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Kia Makarechi


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

Posted: 03/ 5/2012 11:30 am

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":

PHOTOS: Celebrities And Politics:

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  • Alec Baldwin

    We all know Alec Baldwin looks good in a suit -- could that be why <a href="" target="_hplink">he's "very, very interested" in running for political office</a>?

  • Wyclef Jean

    Wyclef Jean was very public about his intention to run for Haitian president in 2010 -- before finding out he was ineligible.

  • Jerry Springer

    Jerry Springer proved his power in baby daddy battles and in politics when he became mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1977.

  • Ben Affleck

    There's no doubt that Ben Affleck wears his political affiliations on his sleeves -- and, when it comes to running for the real deal rather than just playing a lawmaker on-screen, Ben isn't opposed to the idea.

  • Kal Penn

    From "House" to the White House, Kal Penn quit his on-camera gig to become the <a href="" target="_hplink">associate director in the White House office of public liaison</a> -- a job that's putting Penn on the map in terms fulfilling his interest in running for political office.

  • Stephen Colbert

    Although he only plays political on "The Colbert Report," there isn't a Stephen Colbert fan out there who wouldn't like to see the comedian give the real deal a go.

  • Jon Stewart

    Like his buddy Stephen Colbert, there's no doubt that rumors of "The Daily Show" host, Jon Stewart's political aspirations will continue to pepper his career.

  • Donald Trump

    'Will he or won't he?' seemed to be the question on everyone's minds as Donald Trump not so subtly hinted at a 2012 presidential run. In the end, Trump fooled us all -- "The Apprentice" ratings went up before his candidacy went out the window.

  • Bristol Palin

    Like mother, like daughter. According to HuffPost Celeb's Rob Shuter, Bristol is <a href="" target="_hplink">eyeing her future in the political spotlight</a>.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    From "The Terminator" to The Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger served as the governor of California from 2003 until 2011.

  • Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood put his cowboy boot-clad foot into politics when he became mayor of Carmel, California in 1986.

  • Ronald Reagan

    Before he became the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan tried his hand at acting, appearing in films like "Cowboy from Brooklyn" and "Kings Row."

  • Shirley Temple Black

    President Nixon appointed Shirley Temple Black to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations in 1969 before serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.

  • Sonny Bono

    Sonny Bono won the Palm Springs, California mayoral race in 1988 before joining the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.


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