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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:

When I’d read that Wasilla, during Sarah Palin’s mayoral tenure, had a practice of charging victims for their “rape kits”—the forensic examination required to gather evidence against the perpetrator—I was as horrified as anyone else. The explanation that it was the policy of the local police chief doing the billing, and even a quote by a Democratic member of the state legislature that Palin probably knew nothing about the policy, brought little comfort. At the same time, it just didn’t make any sense, so I tempered my horror with skepticism.

Fortunately, it turns out that skepticism wins the day. Thanks to very thorough debunkings by bloggers Charlie Martin of Explorations and Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee, we can put this bit of nastiness to rest.

First off, the Wasilla police chief, Charlie Fannon, is on record as having tried to bill victims’ insurance companies, not the victims themselves, for the rape kits. In other towns in Alaska, hospitals were trying to bill victims, prompting an Alaska state law forbidding the practice. If this practice still seems creepy or exclusive to macho, rough-and-tumble Alaska, well, it happens to be the practice in other states, too, like North Carolina (until recently) and … Illinois.

Some conservative bloggers are trying to play “gotcha” and point out that Barack Obama co-sponsored a bill in the Illinois state senate that provides state money to cover services provided to victims who have neither state aid or insurance, meaning that Illinois also tries to get insurance companies to pay up, just like little ol’ Wasilla. Best I can tell from my rudimentary reading of the Illinois code, Obama co-sponsored an amendment to existing legislation that already had the insurance clause in there, and the amendment had nothing to do with rape kits. So, I’m not going to engage in gotcha-ism. We could play that game all day long.

What bothers me is that, while the media has been quick to investigate and shoot down every claim that Sarah Palin makes—that she stopped the Bridge to Nowhere, that she opposes earmarks—the nasty rumors are taken at face value. It takes bloggers, working on their own time and with tools no fancier than Google, to figure out that she’s not personally sending bills for $1,200 to traumatized rape victims and that no, she did NOT cut funding for teen mothers, unless you define “cut” as not providing as much of a budget increase as had been had asked for (same with funding “cuts” for Catholic Charities and the Special Olympics).

Violet Socks:

Consider, for example, the rape kit smear. It’s been thoroughly debunked, of course, but the damage it did was tremendous. And that’s damage it was designed to do. The rape kit smear was pushed by the Obama campaign itself, with conference calls to reporters urging them to follow the story. It was expressly designed to alienate women voters in particular; after all, there are few issues more raw for women than sexual violence. The Obama camp’s behavior in perpetrating that smear reminds me of their similar role in the RFK smear: both were profoundly cynical, morally bankrupt attempts to exploit people’s deepest fears.

Pause for a moment and think about that; think about the supreme irony of Obama using a lie about rape, of all things, to trick women voters into believing that he, not the feminist woman he’s slandering, is their champion.

Why is Tina Fey still repeating a lie that was debunked in 2008?

If you want to hate Sarah Palin, go ahead. It’s a free country and you can hate whoever you want.

But do it for the right reasons.

Obama opposes gay marriage too, and he’s actually in office right now. Oh, and Sarah Palin believes in evolution, she just thinks God made it happen.

Tina Fey is very funny person and deserves the Mark Twain Prize. It’s really too bad she had to take the low road like that. She should thank PBS for trying to clean up her act.

21 Responses

  1. Somebody named “Goldberry” is over at TalkLeft trying really hard to get banned.

    She should ask me for tips, I’ve been banned from there twice.

    • Ahh, what a delicious thread! Here’s one of the best comments:

      Really? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
      by Left of the Left on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 03:03:16 PM EST

      [Jeralyn:]The effect is now there are two Palins who are household words, neither of whom deserve a bit of it,

      Well then clearly what needs to happen is we should keep talking about them some more.

  2. Yeah, still don’t get why Tina Fey is spewing that garbage about Palin and the rape kits. Doesn’t she know anything about subrogation? Fey’s way too talented and doesn’t need to take the low road! Since she left SNL it became a virtual frat boy show that has no redeeming comedic value. Is she just pissed off at the republican sweep?

    PBS will be facing the potential of huge cuts once the repubs take over appropriations. We all know its a no-brainer why they edited her Palin bashing out.

    • An award acceptance speech is really not the place for that kind of stuff anyway.

    • GOP to force vote on NPR defunding.

      House Republicans announced Wednesday they plan to force a floor vote on defunding NPR in response to the firing of analyst Juan Williams last month. House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colo.) said that cutting funds to the publicly subsidized news organization was the winner of the conference’s weekly “YouCut” contest, in which the public votes online on spending items they want eliminated.

  3. I actually avoid movies/shows that Tina Fey is in. I just don’t want those negative associations that I get when I see her — memories of women gleefully participating in misogyny.

  4. Nice post, myiq. I am a fan of Tina Fey, but not at the expense of the someones name in this way. Those are actually some nasty lies..

    A bit OT – It is getting worse. I hope we are around to see it get better.


    Hillary 2012

  5. Tina’s effort to push these lies for obvious political purposes is embarrassing. And what’s sad is it’s so easy to make political jokes that aren’t based on lies. But that takes talent.

  6. I honestly do not find Tina Fey that funny. Her success is due to her Sarah Palin impersonation which I don’t find particularly funny either. It is definitely not on the same level of hilarity as the late Phil Hartmond’s impersonation of Bill Clinton or Dana Carvey’s impersonation of George W. Bush. No wonder SNL has gone downhill when Tina Fey is the “funniest” person on that show.

  7. Dangit, I’m disappointed in Tina.

    My second-biggest disappointment of 2004 was learning that Tina was already married. 😦

    Need I even say what my biggest disappointment of 2004 was? 😛

  8. Can’t we just digress accordingly and ask ‘What is up with that hair?’

    Twilight Kid meets Kid n’ Play?… I need some kind of comparison help here guys….

  9. I am willing to accept that maybe Tina is a “liar and an idiot.”

  10. “unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years ”

    In the VP debate, Joe Biden said to Palin, “there’s no difference between us” on gay marriage. So Tina Fey thinks no difference means some difference — as in ‘no means yes?’ There’s a twist for you.

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