Dept. of Understatement

I'm not what you'd call a fan of TLC. Since they air neither Glee nor Project Runway, I don't have much cause to watch their content. Further, they are responsible for the fame of two of the lousiest human beings currently swirling around the commode of American fame.

This is not going to help.

Discovery Communications’ TLC cable channel has acquired “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” a documentary series about the former Alaska governor and her state.


The eight-episode travelogue will “reveal Alaska’s powerful beauty as it has never been filmed, and as told by one of the state’s proudest daughters,” Peter Liguori, Discovery’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The channel has not yet specified a premiere date for “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” in part because it has yet to start filming. The title could change.

First an observation, and then some programming advice.

1) Oh, Grey Lady. I appreciate your desire to be journalistically objective and even-handed. But this paragraph is almost silly, it's so bland:
Ms. Palin’s conservative politics captivate some viewers and alienate others, creating a risk for TLC. The prospect of seeing Ms. Palin tour Alaska’s wild habitats may rile some people who oppose her opinions about climate change. In recent months, she has condemned “the Obama administration’s environmental extremism” and asserted that “we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.”

Well, I suppose that's one way of putting it. I would have said "Ms. Palin's conservative politics have some fans so devoted to her that you'd think she was Jesus in heels, and leave everyone else desperately hoping she never gets elected to anything else ever again." But I guess that's why you're the paper of record, and I'm not.

2) I note that you haven't actually started filming yet. Might I suggest that you change your mind before it's too late?

On the one hand, I would be delighted if Sarah Palin were to stay happily ensconced on television. Perhaps she's seen her polling numbers, and knows a good deal when she sees one. I see some value in that.

On the other hand, this woman really needs to return to obscurity as soon as possible. She is a disgrace to politics, and Alaska deserves a better spokesperson. She has decided that the best way to respond to the passage of health care reform legislation is to put gun sights over the locations of Democrats who supported it. There is no place for that kind of inflammatory symbolism in our civic discourse, particularly given that some members of the Democratic caucus are getting death threats. Please do not give her any more publicity than she has already managed to scrape together.

Update: The next thing you know, they'll be hiring Eric Cantor to give a documentary tour of Virgina.


  1. Ooops! I tried posting, and nothing showed. So forgive me if this is a repeat. But wanted to say two things:

    14% of the population feels they don't have enough information about Sarah Palin. Seriously.

    And TLC is home to one of my FAVORITE all-time shows, What Not to Wear. Stacy London is my spiritual second best friend.

  2. I saw that stat, which I interpreted to mean "14% of Americans are complete and utter morons."

    I will take your tacit recommendation of at least one of TLC's offerings under advisement, should I find myself channel-surfing.

  3. To be honest, I don't think the show will be anywhere as bad as some people imagine (they are going to surround her with highly professional people), but I also doubt it will be all that interesting. It will just be a glossy travelogue of all the pretty places in Alaska (of which there are many). If she narrates it I could see her voice being incredibly grating, but if not, if she is just on Camera pointing out places while someone else narrates, it could be bearable (not that I have any desire to watch it, I like my programs to be real and narrated by naturalists like David Attenborough)
    I refuse to imagine they will give up editorial control to her to say whatever she wants, likewise I am sure she won't say anything she disagrees with, so it will be: Isn't the Mat Su valley grand, settled originally by...


  4. I'm just curious if there is no place in our civic discourse for threats such as "My Administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks," or is that sort of thing OK?

  5. well, yes it is ok when it is true. I hope you understand the pitchforks are metaphorical and not literal, the pitchfork wavers either having demanded the bankruptcy of the banks (and a collapse into a Depression) or Nationalization of the banks (which for the Bankers is worse than Bankruptcy, since at least before bankruptcy they can loot as much as they can, loot as in golden parachutes). Nationalization also would have been a disaster on its own terms, giving unfair advantage to nationalized banks and punishing profitable banks that did no wrong.

    And nice dated link there. It ain't news if it is a year old. What next, something from the 2008 campaign? Oooh a Democrat speaking before a partisan crowd....speaking in a partisan fashion...oooh. shocking.


  6. GJ, you must be joking. The President was using hyperbole, to be sure, but he was expressing the conventional wisdom at that time and there was no implied threat. Seriously, where did you dig that up?

  7. I'm not joking. I thought it was beneath the office for the President to use such violent imagery at the time[1]. But please, explain to me how this is just harmless hyperbole, but putting crosshairs on Congressional districts is a worrisome, unacceptable, and inflammatory symbolism in our civic debate.

    [1] Perhaps you are forgetting the threats that were made to AIG execs who were granted bonuses, and the Democrats in Congress demanding the names of these private citizens, and refusing to rule out releasing the names despite death threats made against them and their families. I'm sure that was in the minds of the bankers listening to Pres. Obama. And yes, Republicans behaved shamefully too.

  8. charo, you understand the crosshairs are metaphorical, right? And nice attempt to evade the point. I'm sure somewhere, George Santayana is rolling his eyes.

  9. gj, I never condemned the crosshairs, and I have zero problems with Palin using it. To be honest, I kind of scimmed over that part about the crosshairs, so my bad about that. You only referenced civic discourse so I didn't really pick up on my fault. And I truly mean this, I think the crosshairs is manufactured hysteria on the left, spitting at Congressmen, yelling epithets and real death threats however is beyond the pale. So if it makes you happy I have no problem with the crosshairs as I have no problem with the pitchforks line. So no evasion, or avoision. Obviously the crosshairs is referencing targeting the districts, and a crosshair is a shorthand reference for a target, it sure as hell is not a death threat.

    Now I am confused about you, are you condemning Sarah Palin and her crosshairs? If you are, it is pretty stupid. If you aren't then you are being hypocritical for criticizing Obama. So, which is it? Stupid or hypocritical?

    And please, this last line is just a joke as in: Do you still beat your wife? I don't mind a mild condemnation.


  10. Hmmm. Well, charo, I must politely disagree. I think, given the pictures of nooses being faxed to congressional offices and epithets and all, that pictures of crosshairs are, at best, ill-advised, and are at worst incitement. Frankly, while I don't think Palin means to incite violence per se, I think she and her ilk are going to reap the whirlwind one of these days.

    Also, GJ, in Obama's case he was actually suggesting that his intention was to prevent the people from pitchforking the bankers, not handing out the torches.

  11. Dr. Dan, I believe he was suggesting something along the lines of "nice business ya got here, be a shame if anything were to happen to it, so we'd like to help." The pitchfork metaphor was entirely inappropriate if he meant anything else.

  12. Dr.Dan, ill advised is fine, incitement is a bit much. After all, it was just crosshairs on the district not on the Congressmen. That would have been an incitement. Previously I have read how Democrats are targeting X district, if you can freely use the word is it that much of a stretch to use the actual image.