Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sarah Palin in the Pumpkin Patch

Sarah Palin and the Straight Talk Express came to our little town yesterday.

We did not hear about it until we picked up the Sunday paper on our front porch, and there she was, taking up most of the front page.

Governor Palin and her daughter were on their way from a rally in Johnstown to the University Park airport for a flight to Philadelphia, where Palin dropped the puck to start the game--and was apparently roundly booed by the crowd. Her surprise visit yesterday to the Way Fruit Farm was apparently a big success.

It is not a surprise that a visit from a vice presidential candidate would take over the front page of the Sunday paper -- even though Penn State beat Wisconsin in Madison yesterday evening, 48-7.

It is interesting, just to remind ourselves how thoroughly saturated we are by media practices, how normal it seems to us that a surprise, unnanouced appearance would be so fully covered by a local reporter and photographer. And of course the story captures exactly that double quality -- absolutely carried away by celebrity, absolutely not aware of the levels of staging and back-stage preparation this sort of surprise and its coverage entail, absolutely awed by how normal the candidate seems -- she's one of us!

Sarah Ganim, "AN OCTOBER SURPRISE -- Palin Mingles with Crowd in Unexpected Visit to Way Fruit Farm," Centre Daily Times, 12 October 2008.

(photo credit: CDT/Christopher Weddle; Centre Daily Times, 12 October 2008)

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