Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sarah Palin Yesterday on Today

Yesterday on Today, Sarah Palin weakly co-hosted a segment with veteran Today show host Anne Curry on “Navigating the Challenges of Raising Teenage Girls.” Something  Anne generously said Sarah “knows a lot about.” 

(I guess navigating the challenges of hiding the serial pregnancies of your teenaged girl is something like raising one.)

Two women were guests in the segment; Dr. Janet Taylor, a clinical psychiatrist at Columbia University (mother of four girls) and Haley Kilpatrick the author of “The Drama Years,” a book about helping girls navigate through the challenges of the teen years. Ms. Kilpatrick’s book came about as a result of a program of study conducted with thousands of girls.

During the four minute clip, watch Sarah’s body language as compared to the other women. In the beginning, Anne reads the intro remarks (which you know, under contract, the producers provided to Sarah in advance) and the women guests lean slightly forward, look at Anne the entire time, and nod occasionally.  This is typical of women’s communication -  we signal we are listening  (eye contact and head nods, sometimes a smile) in a way men typically do not. When men nod, it's in agreement. Women do that too, but they also nod while listening, whether agreeing or not.  (Trust me, I studied communication. If you'd rather check it out for yourself,  I'd encourage that.)

Reality TV is the first “problem” put on the table in this discussion. Sarah’s co-host begins by  saying that a Chicago-area teacher recently said  “Too much focus on reality star type celebrities” is harmful to girls’ self-esteem.

As soon as Anne Curry begins to read from her notes, Sarah tunes out. She lowers her head and looks at the notes in her own lap. I think I could read her thoughts:

Oh man! On the very day Bristol’s reality show was scheduled to debut on TLC and then got delayed because of that horrible woman putting out that awful book telling on Todd… Flippin’ unbelievable! This is a gotcha topic.

Ms. Curry comments after reading the quote, and Sarah looks off into the distance, in stark contrast to the other two women who continue to focus on the speaker.  For eight full seconds, Sarah does not give  the other co-host any visual support, or any signal that she is listening. Then she turns and looks at Anne, not with the intense interest of the other women, not leaning into the group at all, and not even the slightest nod. Sarah looks physically detached; to me, her gaze suggests tolerance.

Three seconds later, Anne Curry says something that makes Sarah’s lips tighten and her tongue slip out.

There’s too much focus on reality star type celebrities. What are we not doing enough as mothers to help our daughters have more confidence?

The question is directed at Dr. Janet Taylor, and Sarah stiffly turns and looks at her. Sarah has not yet, not once, nodded her head to show she is engaging with anything that’s been said.

Dr. Taylor, says the “Most mothers, we want [our daughters] confident, successful.  So when we hear them talking and making comments about reality stars we need to focus them back on their own strengths their own values. We have to look at ourselves as mothers in terms of what we teach them. So often it is from a deficit model, you know, my thighs are too big,…my hair is not straight enough…I’m not brown enough, even.  We have to refocus them back to what's good about them. Teach them how to look in the mirror every day and say something good about themselves.

Wow, wish the camera had been on Sarah. Young black girls not thinking they are "brown enough”? Remember when she said the Tea Party didn't care if President Obama was "half white or half black" telling Sean Hannity the First Lady and the President should "refudiate" the NAACP? 

And doesn't this get right into Sarah's business?  She has a high school aged daughter who intends to go to "hair school" and  her older daughter made major permanent surgical changes to her own body before she was old enough to legally drink wine coolers.

The professor from Columbia finishes. Sarah jumps into the conversation. Here’s what’s been on Sarah Palin’s mind since the first “hello”:

You know what would be nice, though, is if the marketplace would demand, though, that maybe some reality shows would start portraying some very healthy, independent , young women who are striving for strong work ethic examples and doing those things that are kind of the antithesis of so many of the things that we are seeing what’s being portrayed in reality shows.

Anne nods and nods and nods throughout Sarah’s thinly veiled self-serving defense of Bristol and this opportunistic plug for “Bristol Palin: Life’s A Tripp” reality show.  How convenient, that Momma Grizzly Palin is suggesting people create  “marketplace demand” for a show with an independent young woman with a strong work ethic the very day the first episode of Bristol's show was supposed be on the TLC network but  mysteriously didn't air.   

This is all so familiar.   There are no new tools in the Palin toolbox. The old ones work just fine. Just like the " Dance Bristol, Dance " campaign worked to get a lazy and untalented Bristol into the finals of Dancing With the Stars,  we should expect to see a “grassroots” movement coming out of  C4P demanding this “antithesis” of reality shows get on the air.

Back to Today, yesterday.  It’s the other guest’s turn and she ignores Sarah's "contribution" and says she "agree[s] with Dr. Taylor. “We need to as adults model great behavior at home, in the classroom, and extracurricular activities.”

