Beating a dead horse

An example of violent conservative imagery

 


Gallup:

Most Doubt Political Rhetoric a Major Factor in Ariz. Shootings

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Americans dubious that the heated language used in politics today was a major factor that influenced the alleged gunman in last week’s shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Twenty percent say such rhetoric was a major factor in the shootings, while 22% cite it as a minor factor; 42% say it was not a factor at all. Democrats are more likely than independents or Republicans to believe political debate played a role.

[...]

The poll was conducted Jan. 11, three days after Jared Loughner allegedly shot and killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., and seriously injured numerous others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Some of the early news coverage of the shootings discussed whether the increasingly inflammatory language used in political debate today could have motivated the shooter to attack the Democratic member of Congress. That theory was put forth by the sheriff of Pima County, Ariz., who argued that conservative thought leaders like Sarah Palin use language that may encourage their supporters to commit acts of violence against their opponents.

Most Americans reject that theory, with 53% agreeing that commentators who allege conservative rhetoric was responsible were mostly attempting to use the tragedy to make conservatives look bad. Roughly one in three, 35%, say the commentators were making a legitimate point about how dangerous the language used by conservatives can be.

If the connection between violent rhetoric and violence is so obvious, why aren’t more people blaming Sarah Palin and other conservative leaders for what happened in Arizona?

One reason is the lack of a causal connection. Regardless of what one might think of right wing rhetoric, there is no evidence that Jared Loughner was familiar with it, let alone influenced by it.

But another reason might be that for at least fifty years we have been hearing that the high rates of violence in this country are caused by violent cartoons, television shows, Rock and Roll, Hip-Hop/Rap and video games.

Something Not Unlike Research

There are well-conducted studies — notably by the social psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues — that show that, for example, exposing a child to a violent videogame, leads to an increased likelihood of aggressive behaviors. Craig Anderson, Bushman, and their colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of this research and concluded that

The evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior.

Which suggests that if we had a large increase in the consumption of violent videogames, we’d see a large increase in violence, right? However, we don’t seem to see this. The Figure to the right (below) plots the rates of assaults in the US as reported in the Bureau of Justice Statistics Victimization Survey. When the survey started, there were no such things as violent videogames. But the rates of assaults have steadily decreased. Just for fun, I put in the date when the first version of Grand Theft Auto was released. If anything, the decline in assaults seems to have accelerated during the violent videogame era.



Sometimes you hear that “correlation is not causation.” But we have here is a “negative correlation.” The fact is that despite the rhetoric coming from the right wing in this country political violence is pretty rare in the United States. And despite all the violent imagery in our culture, murder and other violent crimes have been declining since 1993.

This is not to say that violent political rhetoric is a good thing or even harmless. But the problem in this most recent case is that the media and the progressive blogosphere jumped the gun and went off half-cocked. They assumed that they had found a smoking gun but when the evidence began to emerge it revealed that the shooting in Tucson was not a political assassination attempt but something that is unfortunately far more common – a mentally ill spree killer.

As a result, continuing to focus on the issue of violent political rhetoric comes across to the public as trying to politicize a tragedy.

It’s time to stop beating a dead horse.



Football vs. Politics


I was ruminating on some of the comments we typically get when we don’t join in the latest Palinpalooza Wankfestivus. Then a football analogy occurred to me.

Both football and politics are popular spectator sports. The actual players make lots of money and have little in common with their loyal fans. They both use violent imagery, but football has far more actual violence.

Both football and politics are team sports, but football fans are allowed to be objective without having their loyalty questioned. If you say that the other team’s quarterback is a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame nobody accuses you of wanting the other team to win.

Now let’s say the other team has a great quarterback and two great wide receivers but no running game. But your team decides to commit to stopping the run, daring their quarterback to throw the ball. So you scream at your team’s coach, “Are you insane? You’re playing to their strength!

Do you think the other fans would consider you a traitor? Not likely.

Not only that, but if the instant replay clearly shows that the other team’s wide receiver caught the ball with both feet in bounds, nobody expects you to insist otherwise. When your team’s players screw up you’re allowed to curse and boo them.

Politics is different. You are expected to insist that your team’s players and strategies are better than the other team’s, whether they really are or not. You are required to claim the other team’s players are all talentless losers. You’re also obligated to protest every call that goes against your team, no matter what really happened. And you never, ever admit that your team deserved to lose.

Worst of all, you’re supposed to keep buying season tickets even if your team keeps losing, year after year.


