General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Why is it acceptable to make sexist jokes about an underage girl, just because you don't agree with her mother's political views?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) June 11th, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE7RqubVNUo

I love Dave Letterman. I love a good joke. If Letterman had made this joke about Obama’s daughter do you think he would still have a job?

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206 Answers

chyna's avatar

I really thought it was tasteless. Pick on the adults, but leave the children alone.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

It’s absolutely disgusting, and it makes him look like a predator in my eyes. I will never watch his show again, I was so offended.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Sometimes tasteless is funny, this wasn’t.

Aethelwine's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I agree. You just don’t attack underage girls.

DominicX's avatar

Letterman claims that he was talking about Bristol Palin, the older daughter. But Sarah Palin was with her younger 14-year-old daughter at the Yankees game, so that doesn’t really fit…

And I agree the title of the YouTube video is inflammatory. He said nothing about rape.

dannyc's avatar

I think that Letterman looks more than a bit creepy on this one, and very condescending. Either he or the writers really should hang their heads in shame here. As much as anyone might disagree with Sarah Palin’s politics, this was truly a very bad, tasteless Top Ten..

tinyfaery's avatar

He thought the picture was of the older daughter, who is over 18.

dalepetrie's avatar

1) She’s no longer underage
2) She made her own decisions and must deal with the consequences (one of which is ridicule)
3) This joke had NOTHING to do with rape. Knocked up had NEVER in my mind held the connotation of non-consensual sex

Overblown, overeactionary bullshit, all it is.

Aethelwine's avatar

@DominicX I think they just used that as an excuse. I’m sure they knew who they were talking about.

@tinyfaery So if that was Obama’s daughter at age 18 that would have been ok?

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – I’ll answer your query to @tinyfaery, yes…if Sasha Obama gets knocked up at the beginning of her senior year in high school, then yes, when she’s 18, it’s perfectly OK for a late night comedian to make a joke like that about her.

DominicX's avatar

From the news:

Letterman tried to clarify his joke Wednesday night saying it was aimed at now 18-year-old Bristol Palin, who made national headlines for recently having a baby out of wedlock. “These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl… Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.”

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie Do you have a daughter?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

(Didnt watch the video)
Seems like making fun of anyone underage is inappropriate.

dalepetrie's avatar

And WHY would Letterman (or anyone) make a joke about Palin’s 14 year old daughter…the “so-called” excuse holds plenty of water…as a comedian, it wouldn’t even make SENSE to make that joke…Letterman has good comic instincts, he might not always know great taste, but he sure as hell knows good comedy, and there would be no basis for that punchline. The humor in the situation with Palin’s OLDEST daughter is self-evident, and it’s fair game.

No, I don’t have a daughter. I have a 7 year old son. When he’s 18, if he does something stupid and I’m in the public eye, he’s fair game.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Conan O’Brien FTW!

Likeradar's avatar

It’s not even a little bit acceptable. Letterman really f-ed up.

But, in his defense, if I were on TV trying to be funny every weeknight for as long as he’s been, I’m sure I would have said things at least as regrettable. Can anyone say they wouldn’t?

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie Her mom is the one in the public eye. Bristol didn’t ask for this. Bristol is taking responsibilty for her actions.

robmandu's avatar

At worst, I figure Letterman (or his writers) were simply confused about which daughter was in town and at the game.

It was sloppy. But still, I think, an honest mistake.

Regardless, it’s kinda lame that Letterman still making lame-ass partisan jokes even now. That is the bigger crime. ;-)

Likeradar's avatar

@jonsblond I would be 100% with you if it was someone who tried to stay out of the public eye. Her mom didn’t make the decision for her to appear on the cover of recent magazines. Bristol put herself there, and I think anyone who seeks the public eye is fair game for a reasonable amount of criticism (not saying Letterman was reasonable).

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Comedy is always pushing the limits of what is appropriate.
It’s a tricky situation because you really never know how a joke is going to go over until you throw it out there.

