Ok, everyone who’s surprised that Sarah Palin’s new Reality TV show starts by dishing up some whopping big lies, shout A M E N!
Yuh, that’s what I thought.
While the primary focus of TLC’s trailer (as seen here at Huffington Post) on Sarah Palin’s Alaska has been steady on how badly she and her husband Todd have overreacted to and lied about the behaviour of their summer neighbour, Joe McGinniss, I couldn’t help notice something entirely different about this bizarre peek into Sarah’s show.
Maybe it’s because I was the pregnant mother of two when I endeavoured to publish my first piece, or maybe it’s because I do a lot of writing outdoors, or maybe it’s the two years of conditioned mistrust for the former Alaska half-governor – whatever the reason, my brain zeroed in on the surroundings Sarah calls ‘where I like to write…’ and not one active brain cell bought it.
So without permission I took some screenies and if somebody at TLC wants to yell at me, let them. My email addy is in the nav bar at the top.
First up is the opening shot of Sarah sitting at a table in her backyard, overlooking Lake Lucille. It’s a dramatic shot, contrasting the enormity of the wall of windows to our tiny little Sarah. She refers to her cement patio as a cement slab – a trailer park term which only serves to accent her lack of education.
I’m struck by the sheer barrenness of the setting.
A closer look at the patio table and chairs is a bit telling. There are only four chairs. On that huge patio, there are only four chairs. One small table and four chairs for a family of – Seven? Eight? Nine? Odd.
Enter Todd, stage right. Notice a few things: 1) The windows behind him are reflecting darkening clouds. 2) He’s wearing a black hoodie with a monogrammed top pocket over a pale blue t-shirt. 3) He’s dressed for chilly weather. She’s bare armed and in a loose tee. 4)The patio is bare. No raised flower boxes, no knick knacks or patio lounge chairs. Not a squeaky family swing or cushioned redwood deck chairs.
He asks if she’s comfortable. She initially says yes, but uses the question to bring up the subject of their neighbour, Joe McGinniss.
Sarah and Todd sit together complaining about how hard it’s been on them since the arrival of Mr. MGinniss and how disruptive his presence has been on their lives.
But look at the table instead of listening to their drivel. Sarah opens this segment with the claim that she’s out on the patio to write. To research and write. This is her favourite place in the whole world to… research and write. Uh…
Sarah’s belongings on this table consist of one book (which looks suspiciously like the red jacket of a book I’ve seen her photographed with before but can’t place it at the moment) a writing tablet, a pen, her Blackberry and what looks to be a second writing tablet, but could be a second pamphlet-style book, and a cold drink container with straw. It could also be a lunch menu from Taco Bell, who knows.
The point is, there’s no real research material. There’s no computer laptop or net book, no thesaurus or dictionary, and no pages of notes previously gleaned from different sources in preparation for writing about them here, in this setting, at this, her favourite place to write. And there couldn’t be, because it’s windy and there’s no shelter and why would you bring loose pages or precious resource books outside onto a bare table with no protection from the wind? Then there’s the fact that it looks like it’s going to rain at any second…
And one more thing – as you look at the photos of this patio… there don’t seem to be any electrical outlets. No place to plug in a computer, television, radio or light.
Sarah and Todd have both agreed that they believe Joe McGinniss is on his deck, reading a book. The cameraman has even zoomed in between fence slats to verify that yes, there he is, approximately 20-30’ from them on the other side of a 14’ fence and poor Sarah is now so unnerved that she cannot continue writing. She must relinquish her favourite place to write in the whole world because Joe McGinniss might lean over the 14’ fence from 30’ away and see what she’s writing.
Sarah had so few writing tools she was able to scoop them up in one go and start to walk away. Please note it is the dutiful Todd who leans over to wipe the ring of moisture left behind from Sarah’s large drink. If that doesn’t define their interactive roles for you, nothing will.
