Guest post by Ron Devito:
Real Clear Politics reported on January 23 that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was not renewing her contract with Fox News. Scott Conroy cited an anonymous source “close to the Palins” as saying, “It’s my understanding that Gov. Palin was offered a contract by FOX, and she decided not to renew the arrangement.” Gov. Palin re-affirmed this account in an interview with Stephen K. Bannon, Producer of The Undefeated on Breitbart News and announced by her in a Facebook Status post. Bannon asked Gov. Palin, “what’s next for you?” She responded:
“I encourage others to step out in faith, jump out of the comfort zone, and broaden our reach as believers in American exceptionalism. That means broadening our audience. I’m taking my own advice here as I free up opportunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation. We can’t just preach to the choir; the message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger audience” (emphasis mine).
No one from Fox News has disputed Gov. Palin’s account in any way, shape or form.
Despite the simple facts being what they are, a disturbing array of false stories have been published to the effect that “Fox News dumped Sarah Palin,” and that she is “irrelevant.” These phony stories have appeared in the usual left-wing publications such as Huffington Post.
Simply put, Fox News offered Gov. Palin a renewal contract. She declined it so she can bring her message to a larger audience. By staying with Fox, her contract would have precluded her conducting interviews with other networks, except with rare prior permission. Renewing the contract would have meant more preaching to the choir – because Fox News’ audience is Gov. Palin’s choir so to speak. Those who say that Fox “dumped her,” are telling lies, plain and simple.
The original Breitbart interview now has over 3,800 comments. The people who claim Gov. Palin is “irrelevant” cannot stop talking about her. When our Second Amendment came under attack, a major Tea Party group did not reach out to those some would consider “relevant.” They called out to the “irrelevant” one: Gov. Palin. That Facebook post yielded nearly 181,000 likes and 13,725 comments. How many “relevant” people would kill for these numbers? Time Magazine’s Senior Editor Mark Halperin acknowledged on the Today Show that Gov. Palin still “has so much star power.”
Nor, is Gov. Palin’s relevance strictly in the political realm. She is speaking at a leadership conference in March and is the gala keynote at a major event commemorating Terri Schiavo.
Fox News like any other TV network lives and dies by ratings. If you lose your ratings, you lose your show and no TV network is going to keep you a day longer than they need you. Irrelevant people are not offered contract renewals and most often don’t even get to complete an existing contract. If Gov. Palin’s ratings had tanked and she had ceased to be relevant, Fox News would have cited poor ratings and the decision to not renew would have been theirs. But, Gov. Palin’s ratings were strong and Fox offered her the renewal. As previously reported and stated – she declined the renewal so she can broaden her reach to new markets.
Gov. Palin is highly relevant. Her potential reach to markets outside Fox News strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of her enemies, because she remains – as Stephen Bannon put it – an existential threat to the way they conduct business.