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TLC and why Sarah Palin will never be president

Take a good look at this video. It is only 30 seconds long, but it encapsulates how right Karl Rove is about Palin's TV career -- and why she will never be president of the United States.

The video comes from the TLC cable channel and it is intended to promote this week's episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the reality TV show starring Palin bludgeoning fish to death and shooting caribou. Of course, I found it reprehensible to be packaging such acts as TV entertainment. Read about it here.

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But on this tape, you'll see Palin with Kate Gosselin, another TLC "star." Kate is known for being a bad mom -- and her TV ratings come from women who consider themselves good moms watching and worrying about the eight Gosselin kids while they get angry at Kate for being such a lousy and self-indulgent parent.

Kate Gosselin is part of the TLC freak show lineup that includes such shows as: "Toddlers & Tiaras," an upbeat look at little girls on the beauty pageant circuit, and "Sister Wives" a celebration of polygamy. Did I forget the series titled "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" showcasing women who gave birth but say they didn't know they were pregnant?

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This is the carnival sideshow world that Palin is now part of because she apparently never met a million dollar TV offer she could refuse.

Please click ahead after viewing the tape. I thought I was just going to set up the video with a sentence or two, but seeing someone kill an animal to further her political career makes me angry all over again. And I find I have much more to say about Palin and The Low-life Channel.
For more Sarah Palin's Alaska videos, visit TLC.com.

First, I have to say I was wrong on something about Palin. When she first appeared at the GOP Convention in 2008 and was introduced as John McCain's running mate, I described her as a hustler trying to fabricate an Annie Oakley media image as a frontierswoman for herself.

I was gender blind. Watching the caribou kill, I now see she is going for something more epic than that: Teddy Roosevelt. She thinks she can sell herself as TR -- that's how deluded she is about her appeal.

But here's what matters about her lowering herself to the freak show level of a reality TV star on TLC.

When the carnival comes to town -- and TV and the Internet are our electronic midways -- we all at one time or another let the carnival barkers lead us to one of the back tents to look at the fish with six heads or the woman with so many tattoos she has not one inch of flesh colored skin. We pay our money, we look, we shake our heads and then we go back to our real lives. We do not invite the woman with the grotesque tattoos home for dinner.

And while we might tune into the reality-TV show characters and even follow them on sleazy celebrity gossip websites, we don't vote for them as presidents. Or, think about it this way: While you might watch Kate Gosselin on TLC and even follow her at radaronline, you don't let her watch your kids.

Palin sold herself too cheap when she got into bed with TLC, Kate Gosselin and TV shows that celebrate polygamy and sexualize little girls.

Rove, one of the smartest operatives American politics has known in the last 50 years, was being kind when he talked about Palin's reality show hurting her chances to be president.

"With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel," Rove said in a newspaper interview, "I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office.' "

While TLC is part of the Discovery cable TV empire, of Silver Spring (Maryland), Palin's show is not on the Discovery Channel. And the difference between the Discovery Channel and TLC is about as great as the gulf between the New York Times and the New York Post or TMZ.

TLC is a dark place where the bottom feeders of reality TV live, and that is a depth from which it is impossible to reach the White House even in these topsy-turvy cultural times of trivial pop-culture overload and postmodern political funk.

Palin, in her arrogance, says Rove doesn't understand "popular culture." As she put in Palinspeak: "He needs to understand that pop culture is the influencer in this country in our society."

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Sarah, you might be just barely smart enough to beat a fish to death with a bat or bring down a caribou with the help of a big gun, multiple shots and two men. But a word of advice: Don't think for a second you are smarter or more astute a political and cultural observer than Rove.

You are now a pop culture freak thanks to lowering yourself to the level of Kate Gosselin. Three million carnivalgoers enter the TLC tent to look at you each Sunday night. But when it comes time to elect a president in two years, it won't be someone from the sideshow tent who gets their votes, believe me.

And by the way, don't get too excited about your audience of 3 million once a week. Bill O'Reilly gets almost 4 million five nights a week, and he no longer has to play the crazed clown like Glenn Beck to do it. Nor does he have to kill any animals like you -- or hang around with the likes of Kate Gosselin.

If you want to see the caribou kill, here it is. But be warned, it is depressing to see this animal die for TLC's ratings gain -- as well as Palin's pleasure and sick celebration of herself.

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