Media Predictably Ignore or Spin The Undefeated Successful Opening

As Stacy chronicled yesterday, the media delight in spinning Sarah Palin’s successes as failures, to the extent of all-but ignoring sold-out primetime screenings of The Undefeated, while hyping one mysterious “empty theater” at 12:01 a.m. the night before the official debut.

I found only one article by Reuters on the sold-out Grapevine, Texas show, while there were half a dozen or more articles quoting the putrid Atlantic article about the alleged “empty midnight screening” in Orange,  Calif.

Since when do we talk about political biographies premiering at 12:01 a.m. like a summer blockbuster?

(Apparently, this particular showing wasn’t even approved by Bannon or the marketing company, and was advertised in only one place, The OC Weekly, at the last minute. Makes ya wonder, huh?)

This is nothing new. The journolisters did the same “bar raising” when Sarah Palin was first introduced on the national stage in 2008, comparing her not to the vice presidential candidate she was actually running against … but to the PRESIDENTIAL candidate! (Which comparison, we might add, tilted decidedly in her favor, but was not reported!)

They raised the bar again when Sarah Palin spent six-weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list in 2009 with Going Rogue, an unprecedented amount of time for the political memoir of someone on the national scene a little over a year.

What, Sarah, you couldn’t spend as much time on the best-seller list as a former two-term president?

Such a disappointment, huh?

And now they’re attempting to negatively contrast her inspiring independently-produced documentary, released in exactly 10 locations with limited promotion, to the final installment of the Harry Potter series, screened at more than 4,000 locations amidst ubiquitous hype.

Check out the headlines:

Palin Takes On Potter

Harry Potter seems to make midnight audience
for Palin film vanish

Can Sarah Palin Beat Harry Potter?

In some cities, it’s Bellatrix Lestrange
versus… Sarah Palin.

Granted, some of these headlines are just journalists being lazy, and playing on the obvious confluence of Potter and Palin opening on the same nights. (What are the odds of two bespectacled wonders meeting on the silver screen in one night?)

But it kinda makes ya wonder, doesn’t it, which politician exactly these media mice think could even come close to Palin’s documentary success, much less challenge the Potter series?

Ben Smith over at Politico claims The Undefeated must gross at least $4 million to be considered successful, based on a similar gross for Atlas Shrugged-Part One. He then goes on to list Michael Moore documentary films that grossed between $6 million (Roger and Me) and $119 million (Fahrenheit 9/11).

Um, Mr. Smith … Those are completely different films. They were marketed (in the case of Michael Moore) to mass audiences across the country and told stories broader than just one person. No one can deny that Michael Moore has been a financially successful documentarian (which is no doubt why he ardently complains about capitalism). But it’s not appropriate to compare Steve Bannon’s The Undefeated to anything Moore has produced, or even to Atlas Shrugs or other conservative-leaning films. Smith really should be comparing The Undefeated specifically to other political biographical films. And the only other one Smith had on his “benchmark list” was Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains, released in 2007, that grossed exactly $108, 807.


Granted, this was released nearly 30 years after the glorious hey days of Jimmy Carter, so it’s an unfair comparison with Sarah Palin who is in her prime.

Nevertheless, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict The Undefeated will surpass that lofty Jimmy Carter benchmark handily. It may even top $4 million.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is attributed to Charlotte Whitton, the first female mayor of Ottawa, Canada:

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as a man to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

(Sorry about that one, Papa Grizzlies!)

But we can adapt that a little bit to Sarah Palin and the mainstream media, can’t we?

“Whatever Sarah Palin does, she must do twice as well as a liberal to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

No matter how successful the movie is …. liberals will spin it as a dismal failure … but that will make Palin and her supporters work even harder to soar to even loftier heights.

Exit question: What’s a journolister to do when faced with something incredibly deflating like this? Palin’s movie sold out in Grapevine, Texas and Orange, Calif. (Harry Potter did not sell out in either location apparently.)

Sold out in Grapevine

h/t Jon Vaughan

Sold Out in Orange, Calif.

h/t Linda Wang

Exit question 2: Where are all the reports from the media about the sold-out screenings in Orlando, Kennesaw, Ga., Highland Ranch, Co. and Orange, Ca.? They are only reporting that Grapevine sold out. We know other cities had sold-out screenings from people in attendance. Please link them if you find them!!!!

We should just expect liberals to constantly raise the bar for her, shouldn’t we?

(261 Posts)

I'm a mother of three, and devoted Palin blogger.

Leave a Reply