Palin invokes Obama: 'At least Trig didn't eat the dog.' Inappropriate or fair game?(Read article summary)
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been trading social-media salvos with animal-rights activist organization PETA after posting a photo online of her son stepping on the family dog.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/File
The two groups have exchanged increasingly absurd salvos in a bizarre social media controversy we'll call Doghazi, after PETA blasted the former Alaska governor for publishing a photo of her son Trig standing on the family dog, Jill.
Stepstoolgate reached new heights – or a new low – Tuesday when Palin told NBC's Today Show host Savannah Guthrie that PETA applied "a hypocritical double standard" in criticizing her for the photo. She referred to an initial statement she sent NBC News about Mr. Obama, who admitted he once tried dog meat as a 10-year-old in Indonesia.
"Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog," Ms. Palin told PETA on her Facebook page.
When asked if that was a cheap shot, Palin responded, "Oh heck no, that was the best line in the post that I wrote. It was the kickoff line."
When asked if it was appropriate to show a picture of her child stepping on the family dog, Palin reiterated, "In this case, yes, because Trig's service dog is a strong, trained dog that does really, really love his best buddy Trig, and they put up with each other and there was no harm at all to this dog."
Some have taken issue with this statement, noting that Jill the dog is very young to be a service dog, and that even with weight-bearing service dogs, owners must distribute their weight in a way that does not injure the dog.
Perhaps the most entertaining exchange between Palin and Peta was this, when Palin accused the organization of liberal hypocrisy on her Facebook post.
"Aren't you the same anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs, wrapped in your fashionable leather belts above your kickin' new leather pumps you bought because your celebrity idols (who sport fur and crocodile purses) grinned in a tabloid wearing the exact same Louboutins exiting sleek cowhide-covered limo seats on their way to some liberal fundraiser shindig at some sushi bar?" she wrote.
PETA responded with another statement Saturday night, saying that "we're a vegan organization, so we sit on pleather couches, wear stylish vegan kicks, and consider fish friends, not food.
Since then, Palin has also said PETA has been hypocritical for failing to denounce talk show host and PETA 2009 Person of the Year Ellen DeGeneres, who posted a similar picture of a child stepping on a dog, in July of last year.
“Man of the year, I think just last year, 2014, was Mayor de Blasio and he he had just, doggone it, killed a groundhog when he dropped it last year on groundhog day,” Palin said. “[It’s] absolutely hypocritical, double standard usual applied to, perhaps, constitutional conservatives.”
Is this, in fact, a double standard?
Decoder doesn't often say this, but Palin has a point.
While her example of Obama's dog delicacy is out-of-bounds for cultural reasons (check out the context in an excerpt of his book in which he describes eating dog meat as a child), Palin is correct about the DeGeneres and de Blasio accounts, neither of which PETA appeared to make a public spectacle of.
Still, as Gawker Media blog Jezebel pointed out, if that's Palin's best defense, "We're in for a classic 'Hey I did a [bad] thing but at least I didn't do this other totally awful thing" defense.
In other words, two wrongs – or three – don't make a right.