Proof that any idea of Palin Derangement Syndrome not existing on the Left is not only an outright lie, but just what little they have to talk about without Citizen Sarah (or Michele Bachmann of course). Either way it's all about shutting conservative women up, something they just can't do:
Now that Keith Olbermann has left MSNBC, perhaps cable news can begin weaning itself from its addiction to Sarah Palin. Sure, it will be tough, even expensive — withdrawals usually are — but we all know that reporters themselves are aching for some Palin-free airtime, and audiences seem willing to give it a try as well, judging from her sudden drop in popularity polls.
From a high of 80 percent a little over two years ago, Palin's approval rating sits at just 38 percent. That pollsters routinely collect such data on a woman who doesn't hold office (unless you count being the star of a nonrenewed TLC reality show a perch) and isn’t running for anything other than her next private plane for an appearance speaks to the media’s dysfunctional obsession with her. After all, it’s been more than two years since she was Sen. John McCain's vice-presidential candidate. Hence calls from some prominent columnists to publicly declare their intention to ignore her, at least for a while.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, in his Jan. 21 column, went so far as to propose a "Palin-free February" of news coverage after confessing he had written 42 columns about her since 2008. "Though it is embarrassing to admit this in public, I can no longer hide the truth. I have a Sarah Palin problem," Milbank wrote.
Admitting you have a problem and doing something about it, though, are two different things. The main problem in media? Profitabilty, especially for cable news. They just can't quit her. She drives ratings, and in an age of shrinking news staffs and foreign bureaus, she doesn't require much producer manpower save for a script with some plain old on-air commentary. You don't even have to pay for a stand-up shot in front of Congress anymore.
And the narrative and conflict is self-perpetuating. Palin is MSNBC's No. 1 target, and Fox News has become her chief protector. CNN does neither to the extent of its rivals, forever milk-toasting about under the guise of "balance," and it's probably no coincidence that its ratings are third among the three. All this talk about civility — especially in the wake of the Tuscon massacre — is boring in cable-news land. Consider CNN's John King, who apologized to his audience after a guest used the word "crosshairs" in an entirely benign context and was roundly criticized for political correctness run amok. Compare that to Olbermann, who in response to Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" call for more civil discourse, suspended his caustic "Worst Person" segment, only to quickly reverse course when audiences said they missed it.