Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can 'documentary' films about Sarah Palin succeed?

When I first read about the Sarah Palin film "The Undefeated," I didn't think it could be successful, because I thought, "Who goes to a theatre and pays to see a documentary?" Aren't they all so boring that they eventually end up on TV? This morning there is an article at New York magazine about the two -- two! including Nick Broomfield's new, untitled film, which is an alternative to "The Undefeated" -- Palin documentaries, and it hints at how they could be successful. The article is by Claude Brodesser-akner, who writes about film for the magazine. Everyone may find the article incendiary in some way, even Madonna's fans, no matter which part of the political spectrum they inhabit:
... In the media, Palin is under constant (self-encouraged) scrutiny, as a magnet for both adulation and vilification. But when these docs come out, will anyone who either loves or hates her pay for the privilege of having their preconceptions reconfirmed? ...

... To be fair, docs are always a notoriously tricky niche in which to seek success, regardless of subject, and only a dozen have ever even grossed more than $13 million. (Four in this group came from lefty firebrand Michael Moore. The rest mostly star animals like penguins, lions, and Madonna.) And when it opens on July 15, The Undefeated will face another handicap: The audiences for documentaries are generally liberal, says Rocky Mountain Pictures principal Ron Rodgers, who released the 2008 pro-intelligent design documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (with star Ben Stein). "It's hard to keep the attention of the faith-based audience," says Rodgers. "Even with a faith-based message, they don’t like documentaries. [Expelled] performed poorly throughout the whole southeast - the whole Bible Belt was quite soft with it.”

Interestingly enough, Expelled did go on to gross $7.7 million, but it was thanks to Democratic ticket-buyers who were driven by curiosity, either intellectual or perverse. (There are those on the left who enjoy the act of getting apoplectic listening to opposing viewpoints: by screaming at Rush Limbaugh on their car radios, for example.) When Rocky Mountain gave its film a wide release, it had great - and unexpected - success in such liberal hubs as San Francisco's Embarcadero theater. ...

... Those behind Broomfield's untitled film are just as confident that their doc won't cross party lines in the other direction. First, there's the previously cited opinion that docs don't play as well in red states; but more specifically, Broomfield's spokesman Bright says that the film will turn off right wingers “because it’s the truth.” Zing!

Ultimately, how it does depends on what kind of story Broomfield tells. “The films themselves have to work as movies,” insists John Lesher, the former head of Paramount Vantage, which distributed An Inconvenient Truth. “Al Gore’s story is as much a story of his personal redemption as it a story about the issue of the climate crisis.” Ninety minutes of people pointing out various ways that Sarah Palin is evil may be cathartic for haters, but not necessarily anything they want to pay for. With Expelled, there was a curiosity factor, because while intelligent design is a term that's thrown around quite a bit, it's not explored in great detail on the news every day. But Palin is stubbornly omnipresent, and those who despise her know exactly why they do. (And getting mad at Fox News is free.) As one distribution chief says, “I root for their success — I want every movie to do well - but I think any [Palin] documentary’s prospects are cold — not cool, cold.” ...
I suppose a Palin documentary can be successful, if its budget is small.

New York magazine's post is "Sarah Palin Documentaries, Whether Pro or Con, Face a Tough Future."

The Hollywood Reporter has a post, "New Sarah Palin Documentary Emerges (Video)," which has clips from both films.

The Guardian has "Nick Broomfield film casts critical eye on Sarah Palin."

Do people really listen to Rush Limbaugh to get their blood pressure up?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Palin too indecisive to be President

Jena McGregor, writing in The Washington Post, has this to say about Sarah Palin's feigned apparent indecision about running for President:
The bus tour has come and gone. Now, so has the movie premiere.

A flattering “documentary” (from the looks of these clips, it appears more like an infomercial) about Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor and one-time vice presidential nominee, had its first showing in the tiny town of Pella, Iowa on Tuesday. But despite plenty of speculation that it could “serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign,” the event went off with little fanfare. Palin attended a post-premiere barbeque and had lunch at a Panera Bread restaurant with a GOP fundraiser, where politics reportedly wasn’t on the table.

Her apparent indecision whether to run or not, reports Politico, is starting to frustrate early state political players who are just ready for an answer already. (Palin told reporters Tuesday that she’s “still contemplating” the answer to “such a life-changing, relatively earth-shattering type of decision”; her daughter Bristol, meanwhile, told Fox News the same day her mother’s mind was made up.) But such perennial fence-sitting could do a lot worse than frustrate political operatives. Palin’s keep-them-guessing approach is in danger from turning what was a smart, masterful strategy for publicity into a liability of indecisiveness. ...

... Most politicians do the will-they-or-won’t-they-run dance with the press longer than they should, though Palin has turned it into a high art. This is what I don’t get—the willingness to look indecisive and, potentially, not fully committed to the job, in exchange for a little more time with your name in the news. Unless of course, getting more publicity is more of a concern to you than what voters might think of you. ...

McGregor's post is "Sarah Palin's campaign liability: From movie to bus tour to indecision?" Apparently, she reads Jonathan Capehart's columns, who has long been on to Sarah Palin's game.

Bristol Palin's statement -- On Fox! They report, we decide, right? -- that Sarah Palin has decided whether to run is newsworthy. If she had decided to run, her contract with Fox News would have already been suspended. Is she stringing Fox along? Hoping to keep that check coming a little while longer? That's not a good idea, because Fox' coverage of her candidacy could be devastating. Imagine the stories: "Sarah Palin, 2012's rodeo clown, said, '.'"

Sarah Palin is obviously not running -- of course, I may be assuming she's sane -- but if you want to keep a tiny, rapidly cooling ember of hope alive a bit longer, you may find some comfort in this post: "Sarah Palin 'will run for White House in 2012'." Peter Singleton is believed to be a volunteer, unassociated with Palin.

