Last month the media world was stunned – er, scratch that – bored by news that Sarah Palin had re-signed with Fox News after a very public falling out. It was pretty well known by insiders that Fox had low-balled Palin and that her acceptance of the offer months later was proof of her desperation (and Fox’s too).
Now we have evidence of another factor in Palin’s supplication to Fox. And it points to precisely what any Palin watcher would have expected: Sarah Palin PAC Takes Fundraising Nosedive.
That’s right. It’s all about money for the Grifter from the North. The Center for Public Integrity reports that Palin’s PAC has brought in less than half of her take by this time in 2012, and less than a third of 2011’s first half earnings. The difference is that in both of the prior years she still had her perch at Fox News. The first six months of this year Palin was nearly invisible. Consequently, her ability to con gullible Tea Party rubes out of their meager funds was greatly diminished. Even in her home state of Alaska she is not regarded favorably. Recent polls show her getting crushed by incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich.
Fox News has long been a Republican ATM where conservatives would go to hawk their Apocalypse Accessories and beg for donations so that they could save the world from communism, Islam, gays, blacks, and, of course, our gay, black, Muslim, communist president, Barack Obama. The Palin debacle will now serve as a warning to right-wingers that they cannot dismiss the power of Fox News. It is the source of their strength and they will wither and die without it.
Also notable in the CPI report is that Palin was especially stingy with her declining wealth. She virtually ignored her political pals, instead choosing to spend “the vast majority of that money on consultants, travel, speechwriting and other logistical fees.”
Palin’s financial woes will help to keep the GOP establishment in line. They know now that they must acquiesce to the omnipotence of Fox. They must appear at will, and they must recite the doctrine just as they are told. Should they try to rebel they will suffer just as Sister Sarah did.
This represents an unprecedented and frightening transfer of power from authentic public leaders to a giant media conglomerate with an obvious political mission. And the fact that Fox can continue to operate without being compelled to declare their donations of airtime as in-kind campaign contributions, illustrates how deformed our political and media institutions have become.