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Posted by on Apr 14, 2009 in At TMV | 97 comments

The Vileness Of Grandmother Palin




I’ve had a jolly good time in recent days sharing the White Trash Chronicles, the latest and the greatest from presidential wannabe Sarah Palin and her extended family of questionable characters. But this latest post isn’t funny at all, because the Killa From Wasilla has crossed the line from wingnuttery to vile.

01aaalegs_palin.jpgI had the misfortune to be involved in a pretty wrenching divorce many years ago that involved young and impressionable children, and have been privy to a number of others, as well. As much as the spouses may war — and the mother of my children and I did — there is one inviolable rule as far as I’m concerned: Whether a parent or grandparent, you never speak ill of a parent’s ability to love and care for their offspring if there is any chance they may hear or read that.

There are at least a couple of reasons for this: Those youngsters can be awfully impressionable, and it is up to the children of divorce to decide for themselves who their parents are and not have bilious views shoved down their throats.

But Grandmother Palin, as we know, is a rule breaker from way back. So it should come as no surprise that her latest salvo in the breakup of daughter Bristol and Levi Johnston is to very publicly state that Levi doesn’t give a rip about the well-being of baby Trip.

Chances are that Trip is going to be one screwed-up kid anyhow considering that he will be growing up in the dark shadow of a Grandmommy Dearest. But I cannot imagine the damage it will do when he is old enough to read about — if he is not already hearing about — the awful things being said around the house concerning his father.

In any event, we know that Grandmother Palin loves her family very much because she constantly uses them, including special-needs son Trig, as stage props to further her own political agenda.

And we are well aware of her by-now-familiar shtick asserting how important it is to take responsibility for one’s actions and castigate those who by her right-wing calculus aren’t American enough, or whatever.

But for her to additionally claim that Bristol, who as a post-adolescent appears to have had an “active” social life, has been the responsible one in her fling with Levi is downright demented.

Meanwhile, the Woman of a Thousand Lies, beginning with the canard that she consulted with her family before accepting McCain’s invitation to destroy his campaign, has added yet another one:

Having claimed that she skipped a major GOP fundraiser so she could be in Alaska for the closing days of the legislative session, she has decided to spend much of the closing days of the legislative session in Indiana shilling for pro-lifers.

At least she is covering herself in glory with her pick to be Alaska attorney general: A gay loathing misogynist who blames the rise in domestic violence on equal rights laws.

And yes. Lest there be any doubt, John McCain hates Grandmother Palin.


Shaun Mullen is a former The Moderate Voice columnist. Over a long career with newspapers, this award-winning editor and reporter covered the Vietnam War, O.J. Simpson trials, Clinton impeachment circus and coming of Osama bin Laden, among many other big stories. He blogs at Kiko’s House.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • $199537

    Bristol, who as a post-adolescent appears to have never met a penis that she didn’t want to impale herself on

    You’re one sick dude.

  • Shaun, this is so over the top, it turns my stomach. Especially the truly nasty barb at Bristol.

    Incredibly revolting.

  • AustinRoth

    Yet another hate-filled screed that just reading the title let me know the author, before I even scrolled down. I fail to see why TMV continues to give you a forum for your bile, which really belongs at DU or Balloon Juice.

    You need psychiatric help Shaun, seriously.

  • CStanley

    Whatever ‘vileness’ Palin might be guilty of here is at least explained by her emotional concerns for her daughter (even if misplaced emotion is preventing her from seeing the forest for the trees in how this could hurt her grandchild.)

    But vileness motivated by political vendetta and/or titillation is just inexcusable.

  • shaun


    Get over it.

    Bristol was entitled to a modicum of privacy as a teenager, albeit a confused one who from all reports has been sexually active for several years. But her mother has insisted on using her as a stage prop for abstinence and her entire family as a cudgel to advance her own political agenda and lust to become president.

    I suppose we could pretend that none of this yucky behavior was happening and confine ourselves to talking about Palin’s politics. But I don’t live in that world and neither should anyone else — especially a mother like yourself — who takes seriously whether an individual has the character to be taken seriously, let alone a leader.

    • I see you changed the wording about Bristol. Good. Would that you’d left it out before hitting the publish button. It was ill-done, Shaun, and clearly you figured that out.

      Frankly, it’s not clear to me why anybody’s talking about Sarah Palin in the first place — much less the bad soap opera-worthy antics of her family. She lost. She negatively affected McCain’s run. She’s back in Alaska having numerous provincial problems (many of her own making).

      She’s irrelevant, Shaun; an asterisk; a political punch-line — and writing about her with this level of heat and bile seems obsessive. It isn’t me who needs to work on getting “over it”.

      FWIW — I never, ever disliked Sarah Palin personally, and I’m no more interested in her daughter’s sexual activity than I am in yours. To think that Bristol’s life has the slightest impact on my own daughter is laughable when she (and every last one of her friends) is inundated daily with much worse.

      • CStanley

        Isn’t it obvious, Polimom, that the continued hate spew toward Palin indicates that many on the left still see her as a future threat, and want to take the opportunity to kick her while she’s down to prevent any potential success for her in ’12 or

        It’s so transparent that the people who are engaging in it ought to be embarrassed, although they appear to have no shame so I suppose that’s a wistful thought.

  • mlhradio

    Shaun, I love ya baby, and I also dislike Palin with a strong passion as well. But I must agree with others – this post was over the top, and is out of line for The Moderate Voice – I expect to see stuff like this on more lightweight blogs like Huffington Post or DailyKos.

    Seems to me that you have never met a Sarah Palin mistake that you didn’t want to impale yourself on. This monomania isn’t very healthy. I haven’t seen such one-sidedness on this blog since Hate-Filled Holly launched her one-woman relentless defense of Israel and its apartheid policies.

    If you feel the need to attack Palin (and o boy does she deserve it), then please dial back the slime and personal attacks, and stick to reasoned arguments.

    You hate Sarah Palin. Yeah, we *get* that – there’s no need to keep proving yourself on that point. Instead, remember your audience, and remember that you are posting a message to try and convince *others* that your position is the right one. Go back and re-read what you wrote – now, how is *that* going to sway readers to your opinion?

  • shaun


    How quickly we defer to “hate.” I don’t hate Grandmother Palin. She is someone to be pitied.

    • AustinRoth

      Bravely bold Sir Mullen rode forth from Camelot.
      He was not afraid to speak, O brave Sir Mullen!
      He was not at all afraid to be critsized in nasty ways,
      Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Mullen!

      Oh, wait. Not so brave after all. Like brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin, upon being called out for his vile attack on Bristol, he pissed his pants, changed his words, and:

      Brave Sir Mullen ran away.
      Bravely ran away, away!
      When criticism reared its ugly head,
      He bravely turned his tail and fled.

      Yes, brave Sir Mullen turned about
      And gallantly he chickened out.
      Bravely taking to his feet
      He beat a very brave retreat,
      Bravest of the brave, Sir Mullen!

  • EEllis

    Get Help. Really, it’s just not healthy.

  • jwest

    I wish people would try to show a little compassion towards Shaun. Articles like this are not something he can control or fail to write, it’s a compulsion.

    Understanding what Shaun must have gone through from being abused as a child to the crushing humiliation heaped upon him by his ex-wife for his inability to perform sexually, his life was one pathetic tragedy after another. Of course he is going to resort to projection to ease the pain of being the pitiable Shaun Mullen.

    If you need a villain, look to Joe Gandelman.

    To place a sad spectacle such as Mullen in a public forum for the sole purpose of acquiring a few more “hits” on a website is tantamount to poking a retarded hobo with a stick just to torment him. Cruel and tasteless. Gandelman owes society an apology.