Do you think Steve Benen might be a tad biased?


Seriously:

HALF-TERM GOVERNOR BREAKS HER SILENCE…. As tempted as I am to simply ignore former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) latest statement, I suppose there’s no point in pretending it’s not of some interest to the political world this morning.

Palin has been unusually quiet since Saturday’s massacre in Tucson, and as interest in the toxicity of political rhetoric has grown more intense, her role in cheapening and dragging down our discourse has generated a fair amount of attention.

Today, Palin broke her silence issuing a video, which is nearly eight minutes long. It’s a standard tactic — the right-wing media personality can’t subject herself to questions or muster the confidence to deal with cross-examinations, so to communicate, Palin’s forced to hide behind statements others write for her, and then upload them. It’s not exactly the stuff Profiles in Courage are made of.

In any case, the statement/video is about what one might expect. Palin, speaking from Alaska with an American flag over her right shoulder, has no regrets and no apologies to offer. Instead, she’s concerned about “blood libel.”

“If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

I don’t imagine Palin actually knows what “blood libel” means, but historically, it’s referred to the ridiculous notion of Jews engaging in ritual killings of Christian children. More commonly, it’s a phrase intended to convey the suffering of an oppressed minority.

In other words, Palin is apparently feeling sorry for herself, again, using a needlessly provocative metaphor that casts her as something of a martyr.

Benen uses the phrase “half-term governor” at least three times in his post. That right there indicates that maybe he’s not being entirely neutral and objective.

I like the “breaks her silence” jab too. On Saturday, soon after the news of the shootings broke, Sarah Palin posted this statement on Facebook:

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

She then went about her business. Various people have been criticizing her for not saying more, specifically for not admitting it was all her fault, apologizing and promising to never show her face in public again.

Of course if she had been giving interviews she would have been criticized for trying to steal the spotlight for herself.

Apparently Benen hasn’t got the memo that Sarah was dogwhistling to her fundiegelical supporters when she used the words “blood-libel.” He thinks she’s just a stupid girl who was using words she didn’t understand.

As for the flag reference, I wonder what Benen thought when candidate Obama gave his Greatestest Speech on Race EVAH with about 10 American flags behind him?

That’s it for another episode of “Look over there! It’s Sarah Palin!


In re Sarah Palin


Anytime I post ANYTHING having to do with Sarah Palin or one of her progeny I always seem to see two typical responses along with whatever other comments are made.

The first one is some version of “Zomg! Sarah Palin is a conservative Republican and I would never vote for her.” Sometimes the commenter leaves the impression that they thought we were unaware of this fact.

The second one is based on wishful thinking and asserts that Sarah Palin is more moderate than her rhetoric, or would govern that way. While it is true she governed Alaska in a somewhat bi-partisan fashion that is not a basis for thinking she would do the same if she reached the White House.

Some people question why I write so many posts about Sarah Palin. There have even been a few who claimed to be offended by my choice of subject matter and worried that they would become permanently tainted by association with these toxic Palin posts.

Some people need to get a grip.

Sarah Palin is a political celebrity. Everything she says and does is news. Well, not really but the media act as if it’s news. I don’t see any sign that the situation will change anytime soon.

Ignoring her might have worked two years ago but that’s not possible now. She’s got a hit show (by cable standards) and she’s a commentator for FOX News, she does talk radio and gives speeches around the country, and she’s currently on tour promoting her new book, which looks to be another best seller.

Her postings on Facebook and Twitter get more attention than White House press briefings and even her children’s Facebook posts make the evening news occasionally.

A few people have made comments to the effect that if I’m gonna write about Sarah Palin I should focus on issues and write some really boring policy analysis demonstrating that her ideas would be bad for our country.

What would be the point? OF COURSE her ideas are bad for the country.

She’s a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN.

Blogging is not my occupation, it’s my hobby. Nobody is paying me to do tedious policy analysis. I doubt if anybody would pay me to do that crap anyway. Riverdaughter only keeps me around because I work cheap.

I write about stuff that interests me. Sarah Palin interests me.

First and foremost Sarah and the reactions she causes are entertaining as hell. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s some kind of mass insanity. The people that hate her the most are the ones that are obsessed with her. And she has a whole bunch of people that hate her, including the media, the GOP establishment and the Obamacrats.

That right there is a big plus in my book.

Sarah Palin is something this country hasn’t seen in a long time – a bona fide populist. Unfortunately she’s a right-wing populist.

