The Sarah Palin media blitz is beginning. I’d say I missed the thrilla from Wasilla in the months since Obama’s victory, but Palin hasn’t really gone anywhere. That's not to say she didn’t try. For the better part of 2009, Palin abandoned her abbreviation-happy twitter account (her ham radio to the world), rarely gave press interviews and spoke only at events where the media weren’t allowed to tread.
Even if Palin herself stayed quiet, curious onlookers were given plenty of ammunition to rifle through. The public learned a lot more about Palin from the hangers on who were willing to speak on her, than we ever learned from the Governor herself. And hangers on there were many. Countless people, near to and far from Palin willing to talk about her at length. No issue was left untouched. Literally. Articles were published on her e-mail etiquette, her alleged marriage problems with Todd and exactly how long it took her to drop that pesky baby weight .
With so many speaking about her, it was easy to forget that Palin herself was trying to keep her head down until the release of her hastily produced memoir, Going Rogue.
But now, as the book’s debut nears, it looks as if the relative quiet from the Palin camp is over. Her hugely-anticipated Oprah interview airs tomorrow, followed by a “politically-fueled” 20/20 interview with Baba WaWa. We’re in store for an exhaustive PR blitz. This morning, I counted 45 articles on my Google Reader about Going Rogue. Critics have gotten their hands on advance copies, and the scathing reviews are pouring in. Journalists everywhere are jostling to be the first to identify any errors and lies that may lie within. It's a journalistic blood sport out there - whoever serves up Palin's head on a platter wins.
The world is watching Sarah Palin this week.
Most people have figured out that Palin’s presidential chances have all but disappeared with the $150,000 wardrobe she sported on the campaign trail.
Obviously nothing is certain, but I’m willing to bet on this- Palin isn’t going to be president. Maybe she goes on to host a chat show on FOX News, and spends her best years shouting at Obama from behind the soap box and high fiving Glenn Beck between takes. Surely since she quit her post as Governor her chances at this becoming her reality have increased tenfold. If Sarah Palin leaves politics for good and turns into the right-wing Oprah, when is the public going to stop paying attention?
At what point do we stop caring about Sarah Palin?
I wish I knew the answer.
The scary thing is, I’m not sure I’ll ever stop caring. Judging by the level of articles I’ve read on Palin and her relationships in the past year and a half, I will always be fascinated. Shudder the thought.
This is kind of sad and hard to admit, but I read everything about the woman I can get my hands on. The nastier the article better. And I don’t stop at third party writing - I delight in Palin’s indecipherable tweets and rambling Facebook essays (with seventeen footnotes….ibid ibid ibid). I’ve watched the YouTube video of Sarah’s greatest mishaps more than twice. And the Tina Fey sketches? I practically have them memorized.
I read every article that picks apart her speeches and her dialect and her hypocrisy. I loved it when FOX News actually fact checked and called her out on a blatant error. Loved it.
Clearly, I’m not gunning for this woman to succeed and yet, I’m obsessed with her. I’d rather spend an afternoon with Going Rogue, desperately searching for an error the Huffington Post hasn’t caught yet, than embiggen (The Simpsons made it a real word) myself with the biography of someone whose life is actually worthy of such intense fascination.
What does that say about me? What does it say about anyone who feels the same?