Palin fading in comparisons with Bachmann

Whatever people think about Michele Bachmann, she is being compared with Sarah Palin, and Palin is suffering in the comparison. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has mentioned several ways in which Bachmann excels Palin:
... After the 2008 election, Palin was the hottest commodity in Republican politics. She briefly sought to expand her decidedly narrow inner circle — hiring on the likes of GOP fundraiser Becki Donatelli — but those relationships quickly frayed, leaving Palin on a bit of a strategic island. (Palin’s closest political adviser, according to everyone familiar with her, is her husband Todd.) ...

... Palin has never squared off with other top Republicans in a debate format. Bachmann has — and she shined in the New Hampshire debate earlier this month. The ability to stand on a stage and look like you belong matters in a presidential race. Palin seems largely content to communicate with her supporters — and wade into political and policy fights — via Facebook and Twitter, two decidedly one-way conversations. ...

... Every candidate needs a state early in the nominating process where she (or he) can score a win. That’s Iowa for Bachmann. Not only is she already in a statistical dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in a new Des Moines Register poll but she was also born in the state — a fact she mentioned no fewer than 400 times in her announcement speech on Monday. (Ok, it was slightly less than 400 but not by much.) ...

... The confounding thing for many political strategists who have watched Palin over the past few years is her seeming refusal to reach beyond her core supporters. The result is that people who love Palin really love her but that is not a large enough group to win her a single state much less the GOP nomination. ...

... The simple fact is that every Republican knows Palin and a significant chunk of them don’t like her. In a March Washington Post/ABC News poll, just five percent of respondents said they had no opinion of Palin. Of those who did have an opinion, 58 percent felt favorably while 37 percent felt unfavorably. ...
I think that both Palin and Bachmann are rhetorical bomb throwers, but Bachmann may be able to calibrate her speech and sound somewhat presidential when she needs to. Another thing that could be happening with the Palin/Bachmann comparison is that it may make Bachmann appear to be a rational, organized person in comparison with Palin.

Palin's lack of organization -- Isn't she able to trust anyone other than Todd Palin? -- will doom her candidacy, should she decide to run. Facebook and Twitter, at best, can only augment a campaign that stresses on-the-ground meetings with voters and party officials. Palin may not be confident of her ability to mix it up with other Republicans, some of whom actually have an interest in government and want to discuss policy.

Some have said that Palin could gather momentum for the nomination by winning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Bachmann has been campaigning in Iowa and is already campaigning in South Carolina. Where's Sarah? Selling books in Minnesota.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

'Sarah Palin for President' DOA in Iowa, but valiant spin doctors persevere

Sarah Palin's Presidential campaign is in an ER, somewhere in Iowa, but Palin is headed to a book-signing in Minnesota. The speculation about whether Palin will run is on the decline, but is still good for a few dollars more.
"It is the first Iowa trip of the campaign season for Ms. Palin, which is sure to awaken speculation about her own political intentions." -- New York Times

"Ahead of today's premiere of "The Undefeated," reports swirled that the former Alaska governor and her aides were inviting prominent Republicans in the key Hawkeye state to meet with Palin after the screening at the Pella Opera House. Those reports, originally circulated by the blog Politico, were shot down late Monday by Republican operatives and Palin's political action committee." -- ABC News/Politics

"Although the Iowa trip is sure to ramp up speculation yet again that she will enter the 2012 race, all signs point to a flying visit to the Hawkeye State completely focused on the film’s premiere." -- The Daily Beast
It's said that "The Undefeated" is premiering today; however, it was shown recently to a larger audience in Minnesota, and its creator, Stephen Bannon, discussed the film with Tina Dupuy. Dupuy wrote in The Atlantic, in part:
... The final 10 minutes of the film are spent comparing Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan. People said that Reagan was too extreme, too conservative,and that he'd never be president -- and they were all wrong, according to The Undefeated. "Why do you think I did that?" Bannon asks.

For the power of the association, I tell him. So people will think the two politicians have similar qualities. He says the tea party movement is like the Reagan Revolution. I tell him I disagree. Palin is much more like Barry Goldwater, if anything. Goldwater supporters stormed the San Francisco Republican convention in '64, lots of them "never having been involved in politics before." Just like we hear about the tea party. There was also the belief among Goldwater supporters that if there was ever a true conservative, the large bloc of dormant true conservatives would turn out to vote for him. Goldwater's opponent, Lyndon Johnson, won in a historic landslide in the '64 election. ...

When Bannon says he made the movie for me, he means women. He calls them "new agenda women." Women whom Bannon describes as being still mad about how Hillary Clinton was treated during the primaries. Yes, Steve Bannon is trying to capture the PUMA and feminist vote by rebranding Sarah Palin.

If Palin were more competent she'd be far less controversial to women. Women don't like how Palin is treated, but for some, it's not because she's criticized by the media or scrutinized -- it's because she's held to a lower standard than other politicians. If a man had given any of her answers to Katie Couric or in any of her interviews since, no one would think to make a movie highlighting all his accomplishments while being governor of one of the least populated states in the nation for a fraction of a term. It feels condescending to women who are actually smart and accomplished that Palin gets called smart and accomplished. ...
Dupuy's article is "Sarah Palin Movie Maker Wants You to Love Her Like He Does."

Sarah Palin will be in Iowa, today. Tomorrow, Sarah, Bristol Palin to sign books at Minn. mall.

Note: The "reports swirled" link in the ABC News/Politics quote, above, goes to a story about Nick Broomfield's film about Palin instead of a story about Politico's report of a Palin campaign organization in Iowa. Gryphen has a post about Broomfield's film, here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bristol Palin on 'Good Morning America'

ABC News' Robin Roberts talked with Bristol Palin:

Yes, Bristol supports Sarah Palin for President! Is that surprising?
Whether Sarah will run has been discussed at the kitchen table, but Bristol isn't telling.

ABC News' story.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sarah Palin left behind - Michele Bachmann in 2nd place

The New York Times has an interesting article about the "conservative" candidates for the Republican nomination:
... Just weeks ago, Ms. Bachmann was dismissed by many political analysts in both parties as a shrill conservative outlier with telegenic looks but goofy right-wing politics. She was caricatured on cable news talk shows as a warmed-over version of Sarah Palin. Now Ms. Bachmann ranks second (19 percent) to the front-runner, Mitt Romney (33 percent), in a post-debate [New Hampshire] Rasmussen national poll. And as the only woman in the race, she draws ardent support from many in the female-laden ranks of the Tea Party. ...

