"Much of the urban East Coast discourse about Palin and other Tea Party women is dismissive and mocking. Most Democratic and many Republican commentators rely on a basic assertion that Palin is stupid and therefore not credible. But this perspective ignores that visceral emotions are at least as important as sober rationality in making political choices. Whatever her failings, Palin has successfully harnessed new media forms to engage and direct emotional reactions in ways that are surprisingly effective.
Using Twitter, Facebook, corporate-news punditry, readable memoirs and reality television, Palin has managed to subvert traditional media. Rather than pay for advertising, she is getting paid to advertise her politics. Rather than wait for kingmakers to declare her a contender, she smirks while predicting her victories. Her reality show is a pinnacle of this new media-saturation strategy. The show's producer, Mark Burnett of Survivor and The Apprentice, pioneered the infiltration of reality shows into network lineups. His ingenious use of product integration exploded the profitability and desirability of reality television. While highbrow critics mocked the lame, melodramatic obviousness of reality TV, the genre revolutionized American entertainment. Sarah Palin's Alaska is the ultimate test of this form. Will product placement of a candidate prove to be the flattest, fastest, newest route to the American presidency?"
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Misunderestimation of Sarah Palin | The Nation:
Punditry by Nick Hentoff