  • Guest

    THANK YOU! My son has been completely shut out of his young daughters’ lives by their mother and her family…”because they can.” Palin “family values” include treating fathers, aunts and grandmothers as disposable at whim. I’ve seen first hand the lifelong heartbreak this causes in families, both to fathers, paternal grandmothers and children.

    If Palin had problems with Levi she should have spoken to him privately like a normal person would. Instead, Palin, a Governor publicly attacks a teenager, who’s also the father of her own grandchild, in a press release – to People Magazine – issued by a paid state PR staffer on official state letterhead. Vile doesn’t begin to describe it. She’s a malignant narcissist.

  • Braindead

    Fascism is alive and well in America.

    We must destroy the political opposition.

    Good Job Shaun. Im sure you added another dozen or so converts to the Fascist left that wants a single party state with full control of everything Including GM and the Banks.

  • kathyedits

    Joe Gandelman is not a villain or the villain. Joe is not responsible for every ill-considered impulse made by a TMV writer, and to be clear, this is the first time I have seen a remark as inappropriate as the one Shaun apparently made. I say “apparently” because I did not actually see it; I am going by what I’ve read here in the comments, that Shaun referred to Bristol Palin in a very crude way, and then re-worded when outraged comments were posted.

    All Joe can do is, like any of the rest of us, deal with the ugliness after the fact. He’s not psychic. He can’t know something is going to happen before it happens.

    Not to go on and on, but I have enormous respect for Joe as a professional and as a person. He does not deserve to be referred to as a “villain” for a TMV writer’s lapse in judgment.

  • shaun


    The only change of consequence was to remove the word for a body part with the phrase “active social life,” which conveys the situation just as well.

    I later removed the adjective “despicably” from the headline and lede paragraph because “vile” conveys the matter just as well.

    Meanwhile, you are absolutely correct about Joe, and he has had enormously thick skin for putting up with the trolls who regularly berate he and certain posters in an effort to shame — which is to say silence — them because their views do not hew to a certain orthodoxy.

    Once again with feeling: Bristol Palin was entitled to a modicum of privacy as a teenager. The Carters, Clintons and Bushes felt strongly about that when their daughters could have been in the spotlight. But Bristol’s mother has insisted on using her as a stage prop for abstinence and her entire family as a cudgel to advance her own political agenda and lust to become president.

  • Shaun, maybe you do need to revisit a post after a cooling off period before publishing, but I’m not going to blast the messenger here. You have been through a difficult divorce with children. In my case, my ex and I talked about it and read about how to keep from damaging children of ‘broken’ families, and we were extremely careful not to trash the other parent, especially to the kids. We would never have publicly said anything to denigrate our co-parent. I would have had extremely strong words with my mom, or hers, had they done anything like Sarah Palin has. So I have considerable sympathy for what you’re saying, because we were caring responsible parents throughout the separation, and our parents, ordinary nonfamous people were similarly decent about it.

    I also share your outrage that someone who aspires to be a national figure, even to lead our nation, lacks the common decency to do as millions of parents and ex-spouses and their families do.

    For all of you raging against Shaun, tell me why anyone in America should not hold Sarah Palin’s behavior in complete contempt. Forevermore any tripe she dishes out about “family values” is tainted with the strongest stain of hypocrisy.

    And I agree with the headline. What a VILE grandmother!

    • CStanley

      Why? Because it’s just as harmful to all the kids involved (the big, semi-grown up ones as well as the tiny newborn ones) to perpetuate these stories in the media and blogosphere.

      If Palin is wrong to speak publicly about these matters, then we’re just as wrong to keep it on the front pages.

      From what we know, I do think she’s wrong, and that Levi Palin was wrong to seek publicity to get his side of the story out, and that she is older and should be held more responsible for that.

      But I also hold the quaint view that says that none of us really know the details of who’s right and wrong.

      And finally- anyone who is so disgusted at the use of children as political props should hold themselves to the same standard and refrain from doing so, even if ‘she did it first!’ That too, should be an inviolable principle.

      • OK, CS, so are you saying you disagree that her actions are hypocritical in the light of her sermonizing about “family values?” Or that she is not making herself a deplorable spectacle rather than an inspiring aspiring leader?

        Of course you are saying we should shut up about it, but we didn’t make it a public soap opera, and like it or not, America LOVES this slime and gobbles it right up. Sarah Palin served it right up, rather than being an adult and saying, as she should have, ‘my grandson’s TWO parents have differences that are private and I wish both of them and my grandson the best.’

        That’s what MY mom would have said, and she’s not holding herself up as a paragon of family values.

        • CStanley

          I’m saying it would be hypocritical of me to continue driving these stories since I believe that the kids’ best interests should be the guiding principle.

          Why is it so imperative for you to speak out against Palin’s hypocrisy? Is the speaking out about that any different in the effect it has on the children involved than her speaking out was? Particularly since she’s not even running for anything at the moment, and could be ignored without any ill consequences befalling anyone involved (except perhaps Democrats who’d suffer the ill consequences of her potential comeback in future elections if they don’t finish her off now

          like it or not, America LOVES this slime and gobbles it right up.

          Since Shaun Mullen gleefully admits that he’s been having a rousing good time covering all of this, I suggest you take up that complaint with him. But be careful, lest you become one of us trolls who hew to the orthodoxy of common decency.

          • No, I disagree that we should just let it pass when national figures engage in hypocritical acts, then expect us to “let bygones be bygones” when they want us to respect them. We suffer far more as a culture from a complacent media. It is the job of commenters to comment. Palin herself has made this a part of “the news”. It is not being thrust upon her.

          • CStanley

            Ah, and this applies equally to Democrat hypocrites, yes?

            Chris Dodd getting a sweetheart mortgage deal, Barney Frank’s lover heading up the GSE that he’s in charge of regulating…

            Hypocrisy isn’t just about family values, is it? Those examples on the D side are far more closely related to actual governance, yet I don’t recall a single story about those scandalous behaviors here.

            Aren’t Democratic commenters also hypocritical if they only tend to social conservative hypocrisy and ignore their own backyard?

          • I think you’re really reaching, now CS. OK, Dodd was in the VIP loan Department, probably just as any legislator and most high-value customers are. They get special deals, but so far, there’s no smoking gun that he changed his views on any legislation based on getting a better discount than mortal borrowers like us. If there’s more here than a VIP getting VIP treatment, it will likely come out in the DOJ probe on the subject. That is, THIS administration is investigating what appears to be ALLEGED wrongdoing, while the last one callously failed to seriously investigate crimes–including war crimes–that were allegedly committed. So, strike one on your Dodd hypocrisy charge, at least for now.

            As for Rep Frank’s former lover (it ended over 10 years ago), I’ve seen no evidence or even allegation that Frank got him the job at Fannie Mae, nor that Frank’s support of that company was unlawful or unduly influenced by the relationship. There’s a big difference between getting your spouse a job and falling for someone already in that position. In any case, that TOO is under investigation, and again, unlike the DOJ activities during the last administration.

            Oh, and BUSH and the GOP were big supporters of the very same programs that you now consider to be some form of nepotism. Bush lauded Fannie and Freddie’s actions to overcome “a home ownership gap.” He went on to say “a low income home buyer can have just as nice a house as anybody else.” How’s that for raising expectations? The GOP had the votes to change this at any time. Instead, Bush publicly presented it as his own idea.

            So no sale on either point. The GOP ignored GOP wrongdoing repeatedly. The Obama administration is not. Hypocrisy charge fails on both your examples. Plus, they’re obscure and complicated issues, and don’t get or deserve the attention Palin does for public flamethrowing. Remember, SHE started it. If she hadn’t, it would not be a story.

