As for what actually occurred on the Facebook page, let's just say I've heard ten times worse in high school hallways (one of the reasons why I don't think you could pay me enough to get me to send my kids to a public school). Maybe I've seen one too many flame wars on the internet the last two years and am desensitized. That could also be a factor.
Palin is absolutely correct that the children of politicians ought to be off-limits to the media, or at least, that there ought to be a high bar set for newsworthiness. Similarly, Palin’s skill as a parent should not be considered fair game. Neither subject has any relevance to Palin’s career as a politician, or as a media figure, and decency dictates that they remain private.
What is relevant, though, is how Palin chose to respond to the incident.
Here’s a transcript of the relevant portion:
People probably think that my greatest frustration is the lies that are told in the tabloids and on hateful blogs full of anonymous sources about my family … and there are constant everyday lies that we have to read that are out there in the public. But my family and I…thick skin…we can take it, you know…we can take what the haters say despite the fact that there’s injustice in the situation.
I mean, look at the other day. Willow, finally, my 16 year old, she had had it up to here with somebody saying very, very hateful things about the family and saying mean things about her little brother Trig, and Willow finally responded and she used a bad word when she responded in defense of her family. And her response became national news, even hard news copy it turned into, so that’s ridiculous and I had to explain to her, “Willow, there is no justice here but you have to just zip your lip and let’s move forward.”
Perhaps most glaring is the fact that, in an interview in which she promises to restore journalism, Palin gets her facts wrong. The exchange to which she refers contains nary a mention of Trig Palin, and was touched off by a single negative comment about Palin’s reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Palin would have been perfectly justified had she chosen not to get into the details of the story, but since she did, she ought to have described them accurately.
Here's the Facebook exchange. It does indeed appear that the whole thing stemmed from a guy saying "Sarah Palin's Alaska is failing sooo hard right now." One of the more mild things anyone has ever said about the Palin family. Trig is nowhere to be found. (Now, if my mom were doing something like this and one of my facebook "friends" didn't like it, I may have reacted too, maybe with a few less swear words.)
Now, a couple of things here. First off, the Palin kids can't fight back against most of the cr** they get handed on a daily basis. This may have been a case of the straw that broke the camel's back. I've been tempted to do this myself a time or two. Frustrated to the extreme and I end up dumping all over someone or something that didn't have much to do at all with the real reason why I was upset. Maybe Willow saw something somewhere else that got her all riled up and she dumped all over this guy instead (but Bristol responded first, so I'm not sure how that works. But she gets cr** from all corners too). That's one option.
Another observation is that this is a screencap of one Facebook page, and it looks to me like the conversation is incomplete. Maybe it is complete, but there are some things that don't quite fit.
For example, notice how Willow talks to Matt when Matt hasn't even said anything yet. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless this conversation was also happening on other people's Facebook pages or this was a continuation of a previous conversation. There's a possibility that we're not getting the full picture here.
Yeah, this is all total speculation. :)
If it's none of the above, then maybe little cub pulled the wool over Mama Grizzly's eyes. That's what I would try to do, are you kidding me? You wiggle out of it however you can when you're that age.
If the FB screencap is indeed complete and none of my other options are legitimate (which I don't think I'll ever have any way of knowing) then I call BS on Mama's Grizzly's answer and wonder if she actually read the exchange.
I don't say any of this to disparage the Palin kids, on the contrary. As you'll see tonight in the third episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska, the kids are typical kids and Willow's pretty awesome. I'm just trying to sort out fact from fiction and get a grasp on what's actually happening here.