Dr. Janet interjects “Fathers play an important role in how girls our feel about themselves in terms of being interested in what they are doing. Being interested in schools…

Hold on a minute. Wasilla Middle School was where Todd Palin met Shailey Tripp for the first time.  If I made that connection, Sarah must have. You betcha. Awesome.

…Our kids, our girls learn the most about what they hear at home and  what they see us doing. We…place too much emphasis on the power of reality TV and not enough on our own power at home.”

Sarah whines, coming in at 2:23  “You know when we talk about, too, the father’s role in all this, and when you talk about the mother’s relationship with their daughter, there is a fine line  between  wanting to be your child's friend, wanting to the cool mom or dad, the fun one, and being their parent and I think that today perhaps you see this in your studies, too,  too often a parent wanting to be their child’s friend and kind of skipping that parenting..”

Ms. Kilpatrick added to that, telling the famous Momma Grisly who took on David Letterman over a joke about Bristol and unnecessarily drew sexually-based attention to then-14 year old Willow:

 “Absolutely, it is not your job to prevent your daughter from feeling disappointment or pain. You don’t want to interject yourself into anything that happens in your daughter’s life. You don’t want her to think that you are going to jump in and save her from any bad thing that is going to happen in her life And too,  you don’t want her to think that she can’t handle it, that she can’t handle it on her own.

Encourage and teach boundaries and draw the line and let our kids know consequences of what happens when they either fail or succeed."

Wait just a flippin’ minute here. Sarah’s email show she thought it was funny when Piper suggested pulling someone’s hair. She was proud when Willow mouthed off to the security guard in the State Office Building. She ignores or encourages bad behavior. We have never seen her reprimand one of those spoiled brats. I dare any troll to site a single example. Where are the boundaries, where are the consequences?

Piper was such a pisser on that bus trip last summer it made news. And as for being a cool mom – Bristol made the point in her book that all their friends think her parents are cool.  This is a theme the Resident Troll repeats, too. Sarah is so cool. The kid’s friends just love her.

 Yeah, Bristol,  it’s cool that your mom let you stay over at Levi’s house all night. It’s cool that Levi got to live with teenaged you. It’s cool that your book opens with the scene of you going camping with guys and other girls and your mother hardly looks up from what she’s doing at the table. So cool.

At the end, Sarah tries to impress everyone with mid-twentieth century Dr. Spock-type knowledge that our grandmothers understood without pretending they read a study on it “… and kids inherently want those boundaries, and not only do they need them, but they want them.”

Dr. Taylor squeezes in this truism right at the end, “That comes from family time…”

I want to shout - Hey Sarah! Photo ops are NOT family time.  Neither is family time synonymous with filming reality television or campaigning.  Your girls reflect what they learned at home. Willow's shorts are too short. Bristol's face is not the one God gave her. Piper wears heels and carries a designer purse before hitting puberty. Your family reeks the results of your neglectful parenting.


Anonymous said...

Boy love your observation. You of course are right.

Anonymous said...

This post and your observations are brilliant, Allison!

Anonymous said...

That's not Meredith that is Anne Currie hosting the segment.

Martha again said...

Did you notice when Anne said we're out of time, that Sarah chipped in anyway with her comment, and that Anne kind of jumped and put her hand on Sarah's back as if to say, WHOA, girl, remember? It's OVER!

Allison said...

Ha! I never watch the Today Show! I'm always into my morning commute by then. Thanks for correcting me with the Meredith, Anne mix up. Going to change it now.

Anonymous said...

What 11:36 said... brilliant!

The platform shoes seem to be the only platform that I can see......

Can't wait until she tips over.


Otto Katz said...

Why is she wearing 6 inch heals, and slacks, on a morning show? She looks totally out of place. Dressed in black, in Spring. With stripper shoes on. Very strange.

nswfm said...

Thanks for your analysis. I didn't bother to watch her, but I did see Jon Stewart's take down of her and a friend sent me this:

Anonymous said...

Kudos. Agree with astute comments. Really terrific!

"Oh man! On the very day Bristol’s reality show was scheduled to debut on TLC and then got delayed because of that horrible woman putting out that awful book telling on Todd… Flippin’ unbelievable! This is a gotcha topic."

Anonymous said...

Hey! There were only 23,000 more viewers for Palin than the Monday before. As a ratings stunt, it was a disaster. They lost a lot of longtime viewers over this. Hope 23,000 more people were worth it, NBC. Your advertisers will NOT be pleased.

Anonymous said...

Wow Allison. There's so much hate and bias in this post I am worried for you. You read so much subjectiveness into each little mundane thing that you're creating the fictional Sarah Palin (for haters) all the more vividly.