... But the woman from Minnesota faces overwhelming obstacles. Certainly, a Rick Perry candidacy would have the potential to overshadow her. Mr. Perry, a 10-year governor of Texas with a strong economic record, shares her outsider status, and like her, speaks Tea Party lingo and appeals to fiscal and social conservatives.

She will also have an uphill battle to attract independents, moderate Republicans and the party leadership, who are all much more likely to favor a richly funded establishment candidate like Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, or Mr. Perry, who has won three terms as governor of America’s second largest state. One indication of her problems within her party came earlier this year when she tried to get a House leadership position but failed to gain enough support. ...
Luisita Lopez Torregrosa, the writer of "Bachmann Will Have a Fight to Stay at the Top Tier," tells of an expected "catfight" between Palin and Bachmann, but it looks as though Palin has been left behind, given Bachmann's second-place showing in a national poll. The article also describes the difficulties that Bachmann, like Palin, would have in expanding her support beyond the same Christian fundamentalist base that was attracted to Palin.

Would Perry run better against President Obama than either Palin or Bachmann? The attractive thing about either Palin or Bachmann is that their views offer Obama an opportunity to draw sharp contrasts with his views, which offers the opportunity of a landslide rather than a close election.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is Sarah Palin quitting her bus tour, too?

Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics writes in "Palin Bus Tour Takes Extended Pit Stop:"
Less than a month after she appeared poised to shake up the Republican presidential campaign, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has once again receded from the 2012 limelight. ...

... Palin's openness with reporters about her intentions to visit Iowa and South Carolina -- in addition to her highly scrutinized stop in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire -- lent credence to her repeated assertions that she was indeed seriously considering a White House bid.

Though Palin and her staff never announced a timeline for the remaining legs of her trip, aides had drafted preliminary itineraries that would have taken her through the Midwest and Southeast at some point this month. But those travel blueprints are now in limbo, RCP has learned, as Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska, where the skies are currently alight for over 19 hours a day and the Bristol Bay salmon fishing season is nearing its peak. ...
Conroy's story goes on to tell of Palin's failure to re-connect with the governors of Iowa and South Carolina, Palin's fans expressing their frustration on the internet, and rumors that Palin has offered Texas governor Rick Perry her support.

The only real news from SarahPac has been the incredible offer of a DVD of Palin's bad movie, "The Undefeated," which they've placed on sale for $100 a copy. The movie was summed-up very nicely by Tina Dupuy in The Atlantic's "Sarah Palin Movie Maker Wants You to Love Her Like He Does."

There are some more stories: TPM has "Sarah Palin Reportedly Quits Bus Tour Halfway Through;" Mediaite has "No Joke: Sarah Palin Reportedly Quits One Nation Bus Tour Halfway Through;" and The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart wrote "Sarah Palin parks ‘One Nation’ bus tour."

Update: Gryphen has posted Miss Always-Right's response to the news that she quit her bus tour, and he has updated with news that Palin has also quit her planned tour of Sudan -- before it started!

The case continues: She quit because she has jury duty? Miss Always-Blame-Government strikes again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tina Dupuy saw Palin's bad movie

Writing for The Atlantic, Tina Dupuy tells of her discussion with conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon after seeing "The Undefeated:"

... The final 10 minutes of the film are spent comparing Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan. People said that Reagan was too extreme, too conservative,and that he'd never be president -- and they were all wrong, according to The Undefeated. "Why do you think I did that?" Bannon asks.

For the power of the association, I tell him. So people will think the two politicians have similar qualities. He says the tea party movement is like the Reagan Revolution. I tell him I disagree. Palin is much more like Barry Goldwater, if anything. Goldwater supporters stormed the San Francisco Republican convention in '64, lots of them "never having been involved in politics before." Just like we hear about the tea party. There was also the belief among Goldwater supporters that if there was ever a true conservative, the large bloc of dormant true conservatives would turn out to vote for him. Goldwater's opponent, Lyndon Johnson, won in a historic landslide in the '64 election. ...

When Bannon says he made the movie for me, he means women. He calls them "new agenda women." Women whom Bannon describes as being still mad about how Hillary Clinton was treated during the primaries. Yes, Steve Bannon is trying to capture the PUMA and feminist vote by rebranding Sarah Palin.

If Palin were more competent she'd be far less controversial to women. Women don't like how Palin is treated, but for some, it's not because she's criticized by the media or scrutinized -- it's because she's held to a lower standard than other politicians. If a man had given any of her answers to Katie Couric or in any of her interviews since, no one would think to make a movie highlighting all his accomplishments while being governor of one of the least populated states in the nation for a fraction of a term. It feels condescending to women who are actually smart and accomplished that Palin gets called smart and accomplished. ...

Dupuy's article is "Sarah Palin Movie Maker Wants You to Love Her Like He Does."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bristol Palin's book due next week

Aren't all autobiographies self-serving?

According to US Magazine, Bristol Palin has revealed the circumstances of her child's conception:
When Bristol Palin lost her virginity, it wasn't the romantic experience she had envisioned.

In her new autobiography, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far, the 20-year-old single mom reveals that, while drunk for the very first time, she lost her virginity to Levi Johnston during a camping trip.

Palin says she woke up alone in her tent, with no recollection as to what happened. Johnston, meanwhile, "talked with his friends on the other side of the canvas."

PHOTOS: When stars lost their virginities

When she confronted him about their sexual encounter, Johnston, now 21, told Palin what she wanted to hear: they wouldn't have sex again until they were married.

But, Palin writes, they became intimate again shortly after. When she learned she was pregnant in 2008, Palin was on birth control pills prescribed to treat her cramps; it took eight home pregnancy tests to convince her that she was expecting. ...

This revelation makes the book interesting. It will be worth reading to find out whether any context is provided which would motivate the inclusion of this information.

The AP article linked-to by US Magazine looked a little bogus -- The Ponca City News: Our AP Features -- but I did find what looks like a more genuine AP article, "Bristol Palin calls her ex 'the gnat' in new book."

