Is Sarah Palin oh, so, 2008 – 2011? Two Republicans who say it like it is (which some conservative Republicans don’t like) suggest she is — and that’s why they believe Fox News’ Roger Ailes didn’t make her an offer she couldn’t refuse to stay at Fox, so she’s leaving.
Someone recently emailed me to ask why bother posting on Sarah Palin at all? Why? Because for a while it seemed as if she was “the future” of the Republican Party. Palin’s suppoters and fans see her as someone with charisma, who knows how to bluntly talk, a kind of combination Republican Harry Truman, combined with a little bit of Ronald Reagan, who has great appeal to women. Her non-fans can’t understand why others feel that way and note that she didn’t exactly set the world on fire when she ran with Arizona Senator John McCain in garnishing women voters. To her critics, she isn’t wise but seemingly parrots talk show host and weblog rants.
And now with her departure from Fox News — it’s clear now that they offered her a contract they knew she would ultimately nix. There have been many pieces now written about what it means, but these two segments are perhaps the most perceptive.
First, GOPer David Frum (who is not the biggest fan of conservative talk radio and what it has done to the image of his party) who feels Sarah Palin’s exit is similar to when Fox News parted ways with Glen Beck, who was also perceived by many to be over the top and a detriment to the image of Republicans and conservatives:
And now view MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who contends Palin was edged out because the real “de facto” head of the GOP is Ailes, who is trying to do a course correction for a Republican Party that has gotten an increasingly extreme and striden image that turns off many voters (including some Republicans):
Meanwhile, I sure wish I could get a gig like Palin’s:
Sarah Palin uttered more than 189,000 words over 150 appearances on various FOX broadcasts during her three years as an analyst at the network, or $15.85 per word
With the three-year contract now expired between FOX News and Sarah Palin, there is a wealth of commentary made by the former Alaska Governor and GOP Vice-Presidential nominee to dissect.
Palin, who was paid a reported $1 million per year as a contributor to FOX since mid-January 2010 when FOX announced her signing, may not have made quite the splash her employers had hoped during this three-year period, and would, on occasion go weeks between appearances.
So, did the network get their money’s worth?
A Smart Politics review of the more than 150 FOX broadcasts in which Sarah Palin appeared as a paid commentator from 2010 through 2012 finds that she spoke 189,221 words on air during this span, for an average pay rate of $15.85 per word.
Palin appeared on the network in studio, by satellite, by telephone, or in a pre-taped interview an average of once every 7.2 days during this three-year period, with the vast majority of those coming on two particular programs.
Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren both interviewed Palin 55 times, combining for nearly three-quarters of her appearances on the network over the last 36 months. (Note: the latter total includes interviews by Griff Jenkins and guest host Martha McCallum on Van Susteren’s On the Record program).
Though the number of appearances were equal, Palin spent a bit more time in the 9 pm EST slot, delivering 72,986 words on Hannity compared to 67,987 words while on On The Record with Van Susteren.
Overall, 74.4 percent of the words Palin delivered during her political analysis occurred on these two programs.
That does NOT sound as if
–Fox News got it’s money’s worth…
–Palin was expanding not just her political base but a far larger potential audience with which she could communicate.
It sounds like … a great gig.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.