Story Pick: Sarah Palin Inc.
Sarah Palin's ascendancy in politics and media is well established, but Gabriel Sherman, in a New York magazine cover story, shows that her journey has been accompanied by startling amounts of money. According to Sherman's "The Revolution Will Be Commercialized," the narrative of Palin's success -- after her 2008 vice presidential campaign -- includes a litany of profit-making deals.
First, in May 2009, she scored a $7 million book deal with HarperCollins, which ultimately resulted in "Going Rogue," which sold 2.2 million copies. In January 2010, Sherman writes, Palin inked a three-year deal to be a Fox News contributor for $1 million a year. Last month, she and reality television show producer Mark Burnett sold a cable show based on her life to TLC for $1 million an episode, "of which Palin is said to take in about $250,000 for each of the eight installments," according to Sherman. Oh, and Palin commands $100,000 per speech.
So much has been written about Palin, but Sherman does a great job of capturing what her life has been like since she left the Alaska governorship. One closely observed paragraph sticks outs from his travels to the northern frontier:
In Wasilla, the Palins are in the midst of a major lifestyle upgrade. There’s a new Escalade in the driveway and a new Dodge Ram pickup for Bristol, says someone who knows the family. When I visited in early April, the sound of whirring saws and hammers could be heard emanating from the trees from the deck of the Best Western Hotel next door, which, since the campaign, has served as a base camp of sorts for visiting press. Todd’s cherry-red seaplane sits propped on its floats by the shoreline.
There, are of course, several anonymous sources, which Sherman used freely in a recent New Republic piece critiquing The Washington Post. But this story feels more deeply reported. The piece says so much about a broader aspect of our media-dominated culture, and how quickly a politician can swiftly catapult into extreme celebrity and money.
| April 27, 2010; 7:26 AM ET
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