'Family Guy' vs. Sarah Palin: Who's right in this inevitable controversy?

The inevitable has happened: Family Guy has upset Sarah Palin. On Sunday’s episode, Chris went on a date with a girl from school who happened to have Down syndrome and who happened, halfway through the date, to say, “my mom’s the former governor of Alaska.” Palin immediately took to Facebook to call it a “kick in the gut” because she felt it “mocked” her infant son, Trig, who has the same genetic condition. She then turned the response over to her daughter, Bristol: “As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people –- especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.” (Fox wasn’t immediately available for comment this morning.)

I’d say that, as a rule, no, there aren’t limits to what Family Guy will do or say. And let’s face it, the writers can be  heartless jerks. It’s kind of their thing. Many times, in fact, they seem to strain themselves just to court controversy and be offensive. Many times they succeed in being both funny and offensive. This time, however, they did something else: They courted controversy simply by dropping that vague Palin reference, almost as an afterthought, it seems. (It’s not like the girl was named Trig or was, you know, an infant or a boy like Palin’s real-life kid.) But the rest of the episode — save for a few trademark-Stewie lines that erred on the offensive side — actually treated Ellen very much like any other character, which shows quite a bit of respect in the Family Guy universe. Her defining trait wasn’t her Down syndrome, it was the fact that she was bitchy and demanding and ultimately rejected Chris even though he heeded her every command. You could see it as mocking, I suppose, that Stewie sang a song called “Down Syndrome Girl” while getting Chris ready for his date. But that made a lot more fun of poor Chris and his smelly, gross tendencies than it did of his date:

Yes, there are references to hugs that are “tighter than a vice and go on for an hour,” the “shorty bus,” and the fact that she’s “for some reason always shouting.”(Side note: Ellen herself didn’t shout.) But is this enough to warrant Palin’s wrath? I honestly don’t know — I don’t have a child with Down syndrome. I do, however, salute including those with the condition in our everyday entertainment, and doing so without patronizing them. This episode did that, and even came off pretty sweet, by Family Guy standards.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Did Family Guy go too far this time? Or is Palin overreacting?

Comments (694 total) Add your comment
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  • Pete

    Maybe Palin should be more concerned about the people who will suffer and die because they don’t have healthcare, than about a perceived slight on a cartoon tv show know for being irreverant.

    • Bill

      yes, Palin is responsible for the health care crisis. Are you for real???

      • Dan Quayle

        I think Pete is trying to say that Palin’s political rhetoric is much more offensive than some cartoon show

      • Feiss

        Wow, Dan. If you were this astute twenty years ago, you would’ve had a future in politics!

      • Will

        That is not what Pete is saying Bill.

        Palin will use this as a way of gaining more media attention for herself. If she spent a fraction of the amount time she does towards “defending” herself against “liberals” and spent it on constructive, meaningful conversation about healthcare reform we might be in a better position. Talking about “death panels” is not helpful, only childish

      • jj

        BUT IT’S SATIRE!

      • Stu

        She did make up the death panels.

      • Mark

        Bill, I’d like you to show where Pete states that Palin “IS” responsible for the Healthcare crisis. Where does he say that? What she is responsible for, is the attempt at crushing any possible version. She should be ashamed because what she does is nothing short of partisan.

        As for the Family Guy episode, I have a relative with Down syndrome,. She should lighten up and see that it was positive to show a person with NO affliction choosing to overlook a person with an affliction.

        Sarah Palin apparently has positioned herself to make fun of whoever she chooses and say whatever she wants, BUT, does not afford anyone else the same freedom.

      • KarenJ

        She IS responsible for underfunding the state agency responsible for evaluation, care, and treatment of Medicaid/Medicare Alaskans — 277 died during the 2-1/2 years she was governor because she short-shrifted the state budget for these agencies, which prevented them from hiring adequate staff to initiate evaluations and prevented adequate follow-up of current patient/clients. The Federal government, OTOH, had already given the state of Alaska 61% of the funds necessary to get the job done.


      • Cody

        Bill you’re dumb.

      • John

        Personally I find almost anything that comes out of Sarah Palin’s mouth offensive but to attack Sarah Palin over health care (whilst a very important issue that I believe Sarah Palin is on the wrong sid e of) in relation to this sketch is counter-productive and serves only to further confuse the debate around this issue and the issue of health care. If you want to attack Sarah Palin on health care fine but please stick to the issue at hand

    • Moe

      Why the hell is she attacking the family guy episode. I mean Chris (the character on family guy) was sympathetic towards the down syndrome girl, actually he didn’t even mention it or attack it. Towards the end, when he realized she was bossy, that’s when he said “I dont care if your mom is Governor of Alaska.” Man Sarah Palin is such a douche who only wants attention just like Heidi Montag. Also, who uses facebook to attack a person or a show, what is she 15?

      • Jen

        I agree. She plays the victim card over and over again. Good grief, she’s got that Mean Girl cheerleader thing down pact. First, she attacks everyone with her nasty comments then she whines and complains if anyone ever says anything about her.

      • lynn

        the show is pathetic for starters…it’s a cartoon for pete’s sake! who even watches it??? I only heard of it threw a friend because it there was a Down syndrome story in it. Why??? again WHY???? because the show is a freak’n cartoon and those who watch should be in a high chair!!!

