Media Blog

About Those Tanning Beds, Mr. Olbermann …

Always interesting what gets people’s attention. A bunch of readers have written in to chastise Keith Olbermann over this post from Greg. Tanning beds, it seems, are quite common in Alaska — and not for merely cosmetic purposes. A reader writes:

When I saw your item about “tanning beds” it was the first I heard of it.  We actually just programmed out MSNBC.  We have three kids 7 and under and we don’t want them to growing up thinking that is what the word “journalism” means.Anyways, my wife, born, bred, and of Alaska, laughed very heartily when I told about this when she woke up.  She has a very dark complexion (a fair bit of native Alaskan blood) and she used a tanning bed when she lived in Alaska.  So did her whole family.  And most of her friends.  Why?  Its not for the tan, because as you might guess, not much skin ever gets seen anyways.  It is to try and fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Perhaps Obermann is unaware, but Alaska is at a very northern latitude and even when it is summer, there are lots of clouds. Thus, depression.  A lot of people preferred the tanning beds to the strange “light box” thing.  You might want to ask Jonah’s fair Jessica is she too has used tanning beds to fight SAD in Fairbanks.

And in much the same way Obama’s partisans probably don’t want to be debating real estate questions, the issue of (alleged) cosmetic frippery at the bottom of the ticket might not be their best gambit, either.