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Palin vs. Trump for president. Pitching Mark Burnett a reality show for 2012.

Peter Kramer / Getty Images

Dear Mark Burnett,

We’re still fighting wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya where suddenly we’re supporting the rebels who are also supported by Al Qaeda. We’ve got a few ships offshore to aid Japan which is experiencing its worst crisis since WWII, one that could get more frightening, impacting the global economy and world’s environment as well.

Back at home, we’ve reached a record $14T debt, devastating unemployment and a health care crisis. Predictably, Obama’s 2012 contenders are starting to making lots of noise.

Again, it’s not Bloomberg or Huckabee. It’s still Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. These two figures, who are as different as, well, Alaska and New York, have one thing in common:  they both have starred in reality shows produced by you. Coincidence?

Sarah was first of your stars to throw her hat in the ring when she told Barbara Walters she could beat Obama in 2012.  Two days later, Donald went on the same network and told George Stephanopoulos while he didn’t really want to run for president, he might just have to because China is laughing at us.

"Star" Power: Sarah Palin in Israel last week

Everyone was fairly quiet for a while, especially Sarah who had bloodied her own nose a bit during “blood libel” furor.  But this week, she wrapped up her rehab with a whirlwind trip to India, where she was paid for a speech on why we should fear China, and ending with a stop over in Israel where she visited the holy city of Jerusalem and prayed at the Western Wall.  She also visited Benjamin Netanyahu.  Her visit to Israel followed other potential Republican challengers: Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

One wonders if Donald Trump is watching Palin closely.  The same week she was exploring the archeological tunnels of the Western wall, the excavation of which caused Palestinians to riot in ’96,  Donald Trump was on CNN, then “The View” to discuss Obama’s record deficit, his birth certificate and national security, along with his thoughts on a presidential run. “I’m thinking about it very strongly. I think I’d do a really good job. I think I’d protect this country like it’s not being protected,” he said.

And, oh my, he said he’ll decide by June, at the end of Celebrity Apprentice, and that he’d might even use the last show as a “forum.”

As a fellow TV veteran who has produced countless interviews with presidential candidates, I hope you don’t mind some advice on what I see as two major problems. First, coming from Great Britain, you may not know the equal time rule for federal elections and that could wreak havoc with Trump’s final show idea. Second, which candidate is the fan favorite and the one you want the country to support? One solution: a new primetime reality show which pits Palin against Trump. This way you get to be the producer and the judge.

Here are some possible titles: So You Want To Be the PresidentCampaigning With the Stars,Survivor: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or The Really Amazing Race. To save on the budget, rent the old West Wing set from NBC. Then, each week, summon the candidates/contestants into the Oval Office for their latest assignment. The challenges would unfold like this:

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PUH-LEASE! TOO MANY JOURNOS ARE CONTINUING TO MAKE A MOCKERY OF THEIR OWN FIRST AMENDMENT

From the beginning, on my most generous days, I have thought Sarah Palin inartful, polarizing and much better suited for a daytime talk show than the national political scene.

Yesterday I felt a responsiblity to come to her defense after journalists across the country ridiculously placed the blood of the Tuscon shooting victims on her hands. ( URL: http://wp.me/p1cZfB-gv How Are We to Know What Will Push Someone Over the Edge? «  shelley ross daily Xpress https://shelleyzross.wordpress.com/2011/0….)

I much prefered writing satire about her  (Sarah Palin’s ‘Alaska’: 7 Secret Political Messages in Her New Reality Show at http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/pop-vox/2010/11/15/sarah-palin-s-alaska-7-secret-political-messages-in-her-new-reality-show.html ) and (Palin vs. Trump: The Reality Show Mark Burnett Should Create at http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/pop-vox/2010/11/22/sarah-palin-versus-donald-trump-which-mark-burnett-reality-star-could-win-the-white-house.html.)

But here I am again, defending a politician in whom I find little to even like (especially after watching her shoot that beautiful Alaskan reindeer for sport — ‘no, no, not Rudolph’ I yelled into my pillow.)  I feel that I must, after  the new round of ridiculous attacks on her for posting a 7:43 videotaped response to the Arizona tradegy  on Facebook today, most regarding her utterance of the term, blood libel.

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AFTER THE ARIZONA SHOOTING, GRAPPLING WITH POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM AND THE MEDIA BLAMESTORM

Jared Lee Loughner, Independent, hasn't voted since 2008

I’ve now listened to three full days analysis of the tragedy in Arizona which left six people dead, 14 more injured including Rep. Gabriella Giffords who’s still fighting for her  life.  The 72-hour blamestorm seems almost as crazy as the events of Saturday,  drowning out just about everything reasonable citizens should really be debating.  But instead of looking at gun laws that allow an unstable student  to buy an automatic weapon in 15 minutes or less, we’re talking about who besides the shooter has blood on their hands.

Paul Krugman, for one, wrote in the Sunday New York Times that the toxic rhetoric from the right is to blame.  He specifically named Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly among those who stoke the anger.  Krugman connects the dots from a 2009 Homeland Security report that warned of a rise in right wing extremism to a 300% rise in threats against members of Congress.  He writes that many threats were made by those mentally disturbed, and then offers this premise: that something in America is whipping up a great number of them  to act out their illness with violence.

Paul!  The Nobel committee is calling.  They want their prize back.  Your argument doesn’t even factor in, uh, the impact of the economy on mental health. Read the rest of this entry »