This is not just wrong; it’s absurd. The reality is exactly the opposite: We love Palin.
And if Palin does not exactly love us, she’s smart enough to recognize how quickly reporters devour every provocative remark she utters. She knows how to exploit our weakness to guarantee herself exposure far out of proportion to her actual influence in Republican politics.
It’s a tangled, symbiotic affair — built on mutual dependency and mutual enabling.
For the media, Palin is great at the box office. Among modern American political figures, she is second only to Barack Obama in generating clicks (for websites such as this one) and ratings (for the cable news networks hungering around the clock for fresh material).
For Palin, the benefit is the exposure she needs to maintain her public profile and stir up chatter about a potential presidential candidacy — both of which help her continue to rake in millions of dollars in speaking fees. She also gets a villain with which to further energize her supporters: The more she convinces them “the MSM” hates her, the more they love her.
The problem is that this relationship — what in Hollywood they call being “frenemies” — treats Palin as though she were the central figure in the politics of 2012. No realistic appraisal of Palin’s current strengths and weaknesses or of the history of Republican politics suggests that this is necessarily true.