Personally, I don't think Bristol Palin should do penance for becoming pregnant, and I don't fault her for seizing the opportunities that have come her way.

Update: The New York Post has another story, "Levi? Puke! Bristol Palin reveals the joy of teen love." That story differs from the AP story in some ways. Perhaps what the AP reported isn't a story of conception, but rather her story of the loss of her virginity. It's not something that can be clarified without reading the book.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Palin used at least six e-mail accounts

One organization, DocuTicker, has organized Sarah Palin's e-mails in an inbox format. Their post is "Palin Used Six Email Accounts as Governor," which has a link to Sarah's Inbox.

The AP has a story, "Alaska investigates apparent gap in Palin emails." That gap occurs near the beginning of the e-mails. There may be another gap, at the end of the e-mails. On the first page of Sarah's Inbox, the last e-mail is dated 07/01/2009. It's predecessor is dated 10/06/2008.

In the About box at Sarah's Inbox -- on the left sidebar -- there is a caveat about the e-mails.

The AP article has some interesting information about how the e-mail from personal accounts was collected.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Palin's Bad Relationship with the Press

Bill Keller, editor of The New York Times, has written a thoughtful article about Sarah Palin's relationship with the press. It's worth reading in its entirety, so I'll only excerpt one paragraph:
... Palin’s disdain [for the press] goes beyond the bitterness of a public figure who has been burned by the press. Plenty of others have endured the pain of mainstream-media excoriation but have remained civil and responsive. What these politicians have in common, though, is enough confidence in the strength of their ideas to imagine that they can make a case through the press, if not actually to the press. Perhaps one key to Palin’s dislike of the news media is a streak of intellectual insecurity, or a trace of impostor syndrome. Her best defense against being found shallow is a strong offense. ...
So, does anyone think she'll run? With this sort of relationship with the press? Read what Keller had to say about Ronald Reagan.

Republicans and Historical Revisionism - We shouldn't be surprised that Palin and her minions tried to twist history to suit her view

Robert Schlesinger at U.S. News & World Report has written something interesting about Republicans' tendency to alter history to suit their own views. Schlesinger begins:
Listen my children, and you won't be failin' basic American history like Sarah Palin. Hardly a man is alive who is not aware of the former vice presidential candidate's recent quote, uttered with little care. The great patriot, she rambled, "warned the British that they weren't gonna be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure, as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free."

Thus was ignited the second battle of Lexington and Concord, with Palin and her partisans exchanging volley after ridiculous volley with not only the press but history itself. She insists that she knows her history better than those fusty, liberal old lamestream historians. (Joel J. Miller, author of The Revolutionary Paul Revere, wrote in the certifiably conservative National Review Online that "From Revere's own account, it's clear that he didn't fire a shot, he didn't ring a bell, and he didn't intend to warn the British of anything," adding, "In short, Palin basically got the whole story wrong.") [Vote now: Is Palin making a mistake by standing by her Paul Revere statements?]

Palin's minutemen made their stand on Wikipedia, editing Revere's entry there to fit Palin's view of reality. The whole squabble perfectly reflects a political culture where such absurdist rejection of reality has become endemic—especially on the right. It used to be said of conservatism that it stood athwart history and yelled "stop." Increasingly it seems to stand beside reality while hitting the "edit" button. [Check out political cartoons about Palin.] ...
Schlesinger goes on to describe Republicans' editing impulse on medicare, economic history and tax cuts, and the debt ceiling. Schlesinger's description of the tax cuts and budget deficits really illustrates best how out of touch with the reality of their own policies the Republicans actually are.

Schlesinger's article is "Republicans Edit History on Paul Revere, Taxes, Debt:
Rejection of reality has become endemic to politics—especially on the right

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How will Sarah Palin's successor play on SNL?

Alexandra Petri observes in "Michele Bachmann, the GOP debate and the SNL Palin factor," in part:
... Caricature tells more than portraiture about the features of a face. Look at Tina Fey’s star-making turn as Sarah Palin on “SNL.” Ideal meat for parody is someone who is funny without knowing or noticing why. That was Palin in a nutshell. Her whole selling point was not what she said but how she said it. She seldom said anything at all, so this was a good side to emphasize. You could fit most of her theses into the navel of a gnat and still have room for six caraway seeds and the social value of the exercise of looking through her e-mails. Helicopters! Wolves! Russia! She was as funny as you could be without being an actual joke. It just took Fey’s knowing delivery to push her over the edge. ...

... But what about Bachmann, whose star-making turn as The Lady With 23, Count ‘Em, 23 Foster Kids and Who’s Gonna Make Barack Obama A One-Term President, has left everyone wondering how it will play on “SNL”? ...
Will "SNL" ever be as much fun again?

A 'scathing' film about Sarah Palin is on the way

Politico's Molly Ball is reporting:
Nick Broomfield, a well-known British filmmaker, is “close to finishing” a “scathing” film about the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, according to the Los Angeles Times. ...

... Palin’s parents and several former aides appear in the film, in which she is portrayed as a “ruthless politician who has trampled over opponents,” the Times reports. ...

... Best known for “Kurt & Courtney,” a documentary about the late grunge rocker Kurt Cobain and his widow Courtney Love, Broomfield’s subjects have also included former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, American serial killer Aileen Wuornos and the rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. ...
The Los Angeles Times article, linked-to in Politico's story, mentions that Sarah Palin did have something to do with the creation of "The Undefeated:" "While Palin does not appear in the film [The Undefeated], the site Real Clear Politics reported that she helped coordinate interviews for it."

For more about the pro-Palin film, ABC News has "Sarah Palin Filmmaker Wanted to Debut Documentary in the Field of Dreams.

I wouldn't worry about the pro-Palin film swaying the undecided. Most people have made up their minds about Palin, and American audiences are sophisticated film-goers, aren't they? They know it's the editing that makes or breaks a film, don't they? Someone could take the pro-Palin film's raw video and tell quite a different story with it through the magic of editing.

