Prominent people stay popular for longer than they ought to because they serve as conversational fodder, which in turn drives more media coverage.....
A study at Stanford University looked at why fame spreads, but not how it is created.
Mark Schaller, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, agrees. "It does provide an answer to the question of why fame is self-perpetuating, even when the famous person isn't doing anything fame-worthy anymore." What is less clear is how people, ideas and practices become prominent in the first place, Schaller says.
An explanation for Sarah Palin's extraordinary news coverage, perhaps?