It’s fun to watch Sarah Palin. From her ability to get the media to chase her bus tour like a gaggle of puppies to her soliloquies that aren’t quite right at times but nonetheless immensely watchable, she never fails to deliver a firefly-to-light quality news clip everytime she steps outside of her home.
Sarah Palin in this capacity — e.g., delivering commentary, being interviewed, and pondering a run for office — I’d venture to say is not a bad thing. She’s like catnip to the media, with the ability to become an instant headline or a story that absorbs almost a full segment of news. As a result whenever the media is covering Sarah Palin, as a side-effect they’re talking less about the market and the overall economy.
There are reporters who do an excellent job covering the economy. And we need those reporters to hold parties accountable. Unfortunately, there are others who dramatize drops in the market causing viewers heart rates to rise and confidence to drop.
Some folks may not admit the impact that media outlets have on the collective psyche of our people, but the truth of the matter is that the media still has the ability to alter the mood of the country with its reporting. In an area of the economy like investing, the mood and confidence of its investors makes the difference between buying and selling.
As the economy attempts to correct from almost two years of gains and adjust its footing as new industries are developed to replace obsolete ones, anything that distracts a news outlet from simplifying and dramatizing a complex situation can’t be bad. Once again, there are excellent reporters — but as with most things, there are players at the other end of the spectrum yelling fire for ratings.
Back to Sarah Palin. As long as she’s pondering a run, she’ll stay in the headlines and be the shiny ball that distracts certain news outlets from negatively impacting the mood of the country as the economy adjusts. Even if Sarah Palin decides to run, she’ll keep delivering addictive soundbites.
The closer she gets to being in the office, however, the more we may see unintended effects on the mood of the country since she can be a very divisive figure. As long as she stays in today’s sweet spot, the economy has a chance to adjust and correct without the kind of attention that could lead to a panic.
Economics and market operations should be kept a staid topic, and not made to be a caffeine-driven lead story. Right? You betcha.