There is not much happening in Palin-world this morning, unless people consider it news that palin-bots are assembling their own cache of Palin's e-mails. It's just like film editing: people can insert, delete and move frames, just like they can e-mails, and have a narrator say anything they would like to have said.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Andrew Sullivan's Two Options

Andrew Sullivan wrote in "The Day Trig Was Born," in part:
... It seems to me we have two options. It's possible that Palin simply made up her drama of labor, or exaggerated it for effect, when in fact it was a routine, if rare, pregnancy, and she had mild warnings that the birth may be premature, and she gussied that up into a tall tale of her pioneer spirit, guided by her doctor, who refused to take the NYT's calls as soon as Palin hit the big time. I think that's the likeliest explanation, given the sheer world-historical weirdness of the alternative.

But it's also possible that she never had that baby at all. I mean, if you read the emails and independent reports above and were asked if this woman were in labor with a special needs child, and that her water had already broken, would you believe it? Just put all the facts in front of you and ask yourself that question. ...
Sullivan recognizes that it is possible that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig Palin and even states that it is likely that she did. I agree with him, because no one has proven that she did not. Like Sullivan, I am inclined to believe that what has commonly been called the "wild ride" -- the trip from Texas to Alaska just before the birth -- is nothing more than a tall tale; however, I would not go so far as to say, like Sullivan, that Palin told the story, "guided by her doctor, who refused to take the NYT's calls as soon as Palin hit the big time."

The "investigation" into the "faked pregnancy" is like one done by The Keystone Cops. It is completely amateurish. The "investigators" don't obtain original, source material; for example, in "Sarah Palin and The Neonatologist - Part Two - POW!" a poorer picture was used than one that is available at the L.A. Times; one attributed to an Associated Press photographer, by name!

All of the "photo proof" -- one way or the other -- should have been analyzed by a professional, who would have asked the photographers questions like: What was the lighting? How far away were you from the subject? Which camera was used? What was the focal length of the lens? What size is the camera's sensor? ... . And a professional investigator would have asked for the pixels from the camera, knowing that news organizations often tweak a photo in order to get publishable contrast and color values.

Some will say, "Look! Here's a photo showing that she wasn't pregnant;" ignoring or dismissing photos that tell a different story; and ignoring a very important fact: If you added up the exposure times of all the photos taken of Palin during that time, they probably wouldn't amount to an hour out of her life, if that. It typically takes less -- much less than -- one second to take a photo. There are 3600 seconds in an hour.

Well! Believe it or not! I'm a neonatologist now, too. I've written about a newborn.

Debate in New Hampshire: Palin conspicuous by her absence

A debate between candidates for the 2012 Republican nomination will occur in New Hampshire tonight and be televised on CNN at 8 PM (eastern).

Sarah Palin will not be there. Michele Bachmann, who is poised to steal Palin's conservative support, and Ron Paul, the clear heir to her libertarian support, will be there.

The Los Angeles Times' "It's Mitt Romney and the rest as candidates debate in New Hampshire" has some interesting polling news, and CBS News' "The Republican debate: 10 things to watch," where this post's photo was obtained, attempts to size-up the debate before it occurs. Vanity Fair's "Tonight’s Republican Debate Podium-Order Rationale Revealed" states that the candidates polling the best will be placed in the middle of the on-screen lineup.

Will the other candidates go after Mitt Romney or will all of them gang-up on President Obama? North Carolina's Times Union reports that the President was in N. Carolina today, working on what may be his only obstacle to re-election: Jobs.

The debate, tonight, will be especially interesting to Republican activists and primary voters, who are searching for a good-looking and good-sounding candidate. Those people will decide who the nominee will be and will be comparing what Romney has to say about the issues important to them with what Pawlenty and the other candidates have to say about them. If Palin isn't there, she won't figure in those discussions.

Update: "Michele Bachmann announces presidential campaign" -- CBS News

Update: CBS News' "GOP debate: The winners and losers" has some opinion about the debate, as well as links to several other debate stories.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Burning Toast: Sarah Palin's toxic relationship with Lyda Green

The L.A. Times is writing about Lyda Green (former Alaska State Senator) and Sarah Palin, and the Times is using Frank Bailey's e-mails to understand some of the material redacted in Palin's e-mails. In "Sarah Palin emails: Relationship with Senate president grew 'toxic'," the paper states:
... In his memoir "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin," former aide Frank Bailey says Palin's relationship with Green started going downhill in 2007 when Green called for an audit of a flailing state-run dairy that Palin had sought to save from closure.

"A relationship that was once cordial grew toxic,” Bailey wrote. “As a result, Green had to be dealt with. When she decided to run again for the state senate seat in late 2007, Sarah actively plotted against her, even suggesting in an email, 'Hey—Ivy even lives in [her] district come to think of it!'" referring to aide Ivy Frye. "'Never hurts to rumormonger.'" ...

... "Differences and any show of disagreement on policy dissolves into, for her, a disagreement on personality," Green said in a 2008 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. "And it becomes personal very quickly.”

By April 2008, Palin became convinced that Green was the one spreading rumors.

It started with a rumor that Palin's daughter Bristol was pregnant, which Palin traced back to Green’s office. (Bristol gave birth to son Tripp in late December 2008.)

"Flippin unbelievable," she wrote. "Wouldn't you think they'd be afraid of being proved wrong when they rumor around the building like that?...hopefully it'll be another reason why reporters and the public can't trust that odd group of strange people."

A week later, press aide Sharon Leighow reported to Palin: "Lyda’s office was also spreading a rumor a couple of days ago that [Chief of Staff Mike] Tibbles had a panic attack this week and [Deputy Chief of Staff Mike] Nizich had to take him home.”

"Oh flippin geez," Palin replied. "That was probably when he went to his doctor’s appt to get his [REDACTED] checked out? What is wrong with these people.”

The conflict seems to have tainted even the most uneventful of encounters between the two warring offices. ...
Seemingly, one of Lyda Green's aides assumed at one point that Sarah Palin was cooking breakfast in the capitol building. How will we ever know whether Sarah burned the toast?