You plainly ignore the facts. That 'trolls' as you call them are accurate in their descriptions. There are 'trolls' who have actually met the family, hung out with them, know their friends.

You try to paint the kids as lazy and spoiled when they are the exact opposite. It takes a lot of groundedness for the children of wealthy parents to work for a living at average jobs, and enjoy those jobs. Sure they made adolescent mistakes. Sure Bristol dated a boy whose mother didn't monitor them in his room. Sure Willow feel confident enough to defend herself and her family against people like yourself. It's not like they've never been punished. Bristol has her phone taken away even when she says she is innocent. Willow isn't allowed to go on a trip. In reality, you have no clue about these people to back up your assertions. I have the written evidence that trolls ARE correct.

And to exaggerate Bristol simply liposuction procedure by saying she completely changed her face is just weird. The only difference is there's no longer fat below her chin.

I feel sorry for you. If I felt the need to betray a good person's privacy, I'd prove to you right now just what these kid's future plans are, from their own words. t least they're outwardly happy, which is more than I can say for you after reading some of your posts.

Anonymous said...

Otto, she wore the suit on Hannity that she wore in she and Lauer's first interview. She referenced this on TODAY, making a fashion faux pas joke.

Of course the Today Show is scripted. She looked like she was thinking up a general answer the whole time. T me, she came off genuine and motherly. And it's true she's a cool mom, despite the strictness. Her kids' friends love her, they love her homemade baking and think she's funny. All of this is from THEIR mouths.

She may not have boosted ratings, but Today held onto the #1 spot.

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Anonymous said...

The only difference is there's no longer fat below her chin.

Anonymous said...

The TROLL PATROL is here. It was a ratings fail for NBC, a stunt that yielded nothing and tarnished their "morning brand." Wow, Palin has 23,000 fans in the USA. Big Whoop. Half of those tuned in to watch the train wreck, the "hit 'em in the neck" comments.

I saw Sarah Palin someone who was so unprofessional, she didn't even know when the camera was on her, looking around, detached and SCARED. Her word salad was chopped freshly each time she spoke. And what the heck did she even say? Can anyone translate? Her IQ of 83 really showed, but also, her learning disability.

Anonymous said...

The only difference is there's no longer fat below her chin.


Anonymous said...

Today was #1 for 15 years. The Sarah Palin ratings boost is an EPIC FAIL.
WTF is that plant article about Gino living in sin with Bristol for a Reality Show. Is that what Palins call abstinence? Gino is revealed in his FB writing as ignorant, racist and hates disabled. Some catch for a re-virgin-ed daughter from that "wonderful" Mafia family.

Allison said...

I had to clean up some troll droppings. The first one was greedy in length but I left it for thinkers to review. Trolls drop useful nuggets sometimes and maybe someone will find one in that offensive pile of dung. The ffinal comment in the series ended with "there's some truth from the horse's mouth". I deleted it anyway. It was not from that end of said animal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the very insightful analysis. It sent a shiver up my spine.

Anonymous said...

Allison, you must be onto something here lately, so keep drawing them in...

: )

Anonymous said...

Allison, keep up the great work. You know you must be doing something right when the trolls coming out yelling, LOL. I think Jon Stewart put exactly what she was doing in the right tone. She could of made it fun yet here she was biting the hand that feed her. Along the Bristol the pistole blog having things to say about lamestream media. Funny how both are part of that lamestream media now. They better watch out. There little clock is going to run out. People don't want to hear that nasty stuff on a morning show that is suppose to be upbeat.
I am sick and tired of the quitter Palin family thinking they are the only patriots in the country. I got news for that loser. In my family there is over 60 yrs of honorable military service and all retired and even war veterans. None of them HAD to enlist because they got in trouble with the law.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post, like so many you've presented recently. First time commenting, yet have indeed been appreciating your insightful, comprehensive, well written posts. Please keep up the good work.

WakeUpAmerica said...

Oh, you dear sweet troll. You're worried for Allison when it is you who should be worried about your tether breaking loose from reality. Bless your heart! Always thinking of others.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Allison! NBC punked Sarah Palin and she fell for it hook, line and sinker. Every subject was about her and her family! She never caught on. That outfit was so inappropriate. Is she not aware that people tuned to in watch her make a fool of herself and she was right on cue! Every segment was about her inability to act like a normal person. This whole thing was a slap in the face to FOX News that pays her to do her schtitk! John McCain even laughs at her now. She is poison to all politicians! How can that woman even show her face to the cameras after her husband is a proven Pimp? Does her sick brain not even put the dots together that she is done? She is a pathological liar that HAD a pretty face that all the men fell for. Unfortunately, she opened her mouth and her game was over. Some very sick people are lapping up her psychosis and being drained of their money. We should pity them, but we can understand their sickness just by watching Sarah and her inability to face reality. The trolls suffer from the same thing. I really do pity them. Her kids are such a mess. I don't have to know them personally to understand their sickness...have seen too many just like them and know what the outcome is. Our mental hospitals are full of these people. Our jails are full of these con artists too. Sarah is losing her looks very rapidly and her body shows signs of illness. It's not going to be a pretty outcome. If someone in that family doesn't get her help soon, they won't want to pick up the pieces. This is a tragedy on a national scale. This is a case study in real time.

