In the wake of Palin's attack on Rahm Emmanual for using the term "fucking retarded" (which Palin misrepresents as "f-ing retard"), she has repeatedly defended Rush Limbaugh's multiple uses of the word "retards" when referring to people he did not like as "satire."
Following this, Family Guy ran an episode about Chris dating a young woman with Down Syndrome who informs him that she is the daughter of the governor of Alaska.
Palin put her War Bonnet back on and dragged Bristol into the battle through her Facebook public relations agent, calling the episode a "kick in the gut."
"People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, "when is enough, enough?"
"When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. - Bristol Palin"
Did Palin know that the actor who provided the voice for Chris' date was Andrea Friedman, a relatively successful performer who happens to have Down Syndrome? Friedman has appeared on "Saving Grace," "Law & Order," "ER," and "Life Goes On," among other television shows.
Palingates.com, a Website devoted to exposing Sarah Palin (and, yes, engaging in rumor-mongering), published an e-mail sent to them by Andrea Friedman's father, who told the person he sent it to to "circulate it on the Web or in any manner that you choose," so I am doing my part to spread the word of what Andrea Friedman thinks of Sarah Palin's attack:
My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.
Whatever does she mean?
Friedman sent the letter to the New York Times. I am not sure whether it will be published, but it deserves to be.
Go Andrea! She is not the first person to call Palin out on her use of Trig as a prop.
As the daughter of a mentally challenged woman, I find it offensive the way that Sarah Palin presents it as though all people with mental challenges are dolls that we "brainy people" must think for, instead of as many are--people with drives, independent thoughts, capable of so many things, who just happen to be mentally challenged.
That is more insulting than Rahm's stupid comment.
I wonder if Palin will next attack Friedman on her Facebook machine.
Andrea's e-mail was discussed in the New York Times, who printed an excerpt of an interview she did with ArtsBeat:
Q.When did you find out about the reaction that the episode elicited from Sarah Palin and her family?
A.[laughs] That I did not even know about until my mom told me, "You’re on Channel 4!" And when I watched on Channel 4, on "Extra," and I saw Sarah Palin with her son Trig. I’m like, "I’m not Trig. This is my life." I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.
Q.Do you agree with what she and her daughter Bristol were saying, that the character and the jokes were insulting to people with Down syndrome?
A.It’s not really an insult. I was doing my role, I’m an actor. I’m entitled to say something. It was really funny. I was laughing at it. I had a nice time doing voiceover. It was my first time doing a voiceover, and I had fun.
I think Andrea makes it clear that one person (or character) with Down Syndrome does not equal ALL people with Down Syndrome anymore than any actor or character represents all people.
Palin sees Trig as a symbol of Down Syndrome, not a person. So any thing she sees as critical of Down Syndrome is an attack on Trig personally.