• Steven Heller

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah

Need to Know is a weekly PBS news magazine hosted by Alison Stewart and John Meachem, covering the week’s news with longer perspectives than a daily show. It airs Friday nights at 8:30 in NYC. Since May, Steven Brodner has been a regular contributor of an animated illustration commentary. His latest segment (watch it tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 19) takes aim at the former governor Sarah Palin’s new eponymous TLC reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” wherein the branding of Mrs. P continues, or as Brodner says, “politics can be completely divorced from policy.”

I asked Brodner to tell me about his reasons for creating this caricature-commentary:

What prompted this video? This video was prompted by a New Yorker assignment [bottom]. I was asked to draw Palin for [TV Critic] Nancy Franklin’s recent review. For this, I saw clips of the show. My reactions found their way into the New Yorker piece as well as the ideas for this film.

You mean Palin is not your favorite politician? Palin may or may not be a revolutionary politician. The ways in which she is different from all the others are ways which seem to make her more popular with her base. This suggests a kind of genius. She may be perfect for the content-free, reality-show world, where celebrity trumps all. Have you developed a method of capturing her likeness, or will you be evolving this as time goes on? I feel I am beginning to find my Palin. But she is a work in progress too. We have perhaps that much in common!  We don’t know really what her face “means” until we see where she goes. Enough to want to stay tuned. Keeping lots of Pepto on hand, however.

Here is a previous episode. (The Refinery is the production house for this series /DP Jacob Williams, animator/editor Bryan Brinkman.)

The Sound of Sarah published in The New Yorker