Sarah Palin Teacher Drag Queen Brouhaha
NY Mag‘s Dan Amira wonders, “Did Sarah Palin Roll Her Eyes at Teaching?”
Sarah Palin was up in Homer, Alaska, recently, fishing with her Discovery Channel crew in tow, when she was met with an unpleasant protest: a giant banner reading “Worst Governor Ever,” unfurled nearby by local Kathleen Gustafson. For whatever reason — maybe she wanted to win over a heart and mind — Palin decided to go over and talk to the woman. Part of the conversation was filmed on a camera phone by Billy Sullivan (who owned the property), despite the best efforts of Todd Palin and Palin’s security to block his view. The whole exchange is a little uncomfortable to watch — Gustafson tells Palin she sold out and became a celebrity, Palin offers mock gratitude in return. But all in all, it’s nothing to write home about — except for one moment (which comes at the 1:10 mark). When Palin asks Gustafson what she does for a living, and Gustafson tells Palin she’s a teacher, Palin and her daughter groan and exchange eye rolls as if to say, “Of course, only a teacher would be such a liberal nut.” Belittling teachers? Palin really is a maverick.
Newsweek‘s Ben Adler (“Sarah Palin Gets Snarky on a Schoolteacher“) piles on:
Palin’s dark side came out in full effect this weekend, and this time the victim was not President Obama but a schoolteacher in small-town Alaska. Palin was there to film a segment of a nature program on TLC, and she confronted Kathleen Gustafson who was holding up a sign reading “WORST GOVERNOR EVER.” Palin clearly intended to disarm Gustafson with her charm, but instead got defensive.
And it’s true, schoolteachers are definitely not a Republican constituency, but anyone, even a Republican, running for president needs to make nice with them on a personal level, just as Democrats do with the military or police officers. This latest incident won’t help Palin’s negative favorability ratings.
Here’s the video:
But MacRanger has been “digging around” and finds that Gustavson’s background is a bit other than advertised:
Seems she’s a personality of sorts on KBBI AM 890 Homer Alaska. Far cry from just being a “school teacher” don’t you think?
Wanna bet she set this up as a publicity stunt. It would appear after getting aptly handled by Sarah she should have stayed at home.
UPDATE: Here’s a story about her singing abilities with a drag-queen band. Whoohoo!
Further updates have her as a “Theater Tech” at Homer High School.
Jim Hoft is focusing on the drag band angle.
UPDATE: There’s not much to this story, even by the standards of our non-analytical Quick Picks section.
First, Gustavson isn’t a “drag queen.” For one thing, drag queens tend to be men dressed up as women rather than actual women. For another, the linked story MacRanger points to makes it clear that Gustavson was the producer for the traveling troupe in question.
Second, Gustavson’s radio gig is at the local NPR station, which appears to be rather artsy-oriented. So, she’s not some sort of radical activist talk host.
Third, Gustavson is a teacher of sorts. She’s involved in some capacity with the school’s theater department.
Fourth, aside from being thin skinned about the reactions at a public event, Palin’s reaction isn’t really anything to write home about, either.
So, what appeared to be a “well, this is weird” story turned out to be even less than that.