Monday, January 17, 2011


I usually find Ross Douthat's columns too boring to address, and I've obviously written more than my quota of Palin posts, but it's a slow news days, so I'll just briefly note this paragraph in Douthat's latest, which argues that Sarah Palin and the press are codependents who really need to separate for a while:

Palin, meanwhile, officially despises the "lamestream" media. But press coverage -- good, bad, whatever -- is clearly the oxygen she craves. She supposedly hates having her privacy invaded, yet her family keeps showing up on reality TV. She thinks the political class is clueless and out-of-touch, but she can't resist responding to its every provocation. Her public rhetoric, from "death panels" to "blood libel," is obviously crafted to maximize coverage and controversy, and generate more heat than light. And her Twitter account reads like a constant plea for the most superficial sort of media attention.

Palin clearly craves good publicity, but I actually don't think she craves bad press -- at least not for its own sake. I think she goads the mainstream media into saying negative things about her because that generates positive coverage of her in the movement media -- fanboys and fangirls rush to her defense. If she really just wanted publicity and wasn't particular about what kind it was, she wouldn't be so controlling -- she'd be all over the media, allowing everyone access to her, and she'd let the chips fall where they may. But she controls the stuff that gets her bad press as carefully as she controls the stuff that's intended to be positive -- she designs the former so that it will delight movement conservatives even as it infuriates the mainstream. It's all about garnering praise.

No comments: