Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sarah Palin signs multi-year contract with Fox News

One of the most controversial household names of the past decade, former governor of Alaska and former Republican VP-candidate Sarah Palin, never fails to give Americans a morning topic of discussion and she has not failed this week as Fox News announced that Palin has signed a multi-year contract with the network. The contract includes her debut as a correspondent on "The O' Reilly Factor" (January 12) and a gig as host of a series, discussing the struggles of everyday Americans, titled "Real American Stories."

"The O'Reilly Factor" is not the only show in which Palin will commentate. The former governor is said to guest-host on shows throughout the network.

Matea Gold and Mark Barabak of the Los Angeles Times said that Palin has not had many great appearances on television before her signed deal, namely her infamous interview with Katie Couric on CBS amidst the election, in which she seemed unprepared and anxious throughout the interview.** The interview inspired Tina Fey, former head writer of "Saturday Night Live" and powerhouse behind the acclaimed show "30 Rock," to comedically perform as Palin every week on the show. Palin eventually joined Fey on the show and did not cause a spir over the spoofs.

The Executive Vice President of Programming at Fox News, Bill Shine, spoke positively of Palin's contract: "She is one of the most talked about and politically polarizing figures in the country. ...First off, we hope she brings that."** He acknowledged that she may have made some false assertions on television before, but encourages that, "along the way, we'll talk to her and have conversations and I'm sure everything will be fine. In the end, that's probably going to help us...that's what people will want to watch."**

As with the public outcry that began once Palin became a notable figure, not everyone agrees with Palin's new role. Marty Kaplan, former Democratic speechwriter and Director of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, said the Palin's new gig will not help her political credibility: "The narrative that hurts her the most is one that she herself began, which is she's not interested in governing,"** said Kaplan, suggesting that her initiative(s) behind her new role are not in the interest of enlightening Americans.

Fox News, itself, is one of the top-rated networks in America. In 2009 during the prime-time slots, Fox News drew in 2.2 million viewers, "more than CNN and MSNBC combined," stated in a Los Angeles Times article.** Many analysts and viewers hope that Palin will use this "large megaphone" for the greater good, while the rest of the American audience simply awaits to see how Palin will handle this new role.

**1) http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-et-palin12-2010jan12,0,5744298.story
***2) http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/sarah-palin-to-contribute-to-fox-news/?scp=1&sq=sarah%20palin%20fox%20news&st=cse
***3) Photo: http://www.topnews.in/usa/files/Sarah-Palin_1.jpg

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