Sarah Palin is continuing the "In It For The Money" tour and is now a Fox News contributor. If you think this means she will have her own show like Mike Huckabee or Oliver North, think again. That entails work, and Sarah The Quitter isn't crazy about work. She likes money, she adores adulation, but work... not so much.
Being a Fox News contributor means she is going to go on Fox News shows, say what she wants to say and GIT PAID! Her first appearance for pay was last night on Bill O'Reilly's show, where she complained about the treatment she got on 60 Minutes. According to Frazier Moore's piece from the Associated Press, O'Reilly told her she now has a forum with Fox News that allows her to "immediately neutralize '60 Minutes'" – he snapped his fingers – "like that."
Lemme 'splain some numbers. No, not law of sines and law of cosines, just the ideas of BIG and tiny. 60 Minutes is not as popular as it used to be, but it is still a top 20 show in the Neilsens year in and year out. On average, about 14.8 million people tune in to 60 Minutes every week. Bill O'Reilly, on the other hand, has the most popular show on Fox News when he isn't losing to Glenn Beck, and that means he has about 3.8 million viewers per show. This means that 60 Minutes is roughly four times the size of The O'Reilly Factor. To give a little visual aid, I made the 60 Minutes logo four times the size of the picture of Bill O'Reilly and wrote the word Big in 48 point font and the word tiny in 12 point font.
Having a show on cable is not the disadvantage it once was. If something people want to see is on regular cable, people will find it. For example, the Vikings and Bears played on Monday Night Football on ESPN last month and got 17 million viewers. The Bengals and Jets played on Sunday Night Football on NBC and had 16.3 million viewers.
To be the top show in cable news is like being the tallest midget in Texas. The top show on cable is usually WWE wrestling, with about 6 million viewers. No one claims that wrestling is as popular or as important as football. The top cable entertainment show is SpongeBob SquarePants. It can draw about 5 million viewers. No one claims that SpongeBob is bigger than The Simpsons, which got about 8.5 million viewers last week. But in terms of percentage, SpongeBob is closer to The Simpsons than O'Reilly is to 60 Minutes, and likewise wrestling is closer to pro football.
If there was a physical manifestation of this dominance, Lesley Stahl could squish Bill O'Reilly under her heel like he was an itty bitty bug.
If you are into that sort of thing. No judgments.