When I first heard Sarah Palin was going to be co-hosting the Today Show Tuesday, my first thought was:
“This has to be an April Fools trick.”
Once I was convinced that this was for real my second thought was:
“Why on earth is Sarah Palin giving NBC the benefit of her ratings draw when they and their sister network MSNBC treat her as a joke.”
After all NBC understands that Palin is a huge ratings draw and up against Katie Couric and even bigger one. Tens of Thousands of viewers will turn into the Today Show that never did in the past, they will happily take the day of ratings to embarrass Couric on ABC and to get the numbers. Why should Palin give her enemies his gift?
Now that I’ve had a day to sleep on it without my taxes hanging over my head it hits me that Palin has set a trap and has put NBC and MSNBC has fallen in it.
Consider: The MSM has a history of ignoring any substantive or actual statement of Sarah Palin for the sake of their “Sarah Palin is an idiot” message. They ignored her speech in Wisconsin at the height of the protests in the state, ignored her big foreign policy speech in Denver. Just weeks ago MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent over a week on the HBO fiction “Game Change” while ignoring the Obama administrations attack on Palin and her substantive reply.
However on Tuesday the viewership of the Today show, who in the past has only seen Sarah though the filter of the MSM will see Palin without distortion. As her daughter Bristol put it on her blog:
She’ll be a totally unique presence, won’t she? (Just try to think of anyone else like her on television !)
No there is not. When the Today show audience tunes in they will see a confident intelligent conservative woman who is the total opposite of what they have been told and her very presence will make liars of all of those who have painted conservative women in general and Sarah Palin in particular as an idiot, as I wrote last year:
watching Palin in context tends to make people like her.
It will undo years of propaganda that the viewers have been fed, but the worse effect will be on the network itself.
For NBC the Palin ratings will be like the free samples of an addictive drug. One hit will not be enough, the number crunchers, the people who sell the ads will be asking: ” Can we get those ratings again? Might we tempt Palin to return? ”
One they get a taste of the ratings the network will be under immense pressure to try to get Palin back on a regular basis, either for Today or for another show, and as long as the carrot of that dynamic is in play, what will the MSNBC “talent” on their low rated cable network do? Will the people above want them to risk the chance of the coup or more properly, what will they be allowed to do?
It should be fun.