          • CStanley

            GD, well, thanks for trying to serve up some rationalizations, anyway. I have no desire to defend wrongdoing which wasn’t investigated during the Bush administration or GOP Congress, but WRT Frank, anyone with that degree of conflict of interest should recuse themselves from an oversight role, period. And regarding investigations, again trying to hold you to avoidance of double standard, does this mean that when Republicans are under investigation there will be no commentary here, just wait for justice to be done, I guess?

          • StockBoySF

            GreenDreams: re your rebuttal to CStanley.. good points and thanks for the YouTube link!

  • I strongly dislike Palin, her whole worldview, and in many ways, I agree with the pith of what the poster is getting at: trotting out your family as props for political gain is not only hurtful to the family, it also does her no political favors. Ok, I agree.


    One of the things I so strongly dislike about Palin in particular and socially conservative “values” in general is the whole mysogynistic slut-shaming that is the pro-life/abstinence-only/women-are-baby-makers/sex-is-dirty/madonna-whore dichotomy that Palin seemed to embody. How is what you did, Shaun, any better on that count? I didn’t get here when the original wording was there, but that was some grade-A slut shaming there, right out of the Palin/O’Reilly/Dobson playbook. Is that really where you want to go here?

  • HemmD

    Could we possibly add a little more bile to this discussion?

    Let’s see, we have villains, fascists, pants wetters, and malignant narcissism. And that’s just the highlights.

    In the next post, can someone attack a Democratic civilian in the political wars so we can reverse roles? Say Michelle Obama, the black radical? That way, the left can be outraged and the right can defend.

    It really matters whose cow gets gored doesn’t it? In the mean time, can someone direct me to a post that deals with issues?

    • Guest

      Personally, I think the prospect of a malignant narcissist holding national office is an “issue”. The bile Palin is reaping is what she herself has sown.

      • CStanley

        And the bile that her children reap?

        Besides that, I’m not sure we’ve ever had a person holding national office who didn’t have features of malignant narcissm, and the last I recall the liberals are the ones who generally argue that character issues aren’t relevant, and only policy should factor into political debate.

      • HemmD

        Come on Ic,

        Isn’t the polemic a little thick for you? Does this article actually contribute to the political debate? Would we gain as much if we had an article entitled “Barack the Magic Negro?” Would either of these help articulate your political position?

  • jwest


    I must respectfully disagree with your view that Joe Gandelman is blameless.

    This article isn’t an isolated rant by a normally sane individual, but a continuation of a lifelong series of bile filled left wing fantasies. Mullen’s unhinged ravings are not unique by any means. What is special is Joe Gandelman pushing him on to a larger stage in order to gain the benefits of the controversy that Mullen’s warped writings bring.

    At a website other than the Moderate Voice, one designed and promoted as a haven for like-minded haters, Shaun’s vileness would blend in unnoticed among the intellectually challenged. What gives his sick ramblings shock value is the venue he is allowed to publish at.

    Mullen’s writings have no informational value, lack any logic or reason and demonstrably don’t move understanding by any side of any argument. The only reason for allowing “guest voice” status to this individual is a lust for higher website traffic.

    Perhaps Joe would consider posting pictures of unfortunate poor people being enticed to fight each other as a replacement for Shaun Mullen articles. It would bring in about the same traffic but would definitely be less offensive.

  • Braindead

    Palin should be executed.

    She dares to stand up in the face of the Facist left and spout views that are detrimental to America. How dare she…..?!!

    I disagree.. I think Shaun should continue to post here and he needs to post more of what is wrong with the Right. We all know the right is a bunch of worthless scum that should all be rounded up and shot for daring to stand in any kind of oppostion to the Fascism that is driving the left these days.

    Go Shaun…..keep those posts coming. I love em. More…..We want more……Death to Conservatives. The right Must die….stuff like that.

  • kathyedits

    I agree completely and wholeheartedly with what GreenDreams wrote. As I said before, I did not see the words Shaun used initially to describe Bristol Palin, but I can say unequivocally that is the *only* objection I would have had, or had, to Shaun’s post — because it was crude, yes, but also because I feel that Bristol’s interests and well-being are being just as badly served by Sarah Palin’s exploitation of her family for political gain as Levi’s are.

    I don’t feel that Bristol has done anything wrong or behaved in any way inappropriately in the public part of this mess (as opposed to whatever part remains private, which obviously I can’t know about). I don’t think Levi has, either, given the context he’s acted within.

    So that’s my only possible disagreement with Shaun. The only person who deserves to be put down (albeit using appropriate language) in this mess is Sarah Palin. Her behavior has been vile throughout.

  • MissouriGirl

    In my opinion, the author has a huge problem – one bigger than the Palin family. I have no desire to read such trash and I think it is inexcusable. None of us know what is REALLY happening and it is wrong for any of us to point fingers and place blame. IF I were to cast blame it would be toward Levi for going on TV and spilling his guts about his and Bristol’s sex life. WHY??? What is in it for him? A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell. He was probably coerced into doing it. It should tell you all something, though, that even through all of this he has publicly stated that he will still vote for Sarah Palin. So will I! No need to trash me as I never revisit a site to read comments – I read the article and some of the posts, and rarely ever post but when I do, I don’t come back – so save your time and breath as well as your typing fingers. If you try to blast me out of the saddle, I won’t see it.

  • whitetrashlib

    Mr. Mullen,

    You aren’t doing the progressive movement any favors by publishing this sort of thing. Name calling is childish so let children do it. If you want to write a cogent, well thought arguement, I would be happy to read it, but this is the kind of stuff that Michelle Malkin publishes, only it comes from the left.

    I feel the need to remind you that the name of this site is The Moderate Voice.

    • HemmD

      Well said.

      Lots of luck getting heard through the rock fight.

  • kathyedits


    Well, then, we must agree to disagree. I have been reading Shaun’s posts, both here and at Kiko’s House, for a long time now and have found them to be nothing but lively, well-argued, well-written, and appropriately impassioned. I have *never* read any post of Shaun’s that personally insulted anyone or used crude, sexually explicit or misogynistic language. He made a mistake here (imo) with ONE turn of phrase in an otherwise unobjectionable post. He should have waited until he had cooled off and then re-read and re-phrased before he published. The fact that he changed the wording of the phrase at issue shows that he realizes this, even if he did not explicitly acknowledge it.

    I really don’t think he deserves to be hung or burned at the stake for that (so to speak — exaggeration to make a point).

    And even *more* strongly do I dispute the notion that Joe is in any way to blame or responsible for any of this. I won’t argue the point ad infinitum (I’m sure Joe can defend himself quite well), but I will say, as my final comment on this subject, that blaming Joe for Shaun’s post is deeply unfair, unjustified, and inappropriate, and I condemn it in the strongest terms I can (appropriately) use.

    • CStanley

      So, phrases like White trash are appropriately impassioned political debate terms? Wow.

      Just wow- I’m speechless beyond that.

    • CStanley

      OK, I found my voice again.

      Maybe, just maybe, we ought to consider that passion and moderation don’t mix very well?

      And maybe we could even go so far as to say that if we make allowances for people spewing vile commentary when their passions flare, that we also could find a tiny bit of similar forgiveness for a mother whose passions lead her to misstep when handling an emotionally laden situation within her family, even if it was first her choice to handle these things under the public spotlight.

      And that it’s no more morally correct to judge someone for the sin of hypocrisy than it is to judge them for any other sin, lest we forget to take the planks out of our own eyes.

      That’s my final word on it.

  • Lit3Bolt

    Braindead please stop. Moderate doesn’t equal “Waaaaaah libs r mean!”