      • nahiku

        Amen to that! Thanks Moe you hit the nail on head!

        lynn – if you don’t like it then what the heck are you watching it for??? ” threw (sic) a friend” get real–who are you trying to kid???
        – the show is hilarious to those of us with a sense of humor

      • Rick

        Who watched that show anymore? It used to be funny until about sesaon 5. Now it’s “Simpons” painful.

      • David W Hicks

        I agree. If Sarah Palin knew anything about Family Guy, she would know that they make fun of EVERYONE. I don’t understand why she’s being so defensive. Just take it with a grain of salt, Sarah, and drive on…

      • carnation

        listen to song carefully ideot !!!!!!!!!!!!!thats why all you sick people that like those cartoons have a mind like those cartoons , i should know my boyfriend is a loser , and the song was making fun of a downsydrome girl , you would have to have a child with downs to get kicked in the gut , i do , and it hurts , sarah palin was hurt as well , like it or not , this nonsense needs to stop , so disrespectful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Secant

        carnation: you probably wouldn’t understand the show if you don’t know how to spell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dan


    • Howard Zen

      Seth McFarlane and his supporters are SCUM.

      • alaskan1st

        Howard…..you do know that FOX is Seth’s supporters, don’t you?

      • Ryan

        Palin’s network did make him the highest paid tv producer (at least for cartoons)

      • Secant

        Reasons or examples to base that comment on or just personal opinion?

    • Mary

      Enough! I don’t care what Sarah Palin’s politics are. Making fun of children with Downs is unacceptable. This episode was not funny, just hurtful.

      • Cam

        I laughed.

      • Jerry

        Did you even see the episode? I doubt it. I can not stand when people criticize and try to censor things especially when they don’t even watch/reach/listen to they are complaining about.

        I thought the Family Guy episode was suprisingly respectful. It didn’t condescend the Ellen character.

        I hate political correctness and I deem myself a liberal. By trying to be political correct, I find it can actually be more hurtful and harmful to any group. And at least people are saying what they think, and not hiding behind what society deems as appropriate. This will create dialogue and who knows people might learn something.

      • Dorian

        They definately did NOT make fun of people with downs syndrome. Why do you think that? it is not at all the reality of it. People have to stop thinking that only positive images of people with disablities shoud be shown and pretending that something like this that shows them as rounded people are making fun of them, they showed this character as real, rather than 1 dimensional purey positive. The character was not very nice, but that was not meant to be due to her disability. In fact having her as a normal person who happened to be bitchy, and happened to be downs is a step forward. Do you know anyone with downs? do you think they should be kept safe in special homes? Because they are so vulnerable?

      • Dave

        In what way was this episode making fun of people with Down Syndrome? Watch the damn episode before making an idiotic comment. And if you did watch it, then stop playing your sensitive card, or, TURN OFF THE TV! Not that hard…let those of us who enjoy Family Guy keep on enjoying it, and you go ahead and watch whatever’s on PBS!

      • HM

        LMAO, CAM, I laughed he says!! love it..i totally did too

      • McFudge

        I think Sarah Palin’s critics should stop reading articles about her. It only seems to get them inexplicably upset. They should forget about her and just get on with their lives.

      • lynn

        Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Making fun of others is just plain moronic!

      • MN

        It’s satire right? You betcha!

      • eric

        Ok – If it is P.C. to make fun of people with handicaps, how about Jews and Polish people. Let’s start making fun of everybody!
        Dumb @$$ Liberals …

      • gloria

        It is a total lack of class to poke fun at any disability. Palin is right to be offended. Being a parent of a child with a disability, I can totally understand her sensitivity to such mud slinging.

      • Jen

        Eric, (no kidding) I’m a dyslexic, Polish, Jew. And I think the jokes are hysterical.

        If a joke is funny, then it’s funny and you laugh. If it isn’t, then roll your eyes and let it go. Life is way too short to take this shit so seriously.

      • Jen

        And as for “Let’s start making fun of everybody!”
        It’s called equal opportunity offending. And I’m proud to live in a country where I have the freedom to do that.

      • Drew

        @ Eric – If you know anything, the show is equal opportunity in making fun of people. They make fun of gay people, Mexican people, Black people, women, men, children, etc. etc. What difference is a disabled individual? By putting them off limits, you are treating them differently and having relatives that are developmentally disabled they do NOT want to be treated any different than anyone else.

      • carnation

        you are so right mary , it needs to stop , enough is enough , these disabled children and adults deserve to live life as normal as all of us , were all human and we bleed the same color , these people dont understand how bad it hurts , i love my daughter to death , and no one and no one will speak about her in that way , not even in a childish cartoon , for as long as i live i am her speaker to defend her , i hope they do something higher , some kind of law or something , this has gone too far !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lele

      I think she has a right to be upset…can you imagine if that was said about you or a family member. yes she is in the public life but still, that is so harsh and uncalled for to make fun of her and her little boy for a condition that can’t be helped. it is sad and ridiculous that we even condone this kind of stuff. so sad.

