Feature

Sarah Palin bus-tour 'hoax'

The governor-turned-book-promoter said she'd tour America in a humble bus. So why's she flying by private jet?

Sarah Palin's folksy "promotional bus tour" to publicize her new memoir, Going Rogue, has come under question. Reports that she's been traveling between at least some stops on a $4,000-an-hour Gulfstream II private jet, first reported by an Alaska anti-Palin blog, Palingates, have been confirmed by Palin's publishers, Harper Collins. Does staging a faux bus tour damage Palin’s populist credentials? (Watch Sarah Palin's bus get a warm greeting at a book tour stop)

This bus tour’s a “hoax”: There’s “nothing the least bit inappropriate” about an author flying from one promotional stop to the next, says Joe McGinnis in The Daily Beast, but that’s not how Palin’s bus tour was sold to the media and the public. What we have here is “apparent fakery created and sustained for the sake of building pseudo-populist appeal—and selling books”—and that’s unseemly, if not fraudulent.
“Palin’s bus hoax”

What’s the big deal? “Is this a huge scandal?” asks David Weigel in The Washington Independent. “I don’t think so.” The “packaging and the optics” may not look so hot, but this is nothing, say, presidential candidates don’t do on a regular basis.
“You’ll believe a populist can fly”

Palin’s playing her fans: “Harper Collins is taking the fall” on this, says Alex Pareene in Gawker, but it looks to me like “another wonderful example of Sarah Palin creating [a] mess for herself through her incredible contempt for her followers” and “her own stupidity.” At least her staff is being punished for its ineptitude, since she’s forcing them to “make the hellish trek on the bus, while she flies in comfort.”
“Palin not actually taking tacky bus on tacky book tour”

Palin loves the hate: Go ahead and treat Palin “as if she were a ninny,” says Neal Gabler in the Los Angeles Times. Being a “media punching bag” is the whole point of her “self-promotion.” Like Nixon, she understands the long American tradition of anti-elitistism, or “us” vs. “them,” with “them” including the snooty media. So look for Palin to court contempt till 2012, “because it is really all Palin has to sell, and because it works.”
“Hate Sarah Palin? She loves that”

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