Although it is interesting that some comedic avenues like Dave Chappelle and South Park can pull off objectionable humor while Letterman cannot. Then again, I don’t think Letterman is nearly as talented as the previous examples.

dannyc's avatar

I was more against him referring to Sarah Palin as a slut. ( not sure what TOP Ten number that was) To me that stepped over the line. I can forgive him for the underrage girl jokes assuming he was telling the truth that he did not know. Palin may be a lot of things, and a poor VP candidate, but it is ridiculous, because, some consider her good looking, to refer to her in this way.

Blondesjon's avatar

If you poke fun at any of my children you had better be ready to get popped in the mouth.

Since when do we have the “right” to fuck with anyone in the “public eye”?

If you want to go that route we are kind of all in our own little “public eye” forum here. Anyone think their kids are fair game?

Jeruba's avatar

“Knocked up” doesn’t mean “raped.” But this joke was in very poor taste in any case.

Likeradar's avatar

Was the more to it than what @jonsblond posted with the youtube link?

dalepetrie's avatar

Bristol’s mom may be in the public eye, and she may not have “asked” for this, but as @Likeradar points out, Bristol has not shy-ed away from the public eye. In fact, even if it were not for the more recent TV interviews and magazine covers, Sarah pimped her out about 3 days after she was announced as the VP candidate, and hell, even before that. They knew full damn well what they were getting into as a vehemently pro-abstinence candidate who had a daughter who was several months pregnant at the time. The policy rhetoric did not jive with the family situation, and therefore the family was fair game, period. Palin’s daughter became an illustration of what people thought was wrong with Palin’s worldview. And Bristol could have said, look…I’m living my life, I want no part of this…but she not only stood up in front of the world in support of her mother, putting herself on the goddamn world stage, but she allowed herself, and her shotgun fiance to be dragged up on stage at political events and made a spectacle of. Her story was used in a political fashion to curry favor when Sarah made a big deal about how they discussed what to do as a family and allowed her to make her decisions. They held her up as a “GOOD” example, when any moron with two eyes saw her actions as a more realistic situation than her mother’s policies could ever have hoped to have been. She went along with it, stayed in the public eye all along, and is STILL giving interviews, STILL showing up on magazine covers, STILL making the decision to hang onto the spotlight, rather than fading into obscurity.

So yes, she is 100% fair game. And I don’t care WHO you think you are @Blondesjon – when your kids turn 18 and start to make their OWN decisions, they are not going to WANT you to run to their aid. Adults, even if they are YOUR kids, are ADULTS, they can fight their own battles, and if as adults they thrust themselves into the public eye (or allow themselves to be dragged along willingly, do nothing to abate it, and then hang onto it well after their 15 minutes are up), I’m sorry, but as public figures they are subject to public ridicule if they do something stupid. Particularly if that which they did stupidly becomes what they are known for and they display a certain amount of pride in the act. Fair game is fair game, and I’ll protect my son until he’s an adult, but once he’s an adult, I’ll support and help him, but it will no longer be my place to “pop someone in the mouth” because they say some words I don’t like. That’s just infantile.

casheroo's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba he in no way insinuated sexual abuse, I don’t know why people keep saying that. But, it was a joke in poor taste. I still don’t think he should be getting so much flack for it. We all know he was talking about Bristol and not the younger daughter who was at the game.

tinyfaery's avatar

@jonsblond & @Blondesjon I’m sorry, but there is no way you can be simultaneously offended by such a banal joke and have Baby and and Otis as your avatars.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .I didn’t realize that at the age of 18 you just threw your kids to the wolves.I seem to remember that when I eighteen a little help from the family now and then was welcome.

I don’t care if my kids are eighty and I’m a hundred. If someone fucks with my family I am going to come to their aid.

@tinyfaery. . .I’m sorry but you have no children. Your cats don’t count. That’s like saying that since jonsblond and I have sex we shouldn’t have children because that is unacceptable. It like saying that since there is a television in our house having children is unacceptable.

We get it. You are a lesbian. You don’t want kids. I am not and I had some. They are my family and I will defend them until I am cold in the ground. You don’t want people telling you that you need to have kids.

I don’t want you telling me how to raise mine.

and that’s not otis

dalepetrie's avatar

@Likeradar – no, nothing more. Perhaps some people are still bitter over losing the election. Perhaps some people don’t realize what a J-O-K-E is and need to develop a sense of humor. Not sure, but had I seen that I wouldn’t have thought a thing about it. And hey, I have no problem with Chelsea Clinton jokes now…when she was 15 I thought they were tasteless, but now, she’s every bit as much fair game as is any adult child of any political candidate past or present who is now 18 and accountable for his or her actions as an adult.

