Sarah Palin’s new Internet television venture is designed to channel conservative ideals, in some ways similar to the Glenn Beck internet television channel, TheBlaze TV. Like Beck, Palin is taking advantage of her relationship with Fox News to launch her new channel. Unlike the Beck channel, the Palin channel is less structured and more similar to realty styled television.
Palin is an outgoing personality, and visitors to the Palin channel website are greeted enthusiastically with, “Welcome to the Sarah Palin Channel!” The opening invites viewers to join Palin “as we discuss the great issues of the day and work toward solutions.” Bold and enthusiastic certainly do describe Palin, no matter where viewers may stand on various political issues.
Palin’s webmasters were successful in reserving her name for the website’s URL, SarahPalinChannel.com, but her staff failed to follow the key principle of reserving every possible name-related URL option. This common practice is necessary, to thwart potential competitors and possible spoofs, from hijacking a closely related website address.
Stephen Colbert’s staff caught the URL oversight, and Colbert took no time in pouncing on the opportunity with the acquisition of “The SarahPalinChannel.com” URL. Colbert promptly turned the oversight into a parody during his Tuesday night show. Colbert’s spoof of his Palin website is now promoted as, “The Only Sarah Palin Channel on the Internet with a definite article in the address!”
Supporters and critics alike have an opinion on the channel. On Monday night, Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris took Palin to task by saying that the Palin channel annual subscription fee of $99.95 was too high. He introduced the segment by incorrectly labeling Palin as, “the woman who says she can see Russia from her house.” It was Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live who uttered those words, during a spoof of the 2008 Vice Presidential candidate, not Palin.
Supporters believe that Palin should have the opportunity to channel conservative ideals, promoting them independently of the mainstream media. Fox News still retains her as a commentator, and that relationship is expected to remain in place. On her Facebook page, Palin writes of being tired of media filters, and invites her potential audience to join in the launch of a new, member-supported, media channel. She promises viewers that, “we’ll all get to call it like it is.”
Palin is no stranger to hostile journalists or to journalism for that matter. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. Instead of slick production and graphics, the Palin channel seems more like a reality channel. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, columnist Alyssa Rosenberg, certainly no fan of Palin, speculated that the reality styled television production might prove to be a natural fit for Palin.
The Palin channel launched with several features, including her take on how to deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Many viewers may find two of the Palin channel website widgets of particular interest: one counts down the number of days remaining in the Obama administration, and the second widget displayed in the opposite column, displays a running tally of the America’s growing national debt.
The Sarah Palin effort to channel conservative ideals is free for active duty military members. The introductory offer promises that subscribers can submit questions to Palin, and she will participate with viewers during online video chats, something almost unheard of in most modern entertainment venues. Initial backing came from her attorney, using the TAPP video platform. TAPP was co-foundered by Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBC Universal Television and Jon Klein, former president of CNN/U.S.
By Jim Hanemaayer