Saturday, February 20, 2010

If Andrea Fay Friedman challenges Sara Palin to a debate on TV about "Family Guy," what is Palin's next move ?

Looks like check mate to me.


A "Family Guy" actress with Down syndrome voiced a character who was asked about her family. "My dad's an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska," the character replies.

The former half-term governor considered this mockery of her son with Down syndrome, and blasted the show online and on the air. Yesterday, Andrea Fay Friedman, the 39-year-old actress who did the voice-over work on the show told the New York Times, "I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor."

Palin's possible responses.

1. The obvious response is to ignore the challenge or, at most, refuse to debate. This is the normal response of former major party vice presidential candidates to such challenges from people like minor TV actresses. It is also the most likely response, but it is costly.

First Palin criticized Friedman with some vigor Obviusly she considered herself to be criticizing only people without Downs not knowing that Friedman had Down's and considering the writer(s) director and executive producer of the show to be the targets of her criticism. However, that Friedman has decided to consider herself to have been criticized. To attack and refuse debate is cowardly. It works if you criticize oh I don't know rappers and stuff, but not so well if you criticize a woman who has overcome Down's syndrome.

Also Palin's line is that she is not part of the elite. It is always tricky to claim you are so far above someone that you don't have to debate them when you claim to be a populist. Finally, Palin can't be seen to argue that people with Down's aren't competent to debate.

I'd say she would refuse and it would cost her a lot, at least if Friedman chose to complain for a while about Palin's cowardise or haughtiness.

2. Debate and win the debate. Now first of all, given Friedman's interview with the New York Times, Palin's interview on CBS, and given the facts of the case, I'm not sure Palin can manage this. It wouldn't help much anyway. Friedman seems rather intelligent, but she has Down's with the characteristic facial features. Due to prejudice, viewers will underestimate her intelligence. Out debating her will *look* like stealing candy from a baby.

3. Debate and not clearly win the debate. Oh that would be a problem wouldn't it.

4. Debate and lose the debate.

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