Likeradar's avatar

And in thinking more about it, why isn’t A-Rod upset about the stupid joke? It’s implying that he is incapable of keeping it in his pants.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – letting your kids defend themselves against jokes and throwing them to the fucking wolves are two completely different things.get a grip. A little help, is not making a federal case out of every time someone says something with the potential to hurt your kid’s feelings (even it it’s based on a dumbass move your kid made).

Second, no one’s “fucking” with anyone, he made a J-O-K-E. If I honestly believed you would NEVER laugh at a joke about a Democrat’s adult daughter, maybe I wouldn’t find your verbal gymnastics to be so fucking hilarious. You’re clearly mad because you were a McCain/Palin supporter and you feel that too much of the “humor” thrown at your side during the campaign was at the expense of things that shouldn’t have mattered. Trust me, Dems felt the same way 100fold.

I have no desire to rehash the election, but I can see that what you’re complaining about here is the same thing the right wing noise machine was telling you to complain about 8 months ago. I have to ask, if you became famous and you did something stupid, and a late night comedian made fun of you, would YOU want your mommy or daddy to cry foul on your behalf?

Aethelwine's avatar

@tinyfaery Avatars are “make believe”. My daughter is “real”.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .I don’t even vote. Let’s get this straight.

I don’t believe in God.

I don’t believe in Politics.

Fuck Sarah Palin and anyone else who would choose to run for public office.

I believe that if you mess with someone’s family you have earned what’s coming to you.

read some of my posts dale. i believe in standing up for those that get picked on just because of an ideal that others don’t agree with

dannyc's avatar

Well, Letterman apologized, meaning even he thought it was in poor taste. It was a real faux pas, and as a parent, I totally understand the intensity of feelings against Letterman here. If a person is a politician then attack them if you see fit. Her kids should be off limits. Very simple. If you don’t protect your kids from ridicule whether 14 or 40 or 100, then who will?

Aethelwine's avatar

@dannyc Thank you. That’s exactly my point.

dalepetrie's avatar

And allow me now to deconstruct the question:

Why is it acceptable to make sexist jokes about an underage girl, just because you don’t agree with her mother’s political views?

1) I don’t think the joke was sexist. In what way did Letterman make any comments about her gender making her unequal in any way?

2) He was making a joke about Bristol, whether you want to believe him or not…it doesn’t make any sense the other way, and Bristol is not underage.

3) Saying it was “because” he didn’t agree with the mother’s political views, first of all, that’s an assumption, and a faulty one for several reasons. As I recall, I didn’t see Letterman come out for one side or the other in the campaign. In fact, McCain announced his candidacy ON LETTERMAN’S SHOW. He had McCain on MANY times during the campaign (far more often than he had Obama on the show), and he only went after McCain when McCain lied to him and stood him up for a scheduled appearance. I don’t personally know of anywhere that Letterman has said he disagrees or agrees with any candidate’s views. Next, the WHOLE REASON Letterman made fun of Bristol Palin in the FIRST place, then AND now, is because Sarah Palin was rabidly in favor of abstinence only sex education…a mindset which says kids should just say no. Yet, she couldn’t even keep her OWN DAUGHTER from fucking her redneck boyfriend. AND when Palin wouldn’t even allow teaching about BIRTH CONTROL in her OWN DAUGHTER’S SCHOOL, it made the fact that her daughter was an unwed teen mother to be VERY FUCKING RELEVANT. Bottom line though is it was BRISTOL’S decision to fuck a redneck without a rubber, it was BRISTOL’S decision to hang onto the public eye, and therefore, the fact that she is now an adult makes it fair game to poke fun at her decision to fuck a redneck without a rubber when she was 16 or 17.

