Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin's daughter, is a mediocre dancer. I've watched every episode of Dancing With the Stars this season, so I can testify to that. She's been in the bottom two many times, saved only by viewer votes -- not the judge's scores.
Last night Bristol made it into next week's final (top three will compete) by beating out Brandy, a far superior dancer. Brandy got 57 points from the judges on Monday, the competition night, including perfect 10's for her Tango, while Bristol got 53.
What bugs me -- a lot -- about the viewer voting is that Tea Party types appear to have hijacked it in a fraudulent manner for purely political ends. The rest of the blogosphere also is ticked off about this, for good reason.
When I went to vote for Jennifer Grey Monday night by phone after watching the recorded episode fairly late in the evening, I got a message that voting could only be done on the ABC web site now.
OK. I dutifully clicked on the "vote" button and was met with a request to register. I entered my real email address, along with other genuine information, and got to cast five votes.
I played the Dancing With the Stars voting game fairly.
But there's been a concerted effort by Tea Party types to make a political statement by elevating Bristol Palin into the finals (or even the championship, a dreadful thought) through fraudulent voting.
By fraudulent, I mean that ABC clearly intends that one person get five votes. Or at least, that one real email address gets five votes. However, the Jezebel web site has revealed "How Palin conservatives are cheating the DWTS voting system."
It's been alleged that the Tea Party's "Operation Bristol" is keeping the teen mom in the competition. However, the real conspiracy is that her conservative supporters have figured out a way to exploit ABC.com's email-voting feature, allowing infinite votes.
While Bristol Palin denies any Tea Party conspiracy theories, there's no denying that conservatives have been pushing for votes for Bristol, using blogs and Twitter to start a movement.
But what isn't widely known is the evidence—via message board comments on some conservative sites—that this mobilization involves fixing this (albeit meaningless) election through a technical snafu on ABC's website, which allows Palin's supporters to cast an infinite number of email votes:
Here's a hint: They don't have to be VALID email addresses to register them with ABC.com, there is apparently no validation process. The just have to be formatted like a valid email address, and you must use a valid zip code and a birthdate that makes you old enough to vote. I'm voting like a democrat, all night long…
No, it doesn't have to be a valid email address – I had one of my anonymous ones [email protected] that I used, and then just did the sign-up process all over again with [email protected] and it worked.
Got my 80 votes in online…took 2 hours. I am beat
I only got 42 in, I have some catching up to do!
Lord have mercy, I voted for 3 hours online! I got 300 in.
It doesn't bother me that conservatives are voting for Bristol Palin, even though she's a worse dancer than almost everybody who has been eliminated from Dancing With the Stars this season.
What irritates me, big time, is that the show's producers and ABC decided to make a political statement by featuring Bristol and her mother, Sarah, in a mid-term election year. (Sarah is shown in the front row at many of the competitions, and she's also featured in background stories about Bristol.)
This vitually guaranteed that Dancing With the Stars would morph into politics-centered viewer voting by Tea Party zealots. Many, if not most, could care less about the show, Bristol Palin, or dancing.
For example, here's what one right-winger says:
For conservatives, enjoy the fun of finally, at last, getting a taste of what it’s like to be a Democrat. You can vote as much as you want. You can vote using all sorts of names. You can vote all day. You can’t get paid to vote, because you aren’t really a Democrat, silly, but you can get as close as you can possibly get without being in a union or taking part in ACORN.
Dancing With the Stars made a big mistake in allowing political activism to take over an entertainment show in a fraudulent manner. I've lost all confidence in the DWTS voting system, and now view the finale as a joke.
My only reason for watching will be to see how many people in the audience boo if Bristol Palin wins the Mirror Ball trophy, which she has an excellent chance of doing given how Tea Party folks are willing to cheat in order to stack the voting for a bad dancer.