Television Killed The Tea Party Star? The Demise Of Sarah Palin

Despite news that Julianne Moore will be playing her in a film about the 2008 election, apparently Sarah Palin isn’t as popular as she once was with America’s right-wing in recent weeks, which is a shame… because, you know, she’s such a nice lady.

Roy Greenslade of The Guardian told of how a Washington Post/ABC News poll a week ago found that her approval ratings among Republicans had plunged since they were previously measured last October. “The numbers of Republicans who are ‘strongly unfavourable’ towards her have risen dramatically, prompting commentators to write of her presidential bid ‘imploding.'” he explained.

And John Doyle, a TV reviewer at Canada’s Globe and Mail has come up with an interesting theory to explain how the gun-toting Tea Party figurehead lost the popular support that saw her nominated as John McCain’s running mate in the last Presidential election.


“It was television that destroyed Sarah Palin, just as it made her… The arrival of Palin as a major political figure in 2008 was an emanation of the reality-TV culture, anchored in the belief that ordinary or ‘everyday’ people, inarticulate though they may be, and with all the baggage of messy personal lives, are truly compelling public figures.

Palin was the political equivalent. A figure who refracts national identity as it is shaped by the culture’s most powerful medium. Authentic, populist and dismissive of sophistication in thought and action.

Then, television duly destroyed the Palin authenticity. The arc of her national political career began with a defining speech at the Republican National Convention in September, 2008, and ended in November 2010, a few episodes into Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

The show, a cringingly inevitable reality-TV series, gave her a huge platform and she blew it. If her exposure on TV in 2008 brought out the authenticity, the show brought out Palin’s inner princess.

Showing her access to riches undermined her claim to be an average mother with an average family. Television is not kind to blatant hubris and hypocrisy and the series amounted to an epic failure to enhance Palin’s status as the genuine voice of authentic America.

Never mind the primaries and US presidential election in 2012. The political obituary can be written now.”