Bristol Palin was reported to be scheduled to speak at Washington University next month as the keynote speaker at the college’s Sexual Responsibility Week. That plan is now off, due to massive student outrage that led to protests.
Unwed mother and daughter of Republican reality TV star Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin has marketed herself as an “abstinence only” spokesperson to Candies as well as commanding speaking fees from 15-30,000 for her “don’t do what I did” speech.
If Bristol were not marketing herself as a celebrity in her own right, she would be off-limits as far as a politician’s daughter goes. But Bristol spent the fall politicizing Dancing with the Stars and telling America that if she won it would be a great f-u to the “haters’ out there. At 20 years of age, she’s no different from the daughter of any other celebrity who is also trying to achieve fame except that her mother has been claiming no one can write or talk about Bristol in any fashion other than worship and adoration because it would be picking on her “kids”. If you do write about Bristol or make a joke about her, you are a pedophile (hello, David Letterman).
These tiresome shenanigans are wearing thin on Americans who just sent Bristol Palin packing from her speaking engagement at Washington University, where she was set keynote speak on an abstinence only panel. The panel is also including representatives from the Catholic Student Center on campus, Missouri Right to Life, and Planned Parenthood, said Scott Elman, president of the Student Health Advisory Committee at Washington University.
She was reportedly going to be paid $20,000 – a number that got the students in an uproar due to the school’s budgetary cuts in other departments. One wonders if Planned Parenthood speaker is getting $20,000 to speak about birth control or the Right to Life spokesperson is getting paid $20,000 to speak about not having an abortion. Most likely not, as they aren’t brand names.
According to stltoday, “A Facebook petition to compel the school to nix Palin’s appearance had hundreds of signatures Thursday evening. “It’s not necessarily in opposition to the ideas that are being presented,” explained Philip Thomas, the Washington U. student who initiated the petition.”People are getting so angry because of the opposition to Palin’s lack of expertise and the high cost she is charging,” especially in light of budget cuts that have adversely affected other student activities.”
Palin had not signed a contract for the event.
This rejection will, of course, be interpreted as rejecting her message and the university should prepare for the usual descent of angry Palin fans (see Senator Yee, Andree McLeod, TLC suggesting they might need extra security if they allow anyone to criticize Palin’s show, etc.). It will escape Sarah Palin’s notice that the university wasn’t the first to reject Palin’s message; Bristol herself rejected it more than once. However, the university clearly stated their reasons as being student outcry over the expensive speaker’s fee, not Bristol’s message.
Abstinence only is a proven failure, however, I have no problem with it being taught along side other more effective ways of preventing teen pregnancy. But to pay someone who didn’t heed the message and who makes a lot of money to tell kids not to do what she did is more than disingenuous. In this economy, it’s a darn right shame. There are, after all, adoption agencies, hungry children and sick children who could use $20,000 donated to their cause.
Bristol Palin wasn’t a good dancer, she isn’t a good speaker, she sounds half asleep on the radio – basically, she doesn’t have her mother’s skill set in the celebrity department. She lacks Sarah’s charm and charisma. So when someone chooses to pay her $20,000 or so to talk for a few minutes about what a mistake she made by not being abstinent, they are paying for the Palin brand and nothing else. And there is no more politicized and divisive brand in America other than the Palin brand. It turns out, it’s not fiscally responsible to pay a brand name that causes more drama than it’s worth.
No matter how the Palins spin this (and they will), you can be sure of two things: They will paint themselves as victims of the liberal elite and they will never admit that being as hateful and toxic as they have been on our country’s dialogue has consequences. A lot of people aren’t going to want you around when you call half the population un-American haters.
This rejection is a result of all of the things Sarah Palin says she stands for: fiscal responsibility, independence, free speech, and healthy, strong competition driving the free market. Welcome to the free market of competition, Palin family. You lost this round.