Palin’s arrival to Fox News a curious move

After conceding the vice presidential ticket, resigning as governor of Alaska and reflecting on her life in Going Rogue, Sarah Palin is back. Just when we thought the firestorm of Palin-centric jokes had been doused with the passing of time, Palin has reclaimed the media’s attention, this time under some very interesting circumstances.

Earlier this week, Fox News officially announced Palin as a regular contributor under a multi-year contract. In a public statement, Palin remarked, “It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news.” But according to a Pew Research poll, Fox News appears to be one of the most ideological news channels, with about 50 percent of the viewership subscribing to the “mostly conservative” camp.

The move surprised many who don’t believe Palin fits the mold of a typical news analyst — she allegedly asked McCain aides what the difference was between North and South Korea. In fact, critics on both sides of the political and ideological spectrum have had their fair share of comments about her new job — with some confident in her abilities to provide refreshing analysis and others discrediting both Fox News and Palin as a match made in stooge heaven.

Yet, in this spotlight, something is indeed different. In adopting this new role, Palin has switched sides to help create the media frenzy that mercilessly devoured her. Now, while she may still be fodder for late-night comedy, she also has a voice of her own, a loaded weapon that is in the position to change the course of how the media presents politics, the economy and Sarah Palin herself.

Though her agenda for 2012 remains opaque, it’s apparent that she is not retreating from the public arena. Rather, recall the circus-esque fashion in which she rose to notoriety, or fame, depending on how you vote.

Magnifying her populist voice as the mouthpiece of a legitimate news source seems to be the logical step for her to maintain the public’s attention and try to gain more respect as a politician. This former Alaskan governor has her ducks, and wolves, in a row.

That is, her influence is something to be reckoned with. Palin’s appearance on Oprah last November yielded the highest viewer ratings since the Osmonds’ appearance in 2007. After the election, Rasmussen Reports indicated that 69 percent of Republican voters believed Palin helped the McCain ticket. Both events occurred while she was still the laughing stock for a big part of American media.

Daily Trojan | Rita Yeung

Now that she’s a member of the media, what does this mean?

She can now hurl her critiques at President Obama from a higher platform, and Fox News and CNN can prolong their bipartisan battle with Palin at the reins.

During her debut interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, she said that liberals are not threatened by her, but rather by the “common sense conservative solutions” she represents.

To a certain extent, she is correct. Washington and the public aren’t used to having a politician who is so openly, shall we say, down-to-earth and who walks such a fine line between respected public figure and joke.

All things considered, it’s still surprising and a bit disconcerting that Fox News hired her.

What insight can she provide that other conservative politicians can’t? To be frank, not much.

If anything, Fox merely perpetuates the controversy of its right-leaning bias, while Palin gets a more opportune platform to vehemently broadcast her ideals in Main street prose.

Regardless of the rationale behind the new hire, one thing is certain. Palin’s influence is apparent and growing. Just as she had gone rogue from the McCain campaign, she has made an unexpected arrival to the news channel.

While it’s unclear as to exactly how many supporter or detractors she will gain from this experience, what is certain is that Palin’s gig at Fox News will ultimately increase her thrust as a public figure.

Nadine Tan is a sophomore majoring in business administration.  Her column “World Rapport” runs Fridays.

10 replies
  1. Christopher Ganiere
    Christopher Ganiere says:

    There is no better way to get informed on a broad variety of topics than to have a paid staff to do the research for you. This is what everyone in Congress has. The last I heard each Representative has a staff budget of $6,000,000. I’m certain that in Alaska her staff was focused on Alaska not world wide or even USA wide issues.

  2. Norma
    Norma says:

    A “curious” move? Are you serious? She is a smash hit and no one can deny it based on the ratings. This is a huge win for FOX, and Sarah Palin. She is like teflon, the more liberals try to smear her, the stronger and more resilient she becomes. As liberals mock her, she just becomes more interesting and relevant, and I have to hear what she has to say. It seems all the attacks have back fired, and actually shown what a fighter Sarah Palin in.

    • Joe
      Joe says:

      Exactly right! She’s a star, and people all over the country are interested in her. Every time a TV show (like Oprah) hosts Sarah Palin, they get record-breaking ratings. FOX benefits, Sarah Palin benefits, and the viewers benefit — both those who love her and those who love to hate her.

  3. Joe
    Joe says:

    The “fair and balanced” moniker is earned partly because their opinion shows ALWAYS invite both conservative and liberal guests to debate the issues. Bill O’Reilly’s show does this especially well. Even though he is often attacked as a “right wing” host, he actually takes a moderate pose and lets guests like Dick Morris or Mary Katherine Ham argue the conservative position against liberals like Juan Williams. Liberals would have no problem finding people to root for on any of FOX News’s opinion programs.

    The problem for liberals is that they don’t do well in debates. They do best in programs where all the voices are liberal, and each issue is discussed for less than 60 seconds, with lots of pictures and video. Once you actually start talking and thinking about issues, conservative positions win out. That’s why talk radio and the most “adult” newspapers lean conservative, while cable news and comedy shows lean liberal.

    • Brendan
      Brendan says:

      Joe, thanks for that fantastic insight. I’m so happy you’ve shared the truth with me that those darn childish liberals do poorly in debates and only discuss issues for 60 seconds, while the big grown-up logical conservatives win because THEY, and only they, have the ability to talk and think. Enlightening.

      Sounds like someone is a future fair and balanced Fox News anchor…

        • Brendan
          Brendan says:

          Really? I need evidence to counter his assertion that “adult” programming is equivalent to “conservative” programming? C’monnn.

  4. Diane
    Diane says:

    Nadine, you make a crucial error in confusing Fox News Channel’s MORE fair and balanced news (which they do in fact provide, based on many other polls and surveys)… to its viewership. The political view of their viewership does not equal the political view they espouse or offer. Surveying their viewers is an asinine way of attempting to analyze their viewpoint.

    That being said, Fox News provides NEWS that is more fair and balanced than the other networks, and they offer OPINION that tends to be more conservative. So what? The other networks are almost overwhelmingly liberal in the opinion they offer, PLUS they taint their news with a lack of objectivity.

    Fox News showed a former vice presidential candidate the respect that her views might be of interest to the public. That’s hardly an outrageous move. Oprah did the same when she booked her.

  5. Maia
    Maia says:

    You shouldn’t use rumors (Korea’s) from people (Schmidt) with an agenda to base your argument. You can state the rumor, but should clarify to the audience that it is a rumor. Said by someone with a track record of lies. . Least ye be cast with the same “biased” insult..

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