Some people with a gift for comedy and humor seem to be kept away from a platform where that talent could be portrayed. A lot of good comedians in Hollywood, or on the stage, get shunted into some other dramatic field, often by their agents, sometimes by their fans. I always thought Karl Malden would have made a great comedy star. The closest he came was his award as Best Actor for a Golden Globe, for his role as Herbie in the film version of Gypsy (1962).
Some people without a gift for comedy and humor seem to be inexorably thrust into areas where that gift might have come in handy from time to time. How Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could have chosen a chief spokesperson for her national aspirations utterly devoid of a sense of irony may go down as one of Palin's chief mistakes.
What began as a more-tasteless-than-usual joke about Bristol Palin, by comedian David Letterman, has now morphed, with Meg Stapleton's help, into a situation where Sarah Palin is lifting lines from Letterman to diss Sen. Kohn Kerry, in her own inept jokes, told to a group of troops at Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. Alaska progressive blog, WE'RE NOT THAT STUPID, covers this subject rather well, in a short essay called, Irony.
How we got from Letterman's pathetic joke to Stapleton's being the butt of successive Wonkette columns has its own ironies. Essentially, even though the entire sane 3/4 or more of the USA figured out long ago that Lettermen ineptly meant Bristol rather than one of Palin's younger kids in his late night joke, 99% of the die-hards at SarahPAC and Team Sarah and C4P still believe Letterman meant a younger child.
Somehow this entire conspiracy theory-laden crew at the Sarah shrines completely missed the first appearance of what has now become a huge trove of misrepresentations of a well-known real picture of Palin, holding up her youngest child, Trig, in front of the cameras. The original is a typical politician with child photo.
On June 19th, in a late night open topic thread at Crooks and Liars, the site ran a cartoon showing Palin holding David Letterman, instead of Trig. No complaints. Perhaps because, in part, the comments went somewhere Palin has been careful not to walk since Trig's birth:
It seems to me that all Dave Letterman has to do with Sarah Palin is do a dramatic (tongue in cheek style) representation of Palin's " wild ride" account of Trygg's birth. It reads like a farce and has the anodyne quality of having been composed by Palin herself. If truth can be stranger than fiction, then lets see who believes what after they get a taste of Palin's version.
On June 23rd, for the third blog post header picture out of a series of five, Anchorage blogger Linda Kellen posted an image similar to C&L's from the 19th, only Anchorage AM radio host, Eddie Burke's head had replaced Letterman's. The graphic was created by Dr. Chill, as part of a series connected to Linda's fundraiser that ended up obtaining all the funds she needed to pay the State of Alaska for a public records search. (If you're a regular reader at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, you'll know that the header at the top of the blog often changes, sometimes being a political-based graphic, sommetimes a landscape, sometimes a picture taken by Linda's daughter, etc.).
Within hours, the clueless Stapleton came unglued, issuing this statement:
Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother's love for a special needs child.
The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling. To learn that two Alaskans did it is absolutely sickening. Linda Kellen Biegel, the official Democrat Party blogger for Alaska, should be ashamed of herself and the Democratic National Committee should be ashamed for promoting this website and encouraging this atrocious behavior.
Babies and children are off limits. It is past time to restore decency in politics and real tolerance for all Americans. The Obama Administration sets the moral compass for its party. We ask that special needs children be loved, respected and accepted and that this type of degeneracy be condemned.
This set of paragraphs has been dissected several places on the web. It doesn't make any more sense with time, and has been parodied. Here's my parody of the content:
The image at the left might be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. praying to Rev. Muthee to rid Her iconic Presence of the malicious desecrations of Her Hallowed Image by the misrepresentation of Her love of all things living, unless She wants to kill them.
