Sarah Palin: Queen of All Media

You've at least heard of the books, seen the TV show, read the tweets – now get ready for the movie, just in time for the summer blockbuster (and candidate jockeying) season.

News that Sarah Palin is the subject an authorized documentary film, due to debut in key presidential primary-season state Iowa next month, drew some laughs – at least on Twitter.

As The Huffington Post noted, some tweeters suggested their own titles for the film, including, "Sarah, Plain and Dull," "The Manicurian Candidate" and "I Remember 'Bama."
But while Palin has inspired much comedy during her nearly three years in the national spotlight, she's no joke. While she's no doubt a divisive figure, there should be little disagreement that Palin has transformed herself into an aspiring queen of all media.

You've at least heard of the books, seen the TV show, read the Internet postings – now get ready for the movie. Even the name – "The Undefeated" – has an old-school Clint Eastwood, summer blockbuster feel.

The film, about her short stint as governor of Alaska, is in keeping with Palin's post-2008 strategy of largely avoiding the press and cleverly using other aspects of the media to get out her message and keep her name on our collective lips.

She's a paid contributor to Fox News, where she's rarely challenged and on which she announced last week "that fire in the belly" is still burning – perhaps the strongest indication yet she's headed toward a presidential run.

She communicates largely through her Facebook page, Twitter and paid speeches. Her TLC reality show/virtual infomercial, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," drew reasonably strong ratings, and cast her and her family in a positive light.

It looks like we can expect much the same from "The Undefeated." The filmmaker, Stephen Bannon, reportedly was originally enlisted by Palin to create some videos about her 2 ½-year stint in the Alaska statehouse – and later decided to finance a $1 million film on the topic, with her blessing.

"This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment. Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha," Bannon told RealClearPolitics, which broke the story.

News of the movie comes amid a thinning of the GOP presidential herd. A new Gallup poll puts Tea Party pal Palin second to Mitt Romney in the field of possible Republican candidate, albeit with 15 percent to his less-than-resounding 17 percent.

Meanwhile, HBO is producing "Game Change," a drama about the 2008 presidential campaign starring Julianne Moore as Palin. But this might be a good time for a documentary maker with perhaps a more objective eye than Bannon to start training cameras on this next phase of Palin's career. "The Undefeated" isn't out yet, but we're already looking forward to the sequel.

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

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