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December 03, 2010

Bristol Palin Hits Olbermann Back

"Sorry Keith We Can't All Be As Perfect As You."

Accusing me of hypocrisy is by now, an old canard. What Mr. Olbermann lacks in originality he makes up for with insincere incredulity. Mr. Olbermann fails to understand that in order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes. Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life. Recovered addicts lecture to others about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse. And yes, a teen mother talks about the benefits of preventing teen pregnancy.

I have never claimed to be perfect. If that makes me the "worst person in the world" to Mr. Olbermann, then I must apologize for not being absolutely faultless like he undoubtedly must be.

To Mr. Olbermann let me say this: you can attack me all you want. But you will not stop me from getting my message out about teen pregnancy prevention. And one day, if you ever have a daughter, you may change your mind about me.

If you ever have a daughter. Hmmmm... How do we know he didn't have a daughter? I'll get to that in a bit.

There are a couple of things here. First, Olbermann often reacts to Jon Stewart's jibes. He semi-retired this "Worst Person" segment based on Stewart's attack on it; when Stewart calls him out as an incivil hyperpartisan, he comes on TV the next night to justify his behavior.

For some reason, Jon Stewart is treated as a voice of reason/elder statesman on the left. Well, maybe that's churlish -- perhaps he should be given a bit of that status, as he does call fouls on his own side. (Of course he doesn't find fault with himself, but a willingness to call out the worst on your own side is still a virtue.)

Less than two weeks ago Stewart laid down the law about the Palin kids: leave them alone.

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He noted that the left's vicious attacks on the Palin kids make him, uncomfortably and unwantedly, actually sympathetic towards Palin.

So it's curious to me that Jon Stewart, acting in his Voice of Reason and Civility role, laid down this rule, and Keith Olbermann chose to violate it almost immediately.

Questions, then: Did Olbermann violate the Stewart Rule, despite having some respect for him, because 1, he's so deranged and nasty he can't help himself, or 2, because he finds these spats with Stewart personally useful, because he gets ratings out of it and also can play Progressive Tough Guy to Stewart's Mewling Milquetoast?

If you watch that Stewart clip, by the way, you can see that Stewart lays down "rules" for others he doesn't follow himself -- he plays the Situation/Palin clip for the studio audience, with mocking mugging, encouraging the audience to laugh at Palin. He attempts to square the circle by only making verbalized jokes about The Situation, but he's put the Palin red meat out there for the audience to feast on.

So maybe that's why Keith Olbermann felt comfortable defying Elder Sage Stewart -- because Stewart likes to lay down high-minded-sounding rules of behavior but is pretty hypocritical.

There is another thing going on here, which no one talks about. Well, William Saletan at Slate did. What is notable about Bristol Palin isn't that she got pregnant, really. Based on his statistical noodling, he guesses that quite a few unmarried daughters of presidential and vice presidential candidates have gotten pregnant during their fathers' periods of public service.

No, what's notable about Bristol Palin is that her pregnancy became public because she didn't abort the child, which at least a few of the curiously-never-pregnant daughters of presidential and vice presidential candidates must have.

Put aside Saletan's control group and instead look at the media which loves to criticize her for this. All these women -- and men! -- living in the sexually-latitudinarian New York/Washington axis, not getting married until later in life, but of course sexually active through their 20s, 30s, and 40s... and yet, miraculously, not a single notable unplanned pregnancy among the entire media cadre.

Were they all super-duper careful about birth control? Did they all get special NASA-designed condoms, unavailable to the public, that never break and never spill due to fumbling withdrawal? Do they all have high-tech birth control pills each implanted with a digestible microchip and minispeaker that announce "Take me at 12:30 PM today, don't forget!"

Or is it much more likely that a fair number of them -- say 35% or more -- actually have become pregnant (and I mean the men as well) but simply... destroyed the evidence before it could become public?

That, I think. It is a statistical impossibility that the group of Katie Courics, Contessa Brewers, Keith Olbermanns, et al. have never in their lives gotten unexpectedly and unwantedly pregnant.

So what are they all really mocking Bristol Palin for? Not that she became pregnant out of wedlock; at least 35% of them (if not more) have gotten pregnant out of wedlock, too, so if they were mocking her for that that would be hypocrisy, and we know they can't be hypocrites, because they themselves are using the hypocrisy card to justify attacking Bristol Palin.

So what are they mocking her for?

Only for one thing: For not getting an abortion, like any smart career-minded media woman, or media man, like Keith Olbermann, would do. Or advise. Or cajole. Or insist upon. Or pay for, and I don't just mean for the costs of the procedure.


Am I to believe all those unmarried, sexually-active honies on CNN or MSNBC (or Fox, for that matter) can actually mock Palin for getting pregnant without having a tiny little busted-up skeleton in their own closets?

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posted by Ace at 01:12 PM

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