Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Sarah Palin: Fox News move widely discussed in US media

Sarah Palin at book-signing event
The jury is out on whether Sarah Palin is a serious political contender

News that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is to be a contributor to the Fox News Channel is widely discussed in the US media, largely for what it might say about the beaten Republican vice-presidential candidate's hopes for a shot at the presidency in 2012.

For ABC News' Rick Klein the move "appears to be a step away from elected office".

"While the Fox job will leave room for other pursuits, it's also the latest sign that Palin... is looking for ways to build upon her political brand in ways that don't necessarily include a run for the presidency in 2012.

"Though terms of the Fox deal have not been made public, this plus her quick authorship of a bestselling memoir suggest that Palin's attention has turned to her own finances since leaving public life."

CNN's Ed Hornick agrees , suggesting Ms Palin is sending a "clear message" that she is "unlikely to run" in 2012.

Hornick quotes Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala saying the same, while adding a couple of barbs: "I do think maybe it suggests, sadly for Democrats, that she might not be running... Let's first hope for [Fox News President] Roger Ailes' sake that she doesn't quit that job the way she quit her job as governor of Alaska."

But Howard Kurtz, in the Washington Post, notes that Ms Palin, "who has been broadcasting her political views on her Facebook page, has just acquired a far more potent media megaphone".

"Out-of-work politicians are increasingly using television and radio to stay on the political radar and keep their options open, which is one reason that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, an also-ran in the 2008 White House race and possible 2012 contender, is now hosting a weekend show, also on Fox," Kurtz adds.

The "megaphone" metaphor is also used by Matea Gold and Mark Barabak in the LA Times , who note that "Fox News gets a high-profile figure whose pronouncements on issues such as healthcare reform have helped drive contentious partisan debate".

[The job] establishes her as an official member of the mainstream media she lambasted in her own bestselling memoir as 'worthless as a source of factual information anymore'
Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News

Political analyst Darrell West tells the Times that it will be hard for Ms Palin to use the job with Fox News - a channel which claims neutrality but is widely seen as having a conservative bias - to broaden her political base.

But Republican strategist David Carney sees her limited role at the channel as a sensible move, adding that it is "probably safer for keeping her presidential possibilities open than a daily show where she'd have to come up with something innovative and entertaining and provocative for 42 minutes, five days a week".

'Ashamed and sickened'

Steve Steckler, a contributor to's Arena section, hopes to sees Ms Palin placed "in regular on-air debates with well-armed adversaries rather than just serving up [Glenn] Beck-like monologues".

"If it is the latter, then write her off as a serious future political contender, since she won't have demonstrated that she has overcome her most relevant weaknesses as a candidate," Steckler adds.

In the US edition of, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Edward Luce suggest that the deal has "revved up" Ms Palin's presidential hopes.

But they also note that her appointment came a day after Matthew Freud, son-in-law of News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, denounced Roger Ailes, the chairman and chief executive of Fox News.

Freud told the New York Times he was "ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes's horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to".

Media U-turn?

In an article titled "Fox's Newest Star, Sarah Palin, May Be a Bit Dim", The Nation's John Nichols focuses on a new book of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change, by reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

In the book, and in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview , 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain's senior adviser, Steve Schmidt, describes Palin as a stunningly inept and ill-prepared contender for the vice presidency.

Meanwhile, provides a photo gallery detailing Ms Palin's life since the 2008 US presidential election.

And on the Atlantic's website, Max Fisher has compiled a selection of previous Palin appearances on Fox News.

"Whether you're a Palin fan warming up the DVR or a Palin skeptic discovering another reason to tune out Fox News, here's what you may have to look forward to when Palin graces your set," Fisher writes.

Finally, Erika Bolstad in Alaska's Anchorage Daily News notes: "Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will join Fox News as a contributor, a job that establishes her as an official member of the mainstream media she lambasted in her own bestselling memoir as 'worthless as a source of factual information anymore'."

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