PALIN TO RALLY CONSERVATIVE ONLINE ARMY
The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee has committed to delivering the keynote address at Right Online, the annual gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists organized by the Koch-backed non-profit group Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
This year’s meeting is focused on higher-level tactics and strategies than past year’s editions of Right Online, which sometimes had the feel of a crash course on blogging 101. The Vegas conference features training on video exposes to be conducted by guerrilla video journalist James O’Keefe, a session on polling featuring conservative’s favorite pollster Scott Rasmussen and a session moderated by columnist Michelle Malkin entitled “How to Use Facebook & Twitter to Win,” which will include instruction on using social media to drive narratives.
It’s an area in which Palin can rightly be considered a pioneer, having mastered a high-impact, communication style that almost completely circumvents a traditional media from which she’s sometimes gotten rough treatment.
In addition to her regular, paid appearances on Fox News, Palin tapped social media such as Facebook and Twitter, combined with her own star power, to deliver endorsements of allies and cutting attacks on opponents that sometimes drove the political debate for days. While her impact had diminished somewhat after she announced that she wouldn’t seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, she’s increasingly carved out a place for herself in recent months as a Triple-A level political kingmaker and conservative movement figure.
“Sarah Palin is an expert at harnessing social media technology and tactics to shape the narrative,” Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, said in a statement announcing Palin’s Right Online keynote address. “Few others have demonstrated Palin’s prowess at breaking the rules of the Old Guard Media.”
The conference is going to be heavy on Breitbart hagiography, with Palin scheduled to introduce the team behind Breitbart’s network of conservative websites to toast his memory at a June 15 tribute.
After Breitbart died unexpectedly of heart failure in March, Palin wrote in a piece published on his Big Government website that “the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General — we lost an entire Special Forces Division.”
Palin will introduce the premieres of two Breitbart-related movies at Right Online. “Hating Breitbart” is a documentary two years in the making that chronicles Breitbart’s rise, the controversies he helped spur, and his impact on conservative and mainstream media alike. “Occupy Unmasked,” which features interviews with Breitbart, is billed as an exposé of the Occupy Wall Street protests that “will rock the crazed Left to the core,” according to David Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United, which produced the movie.
Americans for Prosperity wouldn’t comment on how much it’s paying Palin to speak. But she commands speaking fees ranging into the low six-figures. And in 2010, AFP spent $253,000 on honoraria, including a $128,000 payment to the speakers’ bureau that represents Palin, with whom AFP had contracted to speak at its Defending the American Dream Summit in Clarkston, Mich., in May 2010. (More)