Ever since the day that John McCain announced that he had selected Sarah Palin as his running mate there has been a lot of effort directed at destroying her personally and politically.

That effort has not only failed but backfired. She has grown stronger politically and manged to get rich too. The harder her enemies try to destroy her, the stronger she gets.

I’m a liberal Democrat but I don’t feel any particular obligation to say bad things about Sarah Palin. I disagree with the notion that if you can’t say something bad about her then don’t say nothing at all. I’m not going to hate her just because I disagree with her.

Her life story is an inspiring American success story. She didn’t come from a wealthy background, she didn’t go to Ivy League schools and she didn’t get where she is by sucking up to the rich and powerful. While Barack Obama was ingratiating himself with the Daley Machine Sarah Palin was taking on the “good old boy” network and making her bones as a reformer.

As far as her resume I find it hilarious that supporters of Barack Obama have the temerity to point out her lack of experience. Hey guys, she gave a great speech and wrote two books! Okay, maybe she didn’t write them herself but Obama didn’t write his either.

She is not stupid nor ignorant, nor is she “anti-intellectual.” She won the governor job by kicking ass in debates (and she pimp-slapped Biden in the VP debate too.) Unfortunately she’s a conservative Republican. She supports conservative Republican candidates and says conservative Republican things. From everything I’ve seen she really believes what she says.

But if Sarah Palin was a pro-choice liberal Democrat the media, the GOP establishment and the Obamacrats would hate her just as much or more than they do now because she would still be just as much a threat to them. If you don’t believe me just ask Hillary Clinton.

I don’t know how this tale will end, but I am certain of a couple things.

The GOP presidential nominee in 2012 will be a conservative Republican. That person will be pro-life, anti-tax and will advocate smaller government. They will be hawkish on foreign policy, xenophobic on the issue of immigration, skeptical about global warming and generally opposed to government regulation.

The GOP nominee will pay his or her respects to all the “right” people and groups, including the religious right, the neocons, the nut-job billionaires and the Tea Party. How sincere those respects are will be debatable.

Regardless of who the GOP nominates the Democrats will attempt to portray them as crazy and stupid. That strategy worked so well in the midterms they will surely use it again, probably with the same results.

Unless the economy improves dramatically in the near future the GOP nominee will probably be our 45th President. He or she will almost certainly have a friendly majority in Congress.

I will not be voting for Sarah Palin or any other Republican. If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee (and he almost certainly will be) I will not be voting for him either.

I saw most of this coming two years ago. That’s when I was running around with my hair on fire trying to warn people. But they didn’t listen.

Here’s the hard truth: Things are going to have to get worse in this country before they get better. That’s just the way it is.

Things got worse for eight years under George W. Bush and the country was ready for a change. 2008 should have been the biggest political sea change since 1932. All the pieces were in place.

But not everybody wanted change. There is a small but very powerful group of people who like things they way they are. You can call them Corporatists, Robber Barons or Malefactors of Great Wealth.

They went to a lot of trouble and expense to make sure change didn’t happen. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars to put Barack Obama in office. They told their employees in the media to help him. They won, and the American people lost,

The window of opportunity is now past. It will be at least six more years before we get another chance. Even if Hillary were to run and win in 2012 she would be facing a GOP majority in the House and Senate. She would spend her time playing defense, not advancing new policy initiatives.

We won’t get another opportunity to make real change until 2016 or 2020.

As for me I plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing since the Big Dawg left office. Hang in there, keep my sense of humor and be a voice crying in the wilderness, hoping it doesn’t get any worse than it has to.

I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I’m not gonna waste my time and energy hating the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

As far as Republicans go Sarah Palin is better than most. She’s a populist (which is good) and she’s not beholden to the establishment (which is better.) She’s not crazy, at least not compared to some of the other contenders. She’s got a fan base that is already angry and semi-organized. If the GOP establishment tries to pull what the Democrats did to Hillary her supporters will go from Tea Party to lynch mob in half a nanosecond. Some of them are almost there already.

Win or lose, her candidacy will be entertaining.

Since I can’t do nothing about it anyway I’m gonna enjoy the show.

So until somebody starts paying me to write something different I’m gonna keep writing about whatever I feel like writing about. If you have a topic you are interested in my fees are reasonable. (No checks, small, unmarked bills only)

I am, or course, speaking solely for myself. Riverdaughter and my co-bloggers are opinionated and outspoken types (it’s a job requirement) and they are stubborn and hard-headed just like me. If you want to know what they think you’ll have to ask them.

