Sarah Palin's unhinged Duggar meltdown: Claiming media double standards for "Lena Dunham or any other leftwinger celeb caught doing awful things"

In a Facebook post, the former VP candidate calls Dunham a pedophile and praises daughter Bristol's Duggar defense

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published June 5, 2015 9:11PM (EDT)

  (Jeff Malet,
(Jeff Malet,

As a mother of five children, it makes sense that Sarah Palin has mastered a time-honored strategy for dealing with any question of accountability that's familiar to anyone who's ever had a sibling — point to the person nearest to you and bleat, "But what about what SHE did?" Case in point: her latest Facebook tirade in response to the Duggar family scandal.

In a lengthy and occasionally caps locked Thursday post, the woman who once came alarmingly close to becoming the Vice President of the United States and current full-time troll calls out the creator of "Girls," saying, "HEY LENA, WHY NOT LAUGH OFF EVERYONE'S SEXUAL 'EXPERIMENTS' AS YOU HAUGHTILY ENJOY REWARDS FOR YOUR OWN PERVERSION? YOU PEDOPHILE, YOU." She then went on to rail about "Radical liberals in media who have total control over public narrative," "the intolerant left's destructive personal intrusions and narrow-mindedness," the "perverted actions of someone like Lena Dunham - or any other leftwinger celeb caught doing awful things" and the "double standards" that "underestimate the wisdom of the public, discredit the press, and spit on the graves of every American who fought and died for the press's freedom."

Palin further asked, "Remember reports of the pedophile billionaire our former democrat president has been friends with and hung out with on the pedophile's 'orgy island' full of underage girls?" — a reference to convicted sex offender and Clinton supporter Jeffrey Epstein. She also praised daughter Bristol for a similarly themed post on Patheos, in which the younger Palin said, "I can’t believe how crazy the media is going over the Duggar family compared to the big fat yawn they gave Lena Dunham when she wrote in her book that she sexually experimented with her sister…. The double standards make me sick. Josh Duggar touched a sleeping girls breast – a terrible thing to go. But now their ENTIRE family is punished and their hit show is canceled? He’s labeled as a pedophile? His family is crucified!" In other words, waaah, everything is so unfair!

You may recall the Palins going down a remarkably similar line of logic earlier this year, when  Sarah lashed out at critics after she posted a photograph of her son Trig standing on the family dog. "Did you go as crazy when your heroic Man-of-Your-Lifetime, Barack Obama, revealed he actually enjoyed eating dead dog meat?" she asked, referring to a passage in the president's "Dreams From My Father" in which he described being introduced to the "tough" delicacy as a child in Indonesia. And she blasted the "Ellen" show for posting a similar photo of a child brushing her teeth standing on a dog, bleating, "Hey, by the way, remember your 'Woman of the Year,' Ellen DeGeneres? Did you get all wee-wee'd up when she posted this sweet picture? Hypocritical, much?"

You're right, Sarah Palin! People are absolved from answering for their own behavior by pointing out that of someone else, even if it's inequivalent!

Let's take a look at the Palin women's fury over this supposed double standard regarding the Duggars. First of all, let's consider her accusation that Dunham is a "PEDOPHILE." When Dunham's memoir, "Not That Kind of Girl," appeared last fall, it attracted a degree of fury for her claims that as a child she'd bribed her younger sister to kiss her, had masturbated while she slept nearby in the same bed, and, when her sister was a baby, had "opened Grace’s vagina" and looked inside where Grace had allegedly shoved "six or seven pebbles." The passages were neither ignored nor rewarded. Conservative sites quickly called Dunham a child molester, a claim she said was "upsetting and disgusting." And as far as anyone knows, by the way, Dunham's activities were confined to her own childhood. That's not the action of a pedophile. It sounds a lot more like that of a curious child. And as for Jeffrey Epstein, are we to assume everyone associated with an offender is an offender? If so, good luck, Republican candidates!

Is Josh Duggar, as he has also been called, an unreformed abuser? I wouldn't suggest that what a person does as a teenager necessarily marks him as sexually inappropriate for life — even if his parents seem to have done a bang-up job mishandling the problem. But what is known is that his activities involved five girls, both in and out of his family, over a span of over a year. His activities involved police reports. Is it possible to see how that's different from the Dunham narrative? Is it possible that saying that "radical liberals have total control over public narrative" one day after Megyn Kelly's softball Fox interview with the Duggar parents is just a little bit un-selfaware?

The Palins seem to have a knack for crying injustice whenever someone points out wrongdoing from the right. It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense. It doesn't matter if it doesn't add up. It's always a dark tale of conspiracy, and her supporters eat it up. And it's rich in irony when Palin declares, "Rise above by never claiming 'victim', tell the truth, and keep the faith!"

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

MORE FROM Mary Elizabeth Williams

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bristol Palin Duggar Family Facebook Josh Duggar Lena Dunham Megyn Kelly Sarah Palin Sexual Abuse