Palin Bus Tour: She Does What She Wants, Not What Media Expects

In some Tweets I sent to Jim Geraghty at NRO yesterday, I was pointing out that I thought he was allowing his expectations to get in the way of his reporting on Sarah Palin’s bus tour. Unfortunately, perhaps he was too busy to respond. But while ribbing him some, I was attempting to make a point.

I re-Tweeted him, initially and laughed.

lol @jimgeraghty: Sarah Palin’s bus destinations: information is need-to-know, & the MSM doesn’t need 2 know.

How can one read the above and not be reminded of Reagan’s practice of going over the media’s head, directly to the people? That holds true even if some media outlets might promote, or fancy, themselves to be of Reagan in some sense, as still others might think they actually are not quite that?

@jimgeraghty Kinda funny, Jim – Bcuz it isn’t what you think it shld be, it must be wrong, or odd, somehow. I think if she wnted 2 do wht you think she should, she wld have asked. ; ) Oh well,

What if its mostly about filming location shots, too large a crowd might be bad for that? Try putting dwn Ur assumptions for it then you could, you know, just report whatever it is, or isnt. w/o judging everything so much.

I’ve no desire to single out Jim for criticism here, media over all – and especially DC-based media, is increasingly long on opinion, while short on facts. To some extent, we are seeing that reflected in the broader media coverage of Palin’s bus trip. Here is Jim’s piece:

Note that on SarahPAC’s site, her last post was at Fort McHenry, Maryland. No schedule is posted. Where is the next stop? Somewhere in Delaware? (Do the tollbooths on I-95 count as a site?) Philadelphia? The much-rumored stop in Gettysburg?

Via Politico we learn that it prompted confusion – among the media, mostly. Oh dear, well that certainly qualifies as news, it’s about them, after all. And today’s media loves nothing more than talking about itself – even if few others care:

Sarah Palin’s bus tour prompts confusion on Day 2

Peter Hamby of CNN added some facts, which I think is fair and appropriate:

Palin fakes out reporters at Gettysburg hotel

Time and again, it appears to me that Sarah Palin does, media-wise, what she wants to do and not what the media seems to expect of her. Is that really such a bad thing? Well, perhaps it is if one sees his- or herself as knowing it all, some sort of media personality and alleged expert about something, as opposed to simply a journalist or reporter.

Still, when all is said and done, it is Sarah Palin that this all either helps or hurts, whatever her chosen pursuits turn out to be in the end. And I’m not sure we know what those are, or will be, anymore than what, precisely, she may be doing at any one point during her current bus tour. So what?

Personally, I’m content to watch the show play out, whatever it may be – watching the media scramble to try and make some sense of it from their perspective, while continuing to attempt to remind us just how important they are, as opposed to Palin, perhaps, is simply the icing on the cake, in a way.

Given the relative unpopularity of the media in America today, it is worth wondering just how many Americans may be viewing all this the very same way. For better or worse, just as I’ve said Palin seems extremely innovative in terms of her use of media in politics, I also think she is using it to take Reagan’s concept of going over the media’s head directly to the people to a new level, as well.

I’m not prepared to predict what that ultimately means, or how it all plays out. But I am, as suggested above, content to take it in without getting my shorts in a twist. I’d include a picture to confirm that, but then, someone might confuse me for Rep. Weiner – and I wouldn’t want that to happen, least of all these days.

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