Palin unfortunately still riding airwaves

It seems Sarah Palin just won’t go away.

The former Alaska governor and failed vice-presidential candidate will apparently attempt to keep the spotlight shining on herself with a co-hosting spot on NBC’s “Today Show”. According to Business Insider, the episode will have special significance as it will pit Palin against Katie Couric, who will be hosting ABC’s “Good Morning America,” in a ratings war.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this is that it will bring back memories of those interviews Couric did with Palin during the 2008 election. If you were able to sit through more than a couple minutes of that devastating session, you’ll know just how painful they were.

Fortunately, Palin and Couric won’t be in the same room together, but Palin will doubtlessly find a way to make a fool of herself.

Her persistent presence in the media has got to be one of the more regrettable episodes in the national discourse of recent years. It was bad enough that she was even on the presidential ticket to begin with. After the smoke cleared from McCain’s defeat, the least we could have hoped for was that Palin was nowhere in sight.

Instead, we got four more years of her.

Everything that made her befuddling rise in national politics infuriating makes her media presence just as unbearable.

The sad thing is, when she’s not on the campaign trail but is just mugging for cameras to keep that fame train a’ going, she fits right in.

In the age of reality TV, the media are glutted with fame-hungry nobodies trying to claw their way to national prominence.

The most obvious examples are perennial tabloid queens the Kardashians and the cast of “Jersey Shore,” best viewed with sunglasses lest their shamelessness blind you.

But just about every reality TV star is the same to some degree. They’re almost all average — and let’s be honest, not particularly remarkable — people, distinct almost entirely for the fact that they’re clearly quite in love with being on camera.

In the good old days, people generally had to have some kind of talent before they made it on TV. Not so anymore; you just have to be hungry for attention.

In retrospect, shows like “Survivor” and “The Real World” seem like great art. Now the entire programing schedules of some channels seem to be filled with shows like “The Most Dangerous Catch,” “Pawn Stars” and “Swamp Loggers.” Then there’s the “Surreal Life” end of the spectrum. The general theme is that TV is populated by people who have no real business being there.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with the common man or woman getting the spotlight. But the kind of people who gravitate toward reality are clearly hamming it up. It’s simply a function of reality TV: Remove what is beautiful and interesting about the everyday and replace it with something that is plastic and annoying.

It’s like if the Mona Lisa had a boob job, botox and collagen-puffed lips.

And how does Sarah Palin fit into all of this? She’s essentially the apotheosis of the ascendance of reality TV. Someone with no clear qualifications and who constantly shoved her supposed average American-ness in our faces for the sake of popularity could have become president.

Now I suppose we’ll have to deal with the long, hard death of her fame. With lots of scheduling to fill up on 500-some channels, she’ll probably be able to maintain her faux-prominence for a while yet.

The good thing? I never watched “Today” anyway.

 


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