This feud was a colossal waste of Alaskan taxpayer dollars. Both Green and Palin are Republicans. Remember, it was the Governor and Senate President feuding.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who's Who in Sarah Palin's e-mails? Lyda Green? -- UPDATED

The L.A. Times has an interesting, summary guide to who's who in Sarah Palin's e-mails: "Sarah Palin emails: The Alaska archive - who's who." There is only a picture associated with some of Palin's correspondents, but if the Times has articles about them, they link to the article(s).

The relationship between Sarah Palin and Lyda Green may be most interesting. "Kathleen," now at the blog Political Gates, once commented at palingates that Lyda Green had informed them -- them presumably being "Kathleen" and "Patrick" -- that Lyda Green had told them of one of Sarah Palin's miscarriages. That comment came in a post about Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue, in which Palin described a miscarriage early in her life.

I was surprised, at the time, that they would blow away a "source" like that. And I am continually surprised that although they claim to have information from someone inside Alaska government that Palin faked a pregnancy, they will not even quote that source anonymously. Newspapers do it all the time: "A source who requested anonymity for some specified reason, told us, "Blah-blah." Readers are entitled to enough information to evaluate the veracity of the source.

Lyda Green's relationship with Sarah Palin, and her (Green's) motivation and veracity have become very interesting, now that the Washington Post's Rachel Weiner wrote, "Sarah Palin faced Trig rumors from start." An e-mail from Palin is quoted there, and it is clear that Palin blamed Lyda Green for the rumors that Bristol was the mother of Trig Palin.

A live blog about Palin's e-mails can be found at's "Live blog: All the released Palin emails are now back in their electronic form, online"

Politico's "Palin emails show top Alaskan lawmaker blamed for Trig Palin rumors" has a statement from Green disclaiming involvement: '"I was never part of the network that thought that Sarah wasn't pregnant," Green said in an interview. "I said, 'That's a non-starter for me.'"'

Green has undercut an earlier statement she made, "It’s wonderful. She’s very well-disguised. When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child," which has been used by some to support an argument that Palin wasn't pregnant.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Palin Family Circus News - Friday, June 10, 2011

Politico's Molly Ball reports in "AMC will distribute Palin film:"
"The Undefeated,” a flattering new documentary about Sarah Palin, has inked a distribution deal with North America’s second-largest movie theater chain [AMC] for a July 15 release. ...

... The film, which Palin has seen but has no involvement with, casts the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee as the hero and epitome of the tea party movement — an ordinary citizen stirred to action to restore common sense to government.

It leaves out or downplays many of the controversies that have dogged Palin. Bannon said they didn’t fit into the story the film sought to tell.
This might be interesting to see, if it catches on with the public, just for the insights into film editing it would offer.

Jonathan Capehart's "Rollins slap at Palin shows Bachmann isn’t afraid of a fight" explains "why an attack on Palin is a safe and potentially beneficial move on Bachmann’s part."

Hero of the tea party movement? Politico's "Will rivalry make Sarah Palin run?" may be looking for a Palin/Bachmann catfight:
... Bachmann, a native Iowan who is strongly attractive to the same social conservative, tea party forces who favored Huckabee, is suddenly positioned to take the first GOP contest by storm.

Team Palin is likely in panic mode. It fears Bachmann can win Iowa and become the new leader of the GOP’s tea party, social conservative wing. It might even be enough to get Bachmann the presidential nomination that Palin covets.

The Washington Post's Alexandra Petri writes about historical revisionism in "American History X — Palin, Paul Revere, Wikipedia, and our passion for revision." Someone is always wrong on the internet.

Was Margaret Thatcher disgraced when an "ally" said, "Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts?" Some of Palin's fans seem to think so, according to "Sarah Palin snub by Margaret Thatcher aides infuriates US rightwing." Don't be surprised to see Palin show-up in London on July 4th, where Thatcher is going to be present at the unveiling of a Ronald Reagan statue. Didn't she crash the "Rolling Thunder" party?

NPR's "Sarah's Choice: Email Dump Will Add To Doubt That She Will Run" offers up five indications that Palin won't run: 1) The wall of negative numbers has grown too tall; 2) The bus tour of the Eastern seaboard that began Memorial Day; 3) When in New York, Palin ate pizza and talked politics with Donald Trump; 4) Another key stop in Gotham was a visit with Palin's boss, Roger Ailes; and 5) The aftermath of the Paul Revere gaffe.

The e-mail dump is going to be available on-line and Bill Dedman of writes:
... Among those emails withheld from the public were those detailing potential state appointees, judicial candidates and others having to do with legal advice, settlements and staffing issues. Others appeared to have nothing to do with state business, such as one message about "children, dinner, and prayer."

Others removed from public view include several having to do with newspapers and editorials, including two citing a “response to Juneau Empire article.” Another two related to a “child custody matter,” and a meeting with “W. Monegan,” who had served as the Alaska public safety commissioner until being dismissed in July 2008 in connection with the scandal known as "Troopergate." ...

The e-mails are going to be made available at Crivella West, but it may take some time to scan all of them in order to make them available on-line.

The Washington Post's Jena McGregor, anticipating the e-mails' release, may have found something Sarah Palin has in common with Anthony Weiner! Indeed! "Anthony Weiner scandal appears to quiet congressmen on Twitter."

The Washington Post's Rachel Weiner writes, "Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s e-mails show constant discussion and concern about how she is portrayed in the media, on matters big and small."

Finally, Sarah Palin recently illustrated her ignorance of foreign policy in an attack on President Obama. At one time, we agreed with the Russians that nuclear parity was a desirable goal. Call it "mutually assured destruction," if you like; it's the world we live in. There are two capabilities with respect to this policy: offense and defense. When the two sides are roughly equal and then one side begins to develop or hints at developing a defensive capability, the other side will say, "Unfair!" Why? Because, if one side improves its defense, that improvement would diminish -- perhaps nullify -- the other side's offensive capabilities. The strategic balance of power would shift. We would no longer have nuclear parity. A new arms race would begin.

Palin is apparently unaware that her hero, Ronald Reagan, was comfortable with nuclear parity. Palin's contention that bolstering Russian nuclear defense capablities will result in a new arms race is the opposite of what will happen; it will forestall a new arms race, because it will maintain the balance of power. Palin claims to be interested in reducing government expenditures, so she would be well advised to consider that point. Finally, President Obama said, "We [are] committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries, that maintains the strategic balance and deals with potential threats that we both share."

