News coverage is unsatisfactory

Whether you love or hate her, Sarah Palin is always in the news.

As someone best known for her reality show, Twitter page and being a ‘mama grizzly’ who is just one of the folks, Sarah Palin has become a cultural phenomenon.

Given her rise in popularity since leaving public office, why does Sarah Palin continue to remain as such an entrenched figure in our political culture?

Yes, Palin is a former governor (who resigned before the end of her first term), and a former vice presidential candidate, but what has she contributed to American political discourse that is anything of substance?

It seems that the amount of news coverage she has been receiving is not reflective of the substantive work she has done as a politician. As someone who is the center of a speculation regarding a run for the White House in 2012, what exactly is her vision for the country beyond conservative talking points?

All too often it seems that hard work and political prowess are often overlooked in the mainstream media and pop culture. Many public figures find their work overlooked due to the attention we tend to pay to sensationalistic and controversial things, such as the Palin persona.

For example, why is it that little has been said about Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, who worked on the recently passed 9/11 Health and Compensation Act? How about Sen. Olympia Snowe and Rep. Tim Ryan, both of whom have been advocates of tougher trade policies with China?

Or what about Rep. Dave Reichert, one of the few Republican House members to defy his party and vote for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’? Why haven’t these politicians penetrated pop culture and received the mainstream attention their work deserves?

With our news sources being instantaneous and continuous, the old adage, “if it bleeds, it leads” seems to hold true. Our sensationalistic culture calls the most shocking and controversial to the front, and self-promoting Sarah Palin is just that.

Unless you are a total political junkie, I’m guessing you did not pick up this week’s edition of The Economist for your entertainment purposes.

The political game has its highs and lows; at times it has the intensity and high drama to garner widespread attention. Unfortunately, much of politics is viewed as mundane by the masses; therefore, due attention is not paid to the progressive and substantive work being done.

In a culture in which many are able to name all eight members of the volatile show “Jersey Shore” before naming eight members of Congress, Sarah Palin will continue to make the news, whether you love or hate it.