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Sarah Palin and the 'Big Media Bubble'

Monday, 30 November 2009 10:44 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The Sarah Palin phenomenon — demonstrated by the mammoth sales of her new memoir — and the way she has been treated by the press is indicative of a mainstream media that is simply out of touch with ordinary Americans.

The treatment of Palin, and an anecdote involving Newsmax, indicate that the major media establishment lives in a bubble. Let me name it the “Big Media Bubble.”

When Palin’s book “Going Rogue: An American Life” shot to the top of the best-seller lists, reportedly selling 700,000 copies in the first week after its Nov. 17 release, the media seemed aghast.

Sales have been so brisk that publisher HarperCollins announced that it would boost printing from 1.5 million to 2.5 million copies.

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The book has already made publishing history, setting the record for nonfiction pre-release sales, and sales of all 2.5 million copies would top the 2.25 million sales of Bill Clinton’s autobiography “My Life.”

As the media covered the success of Palin’s book and stories of thousands of citizens lining up at bookstores, some waiting overnight in the cold for Palin’s John Hancock, they seemed completed baffled by the public’s response.

When Palin appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” the day before the book’s release, she gave Oprah her biggest audience in two years — hardly the response for someone on the “fringe” of politics.

But those who live day in and day out in the Big Media Bubble can’t fathom the interest in Palin.

Newsmax also got some Big Media Bubble treatment as the Palin book saga unfolded.

During an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Nov. 16, the former Alaska governor was asked what she regularly reads. She responded: “I read Newsmax and the Frontiersman and Wall Street Journal and everything online. I absorb the news via many, many sources.”

Palin’s Newsmax reference was somewhat shocking for some living in the Bubble.

On Nov. 19, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann opened a broadside against Palin for her choice of reading matter — especially her use of Newsmax.

Referring to Palin’s statements on Hannity’s show, Olbermann snarled that “a year and six weeks” after her interview with Katie Couric, Palin announced that she reads Newsmax.

Olbermann displayed three headlines from the Newsmax Web site, derisively noting the headline “Sarah Palin tells Hannity: I read Newsmax.”

Olbermann’s guest Craig Crawford, columnist for CQPolitics, then said, “I would like to see politicians where they talk about something like this to show a little balance, that they try to get information [from] both sides.”

But then Crawford added — to Olbermann’s surprise — “I actually read Newsmax. I read Talking Points Memo, Huffington. I mean, I like to get a wide range.”

Clearly Crawford doesn’t live completely in the Bubble. But many others do. This Bubble mentality surfaced on the Web site mediaite.com, a site I actually enjoy reading.

One of the site’s columnists stated, “The fact that [Palin’s] year-plus deliberation produced Newsmax as her number one answer, though, surprises even me.”

He goes on to say: “I’ve never seen Newsmax cited as a source. They simply aren’t taken seriously. Except, of course, by a large segment of Palin’s fans . . .

“I think Palin would have been better served had she cited a more mainstream news source, then thrown in a few well-respected blogs.”

The liberal columnist then suggested that Palin really didn’t want to mention Newsmax and implied that she in fact doesn’t use it as a news source. She was just cynically appealing to her base supporters, he claimed.

“Newsmax is one of those things you have to say you like if you’re a Republican,” he wrote.

This blogger’s surprise at Palin’s choice of Newsmax is reminiscent of the now-famous remark attributed to a Manhattan journalist who was absolutely shocked that Richard Nixon won the 1972 presidential election by a landslide. “I can’t believe Nixon won. Everybody I know voted against him,” he said.

Living in the Big Media Bubble can be suffocating.

The mediaite columnist, who claims that no one links to Newsmax, was apparently oblivious to the fact that the homepage of the Mediaite Web site links to Newsmax.com as one of just a handful of top “Media Sites.” And so does the Drudgereport and literally thousands of other sites across the World Wide Web.

Today, Newsmax reaches around 6 million Americans each month. Over the past two years, its popular Web site, Newsmax.com, has reached close to 4 million unique visitors monthly, according to Nielsen Online. Our site would rank among the top 10 newspaper Web sites in the U.S.

More than 2 million Americans subscribe to its e-mail news alerts. And then there is our monthly magazine, Newsmax, which has a monthly readership of more than 800,000.

The bottom line is this: Those who live in the Big Media Bubble can’t comprehend the appeal of Newsmax — or Sarah Palin.

They can’t believe Sarah Palin reads Newsmax, though we know she does. Newsmax, the one supposedly nobody reads and no one knows about. Well, we had an interview with Gov. Sarah Palin months before John McCain picked her for vice president. We were so impressed by her, the September 2008 Newsmax magazine featured her on our cover, hitting newsstands a week before McCain’s announcement, when everyone living in the Bubble was still asking, “Sarah who?”

Folks living in the Big Media Bubble need to fess up that there is a whole world outside of Manhattan and the Beltway.

They should also begin thinking like Craig Crawford. The country is better served by a rigorous debate that takes in all points of view.

Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book — Incredible FREE Offer — Click Here Now.

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The Sarah Palin phenomenon — demonstrated by the mammoth sales of her new memoir — and the way she has been treated by the press is indicative of a mainstream media that is simply out of touch with ordinary Americans.The treatment of Palin, and an anecdote involving...
Monday, 30 November 2009 10:44 AM
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