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Palin calls Family Guy episode “kick in gut”

Sarah Palin called the recent Family Guy episode that poked fun of Down Syndrome a “kick in the gut.” The episode featured a female character who explains that her father is an accountant and her mother is the former governor of Alaska – a clear reference to the Palin family. Palin’s youngest son has Down Syndrome.

According to the AP, Palin’s daughter, Bristol wrote the following on her mother’s Facebook page:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent,” she is quoted as saying.

“If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed,” Bristol Palin added in the Monday posting. “All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.”

Here is the clip of that episode.

Community Comments

#1 John Deering
February/18/2010
@ 10:04 am

a ‘kick in the gut’

Not the best wording when referring to retarded children. She can’t help but make a mockery of herself.

#2 Phillip Tograph
February/18/2010
@ 1:27 pm

What the heck happened to FG ? It was a great satirical comedy. Then Seth M. rewrote all the characters, to savagely attack not only conservatives, but Catholics as well. These attacks are NOT funny, they are mean spirited and why Fox tv keeps them on is a mystery to me. I will never watch this show ever again, nor buy dvds, clothes or anything else related to this so-called show. I will also boycott The Cleveland Show and American Dad. I urge everyone else to do the same.

#3 jynksie
February/18/2010
@ 1:38 pm

Yet, when Rush Limbaugh used the word a dozen or so times in his radio show, she said nothing! Sarah Palin is not only intellectually disabled, she’s a hypocrite!!

Family Guy is a satirical comedy show that pokes at EVERYTHING, but Palin chooses this to hold the writers to the fire?? Where was her outrage when they insulted catholics, gays, blacks, jews, deaf people, stroke victims, the British, human/animal relationships, inbreeding, …what am I leaving out?!? *grin* …any reasonably intelligent person would know that this show is anything but something to take seriously! It’s ment to make you laugh at everything, the good, the bad, the ugly and the Palins too!!

#4 Joshua Skurtu
February/18/2010
@ 3:13 pm

Family Guy used to be a great satirical comedy, and it STILL IS! Why doesn’t anyone understand what that means?

Satire is defined by the dictionary as the “use of wit to criticize behavior: the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to criticize faults.”

Do we understand that the definition of satire is actually defined as attacking, ridiculing, and criticizing faults using wit?

Just because the satire attacks something you personally enjoy does not change the fact that it is still satire. If you have the ability to enjoy satire, we should all take the time to enjoy both attacks on other people and ourselves, or we will end up only enjoying the ability to ridicule others.

As for Rush Limbaugh, Palin herself said that what he said was OK, because it was Satire, yet she doesn’t like it when Family Guy does the same thing? She must be confused by the definition of satire as well.

/Satire ON

It’s called a dictionary, Palin. They sell them at these wonderful places call “Book Stores”, where a person can purchase, for reasonable sums of money, items called “Books”. It’s a scary word, I know. Say it with me: BOOK. But in reality, these items are a fountain of knowledge, and aren’t scary at all. Inside these books are words, which make up sentences, paragraphs, and even chapters. Can you say CHAPTER?

/Satire OFF

#5 Ben Paddon
February/18/2010
@ 3:30 pm

In Palin’s conversation with O’Reilly she “quoted” someone saying “f-ing retards” and then later on same “the R word”. Pick one, Sarah – either you’re willing to say it or you’re not.

#6 John Deering
February/18/2010
@ 4:12 pm

Well Fox, Fuzzy Door Productions, Seth MacFarlane and the whole Family Guy staff, it’s been a great, great run… but it’s time to close up shop.

Phillip Tograph is boycotting the show and all subsequent merchandise.

#7 Les Taylor
February/18/2010
@ 4:19 pm

Bristol may be a hypocrite, but she’s also 19 years old. I think I can give a 19 year old a little grace. MacFarlane, on the other hand is 36, and should have a bit more sense. I mean, I understand that FG is a satirical irreverent comedy, and a lot of people like that. But I don’t get why there can’t be limits – self imposed limits – for satirical comedy.

@Josh #4

“Just because the satire attacks something you personally enjoy does not change the fact that it is still satire. If you have the ability to enjoy satire, we should all take the time to enjoy both attacks on other people and ourselves, or we will end up only enjoying the ability to ridicule others.”

