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Sarah Palin plays the media like a violin: Her turn now

Sarah palin one nation Bus As Seen From the Rear 5-31-11

Sarah Palin, with her counterintuitive secret publicity bus tour, is demonstrating one of the most important rules of American politics:

There is nothing the U.S. media wants more than something it thinks it can't have. Hence the power of news leaks that manipulate the thrust of their initial presentation. Hard-to-get is a rigid rule of human behavior. Ask any teenage boy or girl.

And there are few things more sweet to Palin and her fervent supporters cheering their TV sets this week than the image of a hungry know-it-all "lamestream media" caravan of 15 or more vehicles traipsing along behind her red-white-and-blue bus enroute to they-know-not-where to do they-know-not-what.

To make it worse, each one of the frustrated, confused chasers knows that Fox News' Greta Van Susteren is....

...riding along with the not-yet-and-possibly-never Republican presidential candidate, filing exclusive conversations for her audience to gobble up that only enhance Palin's already million-dollar value to FNC. Can you hear the teeth grinding? While Palin smiles and waves away?

The day's best line came from a CBS News producer who tried to claim that the lack of information from Palin's lumbering bus was endangering the dozen competing media vehicles trailing behind, uninvited.

As Michelle Malkin puts it so succinctly here, "The boys behind the bus."

Speaking of CBS, Katie Couric's unemployed now. And forget that front porch in Alaska. Sarah Palin can see revenge from her rear window.

Not that such a thing would ever cross the mind of the 2008 vice presidential candidate whose instant popularity and inexperienced gaffes invited so much media mocking and political hostility back when she needed those people to get out John McCain's campaign message.

Polls schmolls. The tables are turned now. And it's the best political entertainment of the campaign so far.

The media on campaigns is accustomed to being courted, even catered to with assigned airplane seats, meals, transportation to events, seats waiting, transcripts, the upcoming advance schedule, self-serving secrets confided.

But now they want/need Palin more than vice versa. They know the ratings when she's on. And they know bosses love ratings. So, they follow along in the exhaust.

"I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media," Palin said on Fox. "I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way it’s always been done with the media, in terms of relationships with them.”

And if this bus junket sucks some or all of the oxygen out of Mitt Romney's big announcement Thursday, so be it.

It's Joe Biden's turn to be in Europe this week (Italy through Saturday to celebrate 150 years of unification). So President Obama will have to meet with the Republicans on this debt ceiling silliness that they want tied to significant budget cuts.

Forget petty Palin vengeance. This strategy fits the independent woman-of-the-people optics Palin wants now, much as she's relied for months on Facebook and Twitter to spoonfeed the public and media exactly and only what she wants out there. Talk of "true change." Restoring America, not transforming it.

Whether Palin runs for office again or not, she is a brand. If she can help shape the summer's GOP discussion agenda in a so-farSarah palin in the rolling thunder veterans motorcycle parade 5-29-11 bland field of folks simply by being and occasionally speaking out, why bother with the crap that comes with official campaigning?

Who knows what lightning might strike come August? And if not, who will she endorse among Republicans? She could be an influential king -- or queen -- maker. At worst, she's more famous and controversial for TV and the next book.

Tuesday, as our astute buddy Tony Pierce wrote here, Palin announced that she was in favor of ending all energy subsidies, including ethanol. So the afternoon's discussion topic was her, even though Tim Pawlenty said the same thing about ethanol last week to little notice. And Tuesday many who dislike Palin were saying, well, you know, I kinda agree with her there.

This unorthodox, to say the least, strategy also fits Palin's go-with-her-gut political M.O. Who'd have thought going in that a Wasilla city councilwoman would become mayor? Or make such a stir on the oil and gas commission? Or challenge an entrenched aged state Republican establishment and its incumbent governor? And actually win that primary?

And then in the general, defeat a better-known Democrat trying to return to the governor's office? And remember too when Palin's surprise gubernatorial resignation halfway through the first term terminated, according to the media, any chance that she'd have any role in American politics ever again?

Judging by the attempted coverage of her not-so-secret "One Nation" bus tour this week by the same media, apparently not.

Related:

Donald Trump and Sarah Palin have a pizza summit in New York

And here's video of their encounter:

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Jeff Fusco / Getty Images (Palin's bus as seen from the rear); Matt Rourke / Associated Press (Palin and daughter Piper talk with tourists at the Liberty Bell Tuesday); Reuters (Palin in the Rolling Thunder veterans parade, May 29).