      • marymary

        I am the mother of a son with Autism and I found it extremely offensive. I thought they crossed the line with the song. It went on way too long and it was just so wrong. It’s one thing to make fun of George Bush or someone’s politics, etc.. but to make fun of innocent children who unfortunately do have to ride the short bus? Broke my heart.

      • Lauren

        While it’s completely unacceptable to mock those with limited abilities, that is Family Guy. It doesn’t mean it is acceptable, it just means it’s that shows trademark. The big thing here for me with Sarah Palin is that she constantly “fights for the little guy” and takes a lot of offense to those who are mocked for being disabled, but she is the one who paraded her child around like “Hey, I have a child with Downs Syndrome, vote for me”. This is a woman if you remember who voted AGAINST funding for programs to support those with special needs while she was Governor. As a mother of someone with DS, and as a person claiming she has always supported their rights, she has some explaining to do. It seems more to me like she is trying to insert herself into any controversy she can so she can get her name out there. It still will not get her my vote or admiration. That goes to the parents who love and take care of their children and work to make their lives as fulfilling as possible, not as a pawn in a political chess game.

      • Dorian

        What about the actual character, forget stewies song, was the actual character mocking disabled people? If you say she was I will be surprised, and would suggest you watch it again. The point of her character was to show that people with disabilites are just like everyone else, they are not always cute and cuddly. If they were treated as people things would be fine, I feel society treats them as less than children, more like pets. I think its possible that family guy got the tone wrong, but the truth is Chris was mocked more than his date.
        I think mentioning the governor of alaska was a bit strange, a non joke that added a tenuous link between the character and a public figure without adding anything to the show.

      • Drake

        Did anyone bother to watch the episode let alone the clip provided on this page? Marymary,
        Im deeply sorry about your son. I know he is probably your little angel. God made him special for a reason, and I feel no discrimination to such children or adults of any special need. My heart goes out to them, but I watched the episode and refreshed my memory with the clip and still I heard nothing majorly disrespectful to the the girl in question, Ellen. In fact she was pretty well refered to as pretty. Ok, maybe titling her Down Syndrome Girl was a little disrespectful, but they were only stating a fact. No offense to anyone, and I’m not racist, but if im talking about a kid who happens to be black, I would say that black kid. But keep in mind this is with no disrespect. I really don’t like saying it, but aren’t they black? Back to the main point. Family Guy makes its living off of hateful comments but care was taken in this episode not to be to disrespectful. I mean really, a normal young boy falls in love with this girl and goes gaga over her. I see no disrespect and Sarah Palin, God bless her, i wish could see that too. However, everyone it entitled to their opinion and this is mine.

      • nahiku

        Lauren – question please – did you actually watch the show???

        It was not in the least disrespectful of those with DS- There was no mocking – Palin is the hypocrite – Family Guy “makes its living off of hateful comments but care was taken in this episode not to be to disrespectful.” to quote another.
        Palin makes her living projecting an image of caring while she uses everyone including her child, as pawns and props.

      • Lauren

        Nahiku, I did. I didn’t find it disrespectful, I was just saying you could. I love Family Guy actually.

      • Katie

        If Sarah thinks her little boy was made fun of, she didn’t watch the episode. And if she thinks her children should be off limits to the public eye (something I agree with 100%) then Sarah Palin needs to stop bringing them into the public eye. They shouldn’t have any part in any public aspect of her life – not campaigning, not performing “state duties,” not acting as her spokesperson. They shouldn’t be paraded around as props, they shouldn’t be trotted out for photo ops, and she has got to stop referring to her Down Syndrome baby in a negative light which she does ALL THE TIME. A lot of people have children with DS – they don’t use their children to further their own popularity.

        And as for the comment about how moronic it is to make fun of other people – how do you feel about Palin’s constant mocking of our president? Is that not moronic too? Likening him to Hitler – is that not moronic? Name-calling and sneering as Palin does so frequently in that book of hers – is that not moronic? The far-right’s constant use of the world “libtard” – is that not moronic? Or does your self-righteous indignation only apply to what the liberal left does?

      • Tyler

        Look lele,

        The have mad fun of something touchy.
        But im way obese..like very fat just incazse you diddnt know what that meant, BUT, I am verty over weight and on a daily basis, Family Guy mocks a fat guy or 2 EVERY SHOW, and you dont see me crying.

        Suck it up.

        And if it kills you so bad, dont watch it.

      • Kat

        I didn’t even know Sarah Palin HAD a child with DS. I thought the comment made on the show referring to ‘Ellens’ mother was to reflect how b*tchy Sarah Palin is

    • Siri

      My goodness, Sarah and Bristol are sounding awfully LIBERAL, aren’t they?! :-D

    • hannah

      She was being mocked. Family Guy mocks EVERYONE. It’s ok for her to defend Rush Limbaugh using satire but god forbid a Comedy show does the same thing.

      • Tina

        This her child being mocked, do you not see the difference. Seriously how old are you people and do you have children, because I would sure ass hell not be laughing off someone poking fun at my child. And the difference between Rush Limbaugh saying what he said is that he was not making fun of her child, do you really need someone to explain that difference to you or is the point just to play dumb to prove your point.

