Saturday, September 08, 2012

Honey Boo Boo, Snooki and Sarah Palin

By Richard K. Barry

There is something in politics called a Kinsley gaffe, which is defined as this:

The term comes from journalist Michael Kinsley, who said, "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say."

Now, this isn't exactly the same thing, but there are similarities.

I'm talking about the way crazy, poorly informed, right-media darling Sarah Palin responded to a shot at Mitt Romney by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) during his DNC speech, which invoked her.

"I think he diminished himself by even mentioning my name," Palin said in an interview on Fox Business Network. "How does he even know my name? I mean aren’t these guys supposed to be these big wig elites who don’t waste their time on the little people like me -- me representing the average American who, yeah I did say in Alaska you can see Russia from our land base and I was making the point that we are strategically located on the globe and when it comes to transportation corridors and resources that are shared and fought over [in] Alaska and I as the governor had known what I was doing in dealing with some international issues that had to do with our resources that could help secure the nation."

Well, Sarah, John Kerry knows your name for the same reason I know who Snooki and Honey Boo Boo are. In our celebrity-obssessed culture, we are forced to pay absurd amounts of attention to people who deserve no such thing.

Of course, you didn't actually mean to suggest John Kerry diminished himself by mentioning your name, because we all know you think you're pretty damn special, but I'd like to take you at your word.

From now on, let us all admit that anyone mentioning Sarah Palin in anything like a serious discussion of politics or public policy is in fact diminishing himself or herself.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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