Big New York magazine cover story on Palin's earnings surprisingly dull

So frantic were the Conservatives 4 Palin people about this that not only did they write a lengthy reply to the story today, they actually pushed a post out yesterday — before the article was published — warning that it would be a hit piece and accusing the author, Gabriel Sherman, of “effectively stalking” Palin by attending some of her rallies. Read the profile yourself and you’ll see it’s much ado about nothing. The big revelation? She was worried about money, knew she could make a ton, realized that her last two years as governor would be nothing but gridlock and legal bills, so she made her move. Oh, and it turns out she’s really good at marketing herself, in case you hadn’t heard. Dive in and you’ll find (a) the obligatory cultural criticism of What Palin Means…

From Buffalo Bill to the Marlboro Man, the self-reliant frontiersman has always been an image with mass appeal. Palin has managed to graft this rugged Western myth onto a beauty-pageant face and a counterpunching, don’t-tread-on-me verbal style—a new kind of character, and a remarkably compelling one.

(b) …the patented left-wing man-among-the-apes gawking at grassroots conservatives…

Fans jockeyed to get their photo taken with Joe the Plumber, who was posing in his trademark Carhartt jacket and wraparound Oakleys. “Right on, brother!” he said. “I’ve been to over 140 tea parties,” he told me. “I do my own events, I schedule my own stuff. It’s just me.”

I walked a little farther into the crowd and met Kevin Unck, an unemployed truck driver from northern Utah who was selling T-shirts out of the trunk of his faded blue Ford Taurus. Unck said he used his last unemployment check along with a loan from his girlfriend to come up with $1,600 to print up 300 T-shirts that proclaimed OBAMA: ONE BIG ASS MISTAKE, AMERICA I asked Unck what bothered him most about Obama. “I think he’s a communist, plain and simple as that,” he said. “I’m fearful for the country.” Unck said he didn’t expect to make much money selling T-shirts, but it gave him an excuse to come see Palin.

(c) …and the exciting “let’s see if Levi Johnston will dish anything today” grand finale:

Johnston says he’s working on a memoir that would air the true story of the Palin household. “They’re never around each other,” Johnston says of Sarah and Todd. “It’s like they hate each other but they don’t want anyone to know it. I think they were gonna get a divorce, but then they were like, ‘Let’s not prove them right.’ I’ve never seen them sleep in the same room, he’s always on this little recliner. For years, they never really talked.” (This summer, Palin threw cold water on the divorce rumors, telling Politico that the speculation was “made up.”)

“I know everything there is to know about her,” Johnston adds. “She’s so fake. But she’s so good at it, too. She’s amazing at it. If I didn’t know it, I wouldn’t know the difference. She’s gifted. She could do movies because she’s so gifted.”

Poor Dave Weigel was so bereft of juicy tidbits from the piece for his “Those Darned Wingnuts” beat at WaPo that he was forced to highlight the fact that she writes her own Facebook posts and how she fits into TLC’s programming strategy. I’ll let you take it from there.