    Shaun, your glee at tossing rhetorical bombs is a wee bit too obvious. This article did not inform or sway making it more about you than Palin.

  • lynnrockets

    (Sung to the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine”)

    In the state where she was born,
    The A.I.P. wants to secede,
    Todd, “the First Dude’s” bossy wife,
    Yes, her name is Sarah P.

    Once the mayor of Wasilla,
    And a one-time beauty queen,
    Now she shills for “Arctic Cat”
    Cheering for Todd’s snow-machine.

    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.
    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.

    And her friends just love their boss,
    Meg Stapleton and old Wayne Ross,
    Now their band begins to play…

    (Trumpets play)

    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.
    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.

    (Full speed ahead, Ms. Palin, full speed!
    Russia’s over here, Mam!
    Putin! Putin!
    Aye, aye, Mam, fire!
    Guv’nor! Guv’nor!)

    Now she lives a life of ease,
    But can’t recite her A-B-C’s, (her A-B-C’s)
    “Hockey Mom” (hockey mom), with “lipstick on”, (lipstick on)
    Savior of (savior of) the G.O.P. (G.O.P.) (Hahaha!)

    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.
    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.


    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.
    Alaska must get rid of Sarah P.,
    Rid of Sarah P., Rid of Sarah P.

  • Lit3Bolt

    Also, I love it when hypocrisy is on display, as braindead and austinroth and others say this screed by shaun is so vile that they have no choice but to use his tactics against him.

    Somehow I doubt their articles would be polite and respectful.

    • AustinRoth

      Lit –

      Um, how did I use his tactics against Shaun? Did I say ‘Shaun, who as a post-adolescent appears to have never met a penis that he didn’t want to impale himself on ‘? (Shaun’s initial words (masculinized) about Bristol)

      Did I use any profanity? No. And I only did now quoting Shaun.

      I did say it was “hate-filled screed” and ‘bile’, because, well, it is.

      And I used humor (a Monty Python routine) to mock him. Ooh. Rough stuff indeed.

      The worst I said was he need psychiatric help, which I think he does.

      Methinks the lady (that is you lit) doth protest too much.

      • Lit3Bolt

        Right. And all I’m saying is you’re a piss poor moral arbiter, because, well, you are.

        • AustinRoth

          Glad to see you think “Bristol, who as a post-adolescent..” is a solid moral argument. Good for you.

          Have any daughters?

          • Lit3Bolt

            They must’ve been having a sale on self-righteousness at Costco.

          • AustinRoth

            You are a real work of art. If anyone OTHER than a flaming Liberal had made such a comment, you would not defend it.

            It is misogyny on his part, plain and simple, and signs of a deranged thought process towards Bristol. It is not self-righteousness to call out hatefulness.

            But whatever. You seem to feel that he can do no wrong, or that no one has the right to criticize that wonderfully thoughtful character assassination of a young woman, and have no real defense of his comments to make, so you resort to calling me names.

          • Lit3Bolt

            The thing is, you still haven’t stopped. It’s been YOU making personal attack after personal attack against Shaun, like that will solve the problem. Instead Shaun has dug in his heels, imagine that!

            Many, many people posted and called Shaun out for his tasteless attack without implying he’s mentally unstable, cowardly, a piece of shit, etc.

            Now how did they manage that? Such a thing is impossible!

            And if I call you names, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

          • AustinRoth

            I didn’t say I couldn’t take it. I said you had no real argument to defend Shaun’s comments with, so resorted to calling me names.

            You are his personal defender now? He cannot answer for himself? Well, apparently not. But why is that YOUR problem?

          • StockBoySF

            AR, “Glad to see you think “Bristol, who as a post-adolescent..” is a solid moral argument. Good for you. Have any daughters?”

            I enjoyed your comment. Touche.

  • StockBoySF

    I agree with CStanley that the left continues to see Palin as a threat and wants to continue to kick her. Though I will point out that Palin is a governor of a state and is fair game for others to criticize. She also has national political aspirations. Given that Palin is taking actions in both her personal and professional life which can be criticized I think it is to be expected that people will write about her.

    Whether a particular piece about her is fair or not depends on the author or blogger. But it is unreasonable to assume that Palin is a has-been and non-issue.

    I wouldn’t write a piece on Palin with the same tone as Shaun. Whether I agree with Shaun or not is beside the point. But Shaun thinks (at least this is how I interpret it) that Palin is using her family, state and status as governor to advance her career: in other words it’s Palin first and all others second. If it’s a choice between Alaska’s needs (such as staying in town to resolve the end of the legislature issues) or her own political future she’ll go off to campaign (and make I do think her Indiana appearance is a campaign for herself).

    I remember reading something last Sept. (I think) that basically said that Palin would walk over her own family to get what she wanted (didn’t she have a feud with her mother over something?) This came from Alaskans who had worked with her or knew her. It was downplayed as coming from people who probably had grudges…. and I don’t know whether it’s true or not. But given what we are seeing now with Palin I suspect it was true for the most part. However the only actions I can evaluate Palin on are those actions and stories which come to light now and in which two sides can present their case.

    While I don’t think Palin is using her children and family as props like Shaun and many others feel, I also feel that she is not protecting her children. I mean how can she claim that she has the best interests of her family at heart when she continually shoves them in the spotlight puts them through this kind of stuff? Granted part of the problem is her detractors, but Palin, instead of taking Obama’s lead by saying her family is off limits (Obama told the press that Palin’s family should be off limits back in Sept), Palin keeps the issue alive and holds her family up as an example of how “good” and “right” they are. Even if it means belitting others’ families (including the father of her own grandchild) who was almost her son-in-law.

    I wrote a comment last week which ended something like, “Palin is messy.”

    Even if you support her positions the way she comports herself publically with regards to both her profesisonal and personal life is just plain messy.

    I may not agree with Shaun’s tone or everything he says, but I understand his anger at Palin’s hypocrisy, using others, messiness, etc. It was Palin (in case anyone has forgotten) who made the “real Americans” comment, which basically divides the country into two camps…. Not rhetoric you want from a person who aspires to national office.

    • jchem

      StockBoy, you said it much better than I could but you beat me to it.

    • $199537

      As I’ve posted before, I think Sarah Palin is an unqualified twit. The main reason she was VP candidate was because the GOP wanted her demographics, something I think was an amazingly callous and desperate decision by the GOP.

      The left can trash Palin all they want. Where I differ with the left is their eagerness to trash Palin’s family, something that started almost immediately after her nomination. When someone says:

      Bristol, who as a post-adolescent appears to have never met a penis that she didn’t want to impale herself on

      this has nothing to do with Sarah Palin’s inadequacy as a politician, it’s just taking a slap at someone associated with her. I’ve read Shaun’s columns and agreed with him on occasion, but this really surprised me.

      And I agree some of this falls on Joe Gandelman, who has let the Palin family bashing go on unchecked. There used to be sort of a gentleman’s agreement to leave families out of these sorts of discussions and this site has decided not to follow it. OK maybe I’m old school but this does nothing to find the common ground this site supposedly welcomes.

      • CStanley

        In terms of enabling, I’d propose that the “it’s the hypocrisy” excuse for indecent and personal attacks should not be permitted. Somehow a lot of rational, moderate left leaning folks have contorted logic to determine that personal attacks are permissible on socially conservative politicians and their families by virtue of the fact that anyone who actually states support for traditional values can’t have an imperfect record of living up to those values (as interpreted by the critic, of course.)

        Gee, how convenient that this gives the left an opportunity to engage in the lowest forms of mudslinging while patting themselves on the back for saving the country from having any of these scoundrels get elected.

