Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Michele Bachmann’s “Iron” Deficiency


Last summer, Margaret Thatcher snubbed Sarah Palin, turning down a visit from the Tea Party darling because (in the words of someone in Thatcher’s camp) “That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.” If that was really how Thatcher thought of Palin, imagine the low regard she’d have for Michele Bachmann.

That’s not stopping Bachmann from comparing herself to Thatcher in a new ad (embedded above), one that capitalizes on the buzz surrounding Meryl Streep’s Oscar-worthy performance as Thatcher in the new biopic The Iron Lady. Now, it’s often problematic when conservatives try to tap into pop culture and align themselves with current hit movies.* (Remember over the summer when Republicans in Congress psyched themselves up for the debt ceiling fight by watching a clip of thuggish behavior from The Town? Was that really the image these fiscally responsible Republicans wanted to convey, that of violent bank robbers from a movie made by prominent Democratic supporter Ben Affleck?) How tone-deaf is it for Bachmann to associate herself not with the real Thatcher but with the movie Thatcher, played by one of Hollywood’s prominent liberals, in a film that British conservative politicians have criticized as an unflattering smear of Thatcher? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Movies, TV

Mark Twain, Sarah Palin, Tucson, and the Follies of Censorship

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Library of Congress No. LC-USZ62-5513)

Your elites don’t trust you. They don’t trust you to be able to read certain historical or literary documents, listen to TV and radio pundits, or even look at certain billboards and posters without getting the wrong ideas and letting them poison your mind to the extent that you turn to violence.

We’ve seen that a lot this month, with censorship efforts against a broad spectrum of source material, from Huckleberry Finn to the U.S. Constitution to Sarah Palin’s website, in the wake of the Tucson shootings. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Arts, Books, Censorship, Media, TV

Farewell to a Focked-Up Year

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in "Little Fockers"Visiting Colorado this week, I was chatting with a couple, family friends, who remarked that I was the first person they’d met who admitted to having voted for Obama. Of course, where I live, in a New York City suburb full of elite media folk, no one will admit to not having voted for Obama. Except for the politics, we had a pleasant conversation, but it dismayed me that we continue to live in two countries with seemingly irreconcilable views, not only on which policies and politicians should govern, but on how to interpret real events we all experienced.

There’s Fox Nation, where Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are distinguished sages, where Juan Williams is rewarded for the thoughtless bigotry for which NPR punished him, where Obama is an alien bent on destroying capitalism, where Andrew Breitbart is the wronged party after he’s condemned for making Shirley Sherrod notorious and costing her her job, where a proposed YMCMA a few blocks from Ground Zero is a shrine to a terrorist victory, where the midterm elections are a sign of genuine populist rejection of the Democrats’ big-government agenda, and where white Christian male privilege is a sign of embattled martyrdom and not still at the centers of power in most places.

And then there’s the place where the rest of us live, a place that doesn’t even have a name because we’re too disorganized, disputatious, and dispirited to give it one (per Yeats: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity); call it Colbert Nation — a place where jesters Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are taken seriously because they’re the only media/political watchdogs still actually doing their jobs, where Obama is a  Wall Street sellout who’s been too deferential to implacable obstructionists, where the midterm elections are a sign that a well-funded right-wing astroturf campaign beats an ineffectual Democratic party any time, and where the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is the only sign that we’re not on the verge of a wholesale repeal of every positive social advance of the last century.

During my brief visit to Fox Nation, I found only a couple of signs of hope that an America riven into two seemingly irreconcilable camps can find something to agree upon. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 2008 Election, Arts, Barack Obama, Feuds, Media, Movies, TV

“Dancing With the Stars”: The Mama Grizzly Votng Bloc

Bristol Palin (and Brandy) on "Dancing With the Stars"It’s always instructive to me when a firestorm erupts over one of my AOL posts. In this case, plenty of people, both pro- and anti-Palin, are up in arms over the controversy of Bristol Palin’s continuing presence on Dancing With the Stars after the elimination of many undeniably better dancers, including this week’s apparently shocking ouster of Brandy.

In my TV Squad post, I noted the many conspiracy theorists (including some closely affiliated with the show) who believe that Tea Partiers are stuffing ballots to vote for Palin simply because they’re political supporters of her mother. I note the evidence for fraud marshaled by Jezebel, only to reject it as inconclusive. Nowhere in the post do I discuss Bristol’s character, attitude, looks, or unwed-teen-mom status, only her dancing skills. Nonetheless, just for bringing up the possibility of vote fraud, I am apparently a liberal hack who has besmirched Bristol’s sterling reputation with my unfounded smears.

In the thousands of comments that follow my post, there’s a lot of gratuitous insult-trading going on, a lot of mean-spirited comments about Bristol and Sarah Palin, and inevitably, about Barack Obama and Harry Reid and other Democratic politicians who have nothing to do with Dancing With the Stars except that no derogatory remark about the Palins is allowed to go unanswered by the Mama Grizzly bloc. As for whether or not there’s a conspiracy here, no one can say — and I don’t think it even matters — but the support for Bristol does tell me a lot about the way Tea Partiers think politically.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Feuds, TV

Separated at Mirth: Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kenneth the Page

Bobby Jindal was supposed to be the GOP’s Great Nonwhite Hope, a potential challenger to Barack Obama in 2012 who would match the Democrat in youth and exotic ethnicity. But then we heard him speak — giving the official Republican response to the president’s speech on Tuesday night — and his chances for a presidential nomination were suddenly sunk. Not just because of his reality-challenged remarks, but also because of his unmistakable vocal resemblance to Jack McBrayer. No offense to the 30 Rock star (see video below), but America is not going to elect someone who sounds like Kenneth the NBC Page. Still, you have to love how the Republicans are apparently letting Lorne Michaels cast their young hopefuls — first, veep nominee Tina Fey, and now Louisiana Governor Kenneth. Can’t wait to see who the GOP equivalent of Tracy Morgan is.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Separated at Mirth: Gov. Bobby Jindal…“, posted with vodpod

2 Comments

Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Saturday Night Live, TV

They Got Nothin’

The political satire on Saturday Night Live has been pretty spotty of late, now that they don’t have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore, but sometimes, they get it spot on, as with last night’s take on the Republicans’ opposition to the stimulus bill, the Obama presidency in general, and anything else that Democrats put forth. They have no policy ideas of their own, no solution to the problems they created over the last decade, and no recognition of the fact that they’ve been soundly rejected in both the court of public opinion and the voting booth. When will the rest of the media take notice and stop taking these people’s opinions seriously? And when will the White House stop treating them as if their objections matter?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “They Got Nothin’“, posted with vodpod

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Media, Saturday Night Live, TV

Podcast: A Look Back at 2008, A Look Forward to 2009

My Friday chats with Mark Reardon of KMOX-AM in St. Louis continue with this look back at the top entertainment stories of 2008 and a preview of the likely highlights of 2009.

Gary Susman talks to KMOX’s Mark Reardon, 1/2/09

Leave a comment

Filed under 2008 Election, Books, Comics, Movies, Music, Podcasts, Saturday Night Live, TV