Monday Morning Palinpalooza

I am almost as sick of hearing about and seeing Sarah Palin as I am hearing about and seeing Barack Obama, but the news is awful, the weather is boo boo, and as a liberal fem I am apparently supposed to go into a screaming emotional PMS induced rant every time her name is even brought up. Why fight it?

I don’t plan on reading or buying her new book. Do any of you? I didn’t think so. But Historiann has the scoop.

Don’t miss Michelle Goldberg’s analysis of the feminist history in Sarah Palin’s new bookAmerica by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. Apparently, it gets worse after the diabetes-inducing title.  I agree with Goldberg that “[i]n some ways, it’s a good thing that Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist. It means that, even among conservatives, women’s equality has become a normative position, the starting point for debate. It means that feminism has gone from something that the right wants to destroy to something it wants to appropriate. That’s progress, of a sort.”  This is indeed a new development–Phyllis Schlafly’s days are over, for now, and it would be even too intellectually dishonest for Palin to pretend that feminism had nothing to do with shaping the possibilities of her political career.

As an optimist I am also pleased that a woman politician at least has to call herself a feminist to get anywhere, much less conservative woman. But this step forward is not to Bible Spice’s credit. A woman in politics has to call herself a feminist now because of the treatment a certain plucky Secretary of State received not just in 2008 but throughout her entire life in public service. Just sayin’. Let’s continue.

However, Palin is all wet when it comes to American history in general, and as Goldberg explains, feminist history in particular:  she claims Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a devout Christian–a woman who once said that “[y]ou may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded women,” and who wrote her own version of the Bible.  (Truly, this is more laughable than the people who try to re-claim Thomas Jefferson as a godbag.)  Palin repeats the flimsy lie that Susan B. Anthony was anti-abortion, and she repeats the distortions of Margaret Sanger’s work and career by claiming that she advocated “Nazi-style eugenics.”  (She cites the esteemed historian Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism on Sanger.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and another fun fem, Amelia Earheart, also rejected the usefulness of remaining faithful to their husbands. Amelia even passed a petition about it around. Hillary wasn’t the first classy lady to question standing by her man. So far that’s Hillary: 2 Sarah: 0.

Sarah Palin is a huge disappointment.  She could have countered her detractors the right way and continued working for the people of her beloved Alaska, but instead she has allowed herself and her family to be turned into celebrity jokes. Marketing yourself as a pundit on Fox News and giving yourself a reality show on TLC is not the way to prove you’re Presidential material. So much for all that maverick talk about Middle America. She should have taken a leaf out of that crazy bra burning feminist Hillary Clinton’s book instead of Barack Obama’s. Now she and him are like the American Idol clones of Presidential Politics. If they are both running in 2012 we won’t even be able to take a break and watch an episode of House or Dexter without one of them guest starring. They and their brands will be EVERYWHERE. God help us all!

I still don’t believe you have to be liberal or pro choice to be a feminist, but Caribou Barbie stopped caring about standing up to the good old boys a long time ago. It was probably some time in between the grand finale of Dancing with the Stars or a deep philosophical connection with Dick Morris while he was ghostwriting her new book. At least now she is caught up to the President and has managed to write two autobiographies without actually accomplishing much of anything.

Either way, from now on she’s on her own.

PDS – Is there a cure?


Elizabeth Wurzel at Atlantic:

Sarah Palin, Riot Grrrl

To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, I don’t agree with a word that Sarah Palin says, including “and” and “the.” And as a liberal feminist, it drives me absolutely bonkers that Palin is the most visible working mother and female politician in America, that she is the best exemplar of a woman with an equal marriage, that she has put up with less crap from fewer men than those of us who have read The Second Sex and marched in pro-abortion rallies and pretty much been on the right side of all the issues that Palin is wrong about.

So I suppose I should confess: I like Sarah Palin. I like her because she is such a problem for all these political men, Republicans and Democrats alike, with their polls, and their Walter Dean Burnham theories of transformative elections, and their economy this and their values that–and here comes Palin, and logic just doesn’t apply. She speaks in spoonerisms, she raises wretched children, she’s a quitter, she’s a refudiater, she shoots moose and beats halibut, she has a dumb accent that doesn’t have the charm of Charleston or the Brahmin of Boston–really, she is just a lot of quirks.