Anonymous said...

6:21, agreed they sure did seem to be punking her. Wish they hadn't kept calling her "Governor" though!

Anonymous said...

Calling her "Governor" is part of the punking. She was a freshman governor who quit!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, they really sliced and diced her. Non- political topics included weight gain during pregnancy (ha, this was the funniest to me-- they all know about babygate), raising teenage daughters, reality TV and knowing your way around the kitchen.

SP was woefully inadequate at each turn. The other hosts and guests all clearly had her number and were having fun watching her squirm.

Good career move there Granny - this will help to pad your resume.

Anonymous said...

Very top notch analysis!! I totally understand why the Palin troll left such a nasty comment for you! You told the truth and the truth hurts, they did not like it and decided to retaliate. Aside from their pathetic attempt to personally insult you the troll claimed you "ignore the facts" like "Bristol dated a boy whose mother didn't monitor them in his room." A "fact" that is totally irrelevant considering the fact that Bristol told the world in her memoir that she lost her virginity in a tent while she was on a camping excursion! There is written evidence that Bristol was so determined to have sex she was willing to go out doors and do it in the freaking woods. I guess the Palin troll conveniently forgot this fact!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

The constant harp by Sarah supporters about "you have no clue about these people to back up your assertions."

Duh. With all of the Palin-penned books(LOL), the magazine spreads, SP's Alaska, DWTS and the rest of the news coverage, the Palin's have undoubtedly shared more about their personal behaviors and lives than any other family in America.

The "you don't know them" defense is absolutely preposterous.

When you hang your laundry for all to see, you cannot claim otherwise.

Anonymous said...

This is great, you are good. I know it is a lot, but I am so hoping to see more in depth on the Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Tori Spelling segments by someone with your skill.

Why was Dr. Snyderman so shallow? She should have refused to go on with her is she couldn't be a professional journalist, media expert as well as medical pro. If they don't want to touch babygate, what about the Wild Ride? Why won't one responsible pro do the right thing? How can they go on and cover up the kind of parent she actually is. Not saying I believe Sarah's Wild Ride, just saying if NBC, Dr. Snyderman are going with that, they need to deal with it and not keep boosting up her good parent meme.

Tori Spelling episode: "And that's when Spelling proved she has the mettle to jump in with the right question. Holding up one finger, she asked: "One more?"
Somewhat flustered, Palin said, "Ah ... no -- the grandkids will come next."


Anonymous said...

I agree that NBC was punking $arah. Notice how they had a few little humorous bits that she could take as being all in good fun - the segment where she had a pile of newspapers in her lap comes to mind - but the rest was a lot more subtle and just sailed right by her.

BTW, addressing her as Governor is just basic etiquette. Anyone who has held an office is addressed by the highest title they held, unless they are currently holding another position. Jon Huntsman is correctly addressed as Ambassador, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

She was a failed governor. She quit.
No excuse can blur the facts. Basic etiquette should have an appropriate address for failed elected officials.

People like her complain that children get a pass when they fail and that is not good. Not taking responsibility and not good for society to pass on those failures.

It must be the same for people like Palin. She did not set down due to medical or a legit reason. SHE QUIT and was not forthright about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Some people were outraged that Secretary of State Clinton is traveling in a Guppy. First Lady Bush and others do the same. It is standard for how we do with those on official business. First Lady Bush had an entire mobile home or trailer, completely self contained unit for trips, like to Afganistan. The Secretary of State is doing it budget class.

What is the failed former governor doing for the troops these days? I hear she is tight with the Alaskan National Guard, watching missiles and constantly on the phone with Track's superiors while he is on combat duty, at least that is where they claim he is. I would like to hear what she did with the NBC opportunity to support our troops. Why would she forget the troops? Crazy enough that she forgot the Grandkids.

Anonymous said...

I think it is great people want to compare how two different women handled parenting. Especially when both have children that are old enough to be the proof of the jobs each did.

Even in the mind of a half wit I don't see how they could think Palin came close to having the same job as a former First Lady and present Secretary of State.

Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha. The Palin Effect Strikes Again! Today Show has viewer loss after Palin's appearance.

Game of Life said...

But, but she has a million followers. HAHAHA

23k? 23k? she is trying to take credit away from Tori Spelling.