The problem to me is that FG rarely satirizes anything but those who are conservative or, apparently, physically/mentally ill/handicapped. If it was at least balanced, it wouldn’t bother me so much. Although I admit it would still bother me, because lines do need to be drawn in comedy, as in all areas of life. Quite frankly, if a person’s humor relies mostly upon attacking others and being crude, I don’t see why that person’s humor is respectable even from a technical aspect. That kind of stuff is easy to write because it’s so shallow and meaningless. It’s the stuff that reaches across the spectrum of opinions and still makes everyone laugh that shows real talent. FG used to have that to some degree, but unfortunately since it came back on the air, it clearly does not.

As for Limbaugh, he’s just as foolish, just from the other side of things.

#8 Mike Cope
February/18/2010
@ 4:47 pm

Unfortunately, I can’t view the Hulu clip above as it can only be streamed in the US. So, I don’t know if the Family Guy “satire” was malicious or not.

Still, Joshua Skurtu’s definition of satire ends with “to criticize faults” … A fault, by definition, is “a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention” or “an imperfection in an object or machine.”

Clearly, people with special needs do not fit this definition, so we can’t call it satire.

#9 Tom Wood
February/18/2010
@ 5:21 pm

@Mike – The FG son is out on a date with a domineering girl who has Downs. When he asks her what her parents do, she says her mother is the ex-governor of Alaska. Not really satire, just a cheap shot at Palin.

A real satire of Palin would have a candidate obviously staging photo opportunities with her Downs child on her hip, and then quickly handing him off so she can make her speech-bites. And to make sure that comes across as satire rather than documentary, you would have to somehow take that even further over the top.

Where is Tina Fey when we need her?

#10 david essman
February/18/2010
@ 6:48 pm

there was an episode in 2005 called Petarded where Peter(the dad) finds out he’s technically mentally challenged.

also according to http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/family-guy-voice-actor-says-palin-does-not-have-a-sense-of-humor/

Andrea Fay Friedman, the voice actor who voiced the character also has down syndrome. she said “I?m not Trig. This is my life.? I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son”

still that scene made no sense, even for a cartoon…

#11 Ed Power
February/18/2010
@ 11:50 pm

Palin said it’s OK for Ruch Limbaugh to say ‘retard’ because he does it as satire, and then goes after a comedy show?

You can say what you will about ‘Family Guy’, but no one ever seems to mention they treat everyone the same…HORRIBLY! And good for them. Everyone is equal on their show. When was the last time you even saw a person with Downs Syndrome on TV? ‘Life Goes On’ in the 80’s?

Most shows won’t portray a world with people with disabilities for fear the professional victims out there will nail them no matter what they do. This then makes the even mentioning of people that in the real world are part of our day to day life seems risky, and hence risky shows (like Family Guy and South Park [Timmy]) are the only ones that ‘dare’ to portray these characters, as those shows used to being complained about.

Prior to ‘Glee’ Family Guy and South Park were the only shows I remember on TV portraying people with disabilites (one physical disability, one mental) in…uh, anyone? Plus, Joe is a cop, and a tough guy, and Timmy is treated as just another one of the kids.

To make another point, The Clevland Show is one of the few shows on network televison cented around a non-white family.

One of the things America does need is more diversity represented in the media. Race, sexuality, religions, physical disablities, menatally challenged, etc.

One thing we don’t is another ideologue from either the left or right trying to divide us so they can make a buck off the schism they themselves are creating.

#12 Jim Lavery
February/19/2010
@ 7:53 am

The whole thing is a win-win. Palin gets to have her Offended Drama of The Week, which of course only increases one’s qualifications to be Leader of The Free World, and McFarlane (this week’s offender) gets buzz for his show and the all important pop culture Edgy Cred.

The rest of us just continue to have crap dumped on us.

#13 Jamie Smith
February/19/2010
@ 12:44 pm

?My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the ?Extra Large Medium? episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine?s day. [?] I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line ?I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska? was very funny. I think the word is ?sarcasm?.
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.?

That?s a kick in the gut.

#14 Scott Metzger
February/19/2010
@ 12:57 pm

“My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.?

That is excellent.

