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This whole thing broke over Twitter, so apologies if you've already heard it a million billion times already.

So, FOX "News" has "hired" Sarah Palin* to "create" a show called Real American Stories, in which she flogs the heroics of other people in order reflect glory upon herself. And in the debut episode, the network flogged an interview with L.L. Cool J. And that's cool, because he's an inspirational dude, right? He made one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time when he was sixteen years old; he's won two Grammys and has had 14 Top Forty hits; and he's the baddest rapper in the history of rap itself!

Only it turns out that the interview wasn't done for Real American Stories at all. It's a two-year-old interview that doesn't have anything to do with Sarah Palin, or FOX, or anything. Ladies Love Cool James was apparently a bit put off by this seeming endorsement of the show, and tweeted thus:

Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW.

This has the advantage of being true, but we do live in a media-driven world, so his handlers finessed it a bit:

Contrary to what was reported, LL Cool J was never scheduled to be a guest on 'Real American Stories' with Sarah Palin this week. The show had planned to use an interview from 2008 that was being repurposed without LL's permission. This statement is not a reflection of any feelings LL has toward Fox News or Ms. Palin, whom he has never met, rather a clarification of what we have seen published in the media.

I don't find either of those statements particularly egregious. Mr. Smith could easily have said (if there wasn't that pesky 140-character limit something like "That callow right-wing shitbag Sarah Palin and her gang of idiots are being deliberately deceitful in using my image to promote their hunk-of-crap show, which would surprise me if I didn't already know that lies run in their veins like hemoglobin." It would still be right, and half the country would cheer him for telling FOX and Palin to go get fucked. But LL said something merely meant to embarrass them for their chicanery, and his handlers took what passes for the classy way out among publicists.

But here's the really fun part: FOX's response.

'Real American Stories' features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith's interview fits that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.

Now, there are several ways you could characterize that response. "Bitchy" would be one way. "Petty" would be another. "Catty" and "childish" would be two more. You particularly have to love the "fledgling acting career" thing, because, while nobody's gonna argue that Cool J is any great shakes as an actor, he's about a million times more successful as an actor than Sarah Palin is as an anything. I mean, shit, look at the numbers:

L.L. COOL J: 2 Grammys, 14 Top 40 hits, 10 platinum albums, 5 gold albums, starred in 22 feature films including 2 #1 box office hits, starred in 8 television series including lead roles in two, multiple successful endorsement deals, started three successful businesses.

SARAH PALIN: Came in third place in beauty contest, attended four colleges before graduating, failed to make it as a sportscaster on two different TV stations, won mayoral race in town where less than a thousand people voted, lost nomination for lieutenant governor, was forced to resign from state appointment over ethics charges, won the governorship of Alaska but quit before finishing her term, and ran for vice-president of the United States and was not only roundly defeated, but also widely blamed for sinking the entire ticket. L.L. Cool J has even written more books than she has.

So, you can see why she would be really condescending to him.

*: Apparently, she is also going to have a show on TLC called Sarah Palin's Alaska. I guess It Was Sarah Palin's Alaska for Two Years But She Couldn't Handle It and She Quit was too long.


Apr. 1st, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
I don't usually much care to pile on Sarah P. (not because I think there's anything redeeming there, just b/c it's too easy and it adds fuel to the fire, to mix metaphors) - but this post is brilliant. thank you.
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
DID YOU KNOW? L.L. Cool J's "fledgling" acting career began 23 years ago, when he starred in his first major motion picture the same year that Sarah Palin was attempting to graduate from college for the fourth time.
Apr. 1st, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Why would Mr Cool J's people be scrambling to endear themselves to Fox and private citizen Palin? Nuisance lawsuits?
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Re: Mama said KNOCK YOU OUT
Well, presumably, LL's handlers are being polite on the assumption that taste in music/movies/TV knows no party, and they don't want to offend any FOX News watchers who might one day buy one of their client's records or watch one of his TV shows.

FOX, on the other hand, operates on the assumption that they can turn everyone who doesn't kowtow to them into a public enemy.

