"It's just none of his flippin' business," Sarah Palin huffs at the sight of her journalist-neighbor whom she blasts for invading her privacy in the very first episode of her reality show. Self-awareness, irony--these are effete luxuries enjoyed by elites, not the Real Americans of Sarah Palin's Alaska.
The series, airing on The Learning Channel, shows the 14-foot privacy fence Todd Palin erected to block the view of Joe McGinniss, the reporter who moved next door to the Palins to write a book about the former governor. She sees it as a "good example" for Americans further south: "Others can look at it and say oh this is what we need to do to secure our nation's border," the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports. Palin adds, "Some reporters said I was overreacting and I wanted to ask them: 'How would you feel if some dude you knew was out to get you moved 15 feet away from your kids? How would you feel?'" Apparently, however, having TV cameras 15 inches from her kids' faces suits Palin just fine.
- Oh Please, Digby writes at Hullabaloo. "In other news, she takes the Dancing With The Stars judges to task for criticizing her daughter's dancing in public. As it happens I had sympathy for her not wanting a reporter camped out in the house next door. She does have a right to some privacy. But when you star yourself and your family --- and that home --- in a reality TV show, I think you've pretty much given up the right to be self-righteous about it."
- The Moment is Humanizing, Steve M. frets at No More Mister Nice Blog. "I'm not sure that's how [pointing out the irony is] going to play in Peoria. Even I, a Palin-loather, assume that she has near-total control over this reality series, while the 'invader' she's complaining about, Joe McGinniss, is doing something she and Todd can't stage-manage. Which wouldn't bother me a bit -- Sarah, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the klieg lights -- except that McGinniss has been a bit of a jerk... McGinniss's presence is likely to elicit sympathy for Palin -- which is something no right-thinking person should ever do," Steve M. writes. "But I'm more interested in how Palin is presented... we first see her out on her patio with a book, then Todd approaches and asks her, 'Get some work done?' This is just shamelessly staged -- it's obviously an attempt to rebut the notion that she's an illiterate bubblehead."
- Palin Will Reach Even More Mainstream Americans, Cubachi writes. "What is overwhelmingly indicative of the power of Palin’s persona is that a network is willing to have a show centered around her and her state, but also that liberals, and some of the establishment, are ankle-biting. Why do they care if she is as irrelevant as they seem to think she is? ... Forget the narrative of the liberal media, this is her opportunity to tell the world her story."
- Producers Swear It's Not Political, The Corner's Brian Bolduc reports. "Still, the producers insist the show isn’t political. To prove it, they’ve created a blog, Not Taking Sides, to promote 'non-political political conservations about Sarah Palin’s Alaska' — as Reich puts it. The bloggers at last night’s event had a hard time digesting this claim. Nonetheless, Reich hopes to have a Democrat and a Republican liveblog each episode to provide balance — and to steer the conversation away from partisan bickering. Matthew Gagnon, a former staffer for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will edit the blog."
- Not a Political Show?! Time's James Poniewozik is skeptical. "The show, kind of a hybrid of a Discovery nature program and Kate Plus Eight, doesn't have Palin advocating political positions—mostly. ... One the other hand: come on. ... Palin embodies the idea that the personal is political, and masterfully so. To suggest that she would make a show about all these subjects without a thought about her political presentation—well, if you buy that, I've got a Bridge to Nowhere to sell you. ... Should she run, and should the series be seen as an asset in broadening her image, it may at least change the way candidates prepare for campaigns in the future. Why pay to make the image ads if someone else will pay you to make them?"
- Basically, This Marks the End Times, Lewis Black raved on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. "It’s The Learning Channel. That’s another one, you know. It’s another kind of — how on the learning — not the learning — it can’t be the learning — it The Learning Channel can’t in all good conscience put that on and call themselves The Learning Channel. ... The whole concept of her doing the reality show is more than — and then to hear them talk about her as a possible candidate for president is ... you know, in the old days when you’d go to see the tent where the oddities were, the fat lady and the bearded lady. Now it comes to us. It’s now a 24-hour news cycle."