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Steve Brodner on ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’

Sarah Palin’s new reality show drew the biggest audience the cable channel TLC has ever had for a show premiere. Five million Americans tuned in — including Need to Know’s Jon Meacham, and Steve Brodner, who brings us this editorial cartoon about the show:

“In the new ‘reality’ show, ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska,’ what do we see? We see Palin and the family climbing rocks, kayaking, dog-sledding. So is that all?  I think there’s more.

Candidates have used their personal lives to brand themselves forever. Sarah Palin is the first politician to go the next step and move completely into a kind of show business. Her brilliant revelation? That politics can now be completely divorced from policy. Out here, who wants to talk of problems and solutions? Almost sacrilegious.

Even worse: uncool.

You can look for allegory in this show. The footage of the ‘Mama Grizzly,’ a living illustration of Palin’s self-metaphor. Or the fence Todd built between their home and the writer Joe McGinnis, who was doing a book on Palin and rented house next door; Palin says that fence could even symbolize an immigration solution.

Okay, but you wouldn’t be getting the big message. That message is the genius of no message. Just a vast natural space. Us in the Paradise of America, no evident issues, discussion, policy, government. And we all look so good and young and funny. Look at all this together, don’t parse it, just together. Don’t you like this?

C’mon, wouldn’t you really want this … if you could choose your own ‘reality’?”