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If Fox News thought they had the next big thing locked up when they signed Sarah Palin, they may be having second thoughts today.
The broadcast of Sarah Palin’s Real American Fluff Pieces, a collection of old clips that were supposed to be inspirational, probably did not inspire much excitement in the Fox News executive suites. The audience, while besting the competition, was not particularly impressive for Fox. In fact, Palin had fewer viewers than Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record, the program she preempted. There were only about 2 million real Americans tuning into Palin’s show (472K adults 25-54). That compares to Van Susteren’s 2.3 million viewers (654K 25-54) last Thursday and 2.1 million (559K 25-54) average for the first quarter of 2010.
From a critical perspective, the reviews are in, and they aren’t lighting up the Fox Towers. Most of the comments employ adjectives like “tame,” “canned,” “stiffness,” “innocuous,” and “disconnected.” If this is her out-of-town tryout, she isn’t going on to Broadway.
It’s fair to assume that Palin is well compensated for her efforts on behalf of Fox News. I haven’t seen any disclosures of her salary but she gets a minimum of $100,000 for speaking engagements, so you can bet she got a gold-plated contract from her pal Rupert Murdoch. Nevertheless, her numbers would have put her in seventh place in the cable news rankings following Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Special Report w/Bret Baier, Van Susteren, and Fox Report w/Shepard Smith. She did manage to beat Neil Cavuto and an O’Reilly rerun.
Somehow, I don’t think this is what Roger Ailes had in mind when he dropped a pile of cash on her. Of course, this is not her only duties at Fox. She also provides commentary to programs like Van Susteren’s and O’Reilly’s. Well, commentary may be too generous a description. It’s more like a litany of platitudes and cliches that she probably wrote on her palm. Even her colleague Chris Wallace dressed her down on the air – to her face – saying, “Well, you’re not a very good analyst.” Palin responded by inviting Ailes to fire her. That notion might have entered his mind this morning when he saw the overnights.
Yesterday’s program got off to a rocky start when one of the featured guests, LL Cool J, revealed that he had never spoken to Fox or Palin and that the interview was a two year old clip that he had not given permission to rebroadcast for this purpose. Fox responded by insulting him and cutting him out of the show. Shortly after, Toby Keith, another featured guest, made the same complaint as LL Cool J. Oddly enough, the white country singer was neither insulted nor edited out, as the black rapper/actor was.
Fox News is the most profitable division of Murdoch’s News Corp. Over the past few years their ratings have grown and they’ve renegotiated richer contracts with cable operators. But business decisions like the Palin signing are not going to add to the company’s future prospects. They are already suffering the embarrassment of having their second highest rated program, Glenn Beck, going to air with advertising for diet pills and gold recyclers because Ford and Wal-Mart don’t want to be associated with him.
Under the circumstances, I’m not sure that Murdoch and Ailes can possibly think that they are getting their money’s worth from Beck or Palin. But that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to carry them. Murdoch has sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the New York Post and it has never been profitable for as long as he’s owned it. He purchased the Wall Street Journal for $5 billion and last year wrote off $2 billion of that. He has been deficit financing the Fox Business Network for over two years with still no sign of it going into the black. In short, he’s made of money and doesn’t care how much of it he loses in pursuit of his political agenda.
That ought to come as a great relief to Sarah Palin after this disastrous debut as an anchor.
10 thoughts on “Sarah Palin’s Real American Fluff Gets Soft Reception”
Mark: why, do you think, did the FOX execs assign her a non-political (overtly, anyway) non-controversial program to host? Because she is such a lousy analyst and unable to operate without a script? That’s my guess.
Yeah. This was an obvious rehearsal. They didn’t want to give her any real work to do after seeing how awfully she’s performed as a guest commentator. I don’t think they know what to do with her. She has no discernible skills or talent.
Did they somehow forget there audience make-up? Rabid reichwing foxtards don’t care about handicapped folks or touchy-feely sob stories!
Inane, inarticulate, fear-mongering, hate speech is what they want from her! It’s “sexy” for the rightwing to hear some moron talk about crap she knows very little about, as long as she looks “hot” doing it!
Just put her on the couch with any of the far-right Fox pundits and they can repeat the Republican talking points and trade lies about Liberals and Dems. I guarantee that the ratings will go up faster than Rich Lowery’s erection did during the Repub Nat. Convention!
Fox”news” is going off script with this weak heartfelt Palin stuff and need to ramp up the hatred and vitriol if they want to make a dim bulb like Palin a “ratings giant!”
“She’s just like us! -Fox viewer
Yeah, if your IQ is below 85!
LOL. Especially the Rich Lowery part.
My theory is that they just wanted to put together something cheap to see if she could pull it off before spending more money on a “real” show. Apparently the answer is NO.
what’s odd about Palin’s willingness to do a special with B roll mushiness is how much it shows she’s not in control. For someone who attempts to show that she’s leader material with Don’t Retreat, Reload blather — why would she allow herself to look so weak and unprepared?
During her time on the campaign trail and promoting her work of fiction, couldn’t she have absorbed something about media presentation and optics?
Hell, she could have watched footage of the POTUS on the campaign trail to learn a thing or two.
Learning stuff is so elitist. She couldn’t waste her time doing that. Plus, it would interfere with her 100 grand speechifyin.
Happy Easter NewsCorpse… Luke 24:5-7 “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.”
And happy Passover to you.
Pray for Sarah Palin and Fox News:
Psalm 31:18, “Let the lying lips be put to silence.”
“Another site that trumpeted misleading stats about Palinâ€™s special was News Corpse, where they deemed the entire enterprise a â€œdisastrous debut as an anchorâ€. Of course, Gov Palin was not an anchor but a documentary host, which makes one wonder if the corpsicles even watched the program. They go on to state that the ratings put her program â€œin seventh place in the cable news rankingsâ€–no she was #3 that night, see above.”
J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!
Serial spammer, Johnny Dollar, is hitting by site again with his nonsense. He apparently doesn’t know what a TV anchor is. And her program is in 7th place based on the quarter’s average ratings. Sorry JD, you’re wrong again.
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