Tags: palin | vice | president | tv

Levine: Palin May Find TV Gig Behind Door No. 2

Monday, 27 Oct 2008 12:40 PM

By Michael Levine

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That Sarah Palin has star quality has become apparent during the past few weeks to anyone who knows anything about show business.

As a former beauty queen, the Republican vice presidential candidate has poise, confidence, and looks. She knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight, and she clearly likes it. As a former TV sportscaster, she’s experienced and comfortable in front of the camera. She’s more than comfortable. She knows how to “work it,” as was evidenced during her debate with Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate.

In fact, she’s worked it so well that producers in Hollywood are talking about her and wondering whether they can somehow cash in on her tsunami of charisma. Is she the next Oprah? Could she host a news show on FOX?

If John McCain and Palin win on Nov. 4, all this speculation will be for naught. The buzz at that point will be 2012, because the GOP has invested a great deal of public support for this maverick. But if the Republican ticket is trounced on Election Day, the “Palin Effect” may be considerably more than just a wink in the history of politics. Palin probably will find herself deluged with offers for high-profile media jobs once her gubernatorial duties end in Alaska.

Let’s consider the scenario of a “Sarah Palin Show” — a talk show that appeals to conservative women who are pro-life, pro-gun (seems contradictory, but that’s another issue), and proud. Would such a show work? Most likely, if only because Palin’s views are controversial, and controversy plays extremely well on the small screen.

I’m not sure a “Sarah Palin Show” would be the same kind of lightning rod that prompted the kind of antics seen on, say, “Jerry Springer,” but I could envision something like a reprise of that old crying towel, “Queen for a Day,” as Sarah commiserates with every guest’s tales of personal tragedy and woe-is-me. She might begin by inviting a guest who describes the hardships of teenage motherhood and ends up winning a brand new wardrobe of designer hand-me-downs.

If she were given a spot hosting a daily news show, what would that be like? Hard to say. Conservative talk shows abound, so finding a new angle would be key. The fact that she’s a woman wouldn’t be enough since several shows already have female anchors or senior correspondents.

A news show, especially a political one, demands a steady diet of high-fiber facts. When it comes to being tested, Palin surely would be if she didn’t do her nightly homework. One thing’s for sure: her producers would be in for a bumpy ride because Palin seems to have an agenda of her own. She mushes to the feet of a different sled dog.

Only God, the voters, and Diebold know who will win on Nov. 4. Right now, it’s too close to call because the bottom-bottom line is that every new poll gets analyzed according to each party’s political bias and daily messaging.

But if Sarah Palin is not elected vice president this time around and wants to remain in the political spotlight, I would advise her to carefully consider her brand as a pure politician and tread carefully through the avalanche of media exposure and financial opportunity that may come her way. The snow always looks brightest right after it falls, but oh, how quickly it turns to slush.

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