After speaking at a Madison, Wisconsin, rally on April 16 in support of Governor Scott Walker's controversial public union
policies Sarah Palin grabbed national headlines...but apparently not enough to
satisfy the former Governor's sizable appetite for attention.
In the hours following the rally, Palin's all around social
media maven Rebecca Mansour took to the twitternets to scold the lamestream
media she felt had unfairly ignored Palin's speech. Slate's David Weigel has a rundown of Mansour's complaints which we won't go over
here, but suffice it to say Mansour would really like to know
But according to research by OhMyGov, both Palin
and Mansour may be tweeting up the wrong tree with their complaints of MSM
neglect. In fact, our research shows that Palin has by far the highest media
profile of any potential GOP nominee, a profile that gets heightened every time
she inserts herself into a national news story.
MADISON SPEECH FAR FROM IGNORED
According to OhMyGov's media monitoring, in the hours immediately
following the April 16 Madison rally, Palin appeared in 545
published news stories --- a 129 article spike from the previous day. Many of the
news mentions of Palin on April 17th came via an Associated Press story summarizing the event and Palin's participation,
which surely is not the same as a front-page Washington Post feature, but it
sure isn't anything to sneeze at. By comparison, on April 18, the
day after most of the reporting of Palin's speech had already been released, the
Mama Grizzly was mentioned in a mere 161 media outlets. These numbers suggest
that the April 17 bump can be directly attributed to the Madison
rally --- strongly suggesting that, regardless of what Mansour or Palin may claim, when the
former Governor speaks the media will invariably listen.
Palin finds a way to get more press than Romney
DRIVING THE NEWS CYCLE
We looked at three other recent news stories between Jan. 1 and today that either directly
or indirectly involved Palin, and in all three instances OhMyGov
found that Palin has been anything but ignored by the same media outlets she
decries as lame and elitist. The January 8 shooting of Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) ostensibly had absolutely nothing to do with Sarah
Palin, but that didn't stop the inevitable spike in Palin's media mentions in the
days immediately following the tragedy in Tucson.
On January 7, the day before the shooting,
Palin was mentioned in the news 265 times. On January 9, following a day where
Giffords became the dominant national news story, Palin's media mentions jumped
to 340. Palin made no statement regarding the events in Arizona, but Internet
chatter regarding her infamous "gun sight map" drove a rise in news coverage.
The trend continued throughout the following week as Palin remained a hot topic
of conversation. By January 12 Palin's daily news mentions increased to 565 articles. That day Palin released a video statement regarding the shooting where
she accused some liberals of committing a "blood libel" in their criticisms of
her. The results? The next day Palin's numbers once again jumped and she was
mentioned 600 times across the media landscape. This is not what
ignoring someone looks like.
After Rep. Giffords shooting, Palin nabs just as many news mentions
Palin saw another smaller bump in her media mentions
during a mid-March trip to India where she made public comments criticizing
President Obama's handling of the situation in Libya.
LEADING A GOP FIELD SHE HASN'T ENTERED
As the 2012 Republican primary filed has begun to take shape
over the past several months, Palin has remained the most closely covered GOP
hopeful in the American media. This is an ironic development when you consider
that she hasn't actually said she's running for President. As of April 21, Palin had accumulated 26,649 media mentions in 2011, significantly
more coverage than any of the actual candidates have received thus far. By
comparison Tim Pawlenty, the first Republican to announce plans to form a
Presidential exploratory committee, netted 14,915 media mentions to date
according to OhMyGov. Meanwhile Mitt Romney, the man some people are calling
the early favorite for the nomination, snagged a relatively mere 10,906
mentions in 2011.
Other potential nominees who are yet to officially declare
their candidacy don't do much better than the actual candidates, and far worse
than Palin, in terms of coverage. Mitch Daniels has only received 6,102
mentions, while Palin's potential rival for the love of Tea Partiers everywhere,
Newt Gingrich, landed 11,433 media mentions.
More press than Pawlenty, without even trying
Taking things a step further, both Pawlenty and Romney
received less media coverage on the days after they announced their exploratory
committees than Palin did the day after her Madison speech. Romney scooped up
372 mentions the day after his announcement, Pawlenty outpaced him with a
healthy 390. But once again, neither one came close to the 500+ mentions Palin
picked up for merely making a speech on a Saturday afternoon.
These numbers go a long way to prove the theory that by
merely flirting with the idea of running, as opposed to actually running for
anything, Palin has the ability to dominate the news cycle unlike any other
figure. If Sarah Barracuda's numbers are this impressive without actually
running for anything, what will happen to them once she officially throws her
hat into the ring? That thought could be enough to keep potential GOP primary
opponents up at night.
Ultimately Palin may very well choose she is better off
making speeches and YouTube videos than she would be running for President, no
one outside her tightly guarded inner circle knows her plans for sure. But love
her or hate her, the numbers prove very few folks in the media she loves to
hate are ignoring anything Palin does.
News mentions for GOP candidates/hopefuls, for the month ending April 21