Though there are media people with agendas, media grow large in a free-enterprise system by finding out what the public wants and delivering it to them. Any media personality you love to hate is on-air because he or she draws an audience. An admitted bit of chicken and egg goes on here, but at the foundation, the media are powerless to sell a personality that the public doesn’t want, no matter how much they push. That’s why shows starring Max Headroom, the Geico caveman, Jason Alexander and an early-night Jay Leno all bombed despite substantial pushing.
Fox and Discovery push Sarah Palin because she is profitable. Whether or not they agree with what comes out of her mouth is incidental. Palin is profitable because masses of people can’t get enough of her. If the public abandoned her, do not think for one minute that the networks would keep backing her. They’d move on to someone the public wanted more. Just like any other fluid, cash flows along the course of least resistance.
If you are among those who rue the demise of intelligent programming and reporting, you must concede that the demise reveals (1) something about how free enterprise works — which I wouldn’t want to change — and (2) something about the tastes of masses of people in our country and in the world — which in many instances I hope to change. Fortunately, the same freedom that allows unsavoriness to raise its voice allows me to raise my own. And, necessarily, vice-versa. I would have it no other way.
If you think the show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is a good idea, it is your right. If you don’t, you can let the Discovery Channel know by clicking here.