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Reality TV loves Republicans -- and the feeling is mutual

October 5, 2010 | 12:01 pm

Bristol Bristol Palin fell to the bottom of the pack on “Dancing with the Stars” last night –- one judge complained that she’s “not Meryl Streep yet.” But there’s no doubt that Bristol and her clan are at the center of a symbiotic relationship between political figures and reality television. And it's a brand-building strategy increasingly embraced by the once-stuffy GOP far more than Democrats.

Consider that Bristol’s appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" followed previous stints by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and conservative commentator Tucker Carlson. And according to Politico.com, other cast members under consideration for the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars" were Condoleezza Rice and Ann Coulter. Meghan McCain's recently published campaign memoir reveals that post-election, her mother, Cindy, considered going on the show. 

Deena Katz, senior producer and casting director of "Dancing With the Stars," says that she has approached political figures on both sides of the aisle; it just happens that those who've accepted have Republican ties, and they've done so without hesitation -- DeLay, Palin and Carlson all said yes "within, probably, an hour."

On the surface, a format routinely labeled trashy and scandalous might seem an odd fit for the party that bills itself as driven by old-fashioned family values, but there are plenty of surprisingly conservative values to be found there.  For more, read this feature on the Republican embrace of reality TV.

Photo: Bristol Palin and her "Dancing with the Stars" partner Mark Ballas at the show's premiere. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

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