As The Other Charlotte and I keep pointing out, Sarah Palin is knocking ‘em dead. Not just the conservative Republicans who are turning out in record-size crowds to see her on the campaign trail (like the 22,000 she drew in Grand Junction, N.H., yesterday, but liberals who have likely voted Democratic since they took their first fake-ID drink at the college hangout.

First there was that “Saturday Night Live” guest-appearance, at which she thrilled the studio audience, racked up the highest rating for SNL in 14 years, and had mega-lib Alec Baldwin eating out of her (see TOC’s post on that). And now, it appears, the formerly Sarah-bashing media now seem to have a crush on Palin, too. Here’s the New York Times’s Alexandra Stanley gritting her left-of-center teeth and fainting with damn praise for Palin over the SNL:   

“Her appearance was seen by more than 14 million people, the largest audience for ‘SNL’ since 1994. It was definitely entertaining, but it was hard at times to tell whether it was a bold political tactic or a show-business audition.

“Mostly, it was another sign of the brinkmanship of the McCain campaign: just two weeks before the election, the Republicans are not pulling out all the stops to frame Ms. Palin as a knowledgeable, thoughtful vice president; they are showcasing her as a star.”

And here’s CBS’s press blog, falling all over itself:

“It was less than two weeks ago when Sarah Palin astonished her traveling press corps by lifting the curtain (literally) and journeying to the back of her campaign plane to answer reporters’ questions for the first time after 40 days on the campaign trail. But the candidate who has been criticized for having a bunker mentality when it came to the national media can now lay legitimate claim to being more accessible than either Joe Biden or Barack Obama.”

“In the past two days alone, Palin has answered questions from her national press corps on three separate occasions. On Saturday, she held another plane availability, and on Sunday, she offered an impromptu press conference on the tarmac upon landing in Colorado Springs. A few minutes later, she answered even more questions from reporters during an off-the-record stop at a local ice cream shop.

“By contrast, Biden hasn’t held a press conference in more than a month, and Obama hasn’t taken questions from his full traveling press corps since the end of September. John McCain—who spent most of the primary season holding what seemed like one, never-ending media availability—hasn’t done one since Sept. 23.”

The New York Times’s Caucus blog echoes these sentiments.

Thanks to Tom Maguire’s JustOneMinute blog (via Instapundit) for providing the links. As Maguire notes: “A bunch of bored, paunchy male reporters hanging out with the Hot Chick and liking it –imagine my surprise. My question is, what took the McCain geniuses so long to figure this out?”