#15 Shane Davis
February/19/2010
@ 2:50 pm

@ Mike,
Yeah definitions fall apart pretty fast when you throw politics into it. Here’s the short course as I see it:

The left despises Sarah Palin intensely, so it’s ok to make fun of her disabled daughter or defend Letterman’s jokes about raping her other minor child. “We hate Sarah, so decency is irrelevant!”

But when some jokers on right years ago said Chelsea Clinton was *ahem* ‘homely’, roman candles, fireworks and screams of outrage filled the airwaves.

Remember when Rush Limbaugh commented that Michael J. Fox exaggerated his Parkinson’s to help get out the vote for a Missouri constitutional amendment to Legalize Human Cloning?

Limabugh was slaughtered in the media for being insensitive, cold blooded, heartless and was mocking Fox’s disease for political purposes.

But when Seth Macfarlane does it for politics (and profit) to a helpless Downs Baby, it’s called satire and parody.

Again, in mainstream media the left can crucify, attack, mock and humiliate anyone, as long it fills the requirement of destroying those with whom they disagree.

But the right is always, always, always wrong, evil, insensitive, cruel, homophobic, racist, intolerant, sexist and deserve to be demonized.

I seem to remember recently in the 2008 campaign Obama AND the media warned the right to be EXTREMELY careful to NOT say one word about his family or daughters during the election because it wouldn’t be tolerated.

Hmmm…I wonder what would happened if ‘Family Guy’ showed Malia Ann (10 years old) Obama and Sasha (7 years old) Obama in a crack house with needles in their arms saying “The former Senator from Illinois who admitted selling drugs and now lives in the White House is our Dad…”

Some how I don’t think this board would light up with folks saying it was just funny satire and we need more challenging programming like that.

#16 John Sanford
February/19/2010
@ 2:56 pm

Family Guy brilliant satire?
That’s like saying The Jonas Brothers are musical geniuses.
If you want truly great Satire, familiarize yourself with Stan Freberg, Early Mad Magazine, 70’s National Lampoon, SCTV, and Walt Kelly’s Pogo.
Go look at this stuff and you will know exactly where Family Guy belongs on the quality scale.

#17 Stacy Curtis
February/19/2010
@ 5:02 pm

Family Guy has its moments.
It’s mean and I like that.

#18 Eric Arthur Blair
February/19/2010
@ 8:06 pm

I’m not a watcher of Family Guy, but I applaud any barbs it shoots at public figures – especially wingnuts.

By the way – Palin herself has been heard to refer to Trig as her “retard baby”. Not only that, but Down Syndrom is technically referred to as “trisomy G”, which is commonly abbreviated as “tri-G”. So now we know how Sarah’s “retard baby” got his silly name.

#19 Stephen Beals
February/20/2010
@ 12:13 am

What John Sanford said.

My 14 year old (15 next month) told me she “outgrew” Family Guy. Now I’m stuck with a book I got her awhile back.

My 10 year old stepdaughter (turns 10 today, in fact) is over the Jonas Brothers, by the way.

/not a Sarah Palin fan

//apparently not making anything as successful as Family Guy anytime soon, either.

#20 Joshua Skurtu
February/20/2010
@ 11:36 am

“But when some jokers on right years ago said Chelsea Clinton was *ahem* ?homely?, roman candles, fireworks and screams of outrage filled the airwaves.”

I have to say that I think Palin is an idiot and I think Chelsea was also homely. I’m in the middle, so I can see the faults of both sides.

But most teenagers look rather horrible. Chelsea grew out of it.

Unfortunately, Palin is all grown up and will never grow out of being an idiot.

#21 Shane Davis
February/20/2010
@ 6:58 pm

@ Joshua,
Yeah, all that business about Palin being an ‘idiot’ and being one breath away from the Oval Office…man, so glad you folks on the left didn’t go that route but instead found the most intelligent, qualified, gifted speaking mental giant in the history of America’s VP’s.

Biden is such prize for you fellas, and in fact he represents the left perfectly.

#22 John Cole
February/21/2010
@ 12:00 pm

Shane: Biden’s principle problem is that he can’t shut up on a bet and frequently violates The Prime Directive of American Politics: Never publicly state what’s really on your mind.

There’s a difference between that and doofosity. Whether or not Palin qualifies for the latter is a matter for debate, I suppose. She has great instincts and real charisma; however, my immediate reaction whenever she says anything substantive is, “who’s the ghost writer?”

