Sarah Palin’s political downfall can be summed up in one 36 second clip from today’s Fox and Friends. In the clip, Gretchen Carlson says, “The word on the street is the Democrats are most fearful of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate, right now.”
Here is the Fox and Friends clip from Media Matters:
Fox News’ open campaigning for Trump provides visual confirmation of what Nate Silver reported today as the dimming media spotlight on Sarah Palin, “In contrast to four years ago, however, when the relative amount of media coverage was fairly steady throughout the campaign, there have already been some dramatic shifts this year. Sarah Palin’s potential candidacy, for instance, is only receiving about one-fifth as much attention as it did several months ago.”
According to Silver, Palin’s share of the media coverage went from 51% in November 2010 to 11% by April 2011. Sarah Palin’s coverage has moved to one birther loving, candidacy flirting reality TV star in particular. Donald Trump’s percentage of the media coverage has gone from 1% in November 2010 to 40% by April 2011. In this case, the data confirms the perception that Donald Trump has replaced Sarah Palin as the media’s right wing darling.
As Trump has ridden a media wave to the top of the GOP field, the decline in media coverage has resulted in Sarah Palin’s poll number with Republicans being sliced in half from nearly 20% to currently 10%. Trump’s coverage has been fueled by morning talk shows and Fox News, but since Palin refuses to appear on other networks for interviews, she is completely dependent on Fox News for her coverage.
Her Fox News dependency would never have been a problem, but Palin made one critical mistake. She crossed Roger Ailes.
Sarah Palin’s Fox News airtime decline can be traced back to one incident, blood libel. According to New York Magazine, Roger Ailes told Sarah Palin not to post the blood libel video, but Palin went rogue and bit the hand that feeds her. After this she was a lot less visible on Fox, and now a few months later, she has been replaced by Donald Trump.
Roger Ailes is the media gatekeeper and kingmaker for the Republican Party. The Fox News treatment can propel a candidate to victory in a GOP primary. (Fox News has not yet demonstrated the ability to be of such great service in a general election).
When Gretchen Carlson bequeathed the title of Republican most feared by Democrats to Donald Trump, she delivered visual confirmation of what most observers already knew. Sarah Palin is getting the Glenn Beck treatment at Fox News.
The first concrete proof of Palin’s diminished Fox News presence came almost two weeks ago, when the network didn’t post video of her blasting John Boehner’s budget deal, and instead put her comments supporting Trump’s birtherism front and center. This was the first large omen that Palin’s Fox News role was shifting from central star to secondary player.
Her decline was made obvious by the lack of media coverage generated for her disaster of an event in Wisconsin, that is more infamous for Tea Party thuggery than notable for anything that Palin had to say. Team Palin has always relied on the media coverage that they generated from complaining about the media, but most other outlets have followed FNC’s lead, and banished Palin to second class status. Ironically, it doesn’t seem to matter to Fox that polls show Obama crushing both Palin and Trump by almost equal margins.
Gretchen Carlson made it official today. Fox News is off the Sarah Palin bandwagon, and now backing Donald Trump.
Palinmania is dead. A stake has been driven through its heart by FNC head honcho Roger Ailes.
As he casts the discarded carcass of Sarah Palin to the political ash heap, Ailes is hard at work at making Donald Trump his newest political star.
The queen is dead. All hail the new king. Pay no mind to the kingmaker standing behind him.