Sarah Palin Was Paid HOW MUCH Per Word By Fox News?

Whether she runs for another office, or quietly fades off into the sunset, Sarah Palin has provided linguists, political theorists, and comedians with enough material to linger on for some time. Humphrey School of Public Affairs' Smart Politics reviewed Sarah Palin's airtime on FOX News during her three year stint when she was paid $1 million per year since January, 2010: 

"A Smart Politics review of the more than 150 FOX broadcasts in which Sarah Palin appeared as a paid commentator from 2010 through 2012 finds that she spoke 189,221 words on air during this span, for an average pay rate of $15.85 per word."

FOX News probably had planned for Palin to have a far broader impact than she has had as is shown through this entertaining collection of her commentary on Fox. She is famous for evading answering a question directly, and turning any comment into a rambling, quasi-formed legislative and patriotic ordinances directed at nobody and everybody.

This analysis of her commentary during her FOX stint has some interesting stats of some of those ramblings:

- More than three quarters of her airtime was during Sean Hannity's and Greta Van Susteren's programs;

- She appeared once every 7.2 days on average during this time period. At $274 a day (if you divide her $1 million per-year fee by days), she earned most of her money doing nothing;

- "You betcha" was only said twice, both during her first month as an employee;

- "President Obama" was referenced by Palin 786 times, far more than the 41 times Ronald Reagan was discussed. At $15 a word, Palin made $11,790 just saying Obama's name. 

- Religion received varied airtime, with "Amen" being said 111 times, "God" 57 times, "Christians" and "Christianity" 16 times, "Muslim" 13 times, "hell" seven times, "Islam" six times, "Moses" three times, "damn" twice, and "Jesus" only once.

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Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

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