#23 Stacy Curtis
February/21/2010
@ 1:01 pm

I’ll take three Joe Bidens over one Sarah Palin any day.
Sarah Palin is an idiot.

#24 Shane Davis
February/21/2010
@ 6:51 pm

Stacy, that’s just blind partisanship. The man has gaffed some many times it’s likes a moron machine. It’s amazing you can call Palin an idiot when she at least has SOME record of being a CEO, when Biden has done nothing but live off the taxpayers like a tick on a dog for decades.

Like this:

“Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.” ?-Joe Biden, to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008

http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/joebiden/youtube/biden-stand-up.htm

Horrific. You know damn well if Bush or Palin had done that you’d be screaming about it for months, but Biden does it and not a peep.

Or when he said “”I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” about Obama at the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Jan. 31, 2007.

And that’s only two. He’s done countless of ’em. Look there are guys on the right that are idiots as well as the left, but to call Palin an idiot and embrace Biden is to have your head stuck so far up the black hole of singleminded political hate that seeing straight is impossible.

Seriously, if Palin is an idiot, then Biden is a brain dead corpse in a morgue.

Maybe he’s even one of Obama’s ‘corpse man’. Oh, sorry, the Nouveau Messiah NEVER makes gaffes, like picking an idiot for VP.

I forgot.

#25 bill jones
February/21/2010
@ 7:25 pm

stacy curtis: “I?ll take three Joe Bidens over one Sarah Palin any day.

i suppose if millions of people analyzed your every word, we could expect to see a homoerotic porn satire site starring the four of you up by tomorrow morning.

#26 Joe Rank
February/21/2010
@ 8:28 pm

Well, I succumbed. I did one more version of the Teabagger Cougar fantasy “handjive”.
I have her doing a waterski jump over a magic marker.
Titled, “Jumping the Sharpie”.

Now, on another matter, I know that giving RW trollbots attention is what they crave; but they should stick to worshippiing a familiar moron, and not conflate with illegitimate debating tactics.

#27 Richard Cross
February/21/2010
@ 9:17 pm

“Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Small minds talk about people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

If you’re going to bash Palin on her faux pas, then you must hold Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid et al, to the same standard. If not, then you are just mind numbed robots for your own political agenda and no different from the idiots we are trying to get rid of in Washington. This is the same problem we’re having with the Politicians and the Media. Can’t anyone be unbiased enough to call it like it really is? Attack the merits of an idea. Attack the merits of a politician’s integrity and veracity on the issues, but just stop the partisan BS. It’s old and tired and evidence of your inability to admit when you’re on the wrong side of an issue.

When the media tried to marry radical events like the Joe Stack incident to the Tea Party, you’re spider-sense should have been “tingling” because it wasn’t true. Isn’t it obvious that you’re being led down the prim-rose path by ideology? Why let yourself be manipulated like that?

Whatever your ideology is, we all must agree that the current power brokers in D.C. need to go away. They’ve had free reign at confiscating more and more of our taxes and implementing endless fees for too long and it’s time we stopped it. Period. From now on, anyone who runs on a set of ideas, then abandons them once they’re in office needs to be thrown out. End of story.

#28 Tom Wood
February/21/2010
@ 9:54 pm

Wow, I’m part of ‘the media’ now. Kewl…

http://tinyurl.com/yfuccmp

#29 Ted Rall
February/22/2010
@ 12:10 am

It’s amusing as hell to see, read and hear the same right-wingers who worshipped Bush and his cronies for eight horrible years complain about Dems who refuse to question Obama.

They’re complete hypocrites.

And they’re also right.

#30 Stacy Curtis
February/22/2010
@ 9:10 am

Shane, I doubt you’ll find a politician who hasn’t made those goof-ups. Even you made a goof-up above when you said:

“The left despises Sarah Palin intensely, so it?s ok to make fun of her disabled daughter or defend Letterman?s jokes about raping her other minor child. ?We hate Sarah, so decency is irrelevant!?”

Sarah Palin doesn’t have a disabled daughter, she has a disabled SON.

When I said (trying to watch my words so bill jones doesn’t get his wanking to The Daily Cartoonist in early this morning) I respect Joe Biden more than Sarah Palin, I’m not talking about which one goofs up more than the other. I’m talking about a man whose family went through a huge tragedy, he still went to work in Washington, to serve the people who voted for him. Versus an elected governor of Alaska who walked out on her job and the people who put her in office.

