Going Oprah: Sarah Palin Gives Up
Sarah Palin has officially given up on her political career. Launching The Sarah Palin Channel, the former Alaskan Governor has apparently decided to follow in Oprah's footsteps and impact the voters where it counts: paid Internet TV. Palin isn't the first conservative to move into the media subscription fray (Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh both beat her to it) and, thank God, unlike Kim Kardashian she isn't establishing her solo career on a sex tape. But, at the very moment when Obama's presidency is taking a nosedive off of the cliff of no return, do conservatives really need just another pretty face?
In truth, the blame for Palin's turn from politics to niche media darling should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton managed to make it to Secretary of State despite being the Liberal's whipping post. In hindsight it would seem that the Republican establishment only "allowed" Palin to come on the scene so they could make it clear to the public that RINOs and conservatives are two very different animals, indeed. In a sense their strategy backfired; Palin became the face of the Tea Party movement and, for a while anyway, appeared to be one of the few female Republican politicians with serious career potential.
Now, it appears as if she's squandering her fame on a mixture of political rants and human interest. Her premiere video was a late-in-the-game demand to impeach Obama. As if that would matter, anyway, RINOs chide. Impeachment means nothing, just ask Bill Clinton. To Palin, impeachment would mean something if Americans knew exactly what it was, just like America would mean something if we saw it the way Sarah did, a concept at the core of her programming. Picking up where TLC's Sarah Palin's Alaska left off, the Sarah Palin Channel will feature videos of the Palin family enjoying the bounties of the Alaskan wilderness. It was charming for a season, but really, is anyone going to pay ten bucks a month to watch even more reality TV?
Ronald Reagan transitioned from actor to politician. Today, those who admire him the most are leaving politics for the media spotlight. Palin and her counterparts hook their audience with equal parts nostalgia and outrage. Whether they're looking to fuel grassroots political activism or line their own coffers is up for serious debate. In the end, they wind up becoming a series of Oprahs, creating armchair revolutionaries with no real power beyond walking into a voting booth. The right wing doesn't need another pretty face, it needs women in places of real political power. By creating her Internet TV channel, Sarah Palin gave the RINOs exactly what they wanted: Another conservative woman barefoot with children behind a television screen.