Palin's accelerated descent this week represents a larger trend within the conservative media. It represents the decline of the tea-party wing of the right-wing press and how a once-flourishing enterprise of outside upstarts, with their eyes on disrupting the GOP hierarchy, have in recent years faded in terms of importance and prestige within that sphere.
No president in our nation's history has ever been castigated, condemned, mocked, insulted, derided, and degraded on a scale even close to the constantly ugly attacks on President Obama. From the day he assumed office -- indeed, even before he assumed office -- he was subjected to unprecedented insults in often the most hateful terms.
Since sound money is expensive, and bad money is cheap, bad money proliferates and drives good money out of the marketplace. Economists and sociologists have extended this principle to information: Bad information drives out good, and for similar reasons. This is what has happened in the age of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk.