UPDATE AT END OF POST: Palin discusses this matter with Fox's Bill O'Reilly.
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol have responded to Sunday's disgusting episode of "Family Guy."
As NewsBusters reported that night, Fox's cartoon comedy hit disparaged the Palins with a joke involving a girl with Down Syndrome.
Tuesday morning, Sarah and Bristol took to Facebook to share their thoughts.
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”
- Sarah Palin
Unfortunately, Jennifer Armstrong of Entertainment Weekly didn't see it the Palins' way:
I'd say that, as a rule, no, there aren't limits to what Family Guy will do or say. And let's face it, the writers can be heartless jerks. It's kind of their thing. Many times, in fact, they seem to strain themselves just to court controversy and be offensive. Many times they succeed in being both funny and offensive. This time, however, they did something else: They courted controversy simply by dropping that vague Palin reference, almost as an afterthought, it seems. (It's not like the girl was named Trig or was, you know, an infant or a boy like Palin's real-life kid.) But the rest of the episode - save for a few trademark-Stewie lines that erred on the offensive side - actually treated Ellen very much like any other character, which shows quite a bit of respect in the Family Guy universe. Her defining trait wasn't her Down syndrome, it was the fact that she was bitchy and demanding and ultimately rejected Chris even though he heeded her every command. You could see it as mocking, I suppose, that Stewie sang a song called "Down Syndrome Girl" while getting Chris ready for his date. But that made a lot more fun of poor Chris and his smelly, gross tendencies than it did of his date.
Really? Well, here's the song Stewie sang with some of the lyrics:
And though her pretty face may seem a special person's wettest dream. [...]
You must impress that ultra-boomin', all consumin', poorly-groomin', Down Syndrome girl. [...]
You want to take that little whore and spin her on the dancing floor. [...]
My boy between the two of us we'll get her on the shorty bus and then you're gonna take it on a whirl.
Now go impress that super-thrilling, wish-fulfilling, YooHoo-spilling, ultra-swinging, boner-bringing, gayly-singing, dingalinging, stupefying, fortifying, as of Monday shoe lace-tying, stimulating, titillating, kitty-cat impersonating, mega-rocking, pillow talking, just a little crooked walking, poorly-pouting, poopie-sprouting, for some reason always shouting, fascinating, captivating, happiness and joy-creating, Down Syndrome girl.
This was making more fun of Chris?
I do, however, salute including those with the condition in our everyday entertainment, and doing so without patronizing them. This episode did that, and even came off pretty sweet, by Family Guy standards.
Yeah. Calling this Down Syndrome girl a poorly groomed, YooHoo spilling, dingalinging, crooked walking, poopie-sprouting little whore wasn't AT ALL patronizing.
Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
*****Update: Palin discussed this matter with Bill O'Reilly Tuesday evening...