Sarah Palin likes to insinuate that she is like Ronald Reagan, and her fans like to compare her with Reagan. Well, what about the TV shows? Reagan hosted "General Electric Theater" and "Death Valley Days;" Sarah Palin is the host of "Sarah Palin's Alaska." How are these shows different?
Ronald Reagan became the host of "General Electric Theater" in 1953. The show made the already well-known Reagan, who had appeared in many films as a "second lead" throughout his career, wealthy, due to his part ownership of the show. After eight years as host, Reagan estimated he had visited 135 GE research and manufacturing facilities, and met over a quarter-million people. During that time he would also speak at other forums such as Rotary clubs and Moose lodges, presenting views on economic progress that in form and content were often similar to what he said in introductions, segues and closing comments on the show as a spokesman for GE. Reagan, who would later be known as "The Great Communicator" due to his oratorical prowess, often credited these engagements as helping him develop his public speaking abilities. [emphasis added]
Got that? Reagan did "introductions, segues and closing comments" for the show. He was the emcee, not the star of the show. He was off-camera and off-mic most of the time. The show was about the play, not about Ronald Reagan. Not only that, but Reagan credits his experience with improving his public speaking abilities. Did he say, "geez" and "flippin'" on the show, like Sarah Palin does on her show? No way! How would that have improved his public speaking abilities? Did Reagan use the program to showcase his family and lifestyle? Again, No!
And what about "Death Valley Days," which Reagan hosted from 1965 until he entered politics? He was the show's host and did much the same as he did on "General Electric Theater."
Try to see an episode of all three shows: "General Electric Theater," "Death Valley Days," and "Sarah Palin's Alaska," then explain how Sarah Palin is like Ronald Reagan.
Perhaps the reason for the ratings collapse of Palin's show is that the show should have been more about Alaska than about Sarah Palin.
Note: The second paragraph's description of Reagan's experience on "General Electric Theater" is taken from Wikipedia, here. Wikipedia's description of "Death Valley Days" can be read here. The post's photo comes from Wikipedia's entry for "General Electric Theater."
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