I don’t disagree with you @Blondesjon, I am not a follower of religion, I think politics is bullshit, and I do agree that you help your family out. But EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN ONE OF US ON THIS PLANET IS SOMEONE’S FAMILY. What exempts this ONE PERSON from being the butt of a joke at the expense of her OWN DECISIONS, when she is 100% grown up and fully capable of defending HERSELF, so that you feel self-righteous enough to say that she should be off limits? Yes, if it weren’t for Sarah Palin being in the public eye, Bristol Palin wouldn’t be either…but you could swap the name “Palin” for “Sutherland”, “Sarah” for “Donald” and “Bristol” for “Keifer”, and you’d have the same situation. Keifer Sutherland probably wouldn’t have gotten some of his earliest acting gigs if his father weren’t a bigwig in Hollywood, but do you think Jack Bauer needs daddy to decry every time someone makes a joke about him? So, I think the premise that Letterman’s making fun of Bristol is because Letterman doesn’t agree with Sarah’s politics is a HUGE FUCKING ASSUMPTION that is completely incorrect.

Now deconstruct the second part of the question:

If Letterman had made a joke about Obama’s daughter, would he still have a job. If the joke was about one of them today, no…if the joke was made about an adult daughter of Obama in regards to a dumbass mistake SHE made, then yes, not a problem.

It’s overblown, it’s based on faulty logic and assumptions, and it may be in poor taste, but c’mon, you’ve clearly seen the Devil’s Rejects, are you honestly expecting me to buy the assumption that some humor is just “beyond the pale” for you? REALLY?

DominicX's avatar

CAPS overload. Whoa.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .The only two ideals I stated on this thread is my belief that if someone came at my family I would retaliate in full no matter what age my child was, and that if you are in the public eye or not, where is it written that you are “fair game”.

i’m still wiping tears from my eyes at the mccain/palin post. if you only knew…

dannyc's avatar

Letterman would never made a joke such as this about Chelsea Clinton, even, when she was in the White House. He knows it, and fessed up, so life moves on. I guarantee you he will never step into this minefield again. I don’ think he had some conspiratorial thing happening, just a bad day at the office. The simple rule is you don’t talk about someone’s kids, it is not classy and pointless. If one wants to do so, then expect the heat as people just do not appreciate and will never get the joke. Parse it any way you want, analyze till you are paralyzed, but it is rule 101 if you don’t want wrath from parents who spend their lives loving their kids and protecting them, then dissociate your jokes/critiques/inuendo/judgements from progeny.

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie wtf does my avatar have to do with any of this? Yes I have a sense of humor. I’ve noticed how “accepting” fluther is at bashing Sarah Palin and her daughters sexually and I find it disgusting. Just because the majority of fluther disagrees with her politics doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable to make rude sexual comments about her and her daughters.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – I don’t agree it has ANYTHING to do with Sarah’s politics and has EVERYTHING to do with Bristol’s behavior, I don’t think you’ve proven your faulty assumption.

And I don’t question people sticking up for their families. But I want to know why anyone would think Bristol was off limits? I don’t see any other famous children of famous people being treated as if their assinine behavior is off limits. Bottom line is, making jokes about the foibles of famous people is what guys like Letterman DO! What exempts Bristol Palin from the same treatment he would dole out to someone else?

If anything, kids of politicians are less off limits than kids of other types of celebrities, because politicians put themselves in a position where they are deeming themselves to be worthy to set the rules for ALL of us, so when their kids don’t even live up to the rules that these politicians would set for US, how are WE supposed to believe those politicians know what’s best for us, when they clearly can’t even get it right within their own fucking families.

And @jonsblond, what your avatar has to do with it, is if you are a fan of Rob Zombie’s movies, let’s just say, the humor doesn’t get any more tasteless than that. I love them too, don’t get me wrong…I see nothing wrong with it, but if you can enjoy that type of humor, what exactly is it about making fun of the famous adult daughter of a famous politician for having “loose morals” when she has demonstrated her willingness to have unprotected sex with a dirtbag? Fair game….explain to me why it isn’t. I don’t think you can.

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie I don’t think that barely 18 is fair game. It’s tasteless. Even if she was 40, it’s “tasteless”. When did she ever make any jokes about Dave?

You explain to me where it is written that we have the right to attack and degrade someone simply because they are in the public eye. I think that it is a lynch mob mentality and indicitive of a lazy, over critical, television fed, fat ass nation.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not, plain and simple.

Ivan's avatar

Meh.

One of Sarah Palin’s daughters got knocked up.

