You just knew that Sarah Palin was going to defend Josh Duggar. But attacking Lena Dunham? Come on.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate , angrily calling out the “radical liberals in the media” for “crucifying” Josh Duggar as a pedophile while letting Lena Dunham off scott-free.
Bristol Palin also wrote a blog post Thursday morning calling out the “liberal media,” and bringing up a passage in Dunham’s 2014 memoir in which the “Girls” star writes about exploring her little sister Grace’s body when they were children.
“That makes me want to puke,” Palin wrote. “Remember the liberal media outrage? Oh that’s right. It didn’t happen.”
“I’m not defending the Duggar boy’s obvious wrongdoing over a decade ago … but I’m sickened that the media gives their chosen ones a pass for any behavior as long as they share their left-wing politics,” Palin writes in the post. “Case in point, they suggest Lena Dunham’s sexual assault on her sibling is cute, and she’s rewarded for it with fame and fortune. Meanwhile, they crucify another, along with an entire family.”
Dunham was sharply criticized back in November for a passage in her memoir, “Not That Kind of Girl,” which described her attempts at sexual experimentation with her 1-year-old sister when she was 7. “Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying,” she wrote. (Ok, Lena. I get that you’re trying to do that whole “Girls” provocative dry humor thing, but bad choice of words.)Dunham’s sister Grace came to her defense at the time, arguing that this was not a case of sexual abuse, but rather sexual exploration.
heteronormativity deems certain behaviours harmful, and others “normal”; the state and media are always invested in maintaining that— Grace Dunham (@simongdunham) November 3, 2014
As a queer person: i’m committed to people narrating their own experiences, determining for themselves what has and has not been harmful— Grace Dunham (@simongdunham) November 3, 2014
2day, like every other day, is a good day to think about how we police the sexualities of young women, queer, and trans people— Grace Dunham (@simongdunham) November 3, 2014
Josh Duggar, one of the stars of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” has been accused of molesting four of his sisters as well as another girl while he was a teenagers. His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, confirmed the validity of these claims in an interview with FOX and defended their son, claiming his actions involved “improper touching,” and “not rape or anything like that.”
The family has also claimed that they are being attacked (TLC has canceled the show) for their right-wing Christian beliefs, something Sarah Palin obviously agrees with:
“The media’s hell-bent mission to go after the entire Duggar family for one member’s wrongdoing, while giving a total pass to perverted actions of someone like Lena Dunham — or any other left-winger celeb caught doing awful things,” she writes. “I hate for anyone to go through this game liberals are allowed to play, relentlessly attacking on an uneven playing field until a conservative’s career, relationships and reputation are destroyed.”
It’s not that surprising that Palin and her like would come to that conclusion. Lena Dunham is a stand-in for everything wrong with America in their eyes: she’s brash, liberal, sexually open, and yes, Jewish. The Duggars on the other hand, are a nice, rural, God-fearing, Christian family who worship modesty and female subservience and happen to have 19 children.
The difference here is that while Dunham’s choice of words was questionable, her actions seem like that of any curious child discovering her sexuality. In the case of Josh Duggar, his behavior was apparently part of a pattern (along with his sisters, he reportedly molested a family friend). By conflating the two, Palin has turned what could have been a constructive conversation about sexual abuse into another media circus.
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Sarah Palin Defends Josh Duggar — by Slamming Lena Dunham