Palin, Parker and Prejean — again

Wouldn’t you know it? Exactly one month after I wrote here about the common thread in the vicious attacks on Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean, they both get slimed on the same day.

Gov. Palin was visiting New York to help raise funds for a charity for special needs children, and while there took in a Yankees game with her 14-year old daughter, Willow. So, Tuesday night, late night talk-show host David Letterman decided to have some fun at their expense, joking about the governor’s “slutty, flight attendant look” and about Willow getting “knocked up” by Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Ha-ha-ha! Now, isn’t that hilarious? I just wonder what kind of response Rush Limbaugh would have gotten if he made the same joke about Michelle Obama and the Obama girls, Malia and Sasha? Never mind. We don’t have to wonder. Limbaugh would be off the air — immediately and permanently. But Letterman, you can be sure, will continue to occupy his late night slot on CBS while his ratings resume their slide after enjoying a brief uptick following Jay Leno’s departure from NBC.

With Sarah Palin, you see, anything goes. Katie Couric, the CBS news anchor who now has the lowest ratings in the history of network television news, joked to the Princeton graduating class last week that “coming here was a real no-brainer! After all, I can see New Jersey from my house!”. This was an attempt to parody Gov. Palin’s famous statement, “And I can see Russia from my house!”.

Except Sarah Palin never said that. Tina Fey said it while impersonating Palin on Saturday Night Live. Couric, who was lauded by fellow members of the mainstream media for exposing Palin as an ignoramus during her famous interview with the Governor, apparently can’t get her own facts straight.

And then there’s Kathleen Parker. Yes, Kathleen Parker — the “conservative” columnist who last fall practically made a career of dissing Sarah Palin. Parker became the liberal media’s favorite conservative by insisting, over and over again, ad nauseum, that Palin was unqualified to be President. Then, in a column this Wednesday, she faults Palin for not doing enough to try to become President.

Actually, Parker didn’t put it quite that way. She really doesn’t want Sarah Palin anywhere near the White House. Parker was using Palin’s rare appearance in the lower forty-eight as an occasion for yet another attack piece. This time she was criticizing the alleged ineptitude of Palin’s Presidential campaign.

Which might be something to worry about if Palin actually had a Presidential campaign. However, as I noted in my column last month, Palin has not been acting like a Presidential candidate. She has been acting like a governor, which, in case anyone forgets, is what she is.

Parker makes a big deal of Palin’s supposed indecision over whether to attend this week’s Republican Congressional fund-raising dinner, as if the Alaska governor were coyly toying with affections of the party faithful. Parker ignores the obvious explanation: the fundraising dinner was not a high priority for Palin, who ultimately attended because it turned out to fit in with her schedule. The only reason the governor was down in the lower forty-eight to begin with was to attend to Alaska business and support special needs children.

Which still won’t satisfy Palin’s enemies back in Alaska who, undoubtedly, will file still another frivolous ethics complaint against her as a result of her trip. As of this week, Palin was 14-for-14 — that is, of the 14 ethics complaints against her investigated so far (13 by the state Personnel Board and one by the Federal Elections Commission), 14 have been dismissed as being without merit.

Naturally, the dismissals got nowhere near the media coverage that accompanied the filing of the complaints. Naturally.

Once again, we have to ask if Sarah Palin would be treated this way if she were not a pro-life evangelical Christian who is also an attractive, articulate woman. I think we all know the answer to that question.

And, speaking of attractive, articulate evangelical Christians, we now learn that Carrie Prejean, the embattled Miss California-USA who became the subject of controversy because she gave an honest answer to a loaded question at the Miss USA pageant in April, has been fired.

She learned about it the same way the rest of us did: from the news media. Donald Trump, who seems to positively relish pronouncing the words, “You’re fired!” and publicly humiliating hapless young contestants on The Apprentice, apparently couldn’t be bothered to tell Prejean to her face. Instead, he left it to Keith Lewis, the Miss California-USA pageant director, to inform the gossip website, Prejean heard about it when Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush, who saw the story on the website, called Prejean to get her reaction.

The alleged reason for the firing was that Prejean had signed an unauthorized book contract and had failed to make personal appearances in violation of her contract. Her lawyer says that’s a crock. “The claim that she has an unauthorized book contract is false,” says the lawyer, Charles LiMiandri. “She does not. The claim that she is refusing to appear is false. Carrie has been in constant contact with pageant officials seeking to fulfill her obligations.”

More details will probably emerge in the next few days, but what we’ve learned so far doesn’t speak well for the Miss California-USA organization. One of the “personal appearances” Prejean turned down was a photo shoot for Playboy. Recall that just a month ago Lewis and his former co-director Shanna Moakler wanted to fire Prejean because she had posed for some racy photos before she had competed in the Miss California pageant. But, now that she’s been crowned, one of her “duties” is to perform the Full Monty for Playboy? Am I the only one who detects a whiff of hypocrisy here?

Beauty queens are celebrities who, simply for lack of time, have to turn down most of the requests they get for personal appearances. This is especially true for those for whom being a beauty queen is not a fulltime job. I do not know whether Prejean was paid a salary for being Miss California, but I’m sure she had far more requests for personal appearances than she was able to meet.

The truth is, Carrie Prejean was fired because, and only because, she said, in answer to a question at the Miss USA pageant, that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Had she not given her honest opinion — if she had given a standard, safe, noncommittal, please-everyone beauty-pageant-type answer — we never would have seen the racy photos and we never would have heard any allegations that she was “not fulfilling her contractual obligations”. Instead, she would have been the new Miss USA — either that, or we never would have heard of her at all.

I doubt that Keith Lewis and the Miss California-USA organization wanted Carrie Prejean to fulfill her “contractual obligations” — whatever they are — any more than Kathleen Parker wants Sarah Palin to get her Presidential campaign act together. Lewis and his colleagues had about as much desire to see Prejean continue as Miss California as Parker has to see Palin elected President.

From Nolan Chart.