Sunday, September 20, 2009

Palin's Social Media Circus

It's truly amazing that, for as self-important as the media is, that it still imagines that it's somehow an outside spectators looking in, with no real impact on what they're describing.  It's as if a spectator at a golf tournament was oblivious to the effect his airhorn was having on the golfers and couldn't figure out why they were doing so poorly or why everyone was glaring at them.

Case in point: Politico's article on how amazing it is that Sarah Palin can remain influential while only using social media outlets like Facebook to spread her message.  For example, Palin's Facebook entry on "death panels" was widely read and influenced the debate on healthcare.  But of course, most people didn't read about this on Facebook.  No, there was some other source I remember getting that from.  What could it be?  Hmm, let me think. 

Oh yeah, I read it in the mainstream media.  That's where.  As it turns out, the media loves everything Palin says and will repeat it endlessly until she says something else.  That's not to say that they're supporters of hers or anything, as I don't think these people have enough interest in politics to even support a superficial ninny like Palin.  But the media loves a circus and Palin is one of their favorite clowns. 

In What Respect, Charlie?

And throughout the article, there's only one reference to this most obvious fact, and it came from a former Palin staff member, who said:
She loves the unfiltered medium because she can make her statement and not be questioned directly about any nuances.  It speaks to the power of Facebook and social networking in general. Here’s a case where Facebook postings are being picked up by [the Associated Press] and the national media. As politicians—we’re taking note of these media based on how well they’re working for her.
Indeed, I'm sure she loves not being questioned about any nuances. Now, instead of having to explain her insane ramblings, she has a loyal cadre of followers who are perfectly willing to morph anything she says into something almost sensible.  Remember, this is someone who had her lunch eaten by Katie Couric!  It's no wonder the trappings of Facebook are more her style.

And yes, this was the only mention in the entire article that even hinted that the media is the primary force spreading Palin's influence.  Indeed, there were several quotes in the article insisting that she was succeeding in spite of the media; as if she truly had some grassroots popularity which the media had shunned.  But of course, she was a media creation from the get-go, and while they certainly wanted to like her at the beginning, she's actually more popular with them as a target of derision.  Finally, they've got a player on the national scene who has an even more shallow understanding of reality than themselves. 

But all the same, they'll reprint what she says and that's all she's really interested in anyway.  And that includes articles in Politico which express amazement that her social media efforts are succeeding as well as they are, without noting that she'd be a non-entity without articles like the one they just wrote.  Facebook is the only forum lightweight enough for a bozo like Palin, but she'd be nothing if the media ignored her.  And as someone who's always looking for something to blog about, I hope they never do.


Scott P said...

It amazes me as well. Outside of very major events, most of what becomes news does so precisely because the media says it is news. For the majority of the public, the media tells them who is important and what viewpoints are important, regardless of whether or not they really are.

As for Palin, I imagine she'll stay in her cocoon as long as possible. Then at some point she'll build up enough confidence to do an accountable interview, bomb as before, then go back to the echo chamber and complain about how the "Liberal Media" picks on her and wants to repeal her 1st Amendment rights because she can't articulate a cogent thought, or answer at a competant high school level. By then It might be GOP primary season, when those facts won't hurt her, and may actually help her.

Unknown said...

You are a pseudo intellectual. You stand on your post declaring Palin "ninny" yet do not cite ANY of her statements to back up your claim.

Seems that a real "intellectual" would make an argument based on facts instead of innuendo and bigotry. You are nothing more than an elitist.

I share you disdain for the media however.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Scott - I actually think that Levi had it right when he said she was just interested in writing (ghostwriting) a book or getting a talkshow.

She chose social conservative politics as her way of succeeding as she was in Alaska and that was her best option. But I can't imagine that she's dumb enough to think she has any real shot at the presidency. She gave up in Alaska because she realized that politics really wasn't her thing. She's a celebrity now. She no longer needs politics.

The thing to remember about Palin is that she's not very bright, but has great instincts. Had she been in a corporate setting, she would have sharked her way to a high spot in that; to the detriment of the company.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Maria - You'd have a point if the purpose of this post was to argue that Palin was a ninny. But it wasn't. The purpose of this post was to highlight the media's inability to understand how they influence our discussion, as witnessed by a media report which suggested that Palin's influence is due to her posts in Facebook; rather than media articles like the one in question.

As for the suggestion that Palin is a ninny, that's a generally accepted opinion around these parts and didn't require elaboration. But for the record, I did mock her "In what respect, Charlie" remark, in which she exposed her ignorance of the existence of a Bush Doctrine. More evidence was in my mention of her "death panels" claim, which as I've pointed out here and here (as well as other posts) that even conservatives weren't actually willing to back up that crazy claim. And as more evidence of Palin's ninnihood, I submit to you the fact that she won't even do interviews with conservative journalists or talkshow hosts, but instead, limits herself to posts on Facebook; a forum I find so lowly that even I have been known to use it.

But again, my point here wasn't to argue that Palin was stupid, as my readers already know it to be true. But hey, if you like, feel free to highlight all the genius things she's said and we can have this discussion.

Here's my opening salvo in this debate:
A Few of My Favorite Palins