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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.

By Ian Shapira  | April 27, 2010; 7:26 AM ET
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Comments

Say it isn't so? Levi was right? Palin quit for the money? But I thought she quit because she wanted to spend time with her loving and growing brood, reflect on her life, and wait for direction from God? Guess her God told her to get the heck out of Wasilla, leave her kids with nannies, and make as much money as she can to help others. What, you say? She hasn't donated a red cent to any cause? She is using her PAC to pay speechwriters and fund her fancy hotels, but not for its stated purpose of helping Republican candidates? I am shocked. Palin LIES!

Posted by: smgess | April 27, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Palin is doing what she said she was going to do. Making a difference without a title. Andrew Sullivan (Palin hater) had it right in his article yesterday, Palin is the most influencial politician behind Obama. Millions of Americans are ready to jump on the Palin 2012 band wagon.Palin has lit the fire under Americans, like me, who never considered getting close to politics. She's been raising money for 2010 candidates and local rnc groups and her personal wealth seems to have grown over the last nine months. Maybe Obamas pay czar could cut her 100,000 speeches in half , its only fair. One thing she knows bigtime, conservatism sells, liberalism doesn't.

Posted by: sodakhic | April 27, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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