Timing is everything

First off, let me state that I am not going to speculate about why Sarah Palin resigned her position as Governor of Alaska. I am, however, going to put forward a few things about her resignation that make you go hmmmm…

As communicator’s we know that sometimes the news (both mainstream and online) focuses on one big story and may exclude others. In the past couple of weeks that story has been about the death of Michael Jackson. Coverage about how the “King of Pop” died, his will and the custody of his children has been extensive. I found it curious that Sarah Palin decided to announce her resignation in the middle of this coverage and on the Friday of the July 4th long weekend.

I can remember as a young reporter being told by a gruff, old journalist that I should always keep an eye on news releases or announcements sent out on a Friday afternoon. He explained to me that they were done on purpose. It was done in order to slide bad news by us, so that by Monday, it was old news. I never forgot that and when I saw Palin’s announcement on Friday, I wondered about the timing. As I flipped through several U.S. news stations to see their coverage, they were all saying the same thing, they were surprised at the news and some described the news conference as “hastily arranged.” (Which, I would imagine, is why there is speculation about why she resigned.) Hastily arranged, surprising to political journalists and all on the Friday of a long weekend. It makes you go hmmmm…

I had put the Palin resignation out of my mind and wasn’t even going to blog about it, but then I heard all kinds of news coverage yesterday about Palin’s attorney saying she would sue journalists and bloggers speculating about her resignation. Because Palin responded, I thought about the timing of her resignation again. I learned about the speculation of why she resigned and I heard that she was threatening lawsuits. So did the use of the threat of lawsuits provided any benefit to Palin. I don’t think so. It just stirred the pot and got people talking more about the negative.

There is an interesting article on politico.com that talks about Palin’s Facebook response to mainstream media’s reaction to her resignation. It’s worth a read. Online media has changed how we receive our news and how we can respond and participate. It will be interesting to see how this will play out over the next few weeks.

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