Not Another Vanity Fair Takedown of Sarah Palin

Is Palin fatigue finally setting in?

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Vanity Fair posted its second Sarah Palin profile in as many months today. As with last month's "It Came From Wasilla," the portrait drawn by author Michael Joseph Gross is less than flattering. Are readers beginning to feel the first pangs of Palin fatigue?

  • Stale Story  The Alaska Dispatch slams the article's revelations as "small advances to the general story about Palin's growing celebrity." The piece "repeats oft-heard claims that in private [Palin's] personality is unstable" and is overly reliant on "dubious claims made by sources who don't wish to be identified." The result is a profile that will feel like "familiar ground" for experienced Palin-watchers.
  • Skeptical  Politico's Ben Smith is dubious of the piece, especially the account of Palin offering to schedule her daughter's wedding for maximum media exposure, an anecdote that appears in the magazine "embellished almost beyond recognition."  Rather than shedding new light on the former Alaska governor, Smith believes the "takeaway from the magazine piece is...that you can really write anything about Palin."
  • Different Spin  This is not your father's Sarah Palin profile, observes The Atlantic's Chris Good. Gross's main focus is "people of Wasilla and how they see Palin, mostly as a newfound outsider of whom they live in perpetual fear, cautious to speak badly of her for fear of reprisal." The hushed tones in which Alaskans discuss Palin reminds Good of "the reported sentiments of Iraqis living in fear of Saddam after his government was toppled and he hid from U.S. forces in desert bunkers."
  • In a Vacuum  Newsweek's Ravi Somaiya contends the unique circumstances of Palin's celebrity leave her impervious to political blowback. "Palin is insulated in ways that other public figures can only dream of," writes Somaiya. It doesn't matter that the Gross's article boasts "the kind of detail that sets the political press frothing." At the slightest hint of controversy, Somaiya writes, Palin's allies in the blogosphere are there to "defend her like so many lionesses surrounding a cub."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.