In the eyes of these critics, the Kennedys are American royalty, while the Palins are too cordoned off with reality TV divas like the Kardashians or hicks like the stars of "Hillbilly Handfishin'."
A journalist also brought up a recent episode of "Life's a Tripp" where Bristol's son said an "F-word" that was bleeped. (I say "a journalist" because the critics don't identify each other by name when they report on how they have picked on young Palins.) Gay activists claimed the little boy uttered their hated F-word, and Lifetime's corporate line of defense was no, actually it was the more common F-bomb. The better question is why Lifetime felt that tantrum of profanity and brattiness was considered great television, instead of cutting-room floor garbage. The toddler bleeps haven't helped. The "Tripp" show has performed badly enough that it's now airing in a late-night slot.
The critics' toughest hardball question for Bristol was how she would react if paired with a homosexual professional partner on the new season of "Dancing With the Stars." It's also a somewhat strange question. On Bristol's previous tour of the show, bisexual comedian Margaret Cho and her gay professional partner, Louis van Amstel, danced to "Copacabana" with a gay-pride message. There was no storming off the set or critical comments from Team Palin. But that is never good enough.
Under fire from the journalists, Bristol answered: "You know what? I like gays. I'm not a homophobic (sic), and I'm so sick of people saying that, just because I'm for traditional marriage..." The media elite replied by happily tweeting the grammatical mistake.
Again, the media code is obvious: no "homophobes" in favor of traditional marriage should be allowed to star on a TV program -- and certainly not in a room full of ballroom dancers. It doesn't matter if they never say a word of protest or never plan an "educational" dance routine that honors Jesus and the ridiculed home-schooled kids who are allowed to study him in school time.
Would it be rude to ask Chaz Bono how she would feel if ABC paired her with a male professional partner, since she was (and is) female? Not just rude, it would be insulting. In the calculus of the TV critics, Bono must be applauded for her courage, and Bristol must be brought low because she's a Palin.