How Palin won the media war

Last week saw yet another example of the Alaskan’s unmatched skills in media manipulation. All Palin need do is get on a tour bus and head east and Washington’s most elite scribes fall over themselves to find out where she’s headed, what she’ll say, what she’ll do. All of it was meaningless, of course, and the press corps knew its collective chain was being yanked even as they jawboned everyone from Sarah Palin’s housekeeper to her first cousin’s neighbor’s best friend for any morsel of “news” about her plans. As one of Mrs. Palin’s frenzied chroniclers put it in a moment of clarity, “She’s probably retiring to her bus each day, turning on the TV and laughing at everyone trying to figure out what the hell she’s up to, then watching hits on her website go through the roof.”

Members of the press, that queasy feeling you have begun to experience is the knowledge that Sarah Palin has become a media genius. And she owes it all to you. Keep it up, and this once unthinkable transformation just might propel her to the White House…

Governor Palin’s treatment in 2008, fair or unfair, self-inflicted or not, reawakened a long held resentment of the “mainstream media” by mainstream Republicans—over the false story circulated in 1992 that President George H. W. Bush was unfamiliar with supermarket scanners, thus “proving” he was aristocratic and out of touch, to the phony draft documents used against his son in 2004, to a sense that coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was unshakably hostile to the war effort. Referred to with thinly disguised disdain by prominent media types—her very existence so clearly annoys the hell out of them—Palin has become a repository for these long-stewing grievanceS. This has made her more lethal than she otherwise might have been based on her performance alone.

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