Sarah exits stage right and Todd walks straight down center stage, turns his back on the audience, I mean Lake Lucille and begins the most inane diatribe on the ills of living next door to the evil Joe McGinniss and how his wife has struggled to endure his tenancy a scant few feet from her daughter’s (sigh) bedroom. Has this woman never heard of curtains?
Now look at Todd. The black hoodie with the monogrammed top pocket is gone, replaced by an actual black jacket with plain top pocket – and now worn over a black t-shirt, not pale blue. I do love it when the continuity editors screw up. It’s not like anyone has to wait for film to be developed any more. Maybe that’s why it’s called The Learning Channel, eh?
Through dialogue and narration, Todd and Sarah have made it crystal clear they don’t appreciate having their privacy invaded by Joe McGinniss. They go on and on ad nauseam about how they value their privacy and how difficult it’s been to maintain their privacy in light of this recent intruder.
And they say all of this with Lake Lucille as their backdrop. You know – that huge public lake behind their unfenced backyard? The same yard that spreads out in front of the entire back wall of their house? The wall that’s made almost exclusively of huge glass windows? Windows that can be seen from any vessel on any part of the lake if one has the correct zoom lens?
Sarah Palin just continues to remind me of the man who stands naked in his apartment window screaming at passersby to stop looking at him!!!
But that’s not really what I want you to notice the most in this video. It’s this. Take a good look at this photo again:
Take as long as you need. Can you see what’s missing? This is Sarah’s favourite place to write in the whole world . She said so. It stands to reason she spends considerable time here, no? Do you see it now?
Sarah? Where’sTrig? Where are his toys? Where’s his swing and slide? His little toy trucks and sandbox? Where are his riding toys and bubble lawn mower? Where’s the potting bench you and Piper and Trig purportedly used to start your garden in the summer of 2009? Where is the garden, period?
Where’s the BBQ? Where are the patio lights for entertaining your family and guests? The furniture people sit on? Eat at? Where’s the windbreak that lets a writer work outdoors, protected from the sun and wind?
My favourite place to write in the whole world was at a small desk on my front porch overlooking the yard where my kids played. And the neighbouring kids played. And visiting nephews and nieces played. You always had to check for bits of food before you sat down or put your arms on the desk, because let’s face it – the smallest amount of peanut butter and jelly can cover entire rooms.
Several small rocks sat on piles of papers on te desk and on the floor as each time a page wafted away with a gusty breeze one of the kids would fetch it and bring me a new rock to use as a weight - and it wasn’t at all uncommon to see someone had typed a mysterious ‘I love you mommy come play’ message on one of my manuscript pages.
So what did I find missing from Sarah’s favourite place to write in the whole world ? Life. Life is missing.
There are no signs of life in that place Sarah claims to do her writing. No signs of life at all. And if you’re a mother of five who writes at home, the place you write overflows with bits of your kids lives from crayon drawings to spilled strawberry soda stains amidst your scribbled notes of things to remember to write about.
This whole episode is as phony as Sarah herself. If that’s well and truly her favourite place to write in the whole world it speaks volumes for her crappy communications skills.
============ UPDATE ============
On 26 July 2010 the Alsaka Dispatch, responding to the Palin/McGinniss kerfuffle posts this video:
So barely three months ago, Sarah’s favourite writing place didn’t even exist! Interesting, eh? Considering she makes such a big dill out of telling the world Joe McGinniss chased her out of her own backyard!
Lies, lies and more lies…
h/t to dsmyre
@RobDaub who pointed out the dangers of letting small children play near the lake:
More than once since Joe McGinniss moved next door, Sarah tells of having to change the famlies whole lifestyle by making the kids play on the other side of the house - letting us assume this is their normal place to play.
That said, if Todd and Track can erect a 14′ wood fence in an afternoon because her highness has had a hissy fit over a neighbour, they can certaily build a 4′ fence to keep their son/grandson/brother/nephew safe from harm while mom sits in her favourite place to write in the whole world…
@ all the commenters – thanks for your great contributions! OzMud
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “Sarah Palin Uses Trusty LIE-WRITER to Launch New TV Show” and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud