The week in silly studies: FOX pays Palin $15.85 per word

Jordan Chittley

We've found a job we're betting everyone wants ... mostly because of how much it pays just for talking.

As most freelance journalists know, news outlets pay anywhere from 10 to 50 cents per word for freelance work. But that pales in comparison to what FOX paid former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The network and the former John McCain running mate have recently split after three years, where they paid her a reported $1 million per year to be a contributor.

So Smart Politics, a blog by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, wanted to see if FOX got their money's worth out of Palin.

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The not-so-fun job is obviously conducting this study. Think about it. Someone had to watch more than 150 Palin appearances on FOX and listen to the 189,221 words she uttered on-air. That may seem like a lot of words, but at Palin's rate, it worked out to $15.85 per word.

The findings are published by Dr. Eric Ostermeier, a Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the university.

So, what was she talking about?

Palin only used her well-known catch phrase "You Betcha" twice, but did mention Obama 786 times. That's almost $12,500 just for saying "Obama." Talk about a plug for the opposition.

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She also said "Amen" 111 times and "God" 57 times, meaning she earned $1,759 for saying "Amen" and $903 for saying "God." Well, Amen to that.

She was also paid $443 for saying "heck" and $31 for saying "damn."

Ostermeier found she appeared on average once every 7.2 days, and most of her appearances were on the Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren shows. She mostly avoided hard-edged interviewers, with less than 20 appearances on FOX News Sunday and O'Reilly Factor.

Too bad I don't have a deal like that with Yahoo! Canada. I would have just earned $5,103 for writing this post.

(Photo courtesy The Canadian Press)

The week in silly studies is a feature that appears each Tuesday.
It is not intended to mock real science.

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