Others have, too, but Wonkette used Stapleton's goofy press release for a platform for a hilarious column, posted yesterday afternoon, called Sarah Palin Will Soon Condemn, Bomb The Entire Internet:
The Virgin Palin, Our Lady of Eternal Anger, gave birth to the New Jesus at some point last year — or not, who knows, and now Andrew Sullivan just cares about Iran (which is a good thing!) so we’ll never find out the truth — and ever since it has been both a Cardinal/Venial Sin and Sharia Law that no mortal shall “desecrate” an image of the Sacred One … no one but Sarah Palin herself, because Allah both allows and encourages the use of the Holy Infant as a cheap political prop as long as such cruel hackery is performed by the Virgin Palin herself.
Palin’s fury was such, when she found out some blog “on the Internet” had combined a picture of her cradling one of her Magic Babies together with a picture of her Jedi Master, some dingbat old radio talk-show clown in Alaska, that she did verily send her dumbest disciple, “Brother Meg,” to start a Jihad against the Entire Internet.
But we know what happens when a fear-and-anger crazed Snow Witch starts a vain war she can never hope to win: The Internet Strikes Back.
Which is to say, Palin basically poked a stick in the world’s largest beehive filled with cheap & tireless insanity, and the SomethingAwful.com goons have unleashed a pack of Photoshop Dogs From Hell to make the most incredible collection of Sarah Palin Desecration Images in the History of Time, the end. [emphasis added by PA]
Does anyone miss how important a sense of irony might be amongst Palin's publicists by now? I suppose if you don't, you never will. If you don't, I'd suggest you watch John Ziegler's paean to Palin twenty times in a row, taking breaks for the bathroom only.
Part of the irony of Stapleton's reaction is that by making this such a HUGE issue, the Palin camp will perhaps be forced to revisit one of the touchiest subjects in the Alaska Governor's recent past - her conduct during the end of her most recent (2007-2008) pregnancy, and the questions that have surfaced in that regard.
Progressive Alaska, after reading Stapleton's press release, decided to get permission to re-post two articles that had originally appeared at other blogs. The first was Shannyn Moore's August 29th 2008 post about Palin's highly questionable actions during her final few days of what most agree to have been a serious pre-delivery situation for both mother and unborn child. The second was a very imporant post from early 2009, that was originally published at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, written by somebody experienced in the problems of late term pregnancies involving potential special needs babies.
Anyone who thinks that Crooks and Liars, or Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, or anyone else, by posting photoshopped images of David Letterman or Eddie Burke or Meg Stapleton or Sarah Palin or Terry Schiavo or Darth Vader or Dick Cheney or an Imperial Starship Trooper, in a pose with Sarah Palin, did more harm to Trig than Palin herself did in the days before the kid's birth, is not being honest about life itself.
Stapleton, still clueless at the end of the week, asked President Obama to discipline Celtic Diva. Stapleton had already brought us into the land of "You Can't Make This Shit Up!" Now she was entering some weirder neighborhood there. Leave it to The Mudflats to be ready, though:
Let’s think this through for a minute. What might be the outcome of this request? Does Palin believe that the President of the United States, leader of the free world, will stop what he’s doing, and get down in the political muck to bring down a woman who runs a local political blog in Anchorage Alaska? I’m guessing he’s smart enough to recognize that this would be a foolish idea. No national politician in their right mind would go there. Which is why Sarah Palin does. And why our president in 2012 will be … Barack Obama.
Besides, he’s got his own battles to fight right now…like this recent depiction of him and his beautiful baby daughter….who now sports the apalling head of none other than liberal bazillionaire George Soros.
Each day I become more convinced that Tonya Harding would do a better job as SarahPAC spokesperson than Meg Stapleton. Or maybe Ana Marie Cox. She left Wonkette some time ago, and has become very savvy in the ways of Washington, DC. If I were Meg, after this week, I'd be looking for a new job.
images - top, Ana Marie Cox; bottom, President Obama, holding George Soros (I think it has been photoshopped by somebody working for the Republican Party somewhere, uh, maybe even one of their official bloggers, or a parry officer, or something like that - yeah, that's the ticket)