      • Kelly

        Ridiculous, Tina. It was not Sarah Palin’s child. IT WAS A JOKE!!!!!

      • Jennifer

        If anyone was being mocked, it was Palin herself, and like all politicians, she’s fair game. And her obviously easily offended sensibilities only makes it that much funnier.

    • MultiPass

      Palin let’s Rush L off the hook because what he said was in the context of political satire… and yet she chooses to hit back at family guy? A comedy show… Good lord she could not possibly be a more transparent political hack. Blatant hypocrisy.

      The irony is that she USES her little son for political advantage and trots him or his name out at every turn in order to get press.

      She is a disgusting bottom feeder with a severe case of narcissism. Hopefully she will run for president.

      • Tina

        you are disgusting can you not see the difference between making fun of someones children and ,making fun of an adult. Are you really that one sided you can’t see the difference. Taking your children out with you is not parading them around, she obviously loves her children and she is a mother so naturally she is going to have her children with her more then a man would. The only thing that is funny here is listening to you peoples half a** attempts to defend this stupid discriminatory poor excuse for a show. Anyone who waste there time watching this crap is lacking in the brains department anyway. Its also obvious then no one read what her reply was to this, when did she attack “Family Guy” please get your facts striaght.

      • springs

        Please don’t attack other people’s intelligence for liking a smart (although often offensive) show. Seriously, I would worry about learning the difference between “there” and “their” before I went around insulting other people for their opinions.

      • Lou

        You’re scolding someone for attacking people’s intelligence? Why don’t you look all over this entire comment board and scold every person who mentions the word “idiot”, “moron”, etc. Oh I forgot, it’s Ok to attack people’s intelligence as long as your attacking Palin or a Palin supporter.

      • kg

        Lou, you might want to research the difference between “your” and “you’re.” It could prove very enlightening.

      • ChrisGriffin

        Sarah Palin’s kids weren’t attacked they never said Trig or anything, they just said it as a small joke on her. She deserves it she’s half a damn politician she can’t finish her term because shes to bitchy… I think that was the joke. A woman you see as mentally disabled then a bitchy normal person then quits when she doesn’t get what she wanted.

      • Tom Smith

        Tina i made straight a’s in school and made an 86 on the adsvab for the military and i love family guy son not only idiots watch it

    • B.

      I guess the word is only ok to use if it’s Rash Limpd!ck using it.

      • TammyK

        She chewed Rush out, too! (As she should have)

      • MN

        BULLS**T! She did not chew out Rush. Rush can hurt her. Sarah Palin is about making money for being famous.

      • Drew

        What are you talking about? Palin brushed off Rush’s comments as being satirical. TammK, you are clearly unaware of this. It is extremely hypocritical of Palin to even do that; she is attacking the “liberals”, but, if they are as right-wing as she is, then they are only joking.

    • Kate

      This was DEFINITELY a shot at Sarah Palin and her Special Needs son.To deny this, illustrates the length people will go to in order to justify hateful remarks. The creator of Family Guy did a poor job hiding his Hateful feelings about those with special needs and his hateful feelings towards Sarah Palin. This disrespect needs to stop!

      • Lou

        Very well said. Family Guy is a show that has undeniably favored liberal views and constantly mocked the right. Whatever, that’s fine. But to try and say that part of the episode wasn’t a direct attack on Sarah Palin is plain ignorant and only trying to rationalize a hateful statement towards a person they do not particularly like. So attack the right all you want, Family Guy, you’ll never hear a peep from the liberals until you attack Barack Obama or Rachel Maddow. Then you’ve gone too far.

        For a party that constantly advocates tolerance, they sure as hell aren’t tolerant towards people who disagree with them.

      • alaskan1st

        Sarah, the good thing about this episode is that it made a girl with down syndrome seem like just another feisty teenager. All you saw, was a character with a disability, makeing a reference to haveing you as a mom. And what’s so wrong with that? If your son grows up to be someone as smart and opinionated as Ellen, won’t you be proud? You should applaud Fox for airing this and Seth for creating it. It gives people an opportunity to converse about people with disabilities………and maybe should quit paradeing your family if you want them left out of the ruckus.

      • Christo

        Oh my god it’s a show that makes fun of people; blacks, whites, Jews, and even jesus. Either you think it’s funny or you don’t. And as for this “liberal bias” on family guy, I guarantee that they’ll eventually make fun of Obama just like they did with Regan both bushes and Clinton. Stop trying to make every thing so political

      • Carlos

        The show does not make fun of the politics of liberals. It does skewer everyone else, but the closest parody of the left the show ever put on was a tired Clinton-as-philanderer episode. In other words, FG has sacred cows, i.e., liberals, which undermines the claim that they treat everyone the same. If they skewer Olberman or Maddow, then I’ll believe FG is even-handed. BTW, Stewie’s song ridiculed people with Down Syndrome even if Ellen was treated as any other character. And they called out Palin specifically. If they hadn’t done that, then I’m sure she and Bristol wouldn’t have reacted as they did.

      • ken

        if you would have watched on the message was that people with ds can be no diffrent than any one else “I heard people with Downs sindrom was diffrent.But your not you are @ss holes just like the REST OF US.