 
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Liberals who just read this artical set to self-destruct in six, five, four, three, two, one......

Andrew, great article! Not only is Sarah driving the LSM mad, but judging from the comments here, she is also driving the rest of the Libtards crazy as well! 2012 can't come soon enough and Palin is the one to beat Obama...

Spot on. Other than a brief "deer in the headlights" moment when she was first thrust into the national spotlight, Sarah Palin has exhibited superior political instincts at every stage of her unquestionably unconventional rise to national prominence. The timing of her latest salvo is impeccable. Just as people started to notice the lackluster nature of the Republican field, "Bam!" here comes "Palin of Wasilla" and all of the sudden, nobody wants to talk about anything else.

Refocusing America on our founding principles and history is a perfect way to establish the foundation of a campaign that has as its aim the "restoration" of the same. Next up, a feature-length documentary premiering in the first primary states, then nationally "at a theater near you", that will spotlight Palin's actual, impressive record, as opposed to the caricature that has been constructed of her. If it's a hit, then it's "game on" for sure.

In the famous words of Oprah speaking about another "nontraditional" candidate who took the country by storm: "Brilliant!"

anOPINIONATEDsob opined: “. . . . the other couldn't put OJ away with a courtroom full of evidence.”

What did van Susteren have to do with the O.J. Simpson trial, except commenting on it? As I recall, she in fact believed him innocent, or at least that he would be acquitted.

So how is Palin responsible for the actions of a bunch of rabid reporters scurrying around trying to get a hasty photo or a selective sound bite? They complain of being treated like paparazzi when that is exactly the way they are acting! The reporters are responsible for their own actions and their own safety. They're grownups (well, sort of) with driver's licenses. If they get in a wreck because they're too busy watching the star-spangled bus and not what's going on around them, it's their own fault.

The other rabid bunch are the ones who froth at the mouth at the mere mention of Palin's name (both reporters and readers). Rational thought goes out the window, and they spew, regurgitate and believe every vicious lie and rumor. I haven't decided if it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen, or one of the saddest. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is changing the way politics is done in this country, and that's a good thing.

loved Malcom's piece on Sarah Palin today June 1.... "Elite" media types are almost as low a defense lawyers, in my opinion..maybe equal.. So its great that they are"put out" by Palin because she doesnt treat them like the "stars" they think they are (which they are not )..Let them breathe the exhaust fumes behind her bus..Go get em Sarah..I dont think she will run for the presidency but will have a strong effect on those who do and make a fortune doing so....The American dream comes true for this feisty Alaskan gal..

....and yes, I spelled "article" incorrectly just to throw the poor liberal fools a bone by giving them some sense of purpose. Geez, can it get any easier to irritate these folks...ha, ha, ha:)

I find the whole thing rather amusing. A "candidate" who likely will not run, being chased by a whiny bunch of liberal "journalists" who are losing audience share by the day. They don't like her, yet have to follow her while she snubs them. Oh, and of course, she will be at fault if anything happens to one of the prima-donnas while cruising the highways because she won't give them a schedule. Remember when reporters had to work for a story? The comments are pretty hilarious too, how she's stupid, arrogant and (gasp!) getting rich. That's your opinion, but she is leading the media around by the hook in their nose and driving the left crazy. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch!

Gov. Sarah Palin was born in the United States and has a real birth certificate and is a Christian. How about BHO? He lacks any integrity and as the same as his supporters. Gov. Sarah Palin is not a member of the Fabian eleite.

bb

Hmmmm, whodathunkit 44 years ago today that the US, would begin a revival of conservative thought?

See, Einstein opined once that doing the same thing over and over again was a sign of insanity. I would also say that Einstein never envisaged California doing this. But they HAVE. So, we now have California enacting more and more taxing measures to pay for more and more government entitlement, mainly those working for government, yet we see the same thing again repeating itself.

Palin, the dark horse of the apocalypse in the eyes of the leftists always seems to skirt the vitriol those leftists engender. She seems to always skirt that attack unless they use the propaganda (SNL) or the ever prevalent editing of video (Couric) to foment their narrative.

The people (taxpayers) have had enough of control. The people have had enough of the taxation without representation. The people have had ENOUGH.

Does Sarah Palin see this and does Sarah Palin know that we have had enough? THAT sir is the question. Are we allowed to own property? Are we allowed to own our own labor? That be the question. That be the answer.

Do we institute Bell California in the US or do we allow FREEDOM envisioned by our founders?

By the way, how goes that being a dog working out for the MSM? Chasing a bus is sooooooo hilarious!

Hmmmm, whodathunkit 44 years ago today that the US, would begin a revival of conservative thought?

See, Einstein opined once that doing the same thing over and over again was a sign of insanity. I would also say that Einstein never envisaged California doing this. But they HAVE. So, we now have California enacting more and more taxing measures to pay for more and more government entitlement, mainly those working for government, yet we see the same thing again repeating itself.

Palin, the dark horse of the apocalypse in the eyes of the leftists always seems to skirt the vitriol those leftists engender. She seems to always skirt that attack unless they use the propaganda (SNL) or the ever prevalent editing of video (Couric) to foment their narrative.

The people (taxpayers) have had enough of control. The people have had enough of the taxation without representation. The people have had ENOUGH.

Does Sarah Palin see this and does Sarah Palin know that we have had enough? THAT sir is the question. Are we allowed to own property? Are we allowed to own our own labor? That be the question. That be the answer.

Do we institute Bell California in the US or do we allow FREEDOM envisioned by our founders?

By the way, how goes that being a dog working out for the MSM? Chasing a bus is sooooooo hilarious!

Somebody call the Whambulance! All the Anti-Palinistas are out in force. Bunch of state nothings.

To Donna H - When did Kathy Gifford get shot? Such a responsible comment from you about people who haven't been shot. Get your facts straight please.

9:40 am Wed. June 1st, on The Daily Rundown MSNBC Chuck discussed "The Starving Planet" the global food shortage. One thing discussed is how the production of Ethanol from food staples is contributing to the shortage.

Palin's not only right about this, but Middle America will soon begin to see how right. The corn used is feed corn, but the fields used to plant the feed corn were the ones that once planted the food corn. The feed corn used for ethanol is taking away from the livestock and raising the price of meat in the grocery store. That $20 steak, may soon cost $50.Can you blame a farmer when they get paid for planting feed corn. It's kinda like the Tobacco farmers that got paid to grow tobacco that poisoned the lungs of millions of men, women and youth.

It's time we stop the craziness, if we had began drilling 2 years ago we would have had an increase in American oil production now.

We need to look to new technologies that will give us green energy, but not one that will help cause a global food shortage. The Spanish have a new process that converts algee & carbon dioxide into oil.

The hate Sarah Palin bigots are out in force again. The peculiar thing about their hatred is that most of these haters truly do not know why they hate her so much except that like the sheep that they are, they are following the mainstream media's lead on this. Looking and listening to them from a safe distance I can see that they tread against her wearing major blinders. Relying exclusively on the erroneous media reports. From the moment that Sarah Palin was unvieled at the RNC national convention in 2008, the media singled her out as public enemy number one. Why? That is an easy question to answer. The media had already annointed Obama as the next Muslim-in-Chief and the one picture they most feared was her standing there holding her beautiful down-syndrome baby in her arms. That spoke volumes of her moral courage and the subsequent attack on her by the media spoke volumes of their moral bankruptcy. The real sad thing is that it also speaks volumes of the moral bankruptcy of the sheep that still attack her now. At the core of this hatred is that Sarah Palin did not do what most liberals in the media and everywhere would have done and that is to have killed her down-syndrome baby in the womb. The media and these haters have aligned themselves with JUDAS.

Good article, but the last line loses the thread thematically; something like "apparently, no one would have thought it" would have worked a little better (as opposed to "apparently not", which has no context and doesn't answer any of the questions posed).

I would not vote for Palin...nope, no way...not ever. I also did not, and would never vote for Obama. I not party-specific when it comes to a candidate, but prefer a conservative.

What utterly fascinates me is how the media and liberal pundits are so vile and place so much emphasis on Palin. She's not a very popular contender, polls don't really show her as a favorite. I appreciate what she says, in general, as a private citizen...but I would not take her seriously if she ran for office of any kind.

Despite her low numbers and general disinterest when it comes to taking her seriously, why is the left so focused on her? Is it fear? Is it awe? Is it pure contempt?

anOPINIONATEDsob,

The very fact that you would try to categorize a group of people that make up roughly half of the American populace shows that you are indeed opinionated, as your screen name implies. However, you are not thinking much about what you are saying. Apparently, you are guilty of the very things that you accuse your political opponents of doing.

