Rachel Maddow talked about the influence and insular nature of right-wing talk radio started by Rush Limbaugh that has now been adopted by Fox News where they sell their audience "grievance, resentment and belonging" and how that made it inevitable that we would end up with someone like Palin using avoidance of the "mainstream" media as part of a political platform.
Personally, I don't think it's a political platform but a let's make some money for Sarah Palin platform and there are differences of agreement on that one, so time will tell whether I'm right or not.
On Chris Matthews' weekend show a couple of weeks ago, Maddow made this prediction:
MADDOW: I predict that there will be a candidate from the right side out of the Republican Party, it may be Sarah Palin or somebody else, but they will establish a new litmus test for Republican candidates, which is that they do not do mainstream media interviews; that doing a mainstream media interview is itself a capitulation, that only conservative media should be engaged with...
MATTHEWS: You mean Fox and Limbaugh, radio?
MADDOW: That's right.
I really cannot picture another candidate being allowed to only talk to conservative media outlets other than Sarah Palin and that's another reason I do not think she's actually running besides the fact that she has not quit working for Fox News. No presidential candidate that's actually running and not just drumming up media interest like I believe Palin is, is going to be allowed to run an entire campaign and not talk to all of the media without being eventually savaged by the press as a whole whether it be print or television. And no candidate is going to win without participating in debates, which she's not up to. The press is chasing her around right now because they love lazy tabloid "journalism" and that's exactly what Palin is giving them to cover.
So I disagree with Rachel that this will be a new litmus test. I think it's a Palin gimmick and ultimately it falls from under its own weight of being ridiculous if someone wants to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate.
I do agree with what Rachel then went on to discuss with Media Matters founder David Brock and that is how Fox News has helped Palin to advance that strategy and get as far as she has with being taken seriously as a potential candidate for president in 2012 and how they have successfully manipulted their audiences into believing that they are the only place that can be trusted to hear the truth and to distrust other media outlets.
As Brock explained, sadly this is nothing new and goes back twenty years before Rush Limbaugh came on the air with the founding of organizations like Accuracy in Media designed to stigmatize the press as "liberal" and tell their conservative base that they can't trust outlets like the New York Times.
As he noted, by the time Limbaugh came on the air, there was already a push for fake "balance" in the media which "allowed the flat earth society into the conversation" and the right for years has been very good at building an alternative media which allowed conservatives to dismiss news stories they didn't like. And sadly as Brock pointed out that alternative media simply ended up being a way to push misinformation rather than inform their viewers and listeners.
When asked why the right has been so much more successful at this than the left, Brock pointed out what the organization on the right goes back to the days of Richard Nixon, so they've been at this a lot longer than any alternative media organizations on the left.
When asked how Fox might be abiding the double standard with Palin if she is actually running compared to how they have treated their other contributors that are now candidates, Brock said he doesn't think Fox takes their standards seriously and as he pointed out that they don't have the same concerns for continuing to allow Karl Rove on the air who is running "the biggest and most important political enterprise in the right-wing now" and he's still on their payroll.
Brock seemed to think that Palin would continue this strategy of dissing the "mainstream" media if she does get in all the way though a general election because she thinks it works for her.
Frankly as I've said already, I don't see how she could manage to get away with it and I really don't think she's running. All I can say is I don't even want to think about the consequences if she does actually run or if heaven forbid the public in this country would be stupid enough to elect her. She'd be George Bush on steroids with an even bigger bunch of neocons pulling her strings and telling her what to do.