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Palin Porn? | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Palin Porn?

Jack Hitt has a front-of-the-book essay in the June issue of Harper’s, coming in two weeks, on image politics, from Kennedy and Reagan to Sarah Palin, whose achievement, he observes, “goes a long way toward explaining why the Democrats can’t (and won’t) gain political traction even with a popular president, an easily blamed predecessor, and the control of both chambers of Congress.”

It’s a thoughtful piece but the headline promises something more: “Is Sarah Palin Porn?”   He introduces that rather small part of his article by recalling that she favored “sassy t-shirts” in college (I May Be Broke But I’m Not Flat Busted) and wore “harlot-red pumps” during the 2008 campaign which had been sold under the name “Naughty Monkey Double Dare.” 

One lengthy passage will no doubt gain attention, explaining why Hitt thinks she can do the same kind of “aspiring porn” she famously accused Levi Johnston of doing with his Playgirl spread.

"She showed off major leg in a racy spread with Runner’s World, wearing a pair of tight, short shorts…In other pictures, she wears skintight leggings and assumes saucy “warm-up” positions. For her fans, it was an issue to keep in that special place where Mom never looks. When Newsweek ran the tight-shorts pic as a cover image, Palin swiftly denounced it as “sexist.” But she recently showed up at John McCain’s side in Arizona and thrilled her followers by wearing a black leather jacket, cut in butch style, with zippered accents defining her breasts. Palin knows her fan base, and she knows what they want…."

This may be a bit over the top, and Hitt (a contributing editor at the magazine)  later notes her "bitchy tweets," but he does conclude the piece on a sensible note:  "She inhabits that dimension occupied by tabloid royalty. She’s Northern Exposure meets Jersey Shore, with less cowbell and more moose. Sarah Palin has her own show all right, and it’s not just on Fox. It’s on every channel, across all platforms, all the time, and, for now, the world can hardly wait for the next episode."

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