The XX Factor

To Sarah Palin, Kate Gosselin Represents Blue State America

Kate Gosselin, the fertile star of TLC’s Kate Plus 8 , took her eight children on a camping trip up north with the extended Palin clan for some cross-network promotion last night on Sarah Palin’s Alaska . As the previews for the episode suggested, Gosselin behaved dreadfully. She whined and cried about how cold it was outdoors in the Alaskan wilderness, and insisted on staying beneath a tarp while her kids frolicked happily in the rain. She laments the lack of “hand cleansing materials” and then has a temper tantrum: “I held it together as long as I could, but I am done now. I’m hungry!” She cries.

This is reality television gold, of course, and Sarah Palin delights in it. She mugs for the camera, makes two jokes about being able to see Russia from her house , and says something like, “A lot of people aross America probably think we’re nerds because we love camping!” All of this is to be expected. But what I didn’t anticipate was that she would try to make Gosselin represent blue state America. Palin feigned sympathy for Gosselin’s inability to deal with camping and wilderness and guns, saying, if Kate “took me to New York or a red carpet event, I would probably be the same”-she would complain and want to go home. This is after Palin announces that guns are as common in Alaska as BlackBerrys are in New York City. There was lots of Twitter chatter like this comment , ” Stark contrast between Sarah and Kate Goslin - outback vs. city… campers vs. latte sippers…”

We get it, we get it. Glitzy New York types can’t appreciate the majesty of Alaska, this is right out of the Palin playbook. Except that Kate Gosselin isn’t exactly a big city girl-she’s from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, population 8,587 . And earlier in the episode, Palin says earnestly, “Kate and I have a lot in common. We will put our children first.” This is so unlike evil blue state feminist ladies who hate babies. Though Palin attempted to politicize Kate’s appearance with not-so-subtle references to the center of liberal America, I hate to break it to her: Kate Gosselin isn’t really a New York City red carpet denizen. She’s just a priss.