Published on The Daily Femme – Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
Contributed by Annamarya
While I’m not a fan of the Palin clan, I must say the two-left-feet Bristol Palin is a little firecracker. In the last few days, Sarah Palin’s eldest has ”fired back” against detractors one-by-one, like Margaret Cho, who said Bristol was forced to appear on Dancing with the Stars to boost Sarah’s popularity ratings, via Facebook and Twitter, with fans rallying for her through comments on both social networking sites. It really does seem like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Another person she’s lunged on last week is Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. On his show last Monday, he named Bristol the “Worst Person In The World” for her PSA on abstinence and her work as spokesperson for the abstinence advocacy group Candies Foundation, snidely questioning her status as an abstinence role model when she’s America’s poster child for “celebrity” teen moms. She posted this replynote on her Facebook page Thursday:
Recently, a left wing commentator named Keith Olbermann attacked me for being a spokesperson for abstinence education and for being an Ambassador for the Candies Foundation, which promotes teen pregnancy awareness and prevention education. He went so far as to call me “the worst person” he knows, apparently, for my efforts to educate teenagers about the real world risks of premarital sex.
Accusing me of hypocrisy is by now, an old canard. What Mr. Olbermann lacks in originality he makes up for with insincere incredulity. Mr. Olbermann fails to understand that in order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes. Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life. Recovered addicts lecture to others about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse. And yes, a teen mother talks about the benefits of preventing teen pregnancy.
I have never claimed to be perfect. If that makes me the “worst person in the world” to Mr. Olbermann, then I must apologize for not being absolutely faultless like he undoubtedly must be.
To Mr. Olbermann let me say this: you can attack me all you want. But you will not stop me from getting my message out about teen pregnancy prevention. And one day, if you ever have a daughter, you may change your mind about me.
I understand Bristol’s reasoning in her (probably written for her) reply: many times, it really does take a “mistake” (I wonder, is her son, Tripp, a mistake to her?) for a person to understand the gravity of their decisions and how to follow/promote the best path in life. But does she really believe abstinence-only education really is the best–and right–path, considering, afterall, that Bristol ignored the abstinence-only education she more than likely received? Can she not, from experience, realize how flawed that education is and how it puts teens–especially young girls–at a higher risk of unwanted pregnancy and STIs? Like I’ve written before, and as Olbermann said in his indirect Twitter rebuttal, abstinence only education does not work and studies back that up, showing more of an increase in sexual activity among teens subjected to abstinence-only education than comprehensive sex education. You would think that the fact that she herself engaged in oh-so-dangerous-and-sinful “premarital sex” is enough of a lesson for her to realize that teens will be having sex no matter what. Granted, I don’t agree that she’s the “Worst Person In the World”–I’ll leave that title to one of the many leaders abusing human rights left and right across the globe–but she is irresponsible and misguided in her mission. Instead of trying to instill fear into teens–a fear that, research shows, is ineffective–Bristol should take a responsible approach and promote both safe sex and abstinence, this way she can spread her message of “teen pregnancy prevention” while, at the same time, providing more useful and effective information on safe sex practices for those who are or choose to become sexually active. But since that’ll probably never happen, at least we have her PSA costar, Jersey Shore’s The Situation, telling us to wrap it.