    • The overall tone was extremely hostile, it’s true. But what set me off, personally, was the appalling attack on Bristol.

      There’s no excuse whatsoever for attacking that girl. None. Zero.

    • CStanley

      She is ‘messy’ and was completely unprepared for national politics, yet she still enjoys high approval ratings (despite a lot of negative press from ADN, whose editorial board members are obviously not her boosters.)

      It may well be that AK politics are just too different to translate to the national scene because it’s such a rural, sparsely populated, parochial state. What we see as inappropriate in terms of having one’s family in the spotlight is probably par for the course in a small town type of state, where everyone knows everyone else and knows their business anyway so you pretty much put it all out there and move on.

  • jchem

    I normally enjoy the boards when Shaun posts, but I have to say that this has to be about as bad as reading something posted by Michael Reagan. I’m not going to throw out personal insults here, but seriously, Shaun, this is pretty low. And I have to ask what the point of posting Palin’s “leg photo” is? Perhaps there is a larger issue you are trying to get at here, but if you were just looking to vent out some of your own personal hatred for Palin, surely you could find a better way of doing it?

  • lynnrockets

    As we witnessed on Leno last night, even John McCain has now officially abandoned her. What does that say about one’s political future, when her number 1 supporter has now deserted?

  • AustinRoth

    The anger here is not Shaun’s words about Palin, as crass as they were, but his unneeded, unnecessary, crude and vile attack on Bristol, for no other reason than he is sick.

    I have certainly seen no apology from him for those words, only a coward’s way out by changing the post without comment, hence my mocking ‘Brave Sir Mullen’ parody.

    Please Shaun, tell us how you, who continually criticize the Right and the Republicans for wallowing in the mire of personal character assassination, can claim you did not just engage in that activity yourself?

    But, you being the sniveling, pathetic slime-ball that you have shown yourself to be with this post, I don’t think you can bring yourself to apologize, or see how you have become what you profess to loathe.

  • shaun


    I know that you desperately want to believe I am attacking Bristol Palin because then your animus can get more traction.

    I am not attacking her, but now hear this:

    Grandmother Palin has REPEATEDLY held Bristol up as a model of abstinence even while she and Levi were screwing across the hall from her own bedroom. Palin has REPEATEDLY used her as a pinata to wave in peoples’ faces.

    Bristol is just another teenager trying to sort out her life, and that includes her sexuality.

    She did not asked to get invited to this dance; Grandmommy Dearest dragged her there and as recently as 36 hours ago was again yammering to the national media about Bristol being the Virgin Mary and the father of her child being the Demon Spawn.

    Shooting the messenger doesn’t work. Please recalibrate your sights.

    • AustinRoth

      How does her having sex with the father of her child in Palin’s house lead to, “Bristol, who as a post-adolescent appears to have never met a penis that she didn’t want to impale herself on”?

      You are a self-denying, self-loathing, lying piece of shit for trying to change the narrative of what you said to pretend you didn’t say what you did, because you know there was no excuse for that attack.

      • Lit3Bolt

        Austinroth, take a cold shower. Shaun knows what he did. He changed it. It’s as good as an admission of guilt. I’m STILL laughing at you though because your whole “YOU HAVE BECOME THAT WHICH YOU HATE YOU LIBERAL SHIT” can be just turned around as easily on you.

        Now, you could say you’re merely protecting that poor pitiful child that Shaun called a slut and there’s a difference. But Bristol Palin is a public figure, and her sex life became a public issue during the campaign. It was in the news lately, and for some god-forsaken reason Shaun brought it up so we’re still discussing it. But the vibe I’m getting from some people on this thread is that it’s not enough to call Shaun out for saying stupid tasteless shit, we need to get him kicked off TMV too and imply all sorts of conspiracies and direct character attacks against both Joe and Shaun. You’re letting YOUR personal distaste get the better of you and I’m calling out your bullshit. So get mad all you want, but once you made it a character issue, who the hell are you to judge?

        I have now officially won the internets!

        • AustinRoth

          I never said to kick him off. I did say and/or imply that crap like his Bristol comment does not belong here. And it does not.

          • Lit3Bolt

            “I fail to see why TMV continues to give you a forum for your bile, which really belongs at DU or Balloon Juice.

            You need psychiatric help Shaun, seriously.”

            Res ipsa loquitur.

          • AustinRoth

            Sorry, I should have been more specific.

            “I fail to see why TMV continues to give you a forum for your bile like this post, which really belongs at DU or Balloon Juice.”

            Not all of his posts are so repugnant.

            And he DOES need psychiatric help, IMHO.

          • Lit3Bolt

            Good thing mental illness carries no stigma, eh? I agree, in no way could that be mean or degrading. Thank you, AR for your selfless act to help Shaun.

    • CStanley

      I must have missed the part where it then becomes appropriate to imply slutty behavior on the part of that teenager who is just trying to sort out her life and sexuality.

    • “She did not asked to get invited to this dance”

      Indeed. But I already knew that. That would, in fact, be the entire reason for the amount of blowback you’ve had on this piece.

      By all means, pound on Palin for exposing her children. I myself cannot relate to a mother who would do this, and I feel very sad for both Bristol *and* Levi. But don’t ask me to excuse vicious attacks on a girl who neither asked for it, nor deserves it.

      • CStanley

        I can’t see how we’re all qualified to pass such judgment as to say that Sarah Palin herself should be ‘pounded’ but that’s me I guess. Casting the first stone and all of that…

        I really can’t see why any of it qualifies as political discourse either. At most, a brief comment that one might not ever consider voting for someone who isn’t more private about her family matters, and leave it at that. The vitriole is astounding, IMO- as though she was a child molestor or something, instead of a parent who is using questionable judgment. And the silence in response to my question about why we don’t similarly care so much about hypocrisy when it involves, for instance, politicians who claim to ask for public trust in regulating business, but then are quite obviously using their position for personal gain or engaging in serious conflict of interest personal relationships, is very telling.

        Why THIS politician, why THIS moral failing, but not those violations of public trust?

        Seriously, I’d love to hear someone attempt to explain an intellectually honest reason if you believe that this type of moral lapse is singularly treated as a justification of personal attacks, when moral lapses involving the fiduciary responsibilties of certain elected officials don’t open them up to any criticism at all, let alone being put under a microscope?

  • kathyedits

    What StockBoySF said.

    DaGoat wrote:
    Where I differ with the left is their eagerness to trash Palin’s family, something that started almost immediately after her nomination.

    Sarah Palin is trashing her own family — in public. Is the public supposed to ignore that?

    CStanley wrote:
    If Palin is wrong to speak publicly about these matters, then we’re just as wrong to keep it on the front pages.

    Palin is not just speaking publicly about her private family business, she is giving interviews to newspapers and national magazines about it. Indeed, she is authorizing her official spokespeople to give public statements about her private family business to national publications.

    You don’t call People magazine and tell them, for publication, that the boy your daughter was going to marry and the father of her child, was a “mistake” and that your daughter now realizes her former boyfriend and the father of her child was a “mistake” and that he doesn’t care about his son, etc., without knowing that everyone is going to be talking about it the next day. What is People magazine for, Christine?

    … the last I recall the liberals are the ones who generally argue that character issues aren’t relevant, and only policy should factor into political debate.

    She fails on that ground, too.

    So, phrases like White trash are appropriately impassioned political debate terms?

    Okay, you’ve lost me here.

    Whatever ‘vileness’ Palin might be guilty of here is at least explained by her emotional concerns for her daughter (even if misplaced emotion is preventing her from seeing the forest for the trees in how this could hurt her grandchild.)

