Palin Warms to 'Lamestream Media'

2012 contender stops giving them the silent treatment

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The abusive, co-dependent relationship between Sarah Palin and the press is heating up. Palin, perhaps with her eyes on 2012, has decided to end her "the lamestream media" the cold shoulder. The critical  news coverage of Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign led her to adopt a strategy of communicate with fans only through Facebook, Twitter, and friendly chats on Fox News. But now Palin is apparently buying into Washington conventional wisdom that engaging with the press will earn favorable treatment from reporters. So far, it may be working: media outlets like the New York Times and Time magazine appear to be rewarding her with "flattering" coverage, Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel reports. Don't think media observers haven't noticed all this, though:

  • She's Reaching Out to Independents, Christian Heinze writes at GOP12. "Recently, Palin's been stepping a little out of her Mark Levin/Sean Hannity box, and the Roberts interview is another sign she's thinking about trying to reach indies that have, so far, rejected her. Winning their favor right now matters, because even though indies don't (usually) vote in GOP primaries, Palin has to start selling Republicans on her electability."
  • Course Correction, Politico's Ben Smith notes. "Sarah Palin may be history's purest social media politician, communicating primarily through Facebook and Twitter. That direct communication to supporters has had two effects: To deepen her support and to narrow it." Cozying up to the press is a way to fix that.
  • Palin's Just Trying to Do Good Work  "I don't think Sarah Palin went to Haiti to boost her foreign-policy creds. I think she went there to highlight charitable work being done there," The National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez argues. "And I don't think there’s necessarily a broader strategy involved as she does some ABC. She's got a book out, a good one, which highlights some good things. ... She'd like to sell some more copies. I can't imagine Good Morning America is an entirely hostile audience. And so there she is."
  • Does She Have an 'Understanding' With ABC News? Katrina Trinko wonders, though, at The National Review. "This month, in addition to the interviews, she has given the network two exclusive statements--her decision not to run for RNC chair, and her report that her website had been targeted by WikiLeaks supporters."
  • An Unholy Alliance  Criticism in the... media is to her what blood is to a vampire: a life giving sustenance that ultimately may well destroy the source," The Guardian's Hadley Freeman writes.
Palin is a master of that school of politics known as turnthatfrownupsidedownology. This is when skilled practitioners take what would generally be seen as a negative and whip it up into a positive, and it's a skill she brought to new heights, or depths, of perfection this year. Thus, criticism of her in the press is proof that she is the lone outsider, one of the common folk, the speaker of truth, pilloried by a corrupt press intent on keeping the elite in power, never mind that with her estimated annual earnings at $12m (£8m) at least, she has about as much to do with common folk as Julia Roberts.
  • But Still Pissed About that Katie Couric Interview, Politico's Keach Hagey notes. Palin told Barbara Walters that she hasn't gotten over Couric's question, "What do you read?" Palin explained:
Because of that one episode, that one episode, that would turn an issue into what it has become over the last two years. I think that's ridiculous... That's one of those things, where that issue ... that I don't read, or that I'm not informed, it's one of those questions where I like to turn that around and ask the reporters, 'Why would it be that there is that perception that I don't read?' ... [It's] something that's been pretty much ginned up by the press.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.