Was Palin’s Latest Quit Enough Reason to Write Another Chapter of “Saradise Lost”? – After Watching Broomfield’s “You Betcha!” – Nah
[author's note: My real name is Phil Munger, as most longtime fdl pups already know. I've lived in or near Wasilla since 1983, and have known Sarah Palin since 1990]
The announcements at the end of last week, broken first at Malia Litman’s blog, that Sarah Palin would not be renewing her contract with FOX News, didn’t surprise many. It certainly didn’t surprise me.
It did drive Palin back into the news for a few brief hours, though. She even made it to the top of Twitter for about six hours. It may be the last time she’s able to do that.
Her supporters don’t view it that way. I commented at TBogg’s obligatory post on her latest quit, in response to monoceros4:
She’s gonna run for office again, I predict, with no real intention of winning. It’ll just be about making a lot of noise and (more importantly) collecting all that sweet sweet campaign money.
Her followers are chipping in already:
We should all go to Sarahpac and donate today, in a show of thanks and solidarity!! I’m going right now.
I soooo wish I had some extra money right now!!!
I know, the economy is not the greatest, Obama is blasting us every day, it is after the holidays, etc. Hopefully a lot of people will at least be able to scrounge up a few dollars to make a statement in quality if not in quantity!!
I all but stopped writing about Sarah Palin after October 5, 2011, when Palin announced she would not be a GOP primary candidate for the 2012 presidential race. I’ve got enough to do already, with 2.5 jobs, and with my wife handling more work than that, and sometimes needing my support.
And there’s another thing. Even thinking about what Palin brought me, a lot of my friends, Wasilla – where I live, Alaska, and people outside Alaska through, gives me the creeps.
Even though I no longer feel compelled (until now) to write about Palin, a lot of others do. Basically, they fall into four camps:
Her avid devotees The Zombies.
2). The Palin haters, most of whom still standing represent die-hard Trig Truthers.
3). Unfortunate reporters, assigned the Palin beat at their media outlet.
4). Gossip columnists who still get an uptick in hits when her name is in a headline.
Back to Palin giving me the creeps.
When she first made national news in late August 2008, I was torn between getting the truth out and an inner fear that someone might harm me, my family or one of our pets. Some of the news reports, blog articles and books about Wasilla and Palin that have come out in the succeeding 4.5 years have thoroughly documented that my concern was warranted.
But I got sucked into the phenomenon of close Palin coverage. And I did my job, which was to just plain get the fucking truth out about an incredibly poor VP choice, from a local perspective. After Palin and McCain went down, the important part of the job was truly over, but Palin was such a changed governor, that the ride went on.
When she quit as governor, I was ready to quit the Palin beat too. Unfortunately, she was already riding the rise of the Tea Party and her resonance with the rural, less educated part of the GOP base.
Then, when she made her “blood libel” remarks after the Tucson shootings, most knew she was finished as a national figure. However, she was making a lot of money through SarahPAC, and – let’s face it – she was no more of a clown than any of the other GOP primary candidates in early 2011.
Palin did strike out at some of the local Alaska bloggers who wrote critical articles, and who were interviewed for national media stories:
The first was Linda Kellen Biegel, who had filed an ethics complaint about Palin wearing snowmobile company-provided clothing with their logos, while officiating at an opening ceremony in which her husband participated.
Then she attacked radio commentator and blogger Shannyn Moore, for merely reporting there was speculation Palin was resigning as governor because of a criminal investigation. I had reported the same thing, but Moore was more of a threat, so she was threatened with litigation.
Far worse, Palin’s supporters sought to utterly destroy Anchorage blogger, Jesse Griffin, for his persistent articles questioning the Trig Palin birth narrative.
When I posted a poll at my blog, asking whether the term “saint” or “slut” (the former term got 15%, the latter got 85%) was more applicable to Palin, a Palin Zombie blog recommended following me, posting my address, calling my employer to complain (all of which had happened to Griffin).
Three weeks later, my Outback’s engine seized up, having been drained of the oil I had checked and topped off 280 miles earlier. It took me a while to figure out how it had been done. Had to get a new engine.
I now lock my cars. And we constantly check our oil.
As irrelevant as Palin should always have been outside Alaska, there must be some lessons to be learned here. The summations in Geoffrey Dunn’s The Lies of Sarah Palin, Joe McGinniss’ The Rogue and other critical works on Palin’s rise and stumbling only go so far, as she was still a “player.”
Dunn’s book was dignified.
McGinniss’ was hilarious.
Nick Broomfield’s film on Palin, for British media, You Betcha! made me throw up.
His film may be the last major attempt to portray Palin’s Wasilla background that gets major play. It has been available for months, and segments on youtube for weeks. I’d been avoiding it, as I knew it would be creepy, and suspected I’d be in it. I am (beginning at 31:36). I truly did not want to immerse myself back into this for 90 minutes, but given the coverage of Palin’s fallout with FOX, and its significance, I had to watch it.
It is creepier than I imagined it would be. It should be. The cheap, Twin Peaks music is actually appropriate. Watching it, and hearing people I’ve known for years express their fear of Palin’s hold over her advocates didn’t just give me the willies.
About 15 minutes into the film, I went out into the two feet of snow behind my boat.
Again and again.
Until all the bile having had to think about her for the past three days had brought was purged.
Thank God it is far from my garden, far from my well.
I covered it up, so my dog won’t find it before the ravens do.
You Betcha! – by Nick Broomfield: