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'Life's A Tripp' For The Palins: Why It's Really Not OK

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HuffPost Entertainment is launching a series entitled "It's Really Not OK," offering a second look at pop-cultural developments that should have caused alarm but somehow didn't.

A family who made its name in politics by rallying against the so-called "media" should not be allowed to bathe in the lucrative limelight of reality television not once but three times. It's not just hypocritical, it's a cognitive break too great to go ignored.

Bristol Palin (no stranger to attacks on the media) is now taking her experiences with early motherhood -- which the 21-year-old already documented in a memoir -- to the Lifetime network. The show is actually called "Life's a Tripp," a punning if not wholly un-exploitive reference to the son she had with Levi Johnston.

Lifetime is framing the show as a sort of "Teen Mom" for people too old to watch MTV. The network's promotional materials describe Bristol as a woman "steadfastly moving forward both personally and professionally," and promise that she "will be confronted by the many difficult life decisions people must make regarding parenthood, family, relationships and career."

Lifetime isn't exactly CBS News or The New York Times, but it's very much part of the mainstream-media ecosystem that Palin built her reputation attacking -- as recently as last year.

Of course, this isn't the Palin camp's first dance with reality TV. It all started with "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the one-season TLC program that lost 40 percent of its audience between its first and second episodes. The series was denounced by everyone from Aaron Sorkin to Karl Rove.

TLC is owned by the Discovery Network, which means the network which brought America the sad polar bear who couldn't find food on "Planet Earth" also endorsed a program about a raging anti-environmentalist shooting animals for fun.

The salt-icing on the cake-wound that was "Sarah Palin's Alaska" came when we learned that that the creators of the show received over $1 million in tax subsidies.

Bristol, of course, followed her mother into the reality-TV arena with a scintillating run on "Dancing With The Stars." After that, Sarah Palin began shopping a series on her husband Todd's snowmobiling. In a rare exception to a troubling pattern, no one bought it.

Viewers fed up with the Palins' habit of punching the media with one hand while endorsing its paychecks with the other may prefer to tune in this Saturday to HBO's premiere of "Game Change," which promises to show a side of Sarah that she has scrupulously hidden from the reality-TV cameras. According to The New York Times, the vice-presidential candidate is "portrayed as unable to answer basic political questions."

But the best response to the Palin family's hypocrisy -- and the media's profit-minded complicity in it -- may be to ignore the freak show altogether. Because our attention is the only thing paying their bills.

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Spoofs "Life's a Tripp":

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