Shrewd Sarah Palin/Gullible Media
I’ve argued before, and I will continue to argue, that there is nothing terribly unique about Sarah Palin as a politician other than the way in which her opponents and the media play right into her hands by treating her as if she is somehow uniquely important and/or devious.
Today, Dave Weigel documents another set of examples of this, demonstrating the ways in which the media’s (and, for that matter, Palin’s opponents’) insistence on paying attention to her Facebook and Twitter ramblings, making them into major stories, even if with the intention of disproving those ramblings. The entire post is worth a read and does an excellent job of showing exactly how the media and some of her more vocal critics are playing right into Palin’s hands. I especially liked this paragraph:
The problem is that Palin has put the political press in a submissive position, one in which the only information it prints about her comes from prepared statements or from Q&As with friendly interviewers. This isn’t something most politicians get away with, or would be allowed to get away with. But Palin has leveraged her celebrity — her ability to get ratings, the ardor of her fans and the bitterness of her critics — to win a truly unique relationship with the press. She is allowed to shape the public debate without actually engaging in it.
Weigel goes on to present a couple examples of this strategy in action, and concludes that Palin’s actions are “incredibly savvy,” but that the media’s response to those actions “is ridiculous, bordering on pathetic.” I couldn’t agree more. Again, please do read the whole thing.