Dr. Laura. The Ground Zero mosque. Wikileaks. If there’s a scandal, Sarah Palin is ready, BlackBerry in hand, to comment — and get some attention for herself, too.
NewsFeed isn’t immune to the ease of posting Palin’s reactions to the story of the day, especially if they contain word usage errors. And neither is most of the mainstream, or what Palin calls the “lamestream,” media. And though Palin seemingly complains about the press’s lack of focus, she’s savvy enough to use social media to keep her name in the forefront of conversation.
In the past few days alone, she had a word-jumble moment while calling feminists “a cackle of rads,” launched a string of pleas for President Obama to clarify his position on the plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero and (admirably) promoted the anniversary of women’s suffrage on Facebook (while backing her “mama grizzly” candidates). Every time Palin (or her potential ghostwriter) tweets or posts on Facebook, her millions of fans and followers take notice and add their thoughts, regardless of the actual, substantial message.
For example, yesterday Palin defended Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the radio host who used the n-word 11 times on the air and then resigned to “reclaim [her] First Amendment rights.” Palin tweeted that she should not “retreat,” but “reload,” and that Schlessinger is “even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles.” All this defense for a woman who, two years ago, called Palin incompetent and a bad mother. That had to sting. Has Palin genuinely forgiven Schlessinger, putting differences aside for a common cause? Has she simply forgotten about the slight? Or is she glossing over Schlessinger’s attack just to be contrarian?
We’re not Palin, so we don’t know her real motivations. But whether or not her motivations are noble or simply attention-grabbing (she does have a book to sell and a TV special to promote), America certainly takes notice. And when Palin gives her two cents on the controversy of the day, it pays back in spades.