Empire Editorial: All surface, no substance

Former half-term governor Sarah Palin has found another approach to continue her one-way conversations: the Sarah Palin Channel.

For just $9.95 per month (or $99.99 per year), you can join Palin as she opines about the “great issues of the day and works toward solutions.”

By “great issues,” Palin really means gratuitous self-promotion of her role in next season’s “Amazing America” and detailed policy discussions such as how Arnold Schwarzenegger took her and Todd Palin’s seats at an event in Washington, D.C.

When she says “solutions,” Palin must be referring to the clips titled “Moose Meat: It’s What’s for Dinner!” and “Backstage with the ‘Duck Dynasty’ Crew!”

There’s also Palin’s take on why the media is liberal, why Obama should be impeached, her solutions to curb Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression and “The Truth about the war in Israel.”

If that’s not enough to convince you to fork over $10, the site also includes Bristol Palin’s blog. We know we can’t pass that up, and we’re sure you can’t, either.

Alaska journalist and politics blogger Amanda Coyne perhaps said it best when she wrote: “(Palin) promises that she’ll ‘talk about the issues that the mainstream media won’t talk about.’ Namely herself.”

Palin’s online channel is merely the most recent example of how the former Veep nominee is struggling to stay relevant in a country that has lost its fascination with her and her divisive antics.

Palin left office promising to do great things for Alaskans and Americans. Five years later, we’re still waiting. Million-dollar book deals, high-priced speaking engagements, several cancelled reality shows and a broken-down bus tour haven’t lived up to the promise. Palin could have been a boon to the United States, interjecting rural America’s point of view into the national political discussion, but that opportunity has been squandered with divisive dialogue and absolutist thinking.

Palin’s channel is an example of the worst kind of tribalism and navel-gazing America has to offer. Instead of compromise and dialogue, we’ve been left with an echo chamber and a funhouse collection of mirrors. Palin promised a revolution, but a revolution without compromise inevitably turns into a battle over who is the most pure, the most dedicated to the standards of the revolution. Anyone with different ideas or methods is cast aside. Paris in 1789 saw this, as did Moscow in 1917.

If we are harsh in our criticism, it’s because we expected more. When Palin ran for vice president, we thought she would bring the same fresh spirit she brought to the governor’s office. Instead, we got a punch line on “Saturday Night Live.”

When historians look at the footnote that was Sarah Palin, they won’t use phrases like “great compromiser” or “fair negotiator” or “open-minded.” Instead, she’ll be remembered for driving a wedge even deeper between those who think like her and everyone else. Palin doesn’t draw people to her side; she is a divider, not a uniter.

Before you type in your credit card information and subscribe to the Sarah Palin Channel, know this: If you cancel after the two-week trial, there’s no refund for your money, whether you paid for a month or a year.

We don’t know what will happen if Palin quits early, but the Tapp Network should have a contingency plan just in case.

• Empire editorials are written by the Juneau Empire’s editorial board. Members include Publisher Rustan Burton, rustan.burton@juneauempire.com; Director of Audience Abby Lowell, abby.lowell@juneauempire.com; Managing Editor Charles L. Westmoreland, charles.westmoreland@juneauempire.com; and Asst. Editor James Brooks, james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com.

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