Formerly Relevant Sarah Palin Is Out At Fox News

Fox News has parted ways with Sarah Palin. The former contributor spent her time at the network throwing incendiary jabs at progressives, feuding with her Fox News bosses, and declining into irrelevancy among her fellow Republicans.

Palin had a rocky history with Fox, which she joined in 2010 after her widely-ridiculed vice presidential run. During her roughly five years at the network, Palin sank from being a “hot” commodity to a marginal presence at Fox. At one point during the 2012 Republican convention, Palin resorted to “complaining on Facebook ... that the network had canceled her appearances.”

According to Fox's Howard Kurtz, Palin left the network in 2013 after her “star had faded” and the network offered “only a fraction of the million-dollar-a-year salary” she once enjoyed. She eventually returned to Fox in the summer of 2013.

In 2014, Palin called for President Obama's impeachment in an op-ed for Breitbart News. This came in apparent violation of her Fox contract, which reportedly guaranteed “the cable-news leader exclusive rights to her work on television and on the Internet.” This year she complained about “quasi-conservative” Fox personalities like Bill O'Reilly who panned her 2016 chances as a “reality show.” 

Gabriel Sherman reported in his book The Loudest Voice in the Room that Palin “ruffled Fox executives' feathers” over a 2010 prime-time special and that her ratings were disappointing to Fox News head Roger Ailes:

Palin also ruffled Fox executives' feathers. In the winter of 2010, tensions between Palin's camp and Fox arose over a prime-time special that the network wanted her to star in. Nancy Duffy, a senior Fox producer, wanted Palin to host the show in front of a live studio audience. Duffy hoped to call the program Sarah Palin's Real American Stories. Palin hated the idea. She complained to her advisers that she didn't want to be a talk show host. She wanted to just do voice-overs. More important, she didn't want Fox to promote her name in the title of the program. Not that it mattered: Palin's ratings were starting to disappoint Ailes anyway. Fox did not schedule any additional specials.

Sherman additionally reported that Ailes, according to a source close to the Fox News chief, “thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she's stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven't elevated the conservative movement.” Ailes reportedly said to Sherman of claims he and Fox News were propping up presidential candidates in 2012 (emphasis in original): “Sarah Palin? She couldn't get elected to anything.”

While Palin enjoys a right-wing following, she's even divisive among Republicans. A July 2014 Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg Public Policy Center survey found that “Palin is the politician Americans most want to be quiet” with “52% wishing her to fade away, including almost 2 out of 5 conservatives and Republicans.”

A January 2015 CBS News poll found that just “30 percent of Republicans say they'd like to see her run” for president in 2016 “but 59 percent disagree.” Fox News contributor Byron York wrote earlier this year that GOP activists “came away shaking their heads at” Palin after she gave a “long, rambling, and at times barely coherent speech” in Iowa. York quoted activists calling Palin and her speech “weird,” “terrible,” “didn't make any sense,” “sad story,” “she gets worse and worse,” “really painful,” and “bizarre and disjointed would be charitable.” A “well-connected Iowa Republican” -- apparently agreeing with Fox News -- said that Palin's “shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end.”

Palin used her time at Fox News to spout numerous false and incendiary statements. Here are some of the lowlights: