Last night was the debut of the reality show Stars Earn Stripes. The show featured beautiful women traversing mud,
and muscle bound men shooting guns.
Helicopters and explosions punctuated the “reality” of the series. Yet the reality of the show was apparent when some of the stars had to be rescued by people on jet skis who were waiting off camera. Todd Palin was the 8th contestant of 8. Todd was introduced as the 4-Time Iron Dog Champion. They didn’t mention his business acumen as a Pimp, and they didn’t mention the allegations that he cheated to win in at least one of the Iron Dog Championships. It was ironic that Todd was paired with the only police officer of the military heroes starring on the show. J.W. Cortes, Todd’s partner, is a NY City Police Officer and an ex-member of the U.S.M.C. We had to wonder if Todd was paired with a person who was an “ex” member of the military, given Todd’s status as the “ex” First Dude. Since Mr. Cortes was a member of a state police force, other than Alaska, it would be beyond his jurisdiction to arrest Todd for running a house of prostitution in Alaska. It was interesting that some of the male members of the cast showed off their muscular physiques,
but Todd, the one who was praised by Sarah for his shirtless physique,
never appeared in any attire that would reveal anything about his physique, or the color thereof.
The most offensive statement made in the show was “Real Heroes, Real Bullets.” The implication was that Todd was a “real hero”. Todd hasn’t served in the military. He hasn’t inspired his kids to get an education. He didn’t inspire Sarah to finish her term as Governor. The only thing he has done to earn the accolade of “hero” might be that he has thrown cans at his wife.
The theme of this reality show is that “real” people fail to appreciate how hard it is for our military men and women to complete their missions. To that extent, I felt this “reality’ show had an appropriate and noble goal. Because Todd Palin was clearly the least publicized contestant, and received the least amount of air time, I appreciated the film’s editorial staff. I also appreciated the fact that the show was not filmed in Alaska, so the people of Alaska would not be supplementing the cost of production through a film tax credit. Finally, I was relieved to see that they did not use sound editing to modify Todd’s squeaky-high voice. While he was interviewed the least of the contestants, when he did speak, his voice was distractedly effeminate.
Todd was noticeably left out of the scene of two contestants identifying themselves as “Bad-Ass Grandpas.” After all Todd is twice a Grandpa, and his role in Alaska as a pimp would qualify him as a “Bad-Ass”.
For the first mission, Todd is paired with Dolvett Quince, a Black man who is best known as a trainer for the Biggest Loser Show. At the beginning of the mission the 4-man crew must jump from a helicopter in full gear, into the water. Whether because Todd generally doesn’t like Blacks, or because he feels that all Black men are his competition,
when Quince is overcome with staying afloat in the water, Todd doesn’t not help him. Instead Todd focuses his attention on getting himself out of the water. Because his partner is disqualified, Todd gets to shoot all the targets. Accolades to Todd for his marksmanship! Even if he never ate any of the moose, caribou, or wolves he shot in Alaska, his experience in shooting things finally paid off.
The worst part of the “reality” show is the fact that Palin is portrayed as a champion for our Armed Forces. The producers fail to mention that Todd was a member of the Alaska Independence party, whose primary goal was secession from the United States. As a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, Todd minimized the importance of our Armed Forces. Todd’s focus on the importance of Alaska only, was exemplified by Todd’s choice of charities to honor if he should win. Instead of bringing attention to a national organization whose goal is to support our troops, Todd picked the Armed Services YMCA Alaska as the charity to benefit from his participation. Mention of this charity was noticeably absent from the dialogue. Funny thing is that Todd was never described on the show as a “stay-at-home” dad, and there was no indication that Trig was watching the filming of the show.