July 27--BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.: Hot on the heels of ABC's announcement here at the 2012 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour of the "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" cast, members of the lineup, including Bristol Palin, took the stage.
Bristol Palin's tenure on Season 11 of "Dancing With the Stars" turned into a politically charged stint, with detractors and supporters of her mother, Sarah Palin, alleging that the younger Palin was getting support/criticism not for her dancing, but for her family.
If questions put to Palin, and her answers, are anything to go on, her "All-Stars" ride may not be any smoother. Reporters wasted little time asking Palin about why she keeps doing reality shows, and whether her family was now in the reality show business.
Though Lifetime is airing her reality show, "Life's a Tripp," Palin objected to that description. Asked why, after the heat she took for her original "DWTS" go-round, she was willing to do it again, Palin said, "God provides opportunities like this," and so she decided to do the show.
Palin also said that "the press is going to talk about me no matter what," and that "All-Stars" was "a fun gig." When a questioner asked if the press would write about her if she had returned to Alaska after her mother's vice presidential campaign and gone back to school and gotten a job, Palin said the media would talk about her even if she was living her "little life in Alaska."
Though others on the "All-Stars" panel took questions, the focus generally stayed on Palin. For example, a recent episode of "Life's a Tripp" stirred controversy when it appeared her 3-year-old son, Tripp, may have used a word that's a gay slur.
Palin has denied it, saying her son used another word. The issue came up at the "All-Stars" panel as a questioner asked Palin about her attitudes toward gays.
"I like gays," Palin said. "I'm not a homophobic," she continued, saying that just because she supports "traditional marriage," doesn't mean she is anti-gay.
After a few other questions for the panelists, including host Tom Bergeron (who observed that even with the Palin reality show plethora, "You haven't really gone full Kardashian"), the session ended with more questions to Palin about why she kept doing TV even with her complaints that the media makes "stuff up" about her, and subjects her to unwanted attention.
"Do I like to provide for my son?" Palin said, rather briskly. "Yes, I do."
"Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" debuts Sept. 24 on ABC.
-- Kristi Turnquist on Twitter
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