Guest Submission by Ron Devito
The Balloon field in Indianola, IA had just cleared out, leaving a false presidential announcement narrative long dead in its wake. The narrative, which had run for two weeks straight was that Governor Palin would announce that day. Karl Rove and Dick Morris promulgated it. They wanted to set up the meme of “disappointed supporters.” The event organizer aided and abetted it, because they wanted to gin up their crowd numbers. SarahPAC shot the rumor down long before the rally, but some people just wanted to keep it going. The moment Governor Palin left that field, a new narrative began …
Falling on Saturday, September 17, but being observed on Friday, September 16, it was just so right. Being a Friday, Governor Palin could call into Alaska’s Bob and Mark Show, as she had promised several times. She could dominate the news cycle for the entire weekend. With Bachmann’s campaign all but a smoking hole in the ground and Perry under crony capitalism attack, the time seemed nigh. Even the imagery on the One Nation Bus suggested the 16th could be the day. The 16th was just perfect. As the week began, emotions among some of us Palinistas built into a fever pitch.
Governor Palin had nothing to do with any of this, for not one peep escaped her lips about September 16th. But, a large plurality of her supporters wanted that day and became emotionally wrapped up in it. It got ginned up on Facebook. As the days and hours hurtled toward the 16th, the emotions and psychological projection built. The links in the chain to some people’s disappointment were being forged.
By Thursday night, the rumor had started: “Gov. Palin was going to call into the Bob and Mark Show on the 16th,” a website declared. Palin groups on Facebook lit up. Immediately, KWHL was bombarded with emails and major news networks started calling them. Once word of that got out, the chatter intensified all the more. If the networks were “tipped off” she had to be calling in for sure! The classic child’s game of telephone/telegraph was in full swing.
First-time listeners to the show do not know that Bob and Mark and their staff like to play pranks with callers. It’s part of the schtick and part of the fun. Bob and Mark were long off the air for the day, but the switchboard operator advised several supporters to tune into the show at 1130 / 11:30 AM EDT on the 16th. The operator could not confirm who was calling but “something was going to happen.”
When Bob and Mark took to the airwaves, they shot the rumor down and said if Governor Palin was going to call in, they would be just as surprised as everyone else. She was not on the schedule and there was no call planned.
At 1306 / 1:06 PM EDT, Bob and Mark announced that “Sarah was going to call in.” While waiting for the call, they played three songs, the central theme of which is a word defining “female dog.” Hearing this, I had a feeling the call would be a prank. Bob and Mark would not play this type of music if they knew for certain the real Gov. Palin was going to call in right after. Though some of their content is best be described as R-rated, they tend to clean it up when they know something serious is coming up. They might be raunchy, but they know when to knock it off.
Then, a male voice they usually use for pranks “called in.”
“I’m Sarah. I’m running. I’ve already run five miles and I have a few more to go!”
Even with my anticipation at fever pitch, I got a good, hearty belly laugh out of “Sarah.” After all, Adrienne Ross used that theme in her coverage of Gov. Palin’s half-marathon, and I used it in a subsequent story. As a publisher, I want to be the first or at least among the first to break the news. But, yesterday simply was not HER day as perfect as it seemed to so many of us.
Under the Bus!
Many supporters who were so emotionally wrapped up in the 16th were angry that Bob and Mark pulled this prank. Now, they want Gov. Palin to throw Bob and Mark under the One Nation Bus by reneging on her promise to announce with the Alaskan DJ’s. After all, “they’re just crass shock jocks. Why should she announce with them?”
We’ve Been Here. We’ll Be Here. That’s It!
Bob and Mark’s slogan is “We’ve been here. We’ll be here. That’s it!” It’s not just a slogan. They have been here for Sarah Palin throughout her career as Alaska’s governor and as a private citizen. Piper Palin, called into the show last year, while her mom was out holding signs for Joe Miller who ran for a US Senate seat. At every key milestone, Bob and Mark were there. When Gov. Parnell tried to destroy Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES), Bob and Mark were there defending Gov. Palin’s legacy and using their show as a bully pulpit for weeks to ensure that ACES – a signature accomplishment of Gov. Palin’s – was not hurt. When McGinniss’ poison pen book dominated the news for days, Bob and Mark were the only ones on the Alaskan airwaves – there to defend the Palins – and minced no words about what McGinniss is.
Eddie Burke was also a friendly host toward the Palins, but he is long off the radio.
Bob and Mark are the last ones left standing supporting Gov. Palin on the Alaskan airwaves.
While some Palinistas might find some of Bob and Mark’s content offensive, and felt “had” by the prank, Gov. Palin has her reasons for promising to announce with Bob and Mark, not least among them being an homage to her local roots, and rewarding their undying loyalty to her.
Keep Your Powder Dry
If nothing else, Bob and Mark performed a valuable service yesterday. Gov. Palin has many times said, “keep your powder dry.” Those who didn’t heed her advice got pranked. It’s that simple. Bob and Mark also taught us that we need to lighten up, and learn to laugh a little. Sometimes, we take things – and ourselves too seriously. Life is too short. When it’s her time, it’s her time. The announcement will be at a time, place and method of Gov. Palin’s choosing, not ours. It will not be at our collective psychological projection of what we hope she will do, regardless of how perfect it might seem. The 16th was “perfect” for some of us, but not for Gov. Palin. She may never reveal her reasons and she has absolutely no obligation to.
Those who ginned up the September 16th narrative have no one to blame but themselves for their outcome on the Bob and Mark Show. It was well-deserved. There is absolutely no reason to expect Gov. Palin to renege on her promise, based on a funny prank. Those who expect her to do so are most likely ginning up another disappointment for themselves.
All this nonsense can be avoided by simply not posting rumors and scuttlebutt on websites and social media sites.