Plots and Thoughts

Palin and the Courtier Media

Posted in Analysis, Observations by Captain Optimistic on November 16, 2009

Sarah Palin makes an excellent heir to Ronald Reagan.  Reagan exemplified the Courtly Style, defined by Robert Hariman.  It can be summed up simply in its power to separate royalty from peasantry, the speaker from the spoken to.  (It may be contrasted with the Republican Style (classical Republican), which may be thought of as a rhetorical tool to unite the speaker and her audience, to join citizen with like-citizens).

This separation seeps into the mindset, actions and perception of the speaker in a way that makes the word elitist a living, fire breathing creature.  How ironic when one such as Palin utters it!

This skewed approach to the world is evident in Palin’s interview with Oprah:

“I think that [Couric’s] agenda was to not necessarily show me in the best light and not allow my mistake, my gaffe to go uncaught,” said Palin, who flubbed Couric’s question about which newspapers, books or magazines she read regularly.

Admitting that she had been annoyed with Couric’s “badgering,” even rolling her eyes at times, Palin, 45, said it was unprofessional of Couric to wear that “annoyance on her sleeve.”

For Sarah Palin the media is there to legitimize her rule and extend her reach.  Not to question.  Not to investigate.  Which fits so well with the theocratic, proto-fascist astroturf populism she sells.  It is a brand so unnatural it requires a surgically supportive media environment to snag consumers.  Which is why she ties it so tightly to her image as a family woman.  Because the idea of blind acceptance and obedience is viscerally counter to Democracy and Americana.  It only feels natural when we view childhood through eyes jaundiced by nostalgia.

Something to keep in mind when Palin runs for Big Mother in 2012.

One Response

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  1. geou1 said, on November 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    “Astroturf populism” – Like the nifty phrase.

    I honestly am not as worried as most people about Palin running for presidency. While she may have base that would elect her, [and even that I am not entirely convinced of], I just don’t think she would get *any* of the institutional support necessary for her bid for the presidency. I think most politicians hate her, including the majority of republicans, and Anna Marie Cox made a good point on Rachel the other night when she asked who would ever work for her [Palin] again, after this book where she ran her staff through the mud….

    I think the best thing to do is just ignore her, and eventually she will go away and/or get a talk show.

    [Liking the blog so far!]

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