Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Own Take On The Whole Letterman/Palin Issue

There are huge protests going on in Iran over what looks to be election fraud. North Korea is rattling sabers again. Elvis is still dead. These things are all newsworthy subjects, yet, all I am seeing on the news lately is coverage of the feud between David Letterman and Sarah Palin.

Essentially, Letterman told a joke poking fun at Palin's eighteen-year-old daughter's promiscuity, joking that Palin was trying to keep her daughter from being "knocked up" by Alex Rodriguez while at a Yankee's game. Any reasonable person who did not know the circumstances of Palin's New York trip would automatically peg the joke for Bristol, Palin's eighteen-year-old daughter who beautifully illustrated the failure of Palin's abstinence education platform by becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Regrettably, it was Palin's fourteen-year-old daughter who was actually at the game.

Under those circumstances, the joke was certainly not a well thought out one and, as a result, was probably in bad taste. But, let us not forget that the nature of comedy is such that it cannot exist without a degree of schadenfreude. Palin certainly had the right to object to the joke, but this saga should not have been dragged out as much at is has. Sarah Palin, you see, has learned the cardinal rule of politics: there is no such thing as bad publicity. As long as she's in the news it's a good day for her.

The problem here isn't David Letterman's joke. No, the problem is the victim mentality that Palin seems to capitalize on at every turn. I'm sure the Palin children didn't ask to be thrust into the national spotlight during the Presidential campaign. The Palins chose to put them out there, though, as examples of their family values and "everyman" status. Bristol, however, in doing her recent spate of interviews with the media, has become a public figure in her own right and is fair game.

Personally, I'm not happy with Letterman. Not because of the joke, but because he caved in and apologized. Were I in Letterman's shoes and had I been accused of 'bad taste' and by an idiotic demagogue like Sarah Palin, and, worse, had I had to endure her backhanded suggestion that her daughter would not be safe around me (This is, after all, the woman who cheerfully and glibly stated that Obama "pals around with terrorists"), I would devote a month's worth of shows to exposing her as the incompetent fraud she is. I am not normally in favor using the comedy stage to satisfy vendettas, but no one in their right mind can take anything that Palin says seriously. Besides, how can you take anyone who picks a fight with a comedian seriously? I realize that it's her shtick to define herself as the opposition to other people and ideas rather than as a candidate who actually stands for something. She really needs to disappear for a few years and start reading some newspapers, Supreme Court decisions and good, old fashioned books and develop some of her own ideas.

Still, I wonder why A-Rod hasn't said anything about the issue?


  1. That feud made headlines over here in Ireland as well...very funny watch from a distance.

  2. You write wonderfully! Hit it on the money.

  3. I loved this and couldn't agree with you more! You've made a follower out of me!