Thursday, March 22

An Open Letter to Anybody (Bristol writes Obama)

Bristol Palin has reached for her keyboard once again. In response to President Barack Obama's telephone call to Sandra Fluke, Palin posted an open letter on her blog, titled "Mr. President, when should I expect your call?"

Palin surfaced so many points in so few paragraphs that her letter resembles a literary yard sale. She dragged old issues out of the closet, shined them up and laid them out for cheap, assuming that at least one point would sell. I'm just impressed that Palin's publicist was able to capture her "voice" and still write a letter that made sense. And that is the sad irony of the situation. It's a dark day in America when Bristol Palin, a total dolt, effectively points out the double standard in the media and contradictions in politics.

Palin (and her publicist) writes, "But here's why I'm a little surprised my phone hasn't rung. Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family." Will Obama call Palin? Unless she joins the Democratic party and promotes his agenda, there's no chance her phone will ring. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether Maher donated $1 million or $1 — its return wouldn't change the impact of his pubescent, and as Bristol accurately described, "reprehensible" behavior.
Maher has repeatedly described Bristol and Sarah Palin using language that is literally unprintable. In June 2011, he said, "Bristol Palin has to admit the reason she (unprintable word right here) Levi over and over until a baby fell out is because she liked it!"

In a cyclical, "It's the Circle of Life" argument (a la "The Lion King"), Maher and Rush Limbaugh disguise journalism as political opinion, and on an as-needed basis, disguise political opinion as comedic entertainment. The beautiful thing about this cyclical philosophy is that the journalist/political analyst/entertainer doesn't have to take responsibility for the drivel that falls out of his mouth. Maher and Limbaugh argue that they have the right to free speech and the liberty to speak their opinion using whatever language they chose which cannot be challenged since it is all part of a comedy act. Are four letter words required to make an insightful and witty joke?

Maher refused to apologize for gutter-worthy jokes about Sarah Palin, arguing that if the audience laughs at the jokes then the language is acceptable. His logic assumes that social and community mores determine the bounds of his topics and language. He said, "People have won cases about pornography based on this (argument) the community says it's OK." There you have it. It's the community's fault that Maher must use foul language to elicit laughter from the audience.

When Limbaugh lost sponsors as a result of his comments about Fluke, Maher said, "Rush, I don't have sponsors — I'm on HBO." Apparently it's also the sponsor's responsibility to police the "entertainment" on TV since HBO will not.

Let's keep in mind that Maher and Limbaugh are, technically, intelligent men. Yet, both made moronic inflammatory statements and drew attention to women who frankly didn't deserve the air time. Bristol Palin's greatest talent is exploiting her relationship to a failed vice presidential candidate. Why is Maher wasting valuable joke bandwidth on Bristol Palin?

Fluke became the target of Limbaugh's attacks when she testified before Congress on the negative impact of restrictive insurance coverage as it relates to contraception and religious institutions' freedoms under federal law. Why did Limbaugh attack Fluke rather than attack her testimony? You would never have known that Fluke was in law school based on her testimony because it's filled with anecdotal evidence and unconvincing numbers. As an example, she let the audience get preoccupied with a story about a lesbian with ovarian cysts. (She should know that any story that includes a lesbian is a one-way ticket to a distracted audience.) Fluke's inability to persuasively argue her own point was completely overlooked as all eyes focused on Limbaugh's equally unpersuasive, crass criticism.

Limbaugh is a plebian with a microphone and Maher is mediocrity incarnate. Obama needs to stop apologizing for other people and hang up the phone. Fluke should hide under a rock for hideous under achievement and Bristol Palin needs to go to college because she will need a dictionary to read this column.

Virginia Russell

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