      • Carlos

        Ken, the show had conflicting messages (Stewie’s song v. how Ellen was portratyed) and took a cheap shot at Palin. I don’t see how that’s debatable. What is in question is the intent of the Macfarlane and the FG writers. I think based on their avoidance of satirizing any liberal that FG shows bias, not even-handed “make fun of everyone” satire. South Park does that, but FG doesn’t. Macfarlane is a well known Dem supporter and Obama backer. He lets politics drive his humor. Any pretense at evenhandeness is eviscerated by the show’s refusal to make fun of liberals. I say this and I’m a fan of the show.

      • Frank

        Family Guy portrays Bill Clinton in a satirical light and if I’m not mistaken he has been known as something of a ‘liberal’.

      • Frank

        As far as making fun of the politics of liberals, Brian, the dog character, appears to make liberal statements yet is often the subject of mockery.

    • Reality

      If you do not agree with Sarah Palin’s political views. Why don’t you all of you move to a country that is more suitable to your political standards, like Russia. Try living in Russia for a decade then tell me you want change in America.

      • alaskan1st

        I hope you’re jokeing. If people don’t agree with Sarah(and you) we should move out? Do you hear yourself? This person will stay here and let you rant all you want because you (and Sarah) don’t represent free Americans……..Russia indeed

      • Judyblu

        The purpose of Family Guy is to make us all laugh. Saran Palin has no sense of humor unless she is making fun of people with more brain cells than she has. She is so out of touch with regular folks it’s downright pathetic (as evidenced by her $500 a plate luncheons; C’Mon I could think of much better ways of spending $500 like housing, food, utilities and medical bills). But hey, that is the beauty of America. She is just as entitled to her no media private commentary as alaskan1st is to his/her opinions. Sara Palin is intellectually bankrupt and idologically empty. Laugh and the world laughs with you…Cry and your mascara runs. I think that’s the quote. Wait. Give me just a moment here. I have it somewhere written on my elbow. Wink. Wink.

    • Doug

      Hey, it’s ok, the civil war is coming, and the good news for people on my side is that we own and know how to use firearms.

      • alaskan1st

        You think your side is the only side thats armed?……..better open your mind a little. This is a free country full of armed citizens, both left and right……and I can only tell what side you’re on by your attitude. Only a wing nut would say such a thing.

    • sean

      u r a moron trying to connect these 2. sarah palin is not a politician right now, what effect does she have on health care legislation?? pete u r a liberal fool, keep defending this increasingly bad show.

      • Judyblu

        But she will have an effect if she runs for President. She will takes votes from the Republicans. I’ll drink to that (I mean I’ll have another cup of tea).

    • Laurie

      Just remember one thing. Sarah Palin is NOT the president of the US. If you want to blame someone, blame Obama for not being upfront and honest and putting forth a healthcare plan that will benefit ALL people, not just the poor AND illegal aliens. Sarah would not have been upset by the Downs Syndrome piece on Family Guy IF they had not stated the girl’s mother was the former Governor of Alaska…that being said Sarah realized that she and her family were being attacked. It does not necessarily mean that she watches the program. One of her kids may have watched it and told Sarah. I just want to know why everyone hates Sarah so much.

    • Wes

      No one will die because they don’t have healthcare, hospitals won’t refuse immediate service to a dying person
      Either way, it’s not even up to Palin whether or not healthcare is passed, that’s all Congress and Obama, especially if he goes the Executive Order route…

  • Chris

    Palin isn’t offended. She just seized the opportunity to use her baby as a prop one more time. “Look at me! I have a baby with Down Syndrome that I didn’t abort!”

    • Dan Quayle

      I think she just looked at it as another opporutnity to grab the media’s attention in further buildup to her run for presidency. God help us all.

    • Lisa

      Exactly. She’ll get a week’s worth of free publicity out of this just like so many other self-manufactured media opportunities… like scribbling crib notes on her hand, wearing a blacked out McCain hat and various criticizms of President Obama.

      • McFudge

        The only reason anyone knew she scribble a few words on her hands is that the media brought it up in the first place; she didn’t.

    • zolon

      Aww….Chris, too bad she upset you by keeping her child and revering life. Get over it.

      • Allison

        If she really “revered life” she wouldn’t shoot animals from helicopters.

      • Johnification

        Sorry, but I have a BIG problem with her “pro-life” stance. Bottom line: if you are pro-life, you DON’T GET TO BRAG about keeping a kid. It’s a no brainer to you. There’s no choice. No moral high ground. It just IS. Like when Bristol CHOSE to keep her baby and mom was so proud of her for making the right CHOICE, that was hypocrisy. They don’t believe there is a choice, so you don’t get to tout it.

        Sounds to me like Family Guy treated the character with respect, and Palin is once again responding to the use of her name. Nothing wrong with her offense, but for the Palins to act offended on behalf of those with Downs is ridiculous. She was the butt of the joke here, not the character. Once again she is being a hypocrite.

      • lbk30

        If she really revered life, she wouldn’t support the war.

      • Brett

        Where in Chris’ post did you gather that he was upset that she didn’t abort the baby? Don’t be so dimwitted(even though you probably can’t help it).

