It turns out that Joe Scarborough’s criticism of Sarah Palin in a column for Politico today was just the tip of the iceberg. On his MSNBC program Morning Joe, Scarborough exposed the truth about the right and Sarah Palin. Talk radio hosts and Republican leaders privately say they don’t want her, but they are afraid to take her on. Scarborough basically accused the talk show hosts, who defend Palin for 3 hours a day on the air but don’t really support her, of lying.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Scarborough opened his Politico piece by discussing the GOP’s Palin problem, “Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up.”
Scarborough expanded on his comments during Morning Joe today. His co-host Mika Brzezinski opened up the segment on the Politico story by saying, “But the bottom line is you know, we talk off set with a lot of major Republican figures, and they say all this. They refuse to say it on the record.”
Scarborough then expanded on her point, “All of them. All of them say it offset. All your talk radio show hosts that will defend Sarah Palin for three hours every day, all offset quietly say this, all your leading conservative figures, off the record, will say all of this about Sarah Palin but they want ratings and book sales and don’t want to upset the 18% of Americans who like Sarah Palin. I, however, my main concern with actually good governance.”
It doesn’t take much effort to figure who Scarborough was referring to when he mentioned talk show hosts who take the airwaves for three hours a day to defend Palin. Of course he was referring to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and especially Glenn Beck. Judging from his statement that the talk show hosts support Palin to boost ratings and book sales, I think that he was especially taking aim at Beck.
The reason why these talk show hosts are lying to their listeners can be found by examining demographics. The average viewer age for Sarah Palin’s Alaska is 57 years old. Roughly 80% of Fox News viewers are over 50 years old, and it has been estimated that 70%-80% of Rush Limbaugh’s listeners are over 50 years old. Palin’s supporters also listen to and watch Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh, so it is in their financial best interests to never let their true feelings about Sarah Palin be known on the air.
In order to make a buck, these right wing talkers go on the air, and lie about their support of Sarah Palin every day. What Scarborough did this morning was provide an insider’s view of how the right wing media works. It isn’t about beliefs for them. It is all about feeding the audience what they want to hear, and making money. The problem is that what that audience wants to hear could bring down the Republican Party if Sarah Palin is allowed to become their 2012 nominee.
I think almost everyone who is not on the right underestimates what a powerful brand and marketing machine Sarah Palin has established with evangelical and social conservatives. People like Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh are happy to keep milking the Palin cash cow, and are afraid of rocking the boat. These so called voices of right wing truth are so terrified of Sarah Palin and her cult like following that they tell them exactly what they want to hear.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes these propagators of false reality to line up and proclaim their love and support of Sarah Palin, and even though some on the right will see Scarborough as a traitor or a closet liberal, he is actually doing his party a favor by exposing the dirty business of selling Sarah Palin.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association