Palin's ignorance of foreign policy can be attributed to an ignorance of recent history. What does she read?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sarah Palin 'kissed off' her base

Sally Quinn wrote, in "Faith and Freedom showdown: Palin v. Bachmann," at The Washington Post:
Move over Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is stealing your thunder. (And I don’t mean Rolling Thunder.)

At this weekend’s Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, Bachmann brought the house down. In a crowd of devoted religious conservatives, Bachmann hit all the right buttons and had the crowd screaming, clapping and on their feet.

While Palin was on her “private” vacation bus tour (in fact, her 10 year old Piper said to a reporter, “Thanks for ruining our vacation.”) Bachmann was looking and talking like a serious candidate for the presidency.

Every Republican presidential hopeful and most Republican political leaders showed up at the conference, organized by Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition.

Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Bachmann addressed the gathering. Newt Gingrich sent a video as he was on vacation. House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor were there. Even The Donald couldn’t resist a cameo appearance.

Palin, who was invited, was the only no-show.

Big mistake, Sarah. You should have been there. You just kissed off your base. ...
It looks as though Palin is done. Everyone interested in the Republican nomination appears to have been there.

Hairhead vs. Airhead - Jay Leno and Katie Couric talk about Trump/Palin

Jay Leno talked with Katie Couric on the "Tonight Show," and it's clear that Couric doesn't think "What do you read?" is a gotcha question.

The video is from "Katie Couric calls Sarah Palin 'fascinating,' says Donald Trump acted like 'a jackass'."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Palin Family Circus News - Monday, June 6, 2011

This morning there was a package of sliced, smoked salmon on the tabloid racks. Underneath the salmon was Globe, featuring a story about the Palins on the cover -- divorce.

You may have heard or read of the Wikipedia edit war as Palin's fans attempt to re-write the history of Paul Revere's ride. Historical revisionism is very reminiscent of what went on in the Soviet Union.

The usually apolitical Computerworld has published "Sarah Palin fans try to rewrite history on Wikipedia." This tendency of Palin's fans to re-write history necessitates a thorough review of all their claims about her, because, if they can't refrain from historical revisionism in a matter that might have blown over with time, how can they be trusted to accurately portray her record as governor and mayor?

"Only 23 percent of voters surveyed say Palin is qualified to serve as president. Sixty-three percent say Palin is unqualified." -- Poll: Mitt Romney qualified, Sarah Palin not

How Are Critics Liking the Hot New Sarah Palin Documentary? Gawker's Jim Newell writes, in part: "The documentary about herself that Sarah Palin secretly commissioned, The Undefeated — a.k.a. Triumph of the Grift — will debut in Iowa at some point later this month. And some lucky film connoisseurs, mostly all for conservative publications, have already viewed advance copies! So does it give Errol Morris a run for his money, or is it undiluted shite? Critics are torn."

Bill Dedman of writes, concerning the 24,199 pages of e-mails about to be released by the state of Alaska:
... Soon after the emails are released, plans to scan them in and put them online in a public archive, restoring the electronic records to electronic form. This archive will be co-sponsored by Mother Jones magazine, which also requested the documents back in 2008, and with Pro Publica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom, just as did with a batch of Todd Palin emails last year. Those emails showed the vigorous role the "First Dude" played in the operation of state government. Here is that archive.

Not all the e-mails are being released. The state had said that it it is withholding thousands of pages because of privacy concerns or the executive or deliberative exemptions in the state public records law, as it withheld documents in the previous release of Todd Palin emails to ...

Fox News seems to be tuned-in to the Sarah-Palin-is-a-wannabe-comedian meme, but can't seem to distinguish Palin from Tina Fey.'s "Palin's Twist on Paul Revere" isn't helping her.

This post's "painting" of Paul Revere's reaction to Sarah Palin's revisionist history was found here. It is derived from a portrait of Revere by John Singleton Copley, here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Palin's Twisted History

An NBC News video of Sarah Palin making up a story about Paul Revere is now available:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And, today, on Fox News Sunday, Palin doubled-down on dumb:

Palin complained of a "gotcha" question. That is a clear indication that she's conscious -- on some level -- of having blundered when she made up the story about Paul Revere.

These two videos were found at David Zurawik's Z on TV column, which appears in The Baltimore Sun. Today's excellent column was titled: "Sarah Palin sticking with her Bizarro Planet history."

The Crooks and Liars story is here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sarah Palin: Campaign Rodeo Clown - UPDATED

In Boston, during her Rolling Menace Tour, Sarah Palin was asked who Paul Revere was.

The Los Angeles Times wrote, 'Instead of saying, "Come on, everyone knows who Paul Revere, the silversmith and patriot is,"' Palin made up a story about him. She said:
“He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and, um, makin’ sure as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free.”
Greg Sargent wrote:
Everyone has already had a grand old time mocking this video of Sarah Palin bungling her Paul Revere history, but I actually think it amounts to quite an eloquent statement. It’s as eloquent an argument as anyone could make that this woman really should not be treated by any of us as anything resembling a presidential candidate until it’s absolutely necessary — which is to say, until she actually runs for president.
Sarah Palin should be treated as a comedian -- campaign comic relief, like a rodeo clown -- even if she actually runs. She'll be a huge success and will enjoy the role if she can get into self-deprecating humor.

Update: Forbes' E.D. Kain suggests, "All this leads me to believe that instead of presidential debates, what the GOP race needs is a series of Jeopardy contests, all focused on politics, economics, and American history. That would tell us much more, I’m afraid, about the candidates, than any debate ever could."

Update: Forbes' Rick Ungar strikes back at the palin-bots' feeble attempt to spin Palin's answer. Face it, 'bots: She's not only wrong, but doesn't know what most -- if not all -- American school-children know, most of whom -- if not all -- can express themselves more coherently than she can.