Certainly there are some dumb, robotic people in both parties. Certainly there re some bright and thoughtful people in both parties. Just because somebody disagrees with your politics does not make them stupid. It is exactly that type of shallow thinking and rhetoric that has caused so much miscalculation on both sides of the political spectrum.

A person who is presidential needs to drive the motorcycle.

"Inexperienced Gaffes?"-What experience did Obama have before coming into office? How blind do you have to be NOT to see the bias of the LA Times?

It's not like you news hacks in the mainstream media give Right political types a fair shake anyway...you and your dying rag have become a mockery of yourselves and the world can see that now. Congratulations!

Dollars-to-donuts Van Susteren has a higher IQ than anOPINIONATEDsob.

Hey, Sarah Palin is dumb and irrelevant, right? So, why bother chasing around this irrelevant idiot? Why waste your time? hmmmmmmmmm

Sarah! Sarah! Storms are brewin' in your eyes... Sarah! Sarah! No time is a good time for good-bye... go Sarah!

Sara by Starship

What happened, you hack journies labeled her as "irrelevant" less than two years ago...why all the fuss?

She who laughs last laughs the hardest.

The media is freaking out. They are being asked to work for a living.

Donna H, you are an absolute nut case!! What an idiotic statement to make! She didn't ask the media to follow her, they just are. they are the ones that try to make her and anyone else look like a fool so why should she care if she tells them her agenda.
You are probably of the "entitlement" mindset, get a clue. That's like saying Brad Pitt is responsible if a paparazzi crashes while chasing him down while he's driving to make a movie!! Brainless!!

I "love" all the critics of Sarah Palin and of this article in the opinions. Funny how she should be in the entertainment section, she's not the brightest, irrisponsible, egotistical, won't bring leadership, etc...., BUT, you found the time and had the interest to read the article.

I love what Sarah does to the libs. Many Panties in a bunch.

Sarah, please keep up the good work. Even if you don't run, you keep our patriotic spirits flowing.

This is just too much fun to watch the media spinning around in circles like this. What a bunch of doofuses. Go Sarah Go.

Well let's see, I can have a anti-white hating president, or a old guard repulbican who will lie just to get in office, or I can finally have a real life person, who was not raised with a silver spoon in her mouth. A person who had to work up way up the ladder. Someone who knows what it is like to work to make the rent or the car insurance. Yes,---Sarah will get my vote and my family's vote as well.

We love you Sarah.

Great article (not hateful at all, @ Joe 1:49 am)! The reason the Left and others hate Palin so much is that she won't shrink into nothingness, hasn't had to be committed to an institution or tried to commit suicide, no matter how much they've tried to destroy her. Au contraire - she keeps coming back, seeming none the worse for wear. Stronger and stronger, in fact.

And the media looks and sounds ridiculouser and ridiculouser.

I just love it! Sarah Palin has out-smarted the media! Will she run?...I don't know. I do know she is helping shape the political landscape like no other single person. I know she is still a rising star and Katie Couric's star has fallen! I know she is a lot smarter and had a lot more experience at the time of the last election than the "not so bright" Barack Obama. I know she is not embarrassing our country like our current President Obama is, and I know she knows the are 50 states in the United States, not 57 as Barack Obama stated! Go Palin 2012!

I don't even want Sarah to run, but she is leaving the MSM lamestream snarks in her metaphorical dust. Sort of like the snakes following St. Patrick to their doom.

" This strategy fits the independent woman-of-the-people optics Palin wants now, much as she's relied for months on Facebook and Twitter to spoonfeed the public and media exactly and only what she wants out there."

LOL! You mean as opposed to letting the Establishment media control the message and spoonfeed the public exactly what they want them to hear, or the Establishment media working hand-in-glove with the Obama Admin to prop him up, Palin is trying to control her own messaging? How DARE she, eh?

So far she's using the Nixon campaign playbook like a pro. Nixon in '66 wasn't campaigning either but OH wait! He was! The guy practiced politics like it was ju-jitsu. Can't wait to see Palin's Southern Strategy ;P The frightening thing is that every time folks mock or underestimate such a non-candidate as this (cf. Nixon, Reagan, a certain Austrian that can't run for President), they almost invariable win the hearts and minds of the great Nation by appealing almost solely to base emotions, primitive fears, and seek to divide while maintaining all the while that they are trying to unite. I've no doubt this nation will get exactly what it deserves come 2012... Folks, Red Staters, People of Wa*Mart, 24-hour Tea Party People if this is really what you want... have at it.

