…on Sarah Palin’s rise:
[T]he 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.
And — fingers crossed — fall:
The medium that gave her exposure and heft as a figure representing everyday reality, and ordinary people’s views, finally diminished her fatally. After succumbing to the temptations of a reality-TV series, Palin was exposed as overexposed. The other week, while on Fox News attacking Kathy Griffin, she had all the political heft of some batty lady calling into the phone-in radio show from remote Alaska and braying about things that made sense only in her own head. The presence, the charisma were gone.
Palin arrived as a creature of TV and the medium has eaten her up. Never mind the primaries and U.S. presidential election in 2012. The political obituary can be written now.
I hope so. But television celebrities are also famous for unlikely and unexpected comebacks.