Sarah Palin's Unconventional Campaign Continues With Debut of 'Real American Stories'

LL Cool J dropped from Palin program after airing complaint on Twitter.

ByTeddy Davis
April 01, 2010, 5:27 PM

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2010— -- Sarah Palin's unconventional potential campaign for president continued Thursday evening with the debut of "Real American Stories."

The first installment of Palin's new periodic series, which aired at 10:00 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel, is the latest reminder of how Palin is attempting to rewrite the rules of American politics.

Since quitting her job as governor of Alaska, Palin has written a best-selling memoir, posted provocative messages on Facebook, delivered paid speeches, stumped for conservative candidates, touted Sen. John McCain's, R-Ariz., re-election bid in Arizona, and provided political commentary on the Fox News Channel.

Palin's latest effort on behalf of the Fox News Channel allowed her to associate herself with "inspirational real-life tales of overcoming adversity" as she continues to preach against the evils of government activism.

There is nothing new about a politician recounting heroic stories.

But Palin's effort to celebrate the American spirit differs from efforts made by other politicians because of the journalistic hat that she wears for the Fox News Channel.

Instead of regularly submitting to press interviews from a variety of news organizations the way that potential Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty do, Palin plays the role of the storyteller.

In her Thursday program, Palin mixed taped pieces with interviews in front of a studio audience.

In an effort to juice up interest in the program, Palin tweeted the following message on Thursday: "America is EXCEPTIONAL! I'll show you a few 'ordinary' Americans do extraordinary things on 'Real American Stories' tonight on FOX, 10 pm EST."

These are the "real American stories" that Palin featured on Thursday:

**A Wall Street financier who puts inner city kids through college.

**A 22-year old Marine who put his helmet on a grenade in Iraq so that his friends would live.

**An 11-year old with cerebral palsy who learned to walk with the help of a black lab.

**Jack Welch recounting how he started with nothing but eventually became CEO of General Electric.

**Toby Keith, inspired by his dad's military service, performing for servicemembers in hard-to-reach places in the wake of 9-11.

**A Latina who stopped her car and rescued a trucker who had caught on fire when his vehicle flipped over.

One person who did not appear in the first installment of "Real American Stories" is James Todd Smith, the rapper-turned-actor better known as LL Cool J.

LL Cool J Says Fox Never Received His Permission

The Fox News Channel removed LL Cool J from the debut of its Palin-hosted series after he saw himself in a commercial for it and then aired his grievance on Twitter.

"Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palin's Show. WOW," he tweeted.

A spokesperson for LL Cool J said that Fox never obtained the actor's permission to use the 2008 interview clip in Palin's debut program.

FNC responded with a statement saying that it "did not commit to restrictions on its interview with Mr. Smith so therefore the network did not need his permission to use the interview in this program."

Nevertheless, FNC agreed to remove the LL Cool J segment.

"It appears that [he] does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others," said a written Fox statement. "We are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career."

"Real American Stories" is not the only program that Palin has developed.

She also has sold a program called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" to the Discovery Channel.

The eight-part series is about Palin and "the majesty" of her home state of Alaska. The series is being executive produced by Emmy-award winner Mark Burnett of "Survivor" and "Apprentice" fame.

Palin's Political Future Uncertain

When it comes to Palin's political future, no one knows for sure what she will do.

Her biggest hurdle remains that seven in 10 Americans see her as unqualified for the job of president of the United States, according to poll numbers.

Palin did not do herself any favors with her skeptics by quitting her job as governor part-way through her term.

On the other hand, Palin continues to be the biggest draw in Republican politics.

There is no other Republican on the American political stage capable of drawing Palin-type crowds and media attention.

Furthermore, Palin's new series, "Real American Stories," could have the effect of complementing - and softening the hard edges - on her anti-big government message.

Who needs direct government lending, after all, if a wealthy Wall Street financier is going to show up in your inner city neighborhood offering to put you through college if you finish high school?

When asked recently on "Fox News Sunday" if she would run for president, Palin said it would be "absurd" not to consider how she can help her country.

In trademark fashion, she then coyly added that she doesn't know if the contribution that she will make will ever be by "seeking a title."

"It may be just doing a darn good job as a reporter or covering some of the current events," said Palin.

ABC News' Julie Perchia and Matt Loffman contributed to this report.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events