Diatribe: America’s Continuing Fascination With The Antics Of Sarah Palin.
Last week, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin placed herself firmly in the news once again by sharing photos of her six-year-old son, Trig, standing on the family’s black Labrador Retriever via social media. She claimed the photos were somehow symbolic of her son’s “perseverance” yet her message was met with instant anger from those who find it unacceptable to climb on house pets.
Needless to say, one of the first to respond was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who issued the following press release:
“It’s odd that anyone—let alone a mother—would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo. Then again, PETA, along with everyone else, is used to the hard-hearted, seeming obliviousness of this bizarrely callous woman, who actually thought it appropriate to be filmed while turkeys were being slaughtered right behind her in full view of the camera.” PETA via Press Release on January 2, 2015
Needless to say, Mrs. Palin was quick to respond.
“Dear PETA, Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog. Hey, by the way, remember your ‘Woman of the Year’, Ellen DeGeneres? Did you get all wee-wee’d up when she posted this sweet picture? Hypocritical, much? Did you go as crazy when your heroic Man-of-Your-Lifetime, Barack Obama, revealed he actually enjoyed eating dead dog meat? Aren’t you the double-standard radicals always opposing Alaska’s Iditarod – the Last Great Race honoring dogs who are born to run in wide open spaces, while some of your pets ‘thrive’ in a concrete jungle where they’re allowed outdoors to breathe and pee maybe once a day? Aren’t you the same herd that opposes our commercial fishing jobs, claiming I encourage slaying and consuming wild, organic healthy protein sources called ‘fish’? (I do.)
“Aren’t you the same anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs, wrapped in your fashionable leather belts above your kickin’ new leather pumps you bought because your celebrity idols (who sport fur and crocodile purses) grinned in a tabloid wearing the exact same Louboutins exiting sleek cowhide covered limo seats on their way to some liberal fundraiser shindig at some sushi bar that features poor dead smelly roe (that I used to strip from our Bristol Bay-caught fish, and in a Dillingham cannery I packed those castoff fish eggs for you while laughing with co-workers about the suckers paying absurdly high prices to party with the throw away parts of our wild seafood)? I believe you call those discarded funky eggs ‘caviar’. Yeah, you’re real credible on this, PETA. A shame, because I’ll bet we agree on what I hope is the true meaning of your mission – respecting God’s creation and critters.” – Sarah Palin via Facebook
And PETA, not unexpectedly, responded again.
PETA simply believes that people shouldn’t step on dogs, and judging by the reaction that we’ve seen to Sarah Palin’s Instagram photo, we’re far from alone in that belief. Palin’s Facebook response shows us that she knows PETA about as well as she knows geography. Yes, we campaign against the Iditarod because when the dogs aren’t being driven—sometimes to death—most live chained or inside cages for their entire lives. And we’re a vegan organization, so we sit on pleather couches, wear stylish vegan kicks, and consider fish friends, not food. (Also, by the way, we just sent a case of vegan caviar to Vladimir Putin—and no, you can’t see his house from yours, Ms. Palin.) We have no reason to believe that the Palin companion animals aren’t ordinarily pampered, and we wish the entire family a peaceful and humane 2015.” – PETA via Press Release on January 3, 2015
This morning, despite many clearly important stories from around the globe, major news outlets ranging from The New York Post to US Weekly and others, feature Mrs. Palin’s photo and a headline about the “controversy” on their home page. Apparently, much like a Kardashian or the lady from Dance Moms, her special brand of absurdity is a commodity that makes American consumers mob for more. And Palin keeps selling it … every chance she gets. Many of the stories defend her! TIME’s headline, for example, states “Sarah Palin Is Right: It’s a Blurry Line Between Edible and Petable“.
Frankly, I think claims that “at least he didn’t eat the dog” qualify a mother, or anyone else, for the label of “bizarrely callous”.
Surely, anyone with the intelligence to make it to the “final four” in a race to the White House knows that publishing pictures of your kid standing on your dog is not a good idea. And most with a functioning cortex would simply ignore a rant from PETA if said photos did reach the public eye. But not Mrs. Palin … when she sees an opportunity to be in the news, she grabs it.
After all these years filled with failed vice-presidential runs, lukewarm reception to reality television ventures and lackluster book sales, Sarah Palin fails to realize that a surprisingly large segment of the nation’s population continues to admire her … she is, curiously, a role model.
Almost half the nation’s voters thought it would be a good idea for her to be Vice President. Let’s hope they don’t all think it’s a good idea to let their kids stand on their dogs.
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