Ch.4 Tweet nothings

Chapter 4. Tweet Nothings

Boasting 1.6 million (oops, make that 1.7 million) friends and fans, Sarah Palin commands a passionate online army that hangs on her every word as she explores new ways to deploy Facebook as a political weapon.

And though with a relatively modest 160,000 (oops, make that 175,000) followers she lags far behind the Hollywood Twitterati (think Britney, Ashton and Kim Kardashian), her every Tweet is red meat for one camp or another.

palin-tweet2Fortunately (for a public figure so obsessed with controlling the message), her meteoric rise to national prominence parallels the explosion of social networking, another realm in which Sarah Palin is way ahead of the curve.

Beyond that, she is among the most ubiquitous entities on the World Wide Web. Search “Sarah Palin” on Google and get 15 million (oops, make that 17 million) results.

Same search on YouTube turns up 86,000-plus (oops, make that 150,000-plus) videos. You’ll find fake Sarah sex tapes, real-time footage of some of her best-loved word puzzles, an animated appearance on “The $800 Billion Pyramid” game show, Hitler ranting about her resignation and comedy icon Betty White on late-night TV calling her “one crazy bitch.”

And if you’re looking for a great deal on Sarah memorabilia, cyberspace is a bustling marketplace for Palin paraphernalia – with hundreds of trinkets and doodads moving like hotcakes at eBay and Amazon.com.

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In-your-Facebook

Yes, whether she’s scolding Obama, threatening to sue the media or literally targeting enemies with actual rifle sights, Sarah Palin is revolutionizing political communication with her unique brand of (anti)social networking.

To her delight, Palin has discovered she can use Facebook and Twitter to bypass the media “filter” and deliver inaccurate, agenda-driven rhetoric directly to the people.

The emerging electronic media helps Palin underscore her core message that everything President Obama says or does is wrong.

Perhaps her most infamous Facebook post was the Aug. 7, 2009, classic giving a hearty “hell no!” to health care and conjuring up a governmental Grim Reaper to give Americans a scare.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide … whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Her invention of the fictitious “death panel” to bludgeon the “evil” Obama is now legendary. She reportedly softened the post from an earlier draft in which she planned to accuse Obama of smothering the elderly with government-issued pillows.

(Typical follower’s reaction: Wow, Sarah – that’s really unbelievable. Thanks for spreading the word about how Obama’s trying to destroy America.)

Facebook is fun. Sarah can post a recipe or “salute” the troops on the Fourth of July. Or she can deliberately poison the public dialogue about an issue vital to our nation’s well-being with a fabrication about “death panels.”

Political scientists already rank “Death Panel” as one of the Top 10 Political Lies in America’s History – right up there with the Bush camp’s 2000 whisper campaign that John McCain had an illegitimate black baby, or its 2004 swift-boating of John Kerry as an elite, leftist war criminal.

Or those vicious historic campaign-trail rumors that FDR was faking his polio, that Abraham Lincoln had a sweet tooth for “brown sugar” or that George Washington had a wooden cock.

palin-tweet3But Lincoln and the boys never faced an enemy like Palin (though if John Wilkes Booth had a Facebook page, he definitely would have marked “Dishonest Abe” with a bull’s-eye).

Anti-violence whiners decried her notorious in-your-Facebook call to arms in which she posted a map targeting Democratic foes with rifle sights.

Around the same time, Palin tweeted: “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Again drawing fire from critics for deploying loaded “RELOAD!” rhetoric at a time when health-care reform supporters were facing actual threats of violence.

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Palin also inadvertently uses Twitter to demonstrate her endearingly hypocritical intellectual flightiness.

When Obama OK’d offshore drilling, Palin tweeted “Drill, baby, drill.” But just hours later – after Rep. John Boehner slammed the president’s move – she wisely re-tweeted to avoid appearing out of step with the anti-Obama bandwagon.

Palin’s tweets have been hailed as “beautiful free verse” by Conan O’Brien, who invited Emmy-winning “master thespian” William Shatner to recite some of Palin’s rambling poetry on-air. (Maya Angelou could not be tweeted for comment.)

It was “Space, the Final Frontier” meets Sarah from the Last Frontier as Shatner went all “Mastertweet Theatre” on Palin – deadpanning his way to an estimated 163 million laughs and earning a spot on Palin’s ever-expanding Enemies List.

A cautionary note to Internet users eager to follow Sarah Palin on Twitter: Be sure you are not being fooled by one of the many fake Palin Twitter accounts.

For the uninitiated, it can be difficult to tell an authentic Palin-penned Tweet (example: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”) from a bogus one (“SHOOT a godless liberal congressman TODAY!”).

It is important to note that a tweet accusing President Obama of drinking blood from the skulls of unborn illegal aliens is only legit if it comes from Sarah’s official feed (@SarahPalinUSA).

So avoid copycat Twitter feeds with such names as: @SarahHatesBO, @ObamaSlayer12 and @PalinPrezUBetcha.

Though Twitter is used primarily by tech nerds to share news of their latest bowel movement and by pompous celebrities to validate their gargantuan egos, supporters say the meteoric micro-blogging service is perfectly suited to Palin’s soundbite-style intellect.

