Sarah Palin’s signing with Fox struck me as a deeply bad idea for her, assuming she harbors continuing political ambitions.
1) Every time a politician appears on television, he or she multiplies the odds of a mistake or gaffe. That’s especially true for this politician.
2) Every day Palin spends in a Fox studio in New York is a day she is not campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan – or fundraising in Dallas or Orlando.
3) Combined with her policy of speaking only for pay, Palin’s Fox deal substantiates the suspicion that she resigned the governorship only in order to cash in on her fame.
As I watched her appearance on O’Reilly, however, 3 other problems became evident.
1) There’s room for only one star on any Fox program, especially O’Reilly’s. As he talked over her and corrected her (“We discussed that last night,” he said when she compared Harry Reid to Trent Lott), O’Reilly enhanced his own authority at the expense of Palin’s.
2) Unlike Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, Palin is much less well informed and much less mentally nimble than O’Reilly and other Fox hosts. Over time, even her most starry-eyed fans will not be able to postpone noticing this.
3) The longer she appears on TV, the less she will be “from Alaska” and the more she will be “from Fox.” She’s subsuming her brand into somebody else’s. Not for the first time, one wonders as one looks at the Fox-GOP relationship: who’s working for whom here?