics ends and entertainment begins. Either this is a permanent shift in the electoral landscape or a media fad that helps sell overpriced gold coins to gullible political ideologues. The personal attacks aside, this is the issue that Green and Sullivan are debating.Let me help these gentlemen out before they start putting each other into sleeper holds and hitting each other over the head with metal chairs (does WWE stand for Worldwide Writing Entertainment? We know that's fake, too, right?). Palin gets coverage for two reasons: 1) Palin supporters want her to run and it draws viewership. 2) Palin haters see it as an opportunity to lie about her and distort her record - tell a lie enough times and someone's bound to believe it. Personal bias aside, my political science degree and years of observation lead me to believe that she's running. And if I'm wrong, it has absolutely nothing to do with her wanting to be a celebrity or because our political culture has strayed toward entertainment.
Now let me help out Mr. Scherer. We don't know where politics ends and entertainment begins. We didn't when Obama got elected by a coalition of the pop culture and the media elite and we won't know next presidential election either. We are an "American Idol" society as cynical as that may sound. But we still try to vote for who we think the best candidate is. Sarah Palin is the Chris Daughtry of American politics. If Daughtry could compete again knowing what we know now he would win. Fortunately, in politics the contestants can come back on next time around. And yes, this is a permanent shift in the electoral landscape. There are polls that show we are trending more conservative. It's not either or. Media fads trend the way of the culture - and this time it's trending right.
"The press would not go easy on Palin," Scherer writes and I will cede that to him. But he needs to explain more clearly why "she still polls terribly despite her media stardom, and it seems that there is little upside to trying to lead a ticket--with all its ancillary limitations and agonies--when you can wield power behind the curtain." This would have been the perfect opportunity to point out that those who still allow themselves to be led by the nose by the mainstream media still think that watching Green and Sullivan kick a rubber ball back and forth to each other is real news. Once people understand that the negative opinions of Palin that pollsters seem to pull muscles to reflect in their data come from ignorant people who listen to people like Green and Sullivan then it will be easier to make the anology that a lazy man who formulates his opinion on Palin by listening to the mainstream media is like asking someone who doesn't speak English for directions and believing every word they say.
You don't see people arguing over whether Romney or Gingrich are running, do you? That's probably because, although they would be unpalatable to liberals, a Palin presidency is the equivalent of the nuclear annhilation of liberal political philosophy. They could survive Mitt or Newt. Those people have stuff that doesn't have to be made up to use against them even if they, too, are qualified to be president. Palin's too clean. They can't afford Ronald Reagan II. And although liberals will tell you their biggest mistake was underestimating Reagan, they can't explain why they are doing it again with Palin. But it does explain the fervor with which they continue to try to smear Palin. Maybe they think if they try harder this time than they did with Reagan it might work. Yeah, and maybe if Obama tries harder than Jimmy Carter that just might work too.
Keeping the meme alive that Palin is just a fad or a media phenemon the likes of Octomom is just a backdoor way of saying "we still need to keep doubt in people's minds, but let's use a two pronged question instead of an open ended statement about how dumb she is."
Liberal writing is like drugs. As long as there are still users, the product will sell. Don't expect to see the drivel you are reading about Palin to ever go away. It didn't during Reagan. It's just that enough people "stopped using" long enough to sober up and realize that there is something wrong with the press then and it is happening again now. Dummies don't topple regimes like the Soviet Union and dummies don't have the kind of political impact that Sarah Palin has. The real dummies are usually the ones who believe what Green and Sullivan write.
Just like WWE wrestling, "WWE" writing is well scripted. It's entertaining. It's a legitimate marketable product. But it's not real.