We'll just have to check back in about 20 years and see which of the two is more successful.
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
That's exactly it. This is the insane ministry of information. We'll make you a public enemy! We warned you!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Re: Mama said KNOCK YOU OUT
Is this like in Star Trek II, that "hours would seem like days" code? Because I'm sure that it won't take 20 whole years...
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
By fledgling, maybe they meant he just started his first season on A television show recently. A show that is a spin off of the highest rated show on television. On the highest rated network on television. So, in that sense, fledgling.
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, but even that's not accurate -- he had his own television show for four years.
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
I think what they were trying to say, CLEARLY, was that that since 'In The House' only went for 76 episode over four year and didn't hit the 100 episode syndication sweet spot, his career is fledgling.
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
oh man thats rich
what a snotty reply!
her handlers need handlers!
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Thanks for breaking this down for me. I was aware of LL Cool J and knew he was on TV sometimes, but had no idea of the breadth of his career. That Fox spit in the face response is incredible. It really highlights how personally they take their shit. I mean, they try and hide behind an impartial "It's only business, just giving the public what they want" facade, but when someone insults their Sarah by not playing along, the claws come out.
Apr. 1st, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
How Do Ya Like Me Now? I'm gettin' busier
Apparently the Toby Keith clip is equally unauthorized, according to Hitfix: "Keith, who says he's a registered Democrat, was not told about the usage of a past interview for Palin's program. 'We were never contacted by Fox,' his rep tells Hitfix. 'I have no idea what interview it's taken from. They're promoting this like it's a brand new interview. He never sat down with Sarah Palin.'"

Don't know if Keith will ask his interview to be removed. His demographic might dislike that.

I assume Toby's politics are all over the place. I'd think he'd be solidly right-wing on war issues and abortion and the like but would be the sort who thinks single mothers should have access to health insurance. That's a guess, though.

And I have long harbored the hope that Natalie Maines would enter rap and rework LL's "Jack The Ripper" so as to be about Toby Keith rather than Kool Moe Dee.

Prince of the growl is on the prowl
How Do You Like Me Now punk? You livin' foul

Of course LL himself could make it about Palin:

It ain't loud enough punk, it ain't hittin'
This year you tried, next year you're quittin'
Apr. 1st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: How Do Ya Like Me Now? I'm gettin' busier
I mean... did they think no one was going to notice that these weren't actual interviews she did?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Sure, but people who are not Fox News viewers still noticed. I guess they just figured the people who noticed didn't matter.
Apr. 1st, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
Great post. I have a rather high tolerance for stupid politician tricks, but Sarah Palin is a sore spot for me. It's rather obvious that they had to recut these interviews because Palin is entirely too dumb to do it properly, but how can they just take old footage and cut her in? It will look like a Colbert Report sketch.
Apr. 1st, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
That's what Palin gets for hiring Canibus as a program consultant.
Apr. 1st, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
Moderately mindblowing, and not in the good way. I mean. What the fucking fuck, I don't even. This is such amateur-hour horseshit.
Apr. 1st, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Also Sarah Palin was never on The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
Apr. 1st, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
My favorite thing about this (I saw it on Salon yesterday), is that apparently, Fox News considers some "fledgling actor" with no other apparent skills or resources to be "an inspiration."

Which tells you more about their demographic than you'd probably glean from 36 hours of continuous observation of their programming.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Well, of course he was an inspiration... right up until he (rather politely, all things considered) told them to get bent. Then he became a "fledgling". Naturally.

*gag* *hurl*
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
I had nearly the same response when I read the FOX response. You can say a lot of things about LL Cool J, but calling the dude's acting career "fledgling" is just downright disingenuous and back handed.
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Also, I'm laying down dollars to donuts that Palin's "show" is just her reading intro narration off a teleprompter in front of a magic green screen of waving flags and crying eagles before segueing to completely unrelated interviews with people she's never met.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
Don't call it a comeback/I been fledgling for years
Apr. 2nd, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
The conservative media is a joke that keeps getting funnier and funnier.

Apr. 2nd, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
Fantastic Post - thank you :)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Here via a comment theweaselking left elsejournal, and I've gotta say: Well done, well done indeed, every word of it. Bravo.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Palin's a joke. I tend to ignore everything she does.