Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh the humanity!

The Palin family is raising holy hell over a crack David Letterman made about A-Rod knocking up their daughter. It was a quip Letterman made over a picture of the Palin clan at a Yankees game recently. The Palins made much ado over the fact that the daughter in attendance was 14 year-old Willow Palin and not her 18 year-old slutty sister Bristol.

The joke doesn’t seem exceptionally funny but with Letterman it’s often not the joke but his delivery. In fact, most jokes don’t seem funny when they’re in print. Letterman would be the first person to tell you that most of his jokes are duds. How he handles a dud is what makes him funny.

The Palins have gone on the offensive. Todd (Sarah Palin’s boy toy who doesn’t have a real job) is getting all macho about it and Sarah is hitting up all the usual suspects in the media to drum up sympathy. They’re accusing Letterman of promoting the raping of a 14 year-old girl.

Letterman made the mistake of trying to explain the joke and apologized but the Palins aren’t having any of it. Letterman even suggested that the Palins could come on his show but they won’t have that either. The Palins don’t want to help Letterman improve his ratings and, as a Palin spokesminion put it, they don’t think it’s a good idea to have Willow around Letterman.

That’s just ridiculous. I’m not saying that the Palins don’t have any reason to be upset. Even if the joke’s about Bristol, they don’t have to like it. Bristol is a valid subject when discussing Sarah Palin’s brand of morality and her stance on birth control and sexual education. She an abstinence-only advocate and Bristol drives home just how ignorant and futile that position is. If a controlling bitch like Sarah Palin can’t keep penises out of her daughter, who can?

Sarah Palin could have scored more points with me if she would have just responded to Letterman’s joke by suggesting that it was a shame that a guy who’s been in the comedy business so long can’t find a better subject. Then make fun of him for not having the sense to verify that the girl he clearly intended to make fun of wasn’t at the game. Let other people feign disgust over Willow’s age, but take the high road.

This is just another example of Sarah Palin insulating herself with her children. During the campaign she made a big deal about the media violating Bristol’s privacy when they started asking about her baby bump but it was Sarah Palin who eagerly presented herself as a devoted mother. Palin put her children on center stage because her political career lacked anything resembling substance. So when people asked her what adversity she faced she could always play the “working mom” card.

The best thing for David Letterman to do is let it slide. His fans aren’t going to buy the accusations being hurled at him by the Palins. They’ve already become so shrill that most of the right wing whack-jobs who support them are probably getting tired of the whining.

Some people are asking why Letterman isn’t making fun of Obama’s daughters, as if there’s some sort of conspiracy but the fact of the matter is Obama’s daughters aren’t being used as props. They’re far too young to be getting knocked up and while Obama has spoken of his family, he hasn’t used them as a qualification. Michelle Obama might be the smartest and most educated first lady we’ve ever had and she’s been surprisingly quiet. You’d almost think that she was a Republican first lady.

It’s also not fair to lump Letterman in with the media and fuel those “liberal media” conspiracies. Letterman is a comedian who hosts a late night talk show. He owns the production company that handles the writing and personnel for that show. CBS basically leases the show from Worldwide Pants. Letterman does not represent the CBS network and he is not a news reporter or even a pundit.

It’s really not for the Palins to say whether Letterman crossed the line. That decision is made by the public, which is an entity Palin removed herself from when she got into politics. She is now a public figure and by extension (and her conscientious decision) her family is as well. The means the entire Palin clan is fair game. They will be lampooned, critiqued and made mockeries of until the general public decides they’ve had enough.

Palin’s outrage over the Letterman joke will prove to be counterproductive. Reasonable people know that Letterman didn’t mean to insinuate anything untoward about Willow Palin and nobody believes the he endorses statutory rape, sexual abuse or pedophilia. By making a mountain out of a molehill Palin will only encourage more people to make fun of her family, not because it’s funny but because Palin’s reaction is.

What’s big deal; the age of consent in Alaska’s got to be 13 anyway.

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