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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Guy mocks Palin and the special needs community

It's not new news. Ever since Sarah Palin was named the vice presidential candidate in 2008, she's consistently been the target of sketch comedy shows,  but, unfortunately, so have her children. So when is enough, enough?

Just days after Palin lambasted both White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and radio talkmeister Rush Limbaugh for using the word "retard," why did the show, Family Guy, decide to air an episode which clearly takes a shot at Palin and her son with Down syndrome?

In the episode, a main character, Chris, dates a mentally disabled girl. While never mentioning Palin by name, the girl draws a clear comparison to Palin's son, Trig, when she tells Chris, "My dad's an accountant, and my mom's the former governor of Alaska."

This isn't the first time Family Guy has targeted Palin. In a previous episode, show producer Seth McFarlane (who spoke at a rally supporting Sen. Barack Obama during the campaign) loosely compared Republican candidates Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to Nazis. In one scene, characters Brian, Stewie, and neighbor Mort Goldman are transported back to Nazi Germany where they try to blend in by wearing uniforms of the Third Reich, one of which had a McCain/Palin button pinned to the lapel.

Being well known in the media can often times bring about unwanted exposure and ridicule. “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," said Bristol Palin in reaction to the episode.  "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?," Bristol added.

Remember way back, during the campaign, when both Obama and McCain declared that the candidate's families would be off limits? "Let me be as clear as possible," Obama said. "I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics." Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case.

"If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed," Bristol said. "All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks."

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