Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dishing Sarah Palin

Michael Joseph Gross has a profile of Sarah Palin in Vanity Fair. Flattering it ain’t, but then, you don’t expect that sort of thing in a piece titled The Sound and the Fury.

There’s the usual stuff that reveals cracks in her character — she’s a lousy tipper, she treats staff like dirt, and has a volcanic temper — but in the overall scheme of things, sneering articles like this won’t put an end to her parade of appearances and endorsements. Supporters won’t be dissuaded, and if anything, it will reinforce the mindset that she is hated by the elites who read VF, which only makes them love her more because she upsets the “Establishment.” To them, she’s Aimee Semple McPherson, Huey Long and Abbie Hoffman.

Despite all the nasty things that the article reveals, I’m pretty sure that the Palin camp is secretly delighted to have it out there; it keeps her name in the headlines, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

There’s a school of thought that says that we should just ignore people like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck who are so clearly into this for their own ego and the money. Giving them any attention only enables them. But I think we ignore them at our peril. You don’t have to repeat and revel in the gossipy stuff about how these people are “in real life” — do you really care that Sarah Palin demands a particular kind of Lear Jet? — but the more we expose these people as frauds and manipulators, the more they dismantle their own credibility.