Dog Bites Man: University Scraps Bristol Palin Appearance

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 28 2011 10:34 AM

Dog Bites Man: University Scraps Bristol Palin Appearance

I am very, very reticent to write much about Sarah Palin's family. The slapstick mess at Washington University is worth a mention, though -- a who-didn't-see-this-coming clash between Palin's celebrity and values at a liberal arts college. The school's student health advisory center had shelled out $20,000 to bring Palin to campus for an event on abstinence. Speaking about abstinence is, of course, Palin's job.

This stuff happens all the time on campuses. I spent one mildly happy year on my college's student government, and the scandal of the time was a massive fee that the arts council wanted to pay a guest at an annual concert. It was the pre-Facebook era (2001), so petitions were signed on paper and delivered to a student council that struck some of the funding. Bristol Palin wasn't involved (true, she was 11 at the time), so there was no great media attention. But the dispute would never have gone large if it wasn't for the fee. That was Palin's problem; $20,000 is a fairly ridiculous amount to ask for an appearance on a panel.


The St. Louis paper reports that Palin agreed to back out:

Scott Elman, president of the advisory committee, said thedecision to halt Palin's appearance as a keynote speaker was "100percent mutual" between Palin and the committee. Elman added thathe was very disappointed that students weren't more open to havingPalin speak.

And the "Days Since a Palin Circus" sign goes back to "0."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.