A few too many feuds

A FEW TOO MANY FEUDS…. I’ve never seen “Family Guy.” I hear it’s pretty crass, but the animated show remains pretty popular, and I know plenty of friends who think it’s hilarious. Whatever.

The political relevance of the show grew this week, however, because last Sunday’s episode told a Sarah Palin joke. A “Family Guy” actress with Down syndrome voiced a character who was asked about her family. “My dad’s an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska,” the character replies.

The former half-term governor considered this mockery of her son with Down syndrome, and blasted the show online and on the air. Yesterday, Andrea Fay Friedman, the 39-year-old actress who did the voice-over work on the show told the New York Times, “I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor.”

She added that in her family, “we think laughing is good,” and that she was raised by her parents “to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life.”

Ms. Friedman continued, “My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.”

In a telephone interview on Thursday, Ms. Friedman, who has also appeared in television shows like “Life Goes On” and “Saving Grace,” said she was perplexed by Ms. Palin’s criticism.

“I’m like, ‘I’m not Trig. This is my life,’ ” Ms. Friedman said. “I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.”

Who’s right and who’s wrong here? Beats me.

I do, however, think that Palin has a knack for getting into a few too many feuds.

Palin has feuded with David Letterman and Ashley Judd. She’s feuded with her teenage daughter’s ex-fiance and Rahm Emanuel and Arnold Schwarzenegger. She’s feuded with the National Organization for Women and climate scientists. When beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean drew criticism, Palin jumped into that feud, too. Now it’s a cartoon on Fox that’s drawn her ire.

I suppose some of these disputes may seem more justifiable than others, but the point is, credible national figures don’t usually feel the need to launch one feud after another. After a while, the former governor starts to look rather small, especially by engaging in squabbles with television shows and personalities.

Maybe Palin could try an “above the fray” approach sometime?