        She has used her “choice” for life to impress upon others her own position regarding abortion. It’s silly of her to think that those “props” won’t become objects of ridicule. While I might not see the pot-shots as appropriate, it’s what the media does. She knew it going into her profession.

      • Ian

        Amen Allison…..if shooting animals from a helicopter (how brave and noble) and using your own child as a means to get attention to help your political career is your idea of “revering” life, then I’m guessing you also believed George Bush when he told you that Jesus told him to invade Iraq. Go back to the clinic, I think they botched their attempt at aborting you.

      • UR DUMB

        zolon; you have no reading comprehension skills.

      • McFudge

        @Johnification: That would be like saying I can’t encourage others to be vegetarians unless I eat meat.

    • Desmo

      And who were the idiots who handed her the opportunity? I mean come on, you talk about downs-syndrome and Sarah Palin and you expect her to just sit there and not say anything. The writers were looking for a response and they got it.

      • Bree

        If the writers got the response they wanted, why would they be “idiots?”.

      • Duh

        They’re idiots for wanting the response. Thanks a lot for giving Palin another reason to mouth off, idiots.

      • Desmo

        Thank you Duh for pointing out the obvious to Bree.

      • ian g

        the writers haven’t built this show just so they can make fun of one person. they’re making jokes, they are merely entertaining. desmo, things that are “obvious” to you, are irrationally stupid to others.

      • terry

        I’m conflicted, hate The Family Guy, can’t stand Palin. Hmm, what to do? Guess I’ll just ignore both.

    • hill

      Um, i dont think she would’ve noticed if they didnt actually say that the childs mom was the former governor of alaska.

    • Linda

      Wow. Hate Palin, that’s fine. But why does Trig upset you so much? “Here’s a baby I didn’t abort”?? Is it possible, just MAYBE possible, that the Palins actually *love* this child??

      • Joe

        Republicans don’t love children. They slap the crap out of them in public.

      • Laura

        I don’t think it’s Trig that upsets people, but rather that Sarah Palin repeatedly insists on using her child as a tool to garner more media attention and promote her own agenda.

      • Ted

        Beautiful said, Laura.

      • McFudge

        @Joe: What are you talking about?

    • Tomm

      And she pawns off on her kids to her nanny. But of course, any real woman has to stay home according to the ‘base’.

    • george seros


      YOu are an idiot. A stupid idiot.

    • MusiqPeace

      LOL-ing at Chris!!!

  • Jeff E.

    Offensive? Maybe. But no one can offend you without your permission. You have to CHOOSE to be offended. Get over it and live your life.

    • Daniel

      The only thing about the episode that offended me was that the song seemed over-long. After about (what seemed to be) 16 minutes, I was ready for the song to be over so they got back to the show. “Freakin FCC” this song wasn’t.

    • McFudge

      If that were true it would follow that there is nothing that is empirically offensive. You would find few people who would agree with that, I suspect.

  • Siobhan50

    I think Family Guy probably always goes too far. It’s not my cup of tea so I don’t watch it. I do have a sister with Down Syndrome, however, and I like the way Ellen was portrayed as tough and funny and not seeking sympathy. I see that as progress. Unlike Bristol, I don’t believe people with disabilities are “less fortunate.”

    • Lisa

      I don’t think they are less fortunate, especially Trig Palin. He will have the best of everything the world has to offer.

    • Carolyn

      I agree. I don’t agree with the less fortunate view. I knew a girl in school with Down Syndrome. She’s pretty damn good for herself. She probably would disagree with that label also.

    • cpierson

      Trig isn’t less fortunate because he has Down’s. He’s less fortunate because he’s a Palin. For instance, Sarah didn’t seem to worried about him when she was hoisting him around in noisy, crowded environments with lots of bright and/or flashing lights, simply so she could boost her we’re-jes’-folksiness quotient during the campaign, so as to con the rubes.

      • J

        I do see people with Down’s syndrome as less fortunate than completely healthy people. When you have a condition where you are lucky to live far into your thirties and various other potential health issues, then yes that does make you less fortunate than those with a normal life expectancy and a clear bill of health. It doesn’t mean they are less fortunate in general than every person without down’s syndrome, but I think it’s fair to say they are less fortunate as far as health is concerned.

      • McFudge

        Of course people with Down’s are less fortunate than those of us who don’t have it. Blind or deaf people are less fortunate than those of us who can see or hear. I have a chronic illness that makes me less fortunate than those who don’t. Doesn’t mean we can’t overcome the obstacles life throws our way, or that we have no worth, or that we shouldn’t be respected, or that we aren’t fortunate in ways that others aren’t. But there’s no use pretending that something isn’t what it is.

      • Tina

        Since when do people with down syndrome have to stay in the dark. I guess thats why they created the special olympics right. Now being caried by your mother in a crowded room is now child abuse. I

    • bdoll

      thank you siobhan, it is interesting that the palins make such a fuss about people disrespecting those with downs and then go on to say that havig down syndrome makes you “less fortunate”. that is easliy as offensive. at least the show treated her as an equal character and not like a “special case”.

    • Brett

      We are a society that labels and casts out those who aren’t carbon copies of the originals. The only reason why the “different” might feel less fortunate is because we continuously present them and treat them as such.

