Andrew Sullivan: Right to Attack Willow Palin

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Ben Cohen
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Andrew Sullivan blasts back at those against attacking Willow Palin:

What if she had written "ni**er?" And one has to note that her mother has put all her children into an unforgiving spotlight, even subjecting them to reality show exposure. The idea that we should all abide by rules that Palin herself freely violates - her family "privacy" my ass - is surrender to her double standards...... If Palin kept her family private, it would be one thing. But she relentlessly exploits them when it suits her and then acts offended if there's any pushback or scrutiny. Screw that.

I'm sorry, but the argument just doesn't cut it. I don't care if Willow Palin called her facebook enemies 'ni**ers', 'ky**s' or 'sp**ks', she's a 16 year old and off limits to the media. And so what if her mother is a narcissistic, attention grabbing fraud? Does that mean her children get punished because of it?

I'm all up for attacking Sarah Palin - she wilfully puts herself in the spotlight and consistently provokes outrage with her knee jerk xenophobia and extraordinary ignorance. But kids are kids, and they are strictly off limits.

My cousin is a high school teacher in the UK and has often told me he thinks anyone under the age of 18 isn't really completely responsible for their actions. Kids brains are simply not fully developed and they aren't mature enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions. While this doesn't mean they shouldn't be disciplined and punished, there must be a degree of understanding when it comes to behavior like Willow's. I hope that her parents and her school read her the riot act, but it isn't the media's place to do it and the consequences of exposing a young person to that type of scrutiny could be devastating.