When people say “Washington is broken,” notice they’re not saying “The Democratic Party is broken” or “The Republican Party is broken.” This mess we are in has been caused by BOTH parties. I am critical of both parties. And Sarah Palin is still an idiot.

#31 Les Taylor
February/22/2010
@ 10:27 am

Most politicians these days are idiots. Thus why the bailouts occurred despite strong opposition from constituents. One congressman, when faced with the fact that his constituents were strongly against it, actually said that the people he represents don’t know what they are talking about. That shows you about how much of a servant must of our elected officials view themselves to be. There are a few outliers, but the vast majority have proven themselves unworthy. Unfortunately, it’s obvious a majority of voters are just as clueless, since it is those of us who vote who continue to put these incompetent people in charge of our country.

#32 Joshua Skurtu
February/22/2010
@ 12:34 pm

@Shane Davis

I agree, Biden has some pretty idiodic things to say as well.

Unfortunately for McCain, Palin didn’t stay as quiet during the election. I think they effectively kept Biden from speaking too much, while Palin was seemingly encouraged to speak much more and had much more media attention. This is just my observation. (SNL might have also swayed a large portion of the population. They don’t hide their political viewpoints at all.)

Realistically, the Vice-President doesn’t do much. They are supposed to be the President’s right hand person, and their only actual duty is to act as Presiding Officer of the Senate. The only time the vice president has power is if there is a tie. He/she would then cast a tie-breaking vote.

I liked McCain. I liked Obama. I think people like me, who vote independently (I vote Dem and Rep), were swayed by Palin’s “outspoken” nature during the election. I was planning to vote for McCain till he picked her as VP. I still like McCain, but I knew right away when he picked her that he was going to lose.

#33 Tom Wood
February/22/2010
@ 12:53 pm

Although I gave Ted Rall reason to call me a (gag) neoconservative, I’ll now risk being labeled a fascist and suggest that we really should embrace the idea that the business of America is business.

Let’s make every citizen a shareholder and run the damn thing for a profit.

The fact is, the US government is the largest enterprise on the planet (maybe for China now?) and should be run professionally.

If we all have money at stake, maybe we’d get very serious about the competency of the people we hire for management. I don’t want ‘people like me’ running it just because they share my limited viewpoint. I want pros in charge. I sure as hell don’t want Joe (Palin) Sixpack running.it.

This would quickly bring to light the stupidity of the Republican mantra about how government is the problem. Run it like a business and see if you really want to drown it in the bathtub.

#34 Chad Welch
February/23/2010
@ 2:35 am

To be fair…Chris Griffin is kind of retarded, too. I’m just sayin’.

#35 Ted Rall
February/23/2010
@ 5:07 am

@Tom, Wanting the US govt run as a business wouldn’t make you a fascist, not even in the classic Italian mode. The Bush Administration, on the other hand, embraced a lot of fascist tendencies. The cult of militarism, which liberals embraced (“support the troops, not the war”) is classic fascism. So is constant expansionism and the exhortation for self-sacrifice, elevating the nation above the individual and her rights.

@Les wrote: “Most politicians these days are idiots. Thus why the bailouts occurred despite strong opposition from constituents.”

I agree that most politicians are idiots, but idiocy isn’t the big problem here–corruption is. It is downright AMAZING that anyone who EVER held an executive position at a corporation would ever be considered for a political job (e.g. the Secy of the Treasury). I’m not talking about bagman-delivering-cash-in-the-mens-room corruption but rather the fact that politicians don’t know ordinary people, but only bankers and corporate execs.

Politicians and government officials should not be allowed to correspond with, directly or indirectly, anyone in the business community.

The trouble with the bailout wasn’t the idea of spending trillions on economic stimulus. That was smart. The trouble was, they didn’t bail out distressed homeowners and others who really needed help. (If they had, the bankers would have gotten their money indirectly anyway, as people paid their mortgages.)

It didn’t even occur to Bush or Obama to help ordinary people. It only occurred to them to give OUR money to bankers–because bankers were the people they knew.

#36 Henry Clausner
February/23/2010
@ 9:12 am

Rush Limbaugh will be on family guy in the season opener this fall….excellent!

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