    It hurts Bristol, too, not just the child. It hurts Bristol *because* it hurts the child. And it hurts Bristol because she just broke up with a young man she was seriously in love with (presumably), and it takes a long time to get over the breakup of a serious relationship, so I’m guessing that Bristol probably still has feelings for Levi, and he for her, because most people cannot turn around on a dime and shut these feelings off like a faucet. Bristol’s mother is saying vicious things, *in public,* to gossip magazines, about Bristol’s former boyfriend and fiance and the father of her child and a young man for whom she is still trying to sort out very complicated feelings *in public*. She is hurting her daughter, and whatever her “emotional” reasons for doing so, she is still hurting her daughter and she should know that she is hurting her daughter because she is a grown woman and has been a mother for a long time.

    As you might gather (and have done before now), I have no sympathy for Sarah Palin’s “emotional state” at all. My sympathy is entirely for Levi and Bristol, and especially for Bristol, because this is her own mother doing this to her. I recognize that it’s kind of odd in a way that I should identify so strongly with Bristol, given that I have much more in common with Sarah Palin in demographic, lifecycle terms, but I don’t identify with her as the mother in this case. I feel pain for her daughter.

    • CStanley

      You misunderstand my degree of support for Palin here. It’s not support, just an attempt to understand that what I consider a big mistake was more likely made out of misplaced emotion than out of ‘vileness.’ Consider, for instance that several male commenters talked about the unwritten rule that parents going through divorce shouldn’t impugn character of their spouse within earshot of the kids. I wonder though, if grandparents usually follow that rule- because I know that the pain of watching your child going through what you believe is a betrayal often makes it impossible for people to react rationally, even with the knowledge that the grandkids would be better off being able to have two parents that the can respect- but the grandparents more than likely often feel that’s impossible because of betrayal that usually accompanies divorce. Not having lived this, I’m only thinking out loud, and wondering whether the divorce parent rule really applies here anyway…

      But I’m getting off on a tangent…mainly I just don’t think this is anyone’s business to judge, even if you think that Palin’s the one who put it in the public forum. I do think, if I were in her shoes, that I’d have done a Cheney and responded to questions with a “none of your damn business”, but I doubt that the questions would have let up then so I’m presuming she thinks (or thought) that it was better to take it head on. A bad judgment, IMO, but not an evil one.

      So again, stop trying to convince me that Pallin is causing harm- I’m not arguing otherwise, just arguing that that doesn’t make her a monster, just a fallible human being.

      Palin is not just speaking publicly about her private family business, she is giving interviews to newspapers and national magazines about it. And she’s not wearing a purple dress, she’s wearing a violet dress. What’s the difference between ‘speaking publicly’ and ‘giving interviews’- sounds like one in the same to me.

      When you say I ‘lost you’ about using bigoted terms like “white trash” do you mean your conceding that point, that that shouldn’t be acceptible political discourse?

  • archangel

    Please do not shoot the messenger. Joe G and I have limited internet access this week, and so, just this. I’m not mom, but if you would, please bring the discussion down to a dull roar to fit in the commenters guidelines posted in the left column here at TMV.

    Please do not attack each other or the writer. Disagreement is different than ‘fight club’. Joe allows guest voices to write as they wish, and he has offered many many guest voices as have I, and other TMV writers. We bring the guest, but do not edit or censor their writing.

    This particular topic is a fire-starter at many places across the blogosphere and on television and talk shows. I have my two cents about it, also. As a woman, a mother and grandmother. Especially about the judgment of a young first time mother (and father) in a sudden media blitzkreig that is highly seductive and corrosive, both, and lack of absolute ‘out of the media lights’ protection for the young parents and child.

    But, rather than going into detail, thank you for ‘the lively discussion’ as we say in the minutes of board meetings where people became impassioned… and just my two cents worth… tiny silver lining… i am glad people have a sense of shock still. It’s when they dont that so much can be lost.

    assistant editor and columnist, The Moderate Voice

    • CStanley

      I respect the need for such guidelines, Dr. E, but what is the appropriate way to register a complaint about a really inappropriate instance of character assassination appearing in a post at this blog, made against a young woman who did nothing to deserve it (and then later erased down the rabbit hole when the poster realized his error?)

      Do you and Joe wish to address these things via email, and will they be taken seriously?

      I think that’s why tempers are flaring- the feeling that this cannot be allowed to go unchecked. I think it’s reasonable for people to want to protect the relationship of an innocent young woman, no? And to question why a writer at a moderate blog would even contemplate writing such a thing.

      • archangel

        dear C:
        This is just my two cents worth opinion…. Maybe write Joe and see
        if he is up for a guest voice from you on the subject of Bristol?I
        think, and it’s only my two cents worth, that sometimes the best way
        of arighting a boat tilting way far, is to weight the other side at
        least near equally. Joe has a hands-off policy re his writers, and
        that is appreciated by a lot of us who have not been allowed to write
        as we wish without previous editors dictating.

        Just to mention again C., i am sometimes still bewildered by the
        blogosphere, not always understanding tone, intent. Even though I
        understand far more easily the goodness of so many. As I’ve mentioned
        at TMV on that particular article you were commenting at/on, as a
        mother, grandmother and woman, I have deeply held beliefs about
        protecting offspring, in this case, Bristol, Levi and child. But
        then, I despised what the media did to Princess Anne, Amy Carter…
        when certain media men found them ‘ugly,’ and likewise what was done
        to the Bush twins, to Chelsea, and I know seeing how various have
        gone after John McCain’s daughter, and also Sarah Palin’s childr
        Trig, including Bristol.

        There is much to be said against this ongoing dragging of the
        children because of what their parents are imagined to be/do….
        acccording to people in the media.

        Please write feel free to write to Joe and inquire as you feel guided C.

        I just got home from a gathering of Columbine High School teachers…
        it is the 10th anniversary in 5 days and we meet for dinner… and
        more mending… they are such outstanding souls… and then I made a
        trip to hospice, and now… dear bed at last

        with kindest regards,

        • CStanley

          Thanks for the response and suggestion, Dr. E. I’m afraid I’d probably be unable to write my thoughts without including opinions about the blogpost that provoked the discussion, and it probably thus wouldn’t be accepted by Joe. I can understand and respect the hands off policy toward authors but I personally have a very different opinion of it when that extends to protection of things that cross lines. It’s not my place to tell Joe that my opinion on this is superior to his, though, as his ownership and considerable time/money investment in the blog gives him the last word on it. (I saw you mentioning the amount of time and money everyone gives to the project and I do want to express appreciation.)

          In a more general way to express my grievance, I’ll just say that I think in most aspects of our lives, we encounter situations where we feel the need to correct a wrong but then as we choose our response we ought to make sure that we don’t become part of the problem. This is most obvious, say, for police officers or soldiers/commanders who should continually evaluate their own performance to ensure that they’re not using their authority to commit acts which are immoral or unethical- the ends do not justify those means. And writers/journalists/bloggers, in my view, have a sort of authority of their own which should be kept in check- so that when they speak out against a perceived injustice or act of wrongdoing they should recognize responsibility for treating the subject of the criticism with a sense of justice as well- and then even more so, treating the innocent bystanders surrounding that subject with the utmost of care and not excusing themselves for ‘collateral damage.’

          That’s the sort of thing I see happening when those who speak out against the hypocrisy of a politician/parent with regard to his/her children, and using the offense of that parent as a rationale for focusing on a child that otherwise they’d have considered under a protective shield of decency. I think everyone involved in the discussion yesterday felt the same sense of concern for the adolescents and babies who are at the center of controversy- but the one adult who is blamed for putting them there isn’t the only one who’s responsible if we also continue the attention on the story. Our sense of outrage, IMO, is best channelled into a quick response and then looking away from the family’s private matters- I don’t accept the excuse that the public will gawk once the mother puts her family into the public venue, as we too have responsibilities. If we feel the mother has failed in her duty to protect, that makes it even more important for us to do what we feel she should have done.