  • Ryan

    I saw part of it and it wasn’t even funny. Offensive and unfunny is the worst.

    • Dan Quayle

      Offensive is the best kind of funny.

      • zolon

        Dan, try not to be such a slug.

      • Jerry

        Offensive in a clever way is funny. Not clever and offensive is not.

      • walrus

        I completely agree. If it isnt then why does SNL still do the news? Why is The Soup so funny? Did Richard Prior not entertain you? how about Lisa Lampanelli, Chris Rock, George Carlin, Dave Chapelle, etc? Did they not make their carrer by insulting and offending? Give me one comidian that has made their prosperous career out of being not offensive…

    • Brett

      I disagree. When you laugh at something that is offensive, you may not fully grasp the severity of its offense.

    • Dorian

      Ryan, can I suggest you watch the whole thing? It may not change your feelings about whether its funny but it is worth looking at its portrayal of her character.

  • Johnnyvegas

    I’m not much of a Palin fan, but the line was a terrible cheap shot at the expense of her family, and not funny either. Make fun of Sarah for writing notes on her hand or her wardrobe, but not for having a child with Down Syndrome. Classless.

    • Bill

      And what magazine she reads. lol. yes, there’s some good ways to mock Palin and make it funny.

    • walrus

      It isnt even her child!!! it was her whore daughter’s! Perhaps if she would have kept her legs closed then the child wouldnt even have been conceived! No, you’re right, Sarah is a saint for adopting her daughter’s child and using it as her stance on the pro-choice issue

      • Thea

        Walrus… I hope I’m reading your comment wrong… you do know that it was Sarah Palin’s son, not Bristol’s, who had Down Syndrome, right? Trig Palin. Bristol’s child was named… Trap or Trout or Truck or something horrible like that, but that child is entirely different. Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s son. However, it’s true that both Trig and Tripp are distinguished because their mothers “made the choice” to not abort them, and then paraded them around to get sympathy.

  • Bill

    No, I don’t think she’s over-reacting. The piece of dialogue was intended to hurt and ridicule. It wasn’t even a “joke,” it was a mean-spirited call-out.

    FAMILY GUY can be hilarious, even when it’s being offensive. This episode was slightly offensive without being funny.

    • Chayne

      I just don’t see any ridicule in it. Who was it ridiculing?

  • Jennifer

    Really, who cares what Sarah Palin thinks? You either found it funny or you didn’t; FG is often offensive, and still hilarious.

    • ks


  • Bob

    I have a brother who has Down syndrome. And he is the best thing in the world to me. But I dont find this offensive. Yes, they make light of things on Family Guy, but they did not attack a person with a disability. That was not the focus. There are other forms of media that have been more unkind than Family Guy, so I dont think they did anything wrong.

    I believe Palin enjoys getting her two cents in anywhere it will get her media coverage. I’m so sick of hearing her whine and use her diabled child as a crutch to preach. If someone is being offensive about this, its HER.

    • jodipo

      this, 100%

    • nahiku

      Agreed – Yours is the most sensible statement yet!

  • Mothra

    I thought the episode was “freakin’ sweet” for the way Ellen was so wonderfully, abnormally normal in her bitchiness. The writers didn’t treat her with kid gloves, they treated her as HUMAN. She was a bitchy girl with a disability not a disabled girl who was bitchy. She also wasn’t portrayed as special, sacchrine sweet or saintly. I thought it was refreshing and very VERY funny! :) The Palin family never learns: if you ignore it, it goes away faster.

    • Dave

      Thank you Mothra. I could not have said it better.

  • tom

    i see macfarlane quite frequently. lets see if he is ready to pick on someone his own size. stay tuned

    • Bob

      wow really? your going to threaten someone because they make a joke in a cartoon? Did he actually punch a Down’s kid in the face? No. So why would you be so stupid?

    • who cares

      hey everybody look at me im the tough guy

    • John

      Uh oh, watch out for the internet tough guy.

    • Dorian

      If you hurt my good buddy Seth you will have to answer to ME!
      Seriously though, He was NOT picking on those weaker than himself, he was picking on Sarah Palin, a pwoerful public figure.

    • Dave

      Soooooo, Tom, you’re threatening to beat up Seth MacFarlane for what exactly? That guy’s uber rich, and I’m thinking if you put one finger on him, he’d send you to jail for a little longer than you’d expect. Don’t know what you’re mad about exactly because Family Guy has actually offended people in the past, but they did not offend people with Down Syndrome.

  • Akim

    Unless YOU have a child with Down Syndrome, I don’t it’s right to judge Sarah Palin in this instance.

    • Seth M

      Unless YOU have a weekly comedic cartoon show on Fox, I don’t think it’s right to judge this Mr. Family Guy in this instance.

    • D.

      Well, I think it’s pretty telling that all of the comments I’ve read in response to this episode from people who have acquaintances, friends, or family members with Down Syndrome weren’t particularly offended. This was a jab at Sarah Palin, and not at people with Down Syndrome, plain and simple. I would be very surprised if there isn’t at least one person on the Family Guy creative team who has someone with Down Syndrome in their lives.

