People often say that their biggest fear is public speaking. For many people, the very thought of it is enough to bring on an anxiety attack. There are those that even have nightmares of standing alone on a stage in front of a large audience to deliver an important speech only to forget their words from fear of the moment. It is something that has a way of exposing you that can be very uncomfortable and for many, something that inspires all-out dread.
It's kind of hard for me to understand. In full disclosure, I've always been a bit of a showboater. As a kid in 1st and 2nd grade I was the kid that was not only faster than you but to prove how much faster I was, I would turn front handsprings and run backwards while you were chasing me just to erase any doubt. As I grew older and played athletics, it morphed into an ability to be able to perform well under stress. It carried over into over activities involving presentations and public speeches. Sickly enough, I relished those times. It was, as in my athletic days, something I took on as a challenge to prove to myself and to those in attendance that I had what it took to perform under pressure.
Exposure is tricky and big media wields it like a weapon. But unwittingly, they have participated in their own undoing especially in the last few years coinciding with the rise of a relative unknown from a little town in Alaska. Sarah Palin burst onto the scene in 2008 at the Republican National Convention and, this is key, the MSM didn't know who she was. Oops! She wasn't even a bleep on their radar. Of the potential VP candidates, she wasn't anywhere the top of their list of those that would be chosen. And since they were, you know "the smartest people in the room", they surely had the inside track since that's their job and all.
They were caught with their proverbial pants down. So when she gave that speech and wowed all of us, of COURSE they had to marvel at it. They played nice at first because, well, to characterize her speech as anything short of brilliant would've been insane. It was there for all the world to see. She was fresh, beautiful, magnetic, commanding, passionate - AND a genuinely proud wife and mother. It was hard to get more Norman Rockwellian than that.
But that goodwill lasted about 12 hours, if that. Many began to descend upon Alaska to dig up what they could. The attacks came viciously...first target was her uterus, then her family, then her intellect - all in rapid succession. As she traveled the country with John McCain and energized the Republican base, the media scrutiny grew each day. Then the Katie Couric interview came and SNL was close to follow and before you knew it, a new caricature began to emerge, the not-so-flattering one that many people hold onto even to this day.
That caricature cemented itself after the VP campaign was over and she had to return to her duties as governor. The frivolous ethics charges ground her administration to a halt and as a result, decided to resign instead of spend her time and political capital fighting these complaints to the detriment of the people of Alaska. Add to this toxic cocktail was the shooting tragedy that unfolded in Tucson which claimed the lives of several people and very nearly a US Congresswoman. Who was to blame? Well Sarah Palin of course...because of a map her PAC used on a website preceding the 2010 midterms "targeting" strategic districts for the GOP to capture back from Democrats. There were several in the media who blamed Gov. Palin for what happened that day because her "violent" rhetoric was the reason for all of the vitriol in the political conversation and somehow motivated the actions of a murderer.
You can imagine that all of this would create a healthy sense of skepticism within her when it came to MSM coverage. And yet, this exposure to such hostility reinforced in her a valuable lesson. She learned that the best way to handle the MSM was to use her starpower against them by going straight to the people knowing they would be close behind following her every move. Her books and her recent One Nation Under God bus tour allowed her to get in front of normal, everyday people to talk to them without her words or persona being distorted. She even used the bus tour as a way to show the media she wasn't afraid of them by holding 17 off-the-cuff interviews. She spent enough time answering the media that some of them even ran out of questions to ask.
On the heels of all of this is the release of the 24,000 pages of e-mails during her time as governor which have been all too hastily poured into by big media and their hired help so desperate to find more fodder to spread to the masses. But all they've seemed to uncover is overwhelming evidence that she was a hardworking, fiercely loyal, tough, savvy chief executive that had total command of the issues facing the people of her state. None of this was a surprise to me or anyone else that have decided to throw our support behind Gov. Palin. It was a treat though to get to hear reporters say as much, perhaps surprised at what they found.
The same is occurring as The Undefeated is released nationwide as word spreads and demand dictates that more theaters buy rights to show it. It gets to the truth of who Sarah Palin is and what she stands for. It vehemently contradicts the slanderous, libelous, trashing of a rock-solid, honest, servant-hearted warrior. I, for one, can't wait to see it and will drag as many people as I can to see it with me - even people who are convinced she and Tina Fey are one and the same.
What an interesting piece of irony that the increased exposure of Sarah Palin during the last few months is creating momentum for her that defies the concerted smear campaign waged by the MSM, the very same MSM who's being exposed for forsaking among other things fundamental American decency.
Exposure is a double-edged sword, is it not?