Best and Worst Career Moves of 2009
Her meteoric rise in fame in the national political scene was only marginally hindered by her and John McCain's massive loss to Obama in the 2009 election. Palin quickly polarized people's opinions of her, with adoration turning into idolization from her fans and general dislike turning into outright hatred from her detractors. Palin's fame came with a major drawback, however. The more attention she got, the more people lost confidence in her ability to be a political leader. Not to mention, ever aspect of her personal life was scrutinized in the public forum, every dime she spent was analyzed and her lack of knowledge on certain subject matters were considered major problems.
In the world of politics, 59 million people can vote for you and you can still go home with nothing at the end of the night, but in the world of entertainment, only one million can buy your book and you're considered a rock star.
Palin made the right move for her career. She had the name recognition and media attention she claims to hate and could obviously read the writing on the wall as far as her future in politics was concerned. Though she continues to say she hasn't ruled out future political office ventures, it seems like an obvious attempt at superficially connecting her new career to her old one for life support. A recent pole show more than 70% of Americans now think Palin is unqualified to be President. Though that number seems to grow the more time goes by, it now means nothing to Palin's future plans. The 30% who do think she is qualified are more than enough to keep her career outside of politics going.
If Palin admitted she would never run for office again, it's likely her fame would fade quickly as speculation about her 2012 plans and beyond would stop being fodder for the 24 news networks. Her supporters continue to champion her as a role model and someone they would like to see as President, so it's very unlikely she'll outright dash those hopes when they are what keep her supporters (and critics) interested.
The switch from Leno to O'Brien signifies a massive shift in the Tonight show dynamic. Leno was as traditional of a comic as they come, where as O'Brien's approach is decidedly a more post-modern approach, where the scripted jokes themselves are often not the primary source of humor. Rather, O'Brien calls attention to the formulation of the jokes and the show itself for humor, often mocking himself, the (purposefully, I suspect) poor production value of some of the show's skits or mistakes that others shows might edit out before airing.
Not surprising, some of Leno's older viewers likely jumped shipped to Letterman, who has gotten a ratings boost in recent months, in part, due to two controversies (a poorly worded Sarah Palin joke and an alleged blackmail scheme). Nevertheless, Conan's younger viewers seem to like him, and he is following the footsteps of Johnny Carson, which, even when ratings are down, is not a bad job to have.
Now Blagojevich is set to be a contestant on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice as his career, and apparently his self-respect, have all but vanished. And just think, at this time last year he outranked Obama.
Within a mere minutes the incident set the blogosphere on fire. Wests antics have annoyed some in the past but most people brushed it off. This time, however, it looked like he amused nobody. It didn't help his image when Beyonce, who later won a different award, and in classy move gave up her mic time and called Swift back out on stage so she could finish her original speech. West apologized the next day via his website, but it didn't stem the backlash against him. He would later go on The Jay Leno Show and apologize again. For the first time in his career, West actually appeared humble for a moment. But it didn't matter. The media, like always, fueled the flames by asking everyone they could what they thought, from rock stars like P!nk to President Obama himself, who was recorded calling West a jackass in what was clearly meant to be an off-the-record moment.
West has since canceled most of his plans and is said to be taking some time off to reflect. No doubt he is hoping the storm he created blows over, but it doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon. Not surprisingly, "Kayne interrupts.../ I'mma let you finish" has become one of the fastest growing and most widespread Internet memes of all time.