But it doesn’t matter. It will never matter and I bet it never has mattered, because Sarah Palin is hot. She has sex appeal. That’s why people like her. That’s the whole story. Everyone has to stop trying to deconstruct and decode it, because there is no accounting for chemistry, and Sarah Palin has lots of it going on with her public. I don’t think anyone knows or cares what in particular she stands for, other than some general conservative cache of principles, because they are in love with her.

The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans did so first, or maybe I should have left off the qualifiers and called it straight: the Democrats are just plain morons, at least where women are concerned. The right wing, for whatever weird reason, has been much more receptive to outrageous and attractive female commentators who are varying degrees of insane or inane, but in any case are given a platform on Fox News and at their conservative confabs. Look at how great life has been for Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham and the assorted lesser lights. But there are no Democratic blondes, no riot grrrls on the progressive side of politics, no fun and fabulous women in the liberal scene who could pave the way for a Palin. Yes, there are women who are successful in the Democratic party, but none of them are successful because of their feminine wiles, none of them have played up their sex appeal the way Palin has. MSNBC’s female host is Rachel Maddow, who is completely good in all manner of ways that good can be good–but still I must ask: Where are the policy babes?

I know, I know: all of you are saying that it’s a good thing it’s like that, it’s a sign that liberals have integrity and blah blah blah. But I think you are kidding yourselves. It’s a sign of another thing: that liberal men are wimps who can’t handle the hot potato that is a combination of feminine sexuality and female political brilliance.

Anyone with a sense of humor, a sense of fun, and a sense that women should be taken on their own terms really ought to like Palin. I mean, of course, you should hate her at the same time, but you should hope she is the beginning of revolution, grrrl style.

At least she’s herself. Every damn day, if you tune in to any of the 24-hour news outlets, the same pundits retread through the same stuff–they all say the same thing. I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the whole DC opinion apparatus remains employed. If there were any justice, their ranks would swell the unemployment rate beyond 10 percent. And still, some moron known as a news executive who hasn’t registered a thought beyond mediocre in my lifetime approves of this, and Americans, educated to believe 2+2=5, will put up with anything.

Into this horror walks Sarah Palin, who is kind of a sexy librarian, kind of a MILF, kind of just crazy, and altogether does what she wants to do. This, actually, is normal behavior. But we are so used to watching other female politicians compromise in so many ways that there is not enough Vaseline in all of CVS to make the situation comfortable–so Sarah Palin seems completely strange.

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country. Or a state. But really, are any of the other idiots who want the job so much better?

WTF? Is she snarking or schizophrenic?

The first couple paragraphs are okay, but then she takes a hard left turn into Crazytown.

“I love her! I hate her! She’s a hottie! She’s a naughty librarian! She’s a dummy! Our side needs hot dumb librarians too!”

Seriously, WTF?




You can’t make this stuff up


If you thought the progressive blogosphere lost its collective mind to Palin Derangement Syndrome two years ago, you ain’t seen nothing yet:

Insiders: If Bristol Palin Wins, ‘Dancing’ Is Ruined

At first, having Bristol Palin participate in ‘Dancing With The Stars’ seemed like a brilliant idea. Just like Kate Gosselin before her, casting an admittedly bad dancer who was shrouded in controversy has raked in big ratings and tons of press. But now the joke is on the show’s producers, as they fear Bristol is actually going to win this thing.

“This will be a disaster for the show if Bristol wins,” one TV insider tells me. “Any creditability the show had will be over. It will go from being a dancing competition to a popularity competition where whoever has the most rabid fan base will always win no matter how little talent they have.”

And while it’s true Bristol’s dancing has dramatically improved since the season began, no one with working eyes would put her in the same league as the other remaining stars, Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey.

“Another problem the producers foresee is that after Bristol wins no one in Hollywood will ever want to be on the show again,” a well-placed ABC source tells me. “Why would a real star want to compete and lose against someone like [former U.S. Senate candidate] Christine O’Donnell or Levi Johnston. It’s humiliating. The producers know they are in big trouble for sure.”

And it’s not just future contestants and viewers that the show needs to worry about. A friend of one of the judges tells me Bristol has made a fool out of all of them. It’s now painfully obvious that the judge’s scores and opinions mean nothing.

Dancing with the Stars is a show that takes some retired athletes, singers, fashion models, washed up actors and actresses and other minor celebrities and matches them with professional dancers in a semi-rigged dance competition.

