Even before Palin answered, the genius of Ailes had crystallized on the screen. The set up was unmistakable. Ailes had not hired another talking head in Palin. He had hired a mascot for Fox News, a living breathing symbol of all that the network hopes to be: a place for the forgotten, besieged, suburban and rural American middle, long victimized, often dismissed, beset on all sides by elites and liberals, haters and foes. Palin took her cue perfectly. “They don’t like the message,” she said. “They don’t like the commonsense conservative solutions that I think I represent, and I articulate as I explain what I believe are some solutions to the great challenges facing America.”…

At this point, Palin’s performance reached its crescendo, not as news analysis or reporting, but as a restatement of the very mission that has made Fox News so successful. “The American people are immediately neutralizing outlets like 60 Minutes,” Palin explained. “More and more Americans are looking at some of these networks, that biased journalism, and saying, ‘Nah, that gig is up. We’re not believing that stuff anymore.’ That’s why they are tuning into Fox News.” She had become the message. Her mission was accomplished. Her future at Fox is bright.