          And I too, have those feelings of distaste when I perceive that a parent may be putting self interest ahead of his/her children’s. I think I do have a sense though, that I’m not worthy of judging other parents when I too make mistakes- hopefully none that are too serious or permanent, but nonetheless- I’m pretty averse to publicly condemning another parent without at least wondering whether the mistakes were bungled attempts to do what the parent thought was best vs. callous disregard for what the child needs (consider, for example, two hypothetical parents- one is spanking a child because he/she believes this is an appropriate teaching method, and the other is engaging in physical abuse of a child as an outlet for rage. I consider both acts wrong but I have a very different emotional response and judgment for the parent in each case.)

          Re: Columbine- bless you for the healing work that you do. My daughter’s high school recently had a scare as two kids brought guns to school, so this hit close to home for me. I’m wondering if you’re familiar with the novel “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult? She’s a favorite ‘page turner’ author of mine because of her ability to weave issues of societal ethics into compelling stories. I imagine that when you work with victims of attacks like that, and talk to other people about them, it’s probably difficult to also help people feel compassion for the perpetrators, and I felt that this book might facilitate that for some readers.

          • Totally OT, but I have to respond to the “Nineteen Minutes” mention. Awesome book. Adorable Child wants to read it (she’s finishing up 7th grade this year), and I’m considering letting her (though I have some reservations).

          • CStanley

            My daughter read it this year (ninth grade).  She read a couple of Picoult’s books previously- probably starting around the same age as your daughter is now. I think “My Sister’s Keeper” was the first one I agreed to let her read. I’m still having reservations about “The Pact” although there are good arguments for why teens SHOULD read it- but last summer she was going through a pretty intense first dating relationship and the Romeo and Juliet kind of stuff wasn’t something I felt was healthy for her at that time.

  • shaun


    “Pissed his pants”

    “Hate-filled screed”


    “He is sick”

    “Need psychiatric help”

    “Only a coward’s way”

    “Sniveling, pathetic slime-ball”

    “Self-denying, self-loathing, lying piece of shit”

    . . . and thisclose to his head exploding.

    • Lit3Bolt

      No Shaun! Only an apology written in virgin’s blood, notarized with unicorn tears, blessed with a kiss from an angel and personally delivered by Santa Claus can save you now.

      • AustinRoth

        Such a reasoned argument. I guess being Liberal means never having to say you are sorry. Just whitewash what you said, and pretend it never happened is good enough.

        • Lit3Bolt

          I’m sorry I tried to use humor to lighten the mood. How’s the view on top of that high horse by the way? Boy, you’ve really got Shaun in a pickle don’t you. Keep up the personal attacks, I’m sure he’ll break any minute now. The only way to win the internet is more personal attacks! More!!!

  • jwest

    Dr. e,

    Your loyalty towards Joe is admirable, but misplaced.

    Imagine if a purported “center right” writer gained access to TMV and, over a period of years, posted article after article demonstrating an irrational hatred of a large segment of the population. Imagine that this right winger crossed the proverbial line a number of times to one degree or another, but on one occasion went beyond the pale.

    Would you still be defending the writer? More to the major point, would you still be defending his enabler, the person who provides a platform for the hater to vent his bile?

    The crime here is not the rantings of a troubled malcontent, but the exploitation of his ignorant venom for commercial purposes.

    If Joe wants to make money off of Shaun’s lunacy, let him open a carnival sideshow and charge a quarter to see the freak. Don’t foist him onto the public on a site labeled “The Moderate Voice”.

    • archangel

      Dear jwest, thank you and please allow me take up the part of your message I know something about… There’s no money to be had at TMV. None of us are paid, including Joe, in fact, Joe pays for the site himself from his own pocket and every now and then does a pledge for tips to help out, and there’s some extremely meager blips from ads, but never enough.

      Just by way of further picture: There’ve been three major upgrades to the site since I’ve been here (two years,) and many of us pitched in substantial dollars for those too even though we arent paid. Those upgrades cost a great deal of money. Too, Tyrone has given hundreds if not thousands of hours also, gratis, to keep comments, mend glitches, the site itself which occasionally gets overloaded, running accurately, and in a timely way… and so have others who are behind the scenes in design and etc, although some are paid for their work on the web design.

      And that’s often when you will see a pledge drive. I could be wrong, but I think having corresponded with many who write regularly for TMV, and I think it could be said fairly, as others here have pointed out, that all sometimes write ‘off base’ …but also write many things that arent ‘off base.’

      The topic being discussed here is a loaded one, and I have my own opinions about it, as I mentioned before, as a woman, mother and grandmother.

      I will however, later tonight when I get home from working mission, (it’ll be past midnight I’m afraid) tell Joe you asked about various Jwest. I have heard you. So have others here too.


  • Marsh

    “Shaun Mullen is a former The Moderate Voice columnist. Over a long career with newspapers, this award-winning editor and reporter covered the Vietnam War, O.J. Simpson trials, Clinton impeachment circus and coming of Osama bin Laden, among many other big stories.”

    What happened to you?

  • StockBoySF

    I think Palin is showing poor judgement for the best interests of her family. I also think attacks on her family (including Bristol) should be off the table.

    But I DO think it’s fair to determine (as uch as possible) if Palin’s public rhetoric matches her private actions. Not that there will be a perfect match… There will always be some judgements that aren’t perfect or people stilting the facts. But if she believes in honesty and integrity (as an example) I would expect to see her practice that in her personal life, or at least the private life we can see.

    With regards to her handling of her family over the course of the election and putting them in the spotlight… and her handling of the Levi affair… and her treatment of her mother…. I don’t know how everyone looks at these issues in totality around Palin and I suspect that each of us sees something differently (and Shaun is at one end of the spectrum). But how Palin handles these issues (doesn’t even matter WHAT the issues are…. but how she handles them) should give us each a better understanding (pro or con) into Palin.

    Some people are going to agree that Palin should stand up for her daughter in a public way, even if it means prolonging a public fight which may be messy. Others will think that Palin should just say that her family is off limits and there is no discussion on private matters. This second group of people may also wonder if Palin will take every little disagreement with a world leader and make it public in a confrontational way, rather than have the judgment and skills necessary to work out differences in a productive way.

    I’m not saying a public fight or private protection is the right way to go with regards to handling family disagreements- we all handle disagreements differently. All I’m saying is that these actions of Palin do allow us to evaluate her behavior. Some people will be for this approach and some against. If Palin presents herself as “X” in her statements but her actions show that she is really “Y” then we should be very careful before supporting her (or not).

    To the extent that Palin herself makes (or prolongs) her private life a matter of public knowledge then we can evaluate her actions. The story here isn’t Bristol’s behavior, but Palin’s handling of it.

  • Lit3Bolt

    What Shaun initially said was, as roro80, some “grade A slut shaming.” If he had posted this at say, Shakesville, he would have been flamed out of existence and he would have imploded into a ball of shame. However, he changed it even if he did not explicitly acknowledge it to something much more mild. However, people can say, do, and (gasp!) post thoughtless, hurtful things. Sometimes they don’t even know they do it.

    If this has proved anything, it’s that political correctness can be used as a bludgeon against anyone, be they liberal or conservative. I don’t appreciate it when feminists use it against men who by their own admission have grown up witless in rape culture, or believe that white students should be kicked out of school for wearing blackface, or be damned for saying “that’s gay.” One comment/act should not a career end.