However, some fear that Twitter may leave its most prolific users vulnerable to legal action. (In a lawsuit demanding that the company cease and desist from using the term “tweet” in its business practices, attorneys for Tweety Bird charge Twitter with “toppy-white infwinz-ment” and theft of “inta-wectual pwa-puddy.” Mr. Bird is also seeking unspecified damages for “pain and tuffawing.”)

Look for Palin’s profile to pop up soon on such Twitter competitors as Fritter, Babble and WhySpace. Other new online services clamoring for a boost from Palin include: iChatter, SlackBerry and AssBook.

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Bidding for greatness

Palin, who once boasted of having sold her Alaska gov predecessor’s fancy private plane on eBay, is a scorchingly hot commodity at the online auction and shopping powerhouse.

There, collectors and aficionados will find a dizzying array of merchandise sure to satisfy all their Palin needs. And business is brisk. Experts analyzing the Palin-based underground economy on eBay say the “refrigerator magnet” sector alone supports an estimated 18,000 real American families.

So pull up a shopping cart – there are Sarah Palin masks and wigs, belt buckles, bobbleheads and bumper stickers, beauty queen sashes and silver medallions, Palin dollar bills, SarahCuda mugs and autographed baseballs.

You can bid on swell homemade bookmarks, ominous “Shooting for 2012” T-shirts, even Sarah Palin toilet paper (typical saying: “Golly, the hockey mom almost made number 2”).

Expect the next round of Palin products to include lacy Victoria Secret sidearm holsters, stovetop teapots (specially engineered so the steam whistle sounds extra angry!) and anything else she can think of to slap an American flag on.

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From eBay to Amzaon.com, the bookshelves of the World Wide Web are stuffed with dozens of Palin knockoffs. And some of the titles are just fantastic. Epic!

“The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star” (Sarah hates being purse-e-cuted)

“Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down” (Inside-out and backwards, too!)

“The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power” (and the truth behind those monthly nose jobs to combat chronic “Pinocchio syndrome”)

“Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar” (Damn those elite, liberal Ivy League brutes!)

“Sarah Palin’s Secret Diary” (with special thanks to Anne and Barney Frank)

“Terminatrix: The Sarah Palin Chronicles” (She’s Schwarzenegger in heels, but with bigger guns)

Forthcoming titles are said to include:

“Palin Derangement Syndrome: Can You Catch it From MSNBC?”

“101 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Sarah Palin But Were Too Horrified to Even Imagine”

“What Would Jesus Tweet? God’s Divine Plan Revealed on Sarah Palin’s Twitter Feed”

Also in the works: “Sarah Palin and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “(Bleep) My Hockey Mom Says” and “Caribou Soup for the Soul.”

And, of course, a must-read romance novel with Fabio standing in for Todd – sweeping lush, raven-haired Sarah into his muscular embrace astride a majestic caribou on the cover of “Bridges to Nowhere of Madison County.”

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As diehard Palin fans already know, the good people at YouTube are running a nonstop, round-the-clock Sarah Palin Film Festival.

There’s Oscar winner Matt Damon comparing her rise to “a really bad Disney movie” and calling a Palin presidency “a really terrifying possibility.”

“Monty Python could have written this,” legendary British comic John Cleese says of the Palin story line. “I used to think (Monty Python collaborator) Michael Palin was the funniest Palin on earth,” says Cleese, likening Sarah to “a nice-looking parrot” that “doesn’t really have any understanding of the meaning of the words that it is producing.”

Fox leading man Glenn Beck co-stars in a sequel to “When Katie Met Sarah.” Fans who liked Sarah’s “All of them” line when Katie asked what periodicals she reads will love the climactic scene in which Beck asks Palin to name her favorite founding father.

“All of them,” says Sarah. Beck’s response (“Bull crap!”) is beyond priceless, forcing to Sarah to think on her feet and come up with George Washington (y’know, because when he was asked if he had chopped down that cherry tree, he could not tell a lie).

Palin arch-villain David Letterman reprises his role in “Things More Fun Than Reading Sarah Palin’s Memoir” (among them: getting run over by a lawnmower and drinking your own pee).

Why there’s “Black Sarah Palin” (a basketball mom), “Baby Palin,” Palin being saved from “witchcraft” at her Wasilla church and hockey mom Sarah getting booed at an NHL game.

There are such timeless classics as young, swimsuit-clad Sarah strutting across the stage in the Miss Alaska pageant, getting rifle training in Kuwait and botching her answer to schoolchildren about what a vice president does.

There are songs and cartoons, a fox puppet reporting on her GOP convention and resignation speeches (OK, full disclosure, those are mine) – even a “Going Vogue” book review by a hillbilly billing himself as Billy Buck Teefus, American redneck savant (oops, that one’s mine too).

Other must-sees include Palin impersonator Dorothy Bishop singing “Rogue” to the tune of Madonna’s “Vogue” and the howlingly funny, green-tinted “Sarah Palin Sex Tape UNCENSORED.”

 

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