You see, some of the “stars” are ringers while others are plodders with multiple left feet. Jennifer Grey is one of this season’s ringers:

Born in New York City, Grey is the daughter of stage and screen actor Joel Grey and the former actress/singer Jo Wilder. Grey is the granddaughter of comedian and musician Mickey Katz. She is an alumna of the Dalton School, a private school in Manhattan, and studied both dance and acting.

Bristol Palin is a plodder with no previous dance experience. She was supposed to be eliminated no later than the middle rounds. But then a funny thing happened – she kept avoiding elimination due to fan voting.

This caused heads to explode. One of the first casualties was Jeralyn Merrit. Jeralyn has had a raging case of PDS since about five minutes after John McCain announced his choice of running mate back in 2008. She let her mind wander and it never came back.

A few weeks ago Jeralyn’s PDS mutated into BPDS. After last weeks DWTS semi-final round BPDS has become a pandemic.

At HuffPoop, we have Megan Carpentier (Associate Editor, Talking Points Memo) writing this:

But Sarah Palin’s vast and unending popularity — and her supporters’ fanaticism to defend everything in the Palinsphere — threw everyone for a curveball. Let us be clear: no one should begrudge a mother wanting her daughter to win, or using her popularity to help that. But Operation Bristol isn’t that, and it isn’t about conservatives watching (and enjoying) Dancing with the Stars and voting for their favorite candidate: it’s about supporting one dancer on a show many of them aren’t even watching for strictly political reasons.

[...]

The plan to hand Bristol the Mirror Ball next week despite the fact that there were three candidates who were much, much better than her might make Bristol happy — until Monday night’s unfortunate display of attitude, we would have expected that she would prefer to lose graciously rather than win this way, but now we don’t know — and it might make her mom happy, but her fan base is hurting the show and the public perception of the woman they admire and the daughter they claim to champion. Plus it means the audience that loves (even grudgingly) to watch people dance and improve won’t get to see the best people battle it out: instead, we’ll be stuck watching Mark and his guyliner dance around Bristol’s flaws while quietly bemoaning whomever isn’t on screen. And from the look on Mark’s face the last two weeks, he knows that’s bad for him and the show he loves.


I’m sure Megan is only concerned about artistic integrity and the credibility of ABC’s reality programming. Politics never entered her mind.

But wait! There’s more:

FBI Investigates White Powder Mailed to ‘DWTS’

First a guy shoots his TV over Bristol Palin’s fancy footwork. Now, another viewer is apparently taking America’s favorite ballroom-dance extravaganza way too seriously.

Emergency responders in Los Angeles were called to the offices of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ late Friday to investigate a white powder that was reportedly contained in a piece of fan mail addressed to Sarah Palin’s daughter, the 20-year-old Alaskan who has remained in competition with ‘DWTS’ partner Mark Ballos despite poorly judged performances.

The FBI told TMZ, “The L.A.P.D., L.A. City and FBI Hazardous Materials officials responded to a report of a threatening letter containing white powder.”

If you google “bristol palin dancing with the stars” you will get 31 MILLION 700 THOUSAND hits. Seriously.

Now there is even a Facebook page called “Operation Vote Off Bristol.”

Jeralyn:

The winner of DWTS shouldn’t be the contestant who went from log to broom. It should be the best dancer. The show has already been damaged by allowing conservatives to gin the system and get Bristol to the semi-finals. If ABC doesn’t put voting checks in place for the finals, it deserves to go down.

The final two episodes of this seasons DWTS will be this Monday, November 22 at 8:00 PM and Tuesday, November 23 at 9:00 PM.


Make sure you have plenty of popcorn.



Tina Fey repeats a zombie lie, PBS edits it out


Last week Tina Fey was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In her acceptance speech she said this:

I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn’t thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me.

And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women [applause before the joke kicks in] — except, of course, those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape kit and stuff.

But for everybody else, it’s a win-win — unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years — whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us — unless you believe in evolution. You know — actually, I take it back. The whole thing’s a disaster.

All kidding aside, I’m so proud to represent American humor, I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real’ America. And I am most proud that during trying times, like an orange [terror] alert, a bad economy or a contentious election, that we as a nation retain our sense of humor.

Tina Fey repeated the zombie lie about how Sarah Palin supposedly wanted sexual assault victims to pay for their own rape kits.  As you can see from the video above that portion of Fey’s acceptance speech was edited out by PBS, along with a couple other slams at Palin and conservative women.

Rachel Larimore at Slate:
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