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Grading Palin's Fox News debut
Was Sarah Palin's first appearance as a Fox News pundit on "The O'Reilly Factor" a breakthrough — or a bomb?
The always unpredictable Sarah Palin
The always unpredictable Sarah Palin
(James Leynse/Corbis)
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arah Palin debuted as a Fox News political analyst on "The O'Reilly Factor" Tuesday, officially adding another job title to her quickly growing resume. Media critics had questioned how the former governor and author's new Fox News role might affect a potential 2012 Palin presidential bid — and they had no shortage of fierce opinions about her first on-air appearance. (Watch Sarah Palin's debut below)

It was a "rousing success"—Palin embodies Fox News: "Fox News creator Roger Ailes is a genius," says Michael Scherer in Time. Unlike other news organizations who "hire talent for their abilities," Ailes hires "talent for who they anger, who they unite and what they represent." In Palin, he has hired "a living, breathing symbol of all that the network hopes to be: a place for the forgotten, besieged, suburban and rural American middle."
"As mascot and martyr, Sarah Palin debuts on Fox News"

Where's the 'demented' Palin we know and love? Apparently, "it was too much to hope that Sarah Palin would bring the same gloriously demented policy analysis to Fox News that she did to her Twitter account and Facebook page," says Adrian Chen in Gawker. Her "highly-developed ability to garble words on TV" seemed to neutralize her slams on Obama. Her payback-time criticism of "the Media," on the other hand, "was much more fun."
"Sarah Palin will destroy the Media as Fox News analyst"

Palin is ratings gold: I'll "spare you" the details, says David Zurawik in The Baltimore Sun, but let's just say that "O'Reilly is a TV master, Palin's a TV player, and together they are going to bring orgiastic TV delight to right-wing viewers." If you ask me, however, "the country and our political conversation are going to be the poorer for it." This is not news — "this is TV as political propaganda."
"Sarah Palin's Fox debut: Prime-time propaganda"

Her analysis has no weight: From the beginning, "Sarah Palin’s signing with Fox struck me as a deeply bad idea for her," says David Frum in Frum Forum. And her debut appearance only solidifies that opinion. "Unlike Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich," Palin comes across as "much less well informed and much less mentally nimble than O’Reilly and other Fox hosts." Eventually, even "her most starry-eyed fans" won't be able to ignore this fact.
"Palin's Fox debut"

Never rule-out Sarah Palin: Despite "stumbl[ing]" on O'Reilly's question about "the prospect of an American and Israeli war upon Iran," Palin's performance was "chirpy, plucky, and competent," says John Aloysius in U.S. News. During the show, Palin "addressed the economic woes of average Americans; sounded eminently reasonable, and deftly dismissed the criticism" of McCain's campaign team. "Palin-haters: you diss her at your peril."
"Palin's Fox News debut: Critics beware"

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SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S SARAH PALIN COVERAGE:
Palin's Tea Party press ban
Beck vs. Palin: Battle of the Tea Party 'leaders'
Palin's Fox News gamble
'God's plan' for Sarah Palin

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