7. The Palin Family Reality TV Freakout
Leftists and other cultural elites often condemn reality TV as being pedestrian and, well, trashy. Many of these critics of reality shows act as though they wouldn’t touch such programs with a ten foot pole. (To be honest, many of these shows are pretty trashy, but just as many others are compelling.) But when Sarah Palin and her family appeared on two different programs this year, the cultural elites seemed to be unable to look away from their sets and in some cases felt compelled to weigh in.
When Palin’s daughter Bristol appeared on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars this past fall and sailed past much of the competition, some columnists were livid. While plenty of critics said that Bristol Palin’s dancing just wasn’t that good, others had a different set of issues.
The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn devoted an entire column to her disdain for Bristol Palin’s appearances — and success — on the show. In addition to wasting thousands of readers’ time with this nonsensical column, Quinn had the audacity to attribute the younger Palin’s success to a nefarious Christian conspiracy of cheating (and hinted that we may look forward to the same type of cheating in the 2012 election):
Sarah Palin’s detractors point to the Christian right as the culprits here. The say groups organized voting schemes to game the system and were telling each other how to cheat when voting at ABC.com.
I never remember all Ten Commandments off the top of my head, but there should be one that says, “Thou shalt not cheat while voting on Dancing with the Stars.” Polls have shown that the majority of tea party members are conservative Christians. Are these Christians who are voting 300 times and not using valid email addresses? Doesn’t it offend their sense of fairness, if not ethics and morals?
Are these the same people who voted for Sarah Palin, for many of the candidates she endorsed this past election, and will be voting for her candidates in 2012? They may well be voting for her for president.
I’m proud to say I’ve never watched the show, but I know that reality competitions like this in which enormous numbers of people vote, it’s basically a popularity contest. People apparently liked Bristol Palin and wanted to keep her on the show. Oh, and Sally, I don’t recall any announcements at church asking me to vote for Bristol Palin on Dancing With The Stars by any means necessary. Your nutty Christian conspiracy theory holds no water.
Another Palin-related television controversy erupted in December when Sarah Palin and her father went caribou hunting on an episode of her slice-of-life TLC documentary series Sarah Palin’s Alaska. The episode, in which she excitedly shot and killed a caribou, which the family used for food, became a lightning rod for increased criticism.
Some snarky critics went after Sarah for being a bad shot (for the record, she was using an unfamiliar gun with a sight that was untrue). But others, including Leftist writer-producer Aaron Sorkin jumped on Sarah Palin, calling her cruel:
Sorkin launched a profanity-laden counterattack today, accusing Palin of being a “phony pioneer girl” who tortures animals for fun, rather than killing for necessity.
“I’m able to make a distinction between you and me without feeling the least bit hypocritical. I don’t watch snuff films and you make them. You weren’t killing that animal for food or shelter or even fashion, you were killing it for fun. You enjoy killing animals,” Sorkin says of Palin, who he calls “deranged.”
Sorkin went on to irresponsibly compare Sarah Palin to Michael Vick. Clearly Sorkin looks down on hunters, even as he claims he doesn’t have a problem with hunting. (I bet he’s never even been camping.)
It just might be as entertaining to see these cultural elites on the Left come out of hiding to condemn the Palin family on these shows they otherwise pretend not to watch as it is to watch the shows themselves.