Diary: Palin – the white cat purring on Murdoch's lap
Monday 29 November 2010
How to put the seal on media history's most remarkable career and cement the gnawing suspicion that you are the most powerful person on the planet? The answer for Rupert Murdoch is now plain. He apparently intends to put Sarah Palin in the White House, and this must give those of us who have glibly dismissed her chances in a general election, if not of winning the Republican nomination, excruciating pause for thought.
The extent to which the mother of Track, Trig, Thick, Thwack, Thump, Twit and Twat is Rupert's creature becomes clearer by the week. She is a contributor to Fox News and HarperCollins, a News Corp company, is bankrolling a publicity tour for the latest magnum opus heavily concentrated in key early primary states.
Yet more revealingly, The Wall Street Journal is swinging behind her as well, or "also too" as the Tina Fey version has it. This is of course purest coincidence. That noble title retains absolute independence from its owner's political inclinations. If a WSJ leader concluded, of a Palin article criticising quantitative easing (one The New York Times's Frank Rich impertinently dismissed as "transparently ghost-written"), that she "is way ahead of her potential presidential competitors on this policy point ... and shows a talent for putting a technical subject in language that average Americans can understand", good for it. She may not be able to see the Federal Reserve from her house, but she can certainly see the value of being the white cat purring on Murdoch's velvety lap.
Although the odds against her being elected the first Madam President remain reassuringly long, let us never forget that the first and perhaps only rule of human existence is that Rupert usually gets what he wants.
* Taking a well-earned break from championing Wasilla's answer to Alan Greenspan, Rupert popped along to the International Emmys in New York to present a gong to his Fox cash cow Simon Cowell. The citation for this International Emmy Founders award may be permitted to speak for itself since it recognises "significant achievements in television that cross cultural boundaries and" – wait for it now; it won't be long – "contribute to our common humanity". Indeed. The photograph of this endlessly engaging pair grinning side by side is a doozie. Sources close to Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat say that this snap has inspired him to write a two-part end of season special in which Davros forges an alliance, designed to bring about the destruction of reality itself, with The Master.
* As for Simon's X-Factor, I particularly enjoyed Katie Waissel's rendition of Kings of Leon's "Sex On Fire", and (writing before last night's results show) pray this was enough to propel that comeback kid into the semi finals. Simon, who is evidently besotted with Pinner's feistiest, praised her boldness in picking that number "after the week you've had", and no wonder. If only she'd shown similar courage with her second song. What would you not have given to hear Katie's achingly poignant interpretation of the St Winifred's School Choir's standard "There's No One Quite Like Grandma"?
* On Radio 5 Live, meanwhile, Stephen Nolan moaned incredulously on Friday night about "being manipulated by Simon Cowell" into having to discuss Wagner "on a national network". I felt terrible for him. This isn't broadcasting. It's medieval serfdom.
Three words, finally, for the desperately ill Christopher Hitchens following his demolitionjob on Mr Tony Blair in their godly debate in Toronto. What. A. Man.
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