ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ms. Quinn, Mr. Lonnegan is on line six . . . .

I've never watched Dancing With the Stars and probably couldn't tell Bristol Palin from Bristol Myers in a police line-up, so I have absolutely no interest in whether she wins the TV competition or not.  But you don't have to know anything about it to appreciate the unintentionally hilarious column by the Washington Post's Sally Quinn, The unholy (s)election of Bristol Palin.

In her column -- which weirdly enough appears in the religion section of the paper -- Quinn explains that she watches the show every week.  The show's rules allow you to vote no more than five times from a home telephone line.  But since Quinn has six separate home lines, she happily casts 30 votes each episode for her favorite dancer.

But now she's learned that some unscrupulous people (who are obviously poorer but more tech-savvy than she is) have exploited loopholes in the rules to vote as many as 300 times for Palin by registering additional email addresses!  That's . . . that's cheating!  "I never remember all Ten Commandments," says the Post's religion writer, "but there should be one that says, "Thou shalt not cheat while voting on 'Dancing with the Stars.'" (emphasis in original).  I can't help thinking of this classic scene from The Sting:

I can imagine Quinn's response to the last question:

Doyle Lonnegan:  What was I supposed to do -- call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?

Sally Quinn (thinking):  Uh, yeah.  Why not?

Quinn is of course getting hammered in the blogosphere all the way from Wisconsin law prof Ann Wonkette to the Huffington Post.  My favorite from the various reader comments: "It's idiotic to claim that a popularity contest is unfair."

And yes, I'm reading this stuff because I don't want to finish writing my exams.


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