Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin expressed outrage at a Fox Broadcasting Company television program for deriding people with Down syndrome and making an apparent reference to her 22-month-old son, Trig, who has the genetic disorder.
The former Alaska governor said on her Facebook page that she was too angry to offer a coherent response so she had her daughter, Bristol, release a full statement on the family’s behalf.
The Palins directed their criticism at the prime time Fox cartoon, “Family Guy.” In Sunday’s episode, a teenaged female character with Down syndrome told another character that “my mom is the former governor of Alaska.” A song and dance routine by another character also used language that ridiculed people with disabilities.
“People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut,” Palin, a Fox News contributor, said in the statement posted Monday evening on her Facebook page. “Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, ‘when is enough, enough?’”
Bristol Palin’s statement was posted below her mother’s Facebook entry.
“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin,” Bristol Palin said. “My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them?
“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 Broadcasting – which, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp. – did not comment on the Palins’ response to the show.