Any lingering hope you may have harbored for corporate pundits to rise above their infatuation with John McCain running mate Sarah Palin will surely be dashed by Rich Lowry’s titillated take (National Review Online, 10/3/08) on her debate performance–quoted in full:
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
I think you’d have to say that Lowry’s got it–and what he’s got, you don’t want.