Scoop: Palins’ presence in L.A. raises eyebrows

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    North Shore congressman Mark Kirk is seeking Sarah Palin's endorsement in the race for Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat. Palin hasn't decided yet if she will help Kirk.

    Much of the Oscar week talk in Los Angeles has centered around various elements of backlash related to the “The Hurt Locker.” Well, that was the case, at least until the Palins came to town.

    Sarah Palin, who chastised her onetime future son-in-law, Levi Johnston, for being too Hollywood, arrived in Los Angeles to appear on Tuesday’s “Tonight Show.”

    The next day, it was revealed that she and reality show guru Mark Burnett were shopping around a show to networks, and shortly after that news broke, Palin reportedly attacked a gifting suite in a way that would make a grizzly proud.

    But what really got people talking was her daughter Bristol Palin’s appearance at a pre-Oscar party. Bristol, who is in Los Angeles to tape her guest spot on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” stopped by Wednesday night’s party at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons.

    While there, she got a touch-up at one of the complimentary makeup booths. “It’s one thing to stop by something fun if you happen to be in town anyway. It’s another thing to always take advantage of the free stuff,” said one eyewitness.

    In the Palins’ defense, the other invited guests tend to take advantage of “the free stuff.” However, the Palin family’s presence in Los Angeles, specifically during Oscar week, has the decidedly liberal town skeptical of the their motivations.

    “They say they want to be a normal family. Well, normal families don’t really go to Oscar gifting suites and poolside parties,” said the source.

    A Palin-family insider said that Sarah is making judicious choices about which events they do attend. “It’s got to be family friendly or attached to a charity,” said the family source. “This isn’t about being part of Hollywood.”

    Sean Penn wishes rectal cancer on his critics
    Ever the divisive celebrity, Sean Penn spoke out against his critics.

    Penn was asked on CBS Sunday morning about his take on people who claim celebrities should stay out of aid situations — such as the one in Haiti Penn has been helping out with — because they detract from the problems on the ground.

    His response? "I guess I've been so away from it all — in our tent camp in Haiti — that I haven't had an awful lot of time to pay attention to them," he says. "You know, do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah. You know, but I'm not going to spend a lot of energy on it."

    The actor has spent plenty of energy on Haiti. He brought more than $1 million dollars to the country and with it, "we were able to get X-ray machines, and ventilators, and do all kinds of things,” he said.

     

    25th anniversary of the Spirit Awards
    Don’t forget that this year’s Spirit Awards is on Friday, not the usual Saturday before the Oscars. The show is full of A-listers: Jeremy Renner, Ryan Reynolds, Amy Ryan, David Spade and Philip Seymour Hoffman will be there. Also, Mariah Carey is among the presenters. And since the Independent Film Channel is broadcasting the show live, uncut, and with champagne, it should be a good one. It airs at 11 p.m. ET on IFC.

    Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc.com.