A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
We'll leave the ridicule to the professionals. Keith Olbermann:
"We don't care if you masturbated during the debate, just don't tell America about it."
"This dude needs to get laid."
Good thing Palin didn't blow a kiss at the camera or Lowry might have fucking fainted. I'm not a licensed psychotherapist but when you think the people on TV are addressing you personally and directly it's often a sign of incipient dementia.
(h/t to Markos)