Media Malpractice, John Ziegler’s 2009 film that turned the media narrative of the 2008 election on its head, played like a Rocky movie on crack to conservative audiences when it was released. However, the film, despite featuring newsmaking exclusives with then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, didn’t find much of an audience beyond that.
Two years (and one midterm election) later, an updated version of Ziegler’s film is set to be re-released to retail stores, and will be available on demand to 80 million cable subscribers. We talked to Ziegler about his hopes for the film to find a wider audience in post-Tea Party America, and what it might mean for the film’s de facto star, Sarah Palin.
The new version of the film includes 45 minutes of updated material, including many of Ziegler’s haymaking interviews (complete with commentary), and carries the Sarah Palin seal of approval. In fact, Ziegler says that Palin even had her ghostwriter watch the film before starting work on her bestseller, Going Rogue.
Upon the film’s initial release, Ziegler says he was in talks with Vivendi-Universal to distribute the film, but the political climate at the time wasn’t right. “In Hollywood, you can take a chance on a liberal film all day long, but if you try and fail with a conservative film, you get fired.”
Still, Ziegler hit the road to screen the film for various conservative audiences, and sold enough copies of the film (around 40,000) to roughly recoup the film’s original $250k production budget.
Since then, though, Palin has evolved, from mere politician into a being of pure media energy whose every Facebook utterance makes headlines, while President Obama has become the scapegoat for huge midterm losses for the Democrats. Add to that the simmering speculation over a possible Palin presidential bid, and suddenly, the climate is a lot friendlier for Media Malpractice.
Shameless plug. If you haven’t seen this yet, you need to in order to understand what really happened in the 2008 election coverage from the media. And the music is listenable, too.