This article is exactly right and I for one and happy to see it. I thought Palin was so insignificant, yet the news hounds and her detractors can't get enough of her. Look at the hate comments here, yet here they are, looking for the slightest bit of news about this woman, even if it's a story about the press having a hissy for no news. I LOVE IT!

I just LOVE watching liberal apoplexy every time Sarah Palin rolls past waving and smiling.

Squirm Baby Squirm!

Go Sarah, Go! She has the strength to take on the Obama Chicago machine and put America back in sound financial order. She believes in America, she'd never bow and apologize for us or give 20 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. She'd say nope, then explain that our money needs to be spent wisely, not on our enemies. She'd be a friend to Israel and England.

She's the anti-Obama!

anOPINIONATEDsob

Just so you know....Greta was a commentator on the OJ trial, not a prosecutor. Your assessment of Sarah is equally wrong. Facts are interesting....try one.

I love it. I doubt that I would ever vote for her (though I would vote for my dog before the super-genius savior of all mankind)

But Palin OWNS the media. She took her lumps and learned her lesson. Now these bumbling journalist morons, follow her around almost more than the lapdog obama.

I can't think of anything that gives me more pleasure in today's world of socialist/marxist/liberal takeover/makeover than Sarah Palin's existence. Watching the liberals torture themselves over her is truly astounding

If you put a checkbook in the middle of the room and you had to pick between Barrack Hussein Obama, or Sarah Palin to balance that checkbook, WHO would you choose?

Obama, the never worked a day in his life Community Agitator, or Sarah Palin the Patriot.

Sarah driving the leftwing media nuts. How great is this !

I don't think she will run for president, but she will control a lot of the discussions through out the campaign. I give this lady a lot of credit for what she is accomplishing for the conservative movement in this run up to the 2012 election. Sarah will continue to have a say in the direction of American Politics far into the future.

She owes the bottom feeder snakes in the media nothing nothing they will just lie about her............,.,..

I don't belong to either party, but I find this entire situation humorous. I watched the last election very carefully. While the current POTUS received a pass on about everything...including the "change" he constantly spoke about, the other side was "ripped" unmercifully in the press. I think that Sarah has the press right by the cohones, and is playing with them. How unfortunate that this situation has dominated the press! Sarah is getting revenge of some sort and the press is playing right into her hands. So, how does it feel?

You know, what about covering things like the deficit? How about the Congressional "out of control" spending? How about the executive orders that have been signed to prevent the USA from developing it's own natural resources like oil and natural gas? What about the continued corruption by those in congress to give the taxpayers money away to third world countried...by both sides of the isle? I could think of more important things to cover than this...

I love to see all the haters out there. The only issues you have with Palin is that she is capable of turning this election on its head. She has nothing to loose, so she runs with the truth and American inspiration. Every politician is scared of her and should be. Barry has proven himself worthless and full of empty promises. He does not even like the country he is President of, that is why he wants to change it. As far as I am concerned he is an enemy of his own nation. This is going to be a long bus tour until the next election. It will be a hoot watching and listening to the leftist media trail all over Gods green earth! Hope they have plenty of gas money cause Obummer likes it that way!

In an era when you can attain a fan base by uploading a video of yourself dropping your pants on YouTube, making fame even more meaningless than it ever was, this shameless self-promoter's antics are actually kind of sad. Even sadder is that anyone is actually paying attention.

Anybody who genuinely believes that Sarah Palin stands for anything other than Sarah Palin is as delusional as she is.

She plays the press like a violin...with a billion dollars, Obama owns it outright.

If the trailing media cause accidents it's their own fault. Another lefty trait: lack of personal responsibility and ability to motivate ones self to provide for themselves and their family. The lefties need somebody to give them handouts! 99 weeks of unemployment are simply not enough. Palin, keep doing what you are doing, cause the lefties are lost right now, Obummer can get a vote in the Senate, and the Progressives do not know how to present a budget without exposing their true intention of bankrupting this country. Obummers campaign slogan will be: Do as I say, Not as I do!

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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