Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sarah Palin -- FOXy Lady

Sarah Palin – Foxy Lady

When has a major national political figure had the instant access to the media Sarah Palin enjoys with Fox News Network? Hired as a consultant by the Fox News Network after her resignation as Governor of Alaska, she has not assumed any formal role in the network’s programming but while jetting all around the country pursuing her political agenda, she has unprecedented access to the media on the highest rated news network where she is assured friendly treatment and continuous exposure.

On any given weekday night where there is a hot political topic leading the news, it is not unusual to see Palin on any of Fox’s commentary programs though most often (Sean) Hannity or On the Record with Greta Van Susterain. Frequently getting the lead slot and possibly two segments, she is able to provide her spin on a wide range of issues getting nothing more than softball questions and sometimes even fawning attention if she is on Sean Hannity’s or Glenn Beck’s program. Given the huge amount of time available to her, she seldom goes beyond her redundant talking points amounting to little more than bumper sticker slogans. The typical Palin segment begins with her outrage over whatever is the story of the day followed by her shots at the “lame stream” media, a derogatory characterization of the biased conventional media as critiqued by former CBS reporter, Bernard Goldberg whose expression is now a common fill-in-the-blank response in any typical commentary. She’ll soon transition into her limited insight on matters providing cliché talking points about “founding fathers,” “The Constitution,” or traditional values not citing anything in particular but only mentioning them as if divine proclamation in elementary simplistic narratives. Where possible, she’ll plug some of her agenda items like her childish, “Mama Grizzly” campaign.

Only Bill O’Reilly, the dean of Fox commentators, will ever hold her feet to the fire and attempt to sharpen the focus of her discussion. As if such access isn’t an amazing perk for such an unqualified public figure, all too often when a media figure, a late night comedian or show business figure makes some joke or sarcastic remark about Palin, it becomes news worthy on Fox portraying her as a victim of hostile media. While the media can be harsh and even dishonest about Palin, much of it goes with the turf when one is a public figure, As those episodes occur, quite often Palin is able to get a segment on camera to express her outrage and shock being insulted once again, launch into another “lame stream” media segment, and generally engage Fox viewers into a “Poor Sarah” pity party.

Fox News Network saying it is “fair and balanced” surely breaks that credo in its very obvious support of Sarah Palin. While they provide a valuable service providing the nation with the conservative point of view which is conspicuously absent elsewhere, they compromise the quality of that benefit by becoming active supporters of a highly controversial public figure who deserves much scrutiny and whose claims must be challenged if a news organization is to be truly objective and balanced.

Does Howard Dean have the kind of access to CNN or MSNBC that Sarah Palin enjoys at Fox? The answer should be disturbing to all Fox viewers.


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