Update: Forbes' E.D. Kain weighs in, again, with "The Sad Defense of Sarah Palin’s Botched History."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Palin's 'Rolling Menace' Tour

It looks as though Sarah Palin is headed back to Alaska. Just in time, before anyone is killed or injured by the bus! There is this report from Politico:
Sarah Palin’s bus is plastered with a mockup of the U.S. Constitution. But her entourage — both the three-vehicle motorcade that includes the bus and the smaller, two-SUV version she uses for smaller events — hasn’t been very respectful of the traffic laws.

They speed. They run red lights and stop signs. They make last-second lane changes to get off the highway, sometimes without signaling. ...
While reading "Sarah Palin's tour a rolling menace," I lost count of the number of traffic tickets the bus' driver should have received.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It wasn't named 'SarahPac' for nothing -- Palin running for money, not President - UPDATED

The Washington Post's Dan Eggen has written "The Influence Industry: The fine lines between a Palin vacation and Palin tour:"
When most families go on a summer vacation, they don’t have a political-action committee to pay the bills.

Not so for Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who has joined her husband, children and parents in a widely publicized bus tour of East Coast historic sites this week.

The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey. ...

... The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.

As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between. (emphasis added)

“Not only can she use SarahPAC for a family vacation, she could use it for her home mortgage payments or anything else she wants,” said Paul S. Ryan, associate legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group focused on election laws. (emphasis added) ...

Palin's ability to convert PAC donations to personal use is an incentive for her to avoid being considered a candidate for the presidency. Even though use of the PAC's funds for personal use may be legal, doing so creates an appearance of impropriety.

Sarah Palin's supporters are fond of saying, "She's just like us," or "She's one of us," but how are their vacations paid for?

Eggen's article has more information than what has been excerpted, above; for example, the IRS may consider the PAC's expenditures for personal use to be part of Palin's personal income. If so, she would have to pay taxes on that income.

Update: The IRS has a "Whistleblower - Informant" award.

Update: It is a vacation! '“Thanks for ruining our vacation,” she [Piper Palin] said to our [TIME Magazine's ] photographer.'

Update: The Washington Post also has Piper Palin's comment.

Palin tries to downplay meeting with Fox News bosses

In Peter Hamby's story for CNN, "Palin: Timing of New Hampshire visit 'coincidental'," Palin's meeting with her "bosses" at Fox News is mentioned:
Palin also addressed her lengthy meeting at Fox News on Thursday and speculation that she might be jeopardizing her lucrative television contract by ramping up her political activity.

Palin said she met with Fox News president Roger Ailes. She told reporters that she did not offer to resign.

"I did get to speak to Roger Ailes, and we always have great conversations," Palin said.

Following yesterday's meeting, a network executive said of Palin: "Right now there is no change in her status with Fox News."

She said not to read too much into the meeting.

"Any time we get to New York I like to hop in and say hi to the folks there who work so extremely hard and get to see some of the hosts and some of the reporters," Palin said before hopping into an SUV.
Remember when this campaign-tour/publicity-stunt/road-trip was announced? Palin said that she would post a schedule of her stops, then none appeared. Yesterday there was video with her in the backseat of a red SUV with Piper in the middle and Palin's mother on the other side, and Palin mentioned that there wouldn't be an exploratory committee. I think -- am speculating -- that Palin has been told that a tour with scheduled stops or the formation of an exploratory committee would result in the suspension of her contract with Fox. There may be other reasons, but Fox News could presume that she's running based on this tour, alone. She could have done a low-key tour of the same places without so much fanfare. She'll obey her bosses, if she wants to keep her $1 Million per year job at Fox.

About upstaging Romney's announcement, Hamby mentioned, "News leaked late yesterday that Palin is organizing a clambake for Thursday evening along the New Hampshire seacoast, just minutes from the Stratham farm where Romney plans to officially announce his second presidential bid." Who was responsible for that "leak?"

Update: Media Matters' "The Palin Bus Tour And Fox News' Ethical Morass" brings-up these three ethical concerns about Palin's tour: 1) Palin keeps hinting that she's running; 2) Fox News personalities are promoting Palin's brand and potential candidacy; 3) Is Fox News applying the Santorum/Gingrich standard to Palin?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fox News considering Palin suspension

In his "Afternoon Fix: Sarah Palin goes to Fox News," The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote:
Sarah Palin met with executives at Fox News in New York today, a not-exactly-historic stop on her tour of historic American sites. (The former Alaska governor was at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty earlier in the day.) Palin is a paid contributor for the network; she called them “my bosses.” There’s been speculation about whether Palin’s contract with the network will be suspended as she contemplates a presidential campaign. “Right now there is no change in her status with FOX News," said executive vice president of programming Bill Shine in a statement after the meeting.
And Politico's Ben Smith wrote:
After a long meeting at Fox today -- where execs may not have been pleased by the interview she gave CNN -- Sarah Palin emerges with her contract intact.

“Right now there is no change in her status with FOX News," said executive vice president of programming Bill Shine in a statement. The "right now" didn't appear in earlier statements.
If Palin is honest with her "bosses," we should know whether she's going to run before she announces. That will be when Fox News suspends her, like it suspended Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Apparently, the network has Palin under surveillance, 24/7, and her status as a paid contributor is being constantly evaluated.

Comedians Backing Sarah Palin!

Comedians have been hurting since George Bush left office. President Obama doesn't provide them with enough material. What to do? Back Sarah Palin! Comedian Dean Obeidallah makes the case for Palin and announces the formation of a new organization:
... We comedians can wait no longer for this comedy downturn to end. We have decided it's time to take matters into our own hands. We are putting aside our petty differences to actively support the candidate who will best help our comedy careers.

That is why I'm excited to announce the formation of: "Comedians for Sarah Palin." Our slogan is: "Comedians putting aside their differences and the good of America for comedic material." You can follow us on Twitter @ComicsforPalin.

To comedians, Sarah Palin is not just a less-than-one-term governor with few achievements on the national or international stage. Sarah Palin is comedy gold. Comedians haven't been this excited over a political figure since George W. Bush was president -- in fact, comedically speaking, the only difference between Palin and Bush is lipstick. ...
There is a lot more to Obeidallah's post than what has been excerpted here. He has already started developing Palin material.