      • who cares

        good point

      • hannah

        So what if it was a jab at Sarah Palin. She’s a public figure. Public figures can be mocked. If she can’t take it, then she should get out of the limelight.

      • MikeIAm

        Pretty telling? willing to bet 80-90% of the people that are claiming to be parents of, or friends with… Are just saying that to add weight to their arguments. I dont know any, I found the episode just okay not overly funny or offensive. But thats from someone who is honest that they have rarely if ever mingled with anyone requiring special needs.

  • BG

    As usual ex-governor, current-annoyance, Palin is reaching way way way beyond the actual impact or meaning or sentiment, or target, of something/someone in order to have something to be offended about and keep her name bubbling to the top of the pot-o-controversy everyone seems to need/love! Perhaps this rogue maverick could spend her time doing something more useful like keeping an eye on Russia from her house!

    • Trey

      Thats was so full of cheap shots, I think you are one of the writers in disguise BG. It is people like you that keep taking all the cheap shots that keep her in the news.

      • BG

        Face it, she is the Paris Hilton of politics – and as such she only gets the cheap shots.

      • Sabrina

        Cheap shotting is the only way to treat Sarah Palin. Show me one decent thing she’s ever done and I’ll be thrilled to pat her on the back. One.

    • jaws

      BG, can you tell me the names of the 57 states the ex community organizer current president of the U.S. visited

      • BG

        If you mean the 57 states of the United States I am afraid I will come up 7 short.

      • jaws

        did you miss the campaign stop when he said he had visited 57 states

      • Maiv

        Jaws, that was such a fail….

      • BG

        Maybe the CIA is keeping 7 states secret, like area 51. I wonder if East Virginia is one? I am sure New England is!!

      • Gomez

        I wonder if while in Alaska he stopped by Gov. Palin’s house to gain some foreign relations experience by looking at Russia?

      • LOL

        LOL What a tool. Jaws is stuck back in 2008.

      • Shaun

        Apparantley so is everyone else on this board. At least Jaws is comparing what President Obama actually said versus something Palin NEVER said. People, it was Tina Fey who made the Russia comment, not Palin. Can all the Palin fans now rip Obama for something Fred Armesin said while “playing” Obama?

      • Granny

        Good one, Jaws.

      • DEO

        What does that have to do with the QUITTER???

        Tell Brisket & Scarah to back up…it’s ONLY SATIRE, just like Rush Limbaugh does it! Sarah doesn’t mind Rusg’s barbs so shut up. Barbie Troll sarah.

      • Jimbo

        in actuality Shaun, during the campaign, Palin said that she had more foreign policy experience than Obama because Alaska was so close to Russia and if there were going to be an attack, Alaska would be the first area of U.S. airspace they would cross. Tina Fey simplified Palin’s comment with the whole “I can see Russia from my house!” bit.

  • Sarah D

    White House and Family Guy: Bad. Rush Limaugh: Good????

    • jaws

      get your facts strait, she slammed Limbaugh too

      • Palin

        No she didn’t – she went on Fox “news” and said what Rush said was fine because he was using the word as “satire”. That is why Stephen Colbert called her a”f*cking retard”. Get your facts straight.

      • Chappel

        I hope she wore protection.

      • Lana

        jaws you are 100% WRONG. She defended Rush vigourously and said he was using some sort of sophisticaed “satire” that the dummies of the world couldn’t see. Proving her complete, utter lack of anything resembling intelligence or comprehension.

      • Will

        That is not what Pete is saying Bill.

        Palin will use this as a way of gaining more media attention for herself. If she spent a fraction of the amount time she does towards “defending” herself against “liberals” and spent it on constructive, meaningful conversation about healthcare reform we might be in a better position. Talking about “death panels” is not helpful, only childish.

      • Phil

        Palin did NOT slam Limbaugh, thereby displaying her hypocrisy.

        When Rahm Emmanuel, a Democrat, used the “R” word she called for his resignation.

        When Rush Limbaugh used the “R” word it was “satire”.

      • Claude

        You are a funny man!

      • DEO

        Meg Stapleton sent out an EMAIL saying everyone was offensive…BUT SARAH SAID no such thing. Sarah said Rush used SATIRE and it was JUST FINE. Palin was doing the two step again. A hypocrite.

    • katie

      Palin didn’t slam Limbaugh anymore than Family Guy made fun of Down’s syndrome. Gets your facts straight, and get your spelling straight as well. She called Limbaugh’s words “satire” and Stephen Colbert took her to task for that.

      • jaws

        Palin said of Limbaugh’s rant. It was crude and demeaning name-calling. Limbaugh said it was just a joke (satire). Missed the news worthy (not satire) Colbert show. Sorry I spelled a word wrong, shucks!

      • shelsby

        Notice she didn’t rant on facebook about Colbert’s comments…did she think it would be easier to argue with a cartoon as opposed to Colbert’s quick wit and intelligence?!

      • @ Jaws

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Go watch the the fox new interview.

    • Desmo

      and learn to spell.

      • jaws

        can you say “redundant”

      • John

        Personally, I’m amazed you were able to spell it.

  • Shamrock

    I watch Family Guy every week, this episode just wasn’t funny at all.

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