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Today Show Marks One Year Anniversary of Palin's Decision to 'Cash In'

To mark the one year anniversary of Sarah Palin stepping down from her duties as governor of Alaska, NBC's Norah O'Donnell, on Friday's Today show, recounted for viewers what the former vice presidential candidate is doing, namely "cashing in." Accompanied by a "cha-ching" sound effect O'Donnell ran down Palin's various TV and book deals. And while O'Donnell also noted Palin has been very effective stumping for GOP candidates in the primaries she was careful to note that the "polarizing" Palin had "limits to her appeal," as she cited an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll saying 52 percent view her political endorsements negatively.

Along with the poll and TV and book deals, O'Donnell also included "her teenage daughter's tumultuous relationship with Levi Johnston," and "her rage" at author Joe McGinnis "who's moved directly next door to her Wasilla home" as negatives. How exactly Palin's "rage" at a writer/stalker moving next door to her family home could be seen as a limit to her appeal wasn't fully explained.

The following is the full segment as it was aired on the July 2 Today show:

MATT LAUER: It was a year ago tomorrow that Sarah Palin made the surprise announcement that she was resigning as the governor of Alaska. And a lot has changed in the past 12 months. NBC's Norah O'Donnell has details on that. Norah, good morning.

[On screen headline: "'Going Rogue' Sarah Palin, One Year After Resigning As Governor"]

NORAH O'DONNELL: A lot has changed. You know she may be the most controversial and polarizing figure in politics today, but she's also helped elect some new stars in the Republican Party, while at the same time becoming a multi-millionaire. One year ago Sarah Palin shocked everyone, announcing she would resign as governor of Alaska with 18 months still left on her term.

SARAH PALIN: It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow. We're fishermen. We know that only dead fish go with the flow.

PAT BUCHANAN: If Sarah Palin was thinking about being President of the United States, she's taking a real step backward.

O'DONNELL: But if anything, Palin has surged forward. More visible-

JAY LENO: Thanks for coming! How are you doing?

O'DONNELL: And possibly more influential than ever.

PALIN: How is that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya?

O'DONNELL: Especially in recent Republican primaries, backing Tea Party candidates across the country and women like South Carolina's Nikki Haley.

PALIN: Nikki had the backbone to vote against taking the Obama stimulus money.

O'DONNELL: Her power is fueled but her political action committee with a deep war chest and a vast army of Facebook and Twitter followers.

ANNE KORNBLUT, THE WASHINGTON POST: She does still have a very loud megaphone when she tweets, when she's on Facebook. She still has the power to affect a policy debate when she wants to.

O'DONNELL: But there may be limits to her appeal. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 52 percent see her political endorsements negatively. And for Sarah Palin, the family dramas that captivated America during the campaign have continued. There's her teenage daughter's tumultuous relationship with Levi Johnston.

PALIN: I hear he goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now.

O'DONNELL: Her rage at an author who's moved directly next door to her Wasilla home, where he's writing a book about her.

JOE MCGINNISS: She has pushed a button and unleashed the hounds of hell and now we're out there slavering and barking and growling.

O'DONNELL OVER "CHA-CHING" SOUND EFFECT: The national fascination with the Palins has not abated and Sarah Palin is cashing in, going from $125,000 a year to an estimated $12 million. There's her blockbuster bestseller Going Rogue, on that deal, $7 million. Her own TV show on TLC, on that deal, $2 million. And an exclusive contract with Fox News channel, $1 million. And as for her speeches, she makes as much as $100,000 a pop and even those aren't without controversy.

PALIN: Got my water? Do I have my straws? I want my straws. And I want them bent, please. Thank you. At least that's what I read in some of the lame stream media outlets, is that I was demanding straws.

O'DONNELL: Well her next project is a new book called America By Heart. It's due in November and she is also expected to be out there again on another book tour, Matt. And the crowds come out for her.

LAUER: Oh and we continue to talk about her. There's no question about it. Norah, thanks very much.

O'DONNELL: You're welcome.

LAUER: Good to see you.

-Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here