By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Baked Alaskan

Friend of Media Nation Al Giordano has broken the news that Sarah Palin had a tanning bed installed in the Alaska governor’s mansion shortly after she was sworn in. Giordano and Bill Conroy, writing for, report that Palin paid for the bed with her own money.

I don’t care, and Giordano doesn’t seem to care all that much either. I mention this only in the context of the mockery directed at John Edwards’ $400 haircut (and, for that matter, Bill Clinton’s tarmac haircut), John Kerry’s disturbing preference for Swiss cheese, Barack Obama’s failure to scream for ice cream and similar campaign-trail stupidity.

In other words, Sarah Palin must be … an elitist!

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  1. Gerard

    Sigh. You’ve really got to learn to reflect.Reflect for a moment that there are long, long periods in the Alaskan winter where there is not all that much sunshine.You know this, right.Do you have any idea what long periods of little sunlight do to the mood of people?Living in Seattle where there is more light in the winter than in Alaska but where it is in short supply enough, there are lots and lots of tanning parlors and lots of tanning beds in use.Take it from me and hundreds of thousands of other people in the Northwest, these beds not only improve your mood in the winter, but make you look better. It isn’t an elite move to tan in Alaska, it’s just good sense. And if it makes Palin even more beautiful than she is all the better.And really, if you’ve had to slide down from teeny-weeny scandals to the contents of Palins home, it only underscores the miserable mean nothing you’ve got.

  2. Rick

    An unnamed source told me she may or may not have a skin condition and her doctor may or may not have prescribed uv light for treatment. (He heard it from someone reliable in a diner but he or she had a moth full of crab cakes so he’s not 100 percent sure.) And my unnamed source also told me her youngest daughter didn’t brush her teeth or say her prayers before bedtime 3 times last week. Just throwing it out thereI’ll keep you posted………..silliness………….

  3. Tony

    Yeah, you know Dan, I have to say, you’re getting a tad obsessed my friend about all this Palin stuff. I don’t know if it is just the fact you are worried about McCain-Palin winning or you are just fascinated by the spectacle of it all. I don’t think I have worried this much about your political perspective since you thought Susan Whateverhernamewas shouldn’t be included in the Kerry-Weld debate in 1996.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Gerard: I don’t know what you look like, but judging from your mood, I would say your assessment of the effect of tanning beds is strictly theoretical.Tony: How can I not be fascinated by the spectacle? This is just great, amazing stuff. BTW, it was Susan Gallagher, though I don’t remember why I thought she shouldn’t be included in the debates. Given that I’m usually in favor of including minor-party candidates, at least in the early rounds, there must have been something unusual about her candidacy.

  5. Boston Venerable Bede

    Palin uses Crest toothpaste…news at 10:00!

  6. Tony

    Thank you: Susan Gallagher. How could I forget her name?

  7. Rick

    Crest toothpaste is made by Procter & Gamble and they had that weird Satanic logo………Just saying.

  8. Gerard

    I keep thinking, “Surely Dan must know how dinky and petty all this sounds and indeed is.” But I guess not. You know it is bad form to be a sore loser before you’ve actually lost.

  9. Gerard

    As for what I might look like, you’ve really got to learn blogger. It really is sort of simple.

  10. An Astute Observer

    Hey Dan, I seem to recall you were shocked…SHOCKED I SAY…that Fox news had some fun with the picture of a critic from the NY times that dissed them.Yet, you never seemed to care that Olberman uses altered pictures of his enemies….And now THIS:'s easy to feign outrage, irn’t it…

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Not So Astute: My God! Pictures that were never published! What an outrage! Talk about your fake issues. The photo that the Atlantic actually used looks like it was taken for eventual use on Mount Rushmore.

  12. Dan Kennedy

    Gerard: Palin and the tanning bed is now a national story, but I alone am not supposed to have some fun with it. And yes, now that you mention it, I have seen your picture before. Can’t tell how deep your tan is, though.BTW, tanning beds are not used to treat seasonal depression. This explains it well.

  13. Nial Liszt

    Using tanning beds is an activity of elitists? I’ve always thought that they were more an off-season regimen of denizens of places such as, oh, Revere Beach.

  14. An Astute Observer

    **Not So Astute: My God! Pictures that were never published! What an outrage! **Just as outrageous as Fox having fun with a critic who gavce them grief….on a morning entertainment show! Stop the Presses!

  15. Gerard

    Ah, the Greenberg variations. A subject that I know well since I wrote on of the key blog posts on it yesterday.And have been updating it every since.If interested you can see it at:Out-Takes: Behind The Atlantic’s McCain Cover [Bumped] key catchphrase in it, “political pornography” has been picked up on radio and cable today along with some of my screen caps.It really is much worse than you think.

  16. Rick

    Astute: The articles says the cover photo was ” noticeably unadulterated” I agree with Dan, the picture looks fine to me. The photographer might be looking for some press.

  17. Rick

    Those unpublished altered pictures are bad. They will show up on Kos or Huffpo for sure.

  18. Gerard

    Actually they are already widely, very widely posted.Last I looked Greenberg was still hosting them on her site.Of course, the murmur of a lawsuit from The Atlantic may have cooled her jets.The Left: It eats its young.But back to the earth shattering scandal of tanning beds!I am loving this devolution of a once proud party.

  19. The Eclectic Cleric

    This whole kerfuffle about tanning beds just cracks me up. In Denmark (another part of the world short of sunlight in winter) they are often paired with laundrymats, so that one can wash ones clothes and brown ones body all at once. And the Danes need to put down an early base tan, because when the sun finally DOES come out it comes with a vengeance and for a long long time.

  20. mike_b1

    What the outraged respondents seem to forget or not understand is how satirical Dan’s original post was. Twenty-three comments later, we know who among us is truly the thinnest-skinned.

  21. zadig

    Gerard and the others who are missing the point, Dan specifically lumped TanningBedGate in with the John Edwards haircut nonsense, the Kerry wrong-cheese-on-cheesesteak stories (and I could add the Kerry windsurfing scandal, and the Al Gore “earthtones” fabrications). Can you defend any of that crap? If you can’t, join the club – neither does anyone else but the media and some right-wing nuts who howled about them for months and even years. TanningBedGate is just as trivial.On the other hand, *you* seem to be making fun of the tanning bed story without any indication that you think the other stories were equally stupid. Hypocrisy? You tell us.

  22. Rick

    Palin killed a bigfoot

  23. mike_b1

    Silly Rick. Don’t you know there’s no such thing as Palin. She’s just a figment of our imagination.PS: McCain invented the Blackberry. Or so says his aides.News to RIM, no doubt.

  24. Aaron Read

    Sigh. You’ve really got to learn to reflect.Gerard – you’ve got learn to get the facts before you spot off errant nonsense. (and with such a wonderfully haughty air of disdain – nice touch!)Tanning beds are not used as therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder. They can’t be because they don’t mimic sunlight; the ratio of UVA to UVA wavelengths is too dangerous to skin to be exposed to for more than a few minutes. S.A.D. “Bright Light” therapy requires 30-60 minutes (at least) pretty much every day.But hey, if you’re defending Palin you’re probably already seeing the world through a very warped view, so…:-)

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