Angry Liberals Twist Bristol Palin’s ‘Dancing’ into Tea Party ‘Conspiracy’

Those Tea Partiers – is there anything in this nation they can’t spoil? They’ve already gummed up the president’s agenda with their rallies and signs and voting. Now, they’re trying to ruin “Dancing with the Stars!”

So says the left and many in the media agree. Now that newly resurgent conservatives have handed them a crushing mid-term defeat, liberals are seeing nefarious Tea Party plots everywhere – including in silly entertainment shows. And they’re taking plenty of shots at Bristol and, predictably, her mother.

Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, 20, has done remarkably well in this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. As she’s advanced from week to week, buoyed by viewer voting, entertainment reporters and liberals have become increasingly frustrated.

Video below the fold.

“Once again,” wrote Anna Chan in the “Today” show’s The Clicker blog Nov. 16, “Bristol Palin outlasted a competitor who is infinitely more skilled and interesting on the dance floor. Ugh!” Things have reached the point where there’s been open talk of a plot.

On Nov. 8, the liberal Daily Beast wondered about a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” On Nov. 17, Bloomberg’s Ronald Grover wrote that Palin had survived “another week of low scores from the talent show’s judges with the help of fans that included Tea Party voters.” Grover offered no evidence to back up his assertion. Instead, he quoted a Las Vegas oddsmaker as saying, “This year is about popularity, and whether it’s the Republican Party or whoever, Bristol Palin is getting more votes despite being the worst dancer.”

On ABC’s “The View,” there was talk of conservative websites instructing readers on how to vote for Palin. The Daily Beast credited “Operation Bristol,” something mentioned in a tweet by conservative talk show host Tammy Bruce on Nov. 1. Bruce encouraged her Twitter followers to call in and vote for Palin. “Bruce has more than 14,000 followers and ‘Operation Bristol’ has been picked up and posted by Palin fan sites like Conservatives4Palin and US4Palin, giving those who’d like to cast a vote for a Palin, a different outlet.”

The Washington Post and ABC even conducted a poll on the issue. “The headline in Tuesday's paper was ‘Poll numbers suggest Bristol doesn't have “Dancing” legs to stand on,’ according to NewsBusters. The poll found that 54 percent of Americans think Palin has made it to the finals “because of large-scale voting by viewers who support her mother.”

Covering the poll and the “Dancing” controversy on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” reporter John Berman said, “Well, some people are calling this the first presidential straw poll, and it really felt like it on Twitter last night, which was on fire with people both for and against Bristol Palin.”

The further left, the more angry the accusations, although they stop well short of shooting the TV set in protest. Writing on Huffington Post Nov. 19, Bill Persky called a potential Bristol win “the Tea Party’s greatest accomplishment.” In what must have been a cathartic vent, Persky sputtered, “Can she dance? Who cares? This is politics. Forget about ability, experience and qualifications: since when do they matter to them, as they continue to take America back, one fox trot and quickstep at a time.”

And he didn’t waste the opportunity to attack Bristol’s mother, even working in a not-so-subtle racism charge.

If you doubt it, just be watching as Sarah – I'm not sure wearing what, or whether she'll be holding Trig – embraces Bristol as she turns it into an aggrandizing moment for herself and the American people. It will be tricky to work in an attack on President Obama, maybe something down home like, "Lucky for Bristol that President Obama wasn't in the competition, because you know he's got rhythm." The evening will be all hers, and theirs, as once again the Tea Party movement is moved to mobilize for mediocrity over ability, fantasy over fact and rage over reality.

The next day, HuffPo featured another, rather less coherent piece by “Singer and songwriter” Carole Bayer Sager titled “Dancing With the Tea Party.” Ominously, Sager wrote that “on Tuesday night, I began to believe for certain in the power of the Tea Party.”

After relating how “week after week, dancers with more natural talent, grace, and most importantly, ability,” have lost to the Bristol onslaught, Sager got to the point: “What all of this means regarding how the votes are counted on DWTS is far less important about what this might be telling us about the future of our country and the power of Sarah Palin.” All this was an example of “The Karl Rove School of Politics.”Sager ended with this head-scratcher: “Elections can be stolen when enough people deliver the same message; much the same as choosing finalists on television.”

True to form, The Daily Kos found a way to insult American voters. The Washington Post quoted a Kos blogger saying “By all means, let the Republicans conspire to fix this meaningless election. . . . If Bristol Palin wins, while the judges gag at her weak performances, then finally, we'll be able to explain politics to the apolitical using concepts that they can understand!”

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture