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For Bristol Palin: You Can Defend AND Be Civil

I’ve been half following the Facebook fight between Bristol & Willow Palin and detractors of the show Sarah Palin’s Alaska. I wasn’t planning to write about it until I saw Bristol’s apology today:

Reacting to negative comments about your family is nothing to apologize for. I think that perhaps Bristol has confused civility with being a human carpet. This just isn’t true. One can engage in the act of defending one’s family in a way that you NEVER have to apologize for.

I’ll use the remark that got Bristol and Willow started. According to media reports, the offending remark was:

Tre:  “Sarah Palin’s Alaska is failing so hard right now.”

Instead of what was actually posted, let’s picture what could have been done instead:

Tre:  “Sarah Palin’s Alaska is failing so hard right now.”

Bristol: “What makes you say that?”

Tre: “The whole thing. It’s lame.”

Bristol: “What’s lame about Denali National Park?”

Tre: “Your mom. Her screechy voice is very lame-0.”

Bristol: “I’m really lucky to have such a supportive mom who involves me in her life. Our family is out in the country a lot and I enjoy the time we have together. And the millions of people tuning in to the show tonight don’t have a problem with her voice.”

Tre: “Then there’s yer Dad. I don’t buy him as the big sportsman. He’s a poser.”

Bristol:  “My dad brings home caribou every year. I learned fishing from him in Bristol Bay and he competes in the Iron Dog every year. How many 1000 mile plus races have you been in lately?”

Tre gets bored and goes away.*

In this scenario, Bristol reacted to a number of negative comments about her family. Was there anything to apologize for here? Not for our simulated Bristol. She turned every insult into an opportunity to say positive things about the show and her family. If anyone owes an apology in our simulated dialog, it would be the simulated Tre, who continues to insult another merely for being positive about their family.

So Bristol, the moral of the exercise: defense plus civility means not having to say you’re sorry. Please try to remember that the next time you feel that you or your family is being slighted.

*Sure, my dialog is stilted. That’s why I’m writing nonfiction for National Novel Writing Month.


10 Responses

  1. Nope, the whole family needs to accept that they are paid to be the joke and say as little as possible off script.

  2. Hey there,

    I think – as someone only vaguely following this myself – the problem is that Willow responded to some of the more negative comments by using derogatory homophobic (or at least degrading) language. So it’s not simply that they got angry – it’s that, in responding, they got nasty and used homobashing slurs.

    The whole thing is ridiculous. But then, ever since the Palins have come onto the national stage, it’s been a recurring nightmare… ;o)

  3. Bobbi… AMEN….The whole thing went viral when the girls started using foul language and slurs against gays….both of which completely refelct on their upbringing….or lack there of….

    I think we all need a very long break from all the Palins… like the rest of our natural lives and I don’t plan to check out for another 40 or so years!!!

  4. What is maturity to Bristol or Willow? Their mother was on Bob n’ Mark laughing and making slurs about Lyda Green. Baby Piper even told her to pull her hair as Palin revealed to Ivy in an email that we got to see after people got to see some of them.

    These two and the rest of the brood are beginning to remind me of Saddam’s sons, Ugly and Queasy, only I think Saddam’s sons spoke better English. It is all about entitlement to them. They will have to meet someone who is positive who influences them. Mom and Pop Heathe seemed like great people in the beginning but as their daughter rose to infamy and fortune, they got mean. I am sad for what has become of a woman who at least seemed classy for a while, and to her family.

  5. Excellent post. Thank you. It’s the first time I’ve read a constructive “teaching moment” reaction to one of the Palin family’s misadventures.

    Whatever your familial situation, you provided excellent guidance. Todd and Sarah could learn how to be better parents if they followed your example.

    Good luck on your book. BTW, your dialogue was better than you think, so don’t dismiss fiction from your future.

  6. Beautifully scripted. If only it were proof of life.

    The thing is, he wasn’t attacking the family, he was attacking a media product in the marketplace that belongs to everyone, it isn’t the Palin Family per se unless he said so from the get-go. He said the “show” was failing. That Willow and then Bristol decided he was talking s*it about them personally is what devolved into personal attacks. In their own crass but innocent way, Tre and Matt were as bold and honest about this superficial narrative of the famous Family than most MSM outlets have been to date.

    The Palin’s have never conducted themselves with such decorum. They’ve never taken the high road from the most petty things to some serious and nasty accusations that one can’t help but buy into given their M.O.

    I wish someone from their camp could behave this way. Not even a once mild mannered career aid for the past five Governor’s could conduct himself in a manner befitting a public servant under Sarah Palin, Mike Nizich asked for Alaskans to turn on those brave enough to file ethics complaints. It was jaw-dropping irresponsibility. Palin’s hatchet man Frank Bailey (to his credit, not a career public servant, the former Alaska Airlines baggage manager was not qualified to run the Boards & Commissions division) hounded as many in the chain of command of the State’s top cops as he could on behalf of Todd Palin in the Troopergate scandal.

    Even a media professional from the Fox Corporation couldn’t resist a dig at L.L. Cool J’s career status when he brought to the public’s attention that he did not expressly interview about his childhood full of adversity to succeed against all odds to serve the purposes of Sarah Palin’s Real American Stories show.

    She brings out the worst in us, supporters and detractors alike, especially those that love her in her intimate circle. Some she’s actually given birth to or said vows to.

    Good luck with that warm, nice and wholesome real Americanism you keep peddling Palin family.

  7. That would be a great way to respond and I would have thought that Sarah would have made sure that her children knew either to not react or to do so in a civil manner. But all you have to do is look to Palin and see this is how she reacts to anyone who dares to disagree with her, let alone outright criticize her. She is far too thin-skinned to be in politics. Her staff members said that during her last year in the Gov. office, she spent hours ranting against what was being said about her and wanted to go after everyone. Not mature and not what we expect of someone who thinks they could be President.

    Palin has brought much of this on herself, however. Many people, myself included, simply do not like her because of how she speaks about our President and the multiple lies she has told about him.

    As far as Bristol goes, she’s infamous, not famous or a role model. My niece wanted to know how in the world anyone is supposed to believe her life is “hard” as a single mother when she’s dancing on TV, making hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing so, making $100k for a magazine cover, $30k for speeches when she can barely string a coherent sentence together and yet she’s bragging about how she’s doing it all on her own? She’s not on her own. She has a nanny, family to babysit when ready and she’s obviously not working at a full-time job when she takes off at the drop of $$$ in her bank account.

    The Palin family has put themselves out there as the family who will do anything for $$$. There is nothing to respect about any of them. Bristol’s non-apology was a poor try but then again, $arah NEVER apologizes!

  8. I don’t know why Tre should walk away, when it was his face book page.

  9. The problem is sarah always defends the right to express one’s opinion as long as it is not critical of her or her family……..she has no problem doing it to anyone else filled with lies…….propaganda…..however, this boy said it on his facebook page…and he has the right to do that…..now if he posted it on hers….then he might want to apologize for hurting her feelings…but he only said that in his opinion, the show was failing…..what is wrong with that on his facebook? Nothing……please defend people’s rights to their opinions as long as they don’t go invading her territory to say it……let’s not lose sight of this because it is the palins……they really lack the class ….and unfortunately, their children are learning the same thing….

  10. It was his facebook.

    He has every right to his opinion of the show.

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