Sarah Palin is either a disingenuous fraud, or just plain idiotic. I’ll reserve judgment for the sole purpose of debunking her latest transparent crusade. Palin’s defense of Rush Limbaugh– a man made wealthy by stoking the flames of xenophobia, racism, sexism, classism, and any other ism that’s classified as divisive and inflammatory– uttering the word “retard” 40 times in the span of a twenty minute segment is hypocritical. Especially when you consider her calls for President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s resignation for saying the same word. The latest target in the former governor’s cross hairs is the show Family Guy. Yes. Family Guy. It’s a show far from the norm of mainstream America– considering it’s animated, and one of the main story lines features a nihilistic infant, out to kill his mother.
Family Guy aired an episode last Sunday in which the character Chris Griffin dated a girl with Down Syndrome. The girl was quoted as saying, “My mom’s the former governor of Alaska.” In response, the former governor of Alaska, and her daughter said this on Facebook:
People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, “when is enough, enough?”
If you’ve ever watched Family Guy, then you know that it satirizes and skewers every known race, religion, political affiliation, sexual proclivity, and physical and mental affliction. It’s an equal opportunity offender, never stopping to question what’s in poor taste or what’s offensive. They combine controversial topics with jokes that most people find… distasteful.
But… this show has been on the air for TEN years! And in that time, there have been quite a few clips mocking and ridiculing the mentally challenged. These are just a few examples here, here, and here.
Palin’s tirade is pandering at best, and naively hypocritical at worst. While the show did intentionally take a shot at her and her family, it’s not out of the ordinary for politicians and celebrities to feel the sting of the potty humor Family Guy dispenses. My questions are these: Where was Palin the other nine years the show was on, airing clips like the ones above? Why didn’t she fight so passionately for the rights of the mentally disabled then? And how can she faithfully condone Rush Limbaugh’s language, calling it “satire”, when in good conscience, she should have included him in her rant against the show? Palin’s using twisted logic purposely to gain sympathy. But it is her hypocrisy that damages her cause, and erodes her credibility as a leader on any issue.