When Donald Trump invited Sarah Palin to endorse him in Iowa last year, the former governor from Alaska and one time Vice Presidential candidate was visibly giddy with excitement. While no one really understood her very lengthy speech, it was clear this was Palin's ultimate dream. Becoming part of "Team Trump" meant VIP visits to the Golden Trump Tower in New York City, and hobnobbing with, as Palin wrote, a real "blue collar billionaire."
"As my dad can testify, “He's one of us...but with a yuuuuuge balance sheet!”" she went on.
It was a real life love story, almost on par with Sean Hannity's intense man crush and unwavering devotion to the orange real estate tycoon. Palin was Trump's gal, and she went to work activating the millions of mean spirited, intellectually limited Americans she helped rally for John McCain in 2008. Palin stuck with Trump through thick and thin, defending his pussy grabbing and going to bat for him when his campaign looked to be at death's door.
Sadly for Palin, the love story was short lived, and when Trump won, she was left out in the cold as ruthlessly as Trump's ex wives were when he found a newer, younger model. After stringing her along with the promise of a cabinet position, Trump dumped Palin for Rep. Ryan Zinke. Initially, Palin lashed out at Trump with a scathing op-ed accusing him of 'crony capitalism'. It was an astonishing move by Palin that almost certainly did not go unnoticed by Trump's people. Palin clearly realized she had miscalculated her influence in the radically transforming political climate, and went radio silent for a few weeks until re-emerging with a renewed sense of loyalty to her former sugar daddy.
With no political career in sight, a failed online TV channel and no prospect of another reality TV show featuring her family shooting animals for fun, Palin has turned to churning out clickbait content for her website SarahPalin.com and another conservative content mill built to game Facebook's newsfeed algorithms. Here are some examples of the 'content' she is propagating her Facebook page with:
A cursory scroll through her newsfeed shows article after article after article with headlines like the ones above, all of them linking to poorly written puff pieces littered with cheap ads and with enough key words to show up in Google searches.
This business model, perfected by the likes of Buzzfeed and UpWorthy almost a decade ago, is fast running out of steam. Facebook and Google are moving to prevent the proliferation of clickbait, and Palin's websites will no doubt be feeling the effects. To combat this, Palin and the people she is working with are simply producing more of it, meaning fewer ad dollars per piece, but likely enough to cover the bills -- at least for now.
It is almost sad to see Palin reduced to pumping out viral content given the power she once wielded in the conservative movement. But then again, it is Sarah Palin -- a woman who demanded her followers overthrow the Obama administration because of Hillary Clinton's emails. So feel free to laugh all you want.