    So the reason I’m defending Shaun from the indefensible is because, as they have shown by their own words, his attackers are no better. They make the same baseless generalizations and thoughtless remarks. And because of one comment that was almost immediately changed, there’s a concerted effort by some people to stick it to Shaun. I think this is fauxtrage instead of a honest effort to inform Shaun his comments were unacceptable here at TMV. Instead, there’s a concerted effort to dictate discourse because some people simply don’t like Shaun or his politics. Whispers of conspiracies for money and mental instability are being shared knowingly by jwest, Austinroth, and Braindead. When confronted about their own personal attacks, they cry “Foul! Libs defending libs!” or “Unreasonable! I’m just pointing out Shaun’s misogyny!” Sorry, but color me skeptical of the purity of your motivations.

    This is why Shaun’s article was a terrible article. Instead of being about the Palins, it’s about Shaun. And I’m sure he loves the attention, ego maniac that he is.

  • kathyedits

    What’s the difference between ‘speaking publicly’ and ‘giving interviews’- sounds like one in the same to me.

    Probably not a lot, but I am particularly repulsed and appalled by Sarah Palin’s having instructed her spokesperson to phone up a senior editor or the editor-in-chief at People magazine and read off to them a specific, written-out official statement from Palin about what a bad father Levi Johnston is and how little he cares about his child and how irresponsible he is and how Bristol now realizes that it was a mistake ever to be involved with him. There is a cold, calculating maliciousness in that — and the fact that it was People magazine, which I’m guessing is the highest circulation celebrity/gossip magazine in the country makes that cold calculating aspect even more obvious.

    You don’t do something like that on impulse out of a misguided emotional concern for your child. This was an extremely hurtful thing to do to both Levi and Bristol — and I repeat, Levi is essentially nothing more than a vulnerable, hurting, confused kid. He’s a KID, flailing out, trying to defend himself and his family, the way a kid would, not thinking about the best, most mature way to do that. For Palin to deliberately and publicly humiliate and hurt Levi and her daughter, which I believe is what she did, is inexcusable. It doesn’t make her a monster or evil, but it is reprehensible.

    When you say I ‘lost you’ about using bigoted terms like “white trash” do you mean your conceding that point, that that shouldn’t be acceptible political discourse?

    No, because I never argued or implied that it was. Maybe I’m missing something. Did Shaun call someone “white trash” in his post?

    • CStanley

      Maybe I’m missing something. Did Shaun call someone “white trash” in his post?
      Read the first sentence of the post, Kathy.

  • @ Lit3Bolt:

    You said: “But Bristol Palin is a public figure, and her sex life became a public issue during the campaign.”

    I don’t think I agree with the statement that Bristol Palin is a public figure. Her mother is a public figure.

    • Everyone and their brother here have spent the entire day covering the subject before I even caught up with this post. (I barely had time to publish two things today with everything else I’ve got going on.) So I’m not going to bother diving in. But I will say that, while I may not have written a post like this myself, I object to Shaun drawing the spotlight away from my ongoing, 2017 part series of baseless and despicable attacks on Sarah Palin and her family. Talk about stealing the thunder….

  • lynnrockets

    MY WAY
    (sung to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”)

    And now, the end is near;
    To all of you, I’m glad I met ya’
    Alaskans, let’s make it clear,
    Did I fool you?, Oh yeah, “ya betcha!”

    You’ve met Todd, the “First Dude”,
    His snowmachine is in the driveway.
    Is he drunk? My God, he’s blitzed,
    The D.U.I. way.

    Regrets, I’ve had a few;
    More than most, I will remember.
    My lipstick and my hair-do
    But most of all, 4th of November.

    Each day since then has been
    Another never-ending whine and cry day,
    And I’ve been told by Newt Gingrich,
    To hit the high-way.

    Yes, there were times, that now you know
    I failed to declare “per diem” dough.
    What’s this about “stimulus funds”?
    Let’s just cling to, our God and guns.
    Oh, I just winked and then I blinked;
    And did it my way.

    Nicknames, I’ve had a few
    There’s “Caribou” and “Barracuda”
    Now I’m known as “Sarah Who?”
    Cuz Tina Fey is so much cuter.

    To think I’m a has been;
    And I can’t see – beyond next Friday
    Woe, oh woe is me,
    I won’t have my day.

    For what is a gal, what has she got?
    When her career, has gone to pot.
    How to appear on nightly news;
    When she’s inept at interviews.
    She’s still exposed despite those clothes –
    See – You – Next – Tuesday!

  • kathyedits

    Read the first sentence of the post, Kathy.

    Jeez Louise. I think I need to get new contact lenses. :-

    I have no idea if that’s a real emoticon, but my dyslexic fingers created it, and i liked it.

  • AustinRoth

    Did we break the new nested posting capability?

  • Leonidas

    I saw the title and Guest voice and said I bet its Shaun. BINGO!!! another easy call. Why not save the National Enquirer level stories for gossip sessions with Andy Sullivan.

  • Guest

    Joe Gandelman is having trouble with logging on to DISQUS comments. He asked me to post the following on his behalf. — Pete

    From Joe: I’m not going to respond to comments like some of those left above. TMV doesn’t make a ton of money and was never set up as a money maker. Please READ THE GUIDELINES BELOW on commenting. As many readers on the right, left, center know if you have an idea about a post on an issue you can send it to me as a Guest Voice. Guest Voices don’t attract any extra traffic. I’ve offered them since starting TMV as way to get extra viewpoints on the site — and have had readers say they wont’ return if I keep running Michael Reagan and some others on the left. And we continue to run Guest Voices. When threads turn into attacks on the site or the writer as opposed to the issue raised by the writer its time to suggest that discussion needs to fit the guidelines below. Most of this thread does discuss the issue.

    One thing. Jwest’s comments are not the type we encourage on TMV and if you read our comment threads, we don’t do that here. You can EMAIL me personally with such charges — if emailing a “villain” is not difficult. We used to moderate comments but no one has the time to do so. So what we do is if it goes over the top we leave one polite reminder to read our guidelines on commenting, which are enforced. Once again: if comments continue on this, the discussion should be on the validity or lack of validity of the issue raised in this post. If people have problems with me or don’t like TMV, they can email me, although abusive emails are all put in the spam box. Comments are set up for comments on posts.

  • lynnrockets

    (Sung to the Clash song “Should I Stay or Should I Go”)

    (Whoo! – – – Allah!)

    Sarah you gotta let us know
    Should you stay or should you go?
    If you say that you are mine,
    You should be in State 49.
    I know we have a lot of snow,
    But do you really have to go?

    Its always me, me, me
    Loved your selection for A.G.
    Another po-lit-i-cal hack
    Beware if you are gay or black
    Well come on and let us know
    Do you really have to go?

    Should she stay or should she go now?
    Should she stay or should she go now?
    If she goes to Indiana,
    Will it next be to Montana?
    Don’t we pay you enough dough?

    Your poor decisions boggle me
    You’re just a lightweight G.O.P.
    Pranked that time by fake Sarkozy
    Embarrassed by Levi on T.V.
    Come on and let us know,
    Are you brain-dead or is it show?


    Should she stay or should she go now?
    Should she stay or should she go now?
    If she goes, future’s in trouble,
    And if she stays, laughs will be doubled
    We just hope that if she goes…
    She takes her best friend “Plumber Joe”

    Should she stay or should she go now?
    If she goes, future’s in trouble,
    And if she stays, laughs will be doubled
    We just hope that if she goes
    She takes along her “Sixpack Joes”

  • archangel

    I’d say C. Stanley, that was a pretty good ‘guest voice’ you put in comments here.


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