Alex Rodriguez got divorced after he had an affair.

The joke makes sense.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – it’s tasteless, agreed. You are entertained by other things that are tasteless, no? What’s the difference?

You claim to be a fan of Dave…but Dave makes insulting jokes about people in the public eye several times a night…when have ANY of these people made fun of Dave? Never. Not their job. It IS however Dave’s job to make fun of the missteps of famous people.

So either Dave has no right to make any jokes at anyone’s expense and you have no right to laugh at them, or something makes this person different. Your assertion is that it wouldn’t matter if she was 18 or 40, that being in the public eye does not make you fair game. But if that’s the case, you SHOULD be offended 15 times every time you watch Letterman.

What for example makes this mocking any better than what has you up in arms? When did HE ever make fun of Dave? When did Dave ever give him a reason to? The answers to those questions are as self evident when you are talking about Bristol Palin as they are about anyone who becomes the target of Dave’s jokes (or any comedian’s jokes for that matter).

dalepetrie's avatar

Another thought….being in the public eye is not a matter of being “written that we have the right to attack and degrade someone simply because they are in the public eye,” nor does a comedian’s doing so indicate “a lynch mob mentality…indicitive [sic] of a lazy, over critical, television fed, fat ass nation,” true though that may be.

Being in the public eye, by definition, means you are KNOWN to the public, and it is human nature to form an opinion about anyone or anything about which they have an awareness. Being “famous” opens you to accolades if you do something the public sees as good, and criticism if you do something the public sees as bad. NO ONE in the public eye is exempt. Again, I want to know what should make Bristol Palin different from anyone else in the public eye who has screwed up?

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie Movies are make believe. Bristol is not. If I were Sarah, I’d be pissed. That is why I asked this question. I’ve been raped twice by people that were supposedly my “friends”. I take issue with girls or women in “real” life being degraded by men.

Bristol may have made a mistake, but haven’t we all?

peyton_farquhar's avatar

It was tasteless and unfunny, and David Letterman’s an ass. With that said, I don’t really see the need to hold another Geneva Convention over this joke.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – Sarah has a right to be pissed. Not sure that you do. Not unless you’re pissed at every joke Letterman makes at any famous person’s expense. I have great sympathy for you for what you have been through, I would not make fun of that. I don’t see that knocked up = rape. If Letterman had said, Palin’s daughter was busy being raped by A-Rod, well, he should be fired. That’s not what he said. He did not imply that. He did not insinuate that. A-Rod, a public figure, is known to be a womanizer. Bristol Palin, a public figure, is known to be less than discriminating with her sexual activity. The joke made sense, was fair and based in reality. If you or anyone else inferred something that wasn’t there, I appreciate why you have your bias, but I think you need to see beyond your bias to see why this was fair. I sympathize with you, but I think it taints your perception, and you of all people should see that.

Darwin's avatar

Much of what David Letterman uses as humor is in poor taste, which is why I rarely watch his show. However, most comedians step over the line – the trick to humor is to skirt the line carefully and that isn’t always easy to do.

Besides, Bristol Palin seemed happy to show herself in public while riding her mother’s coat tails, and A-Rod is definitely a public figure.

But how many people protested when folks made jokes in poor taste about Dubya’s daughters and their problems with underage drinking? Not too many, as I recall.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Darwin My point exactly. If you don’t agree with the politics it’s ok to bash. Or so it seems.

TaoSan's avatar

@Blondesjon

cheesus, take a Midol really…

shilolo's avatar

Let’s see, jokes about other President’s Kids:
Bush II Kids:
Jenna Bush
Jenna and Barbara Bush and the NSFW photo here

By the way, considering how much partying the two of them did, I think they probably got off really easy. I wonder how much influence the President had on suppressing information on that. Also, jokes about their lack of military service while the President was asking others for sacrifice were also apparently off limits.

Chelsea Clinton:
John McCain joking about Chelsea Clinton

Conan O’Brien ”“Chelsea Clinton has been spotted all over town recently at New York’s hottest single bars. When asked about it, Chelsea said ‘hey, I’m just trying to spend a little quality time with my Dad’” 2001

The fact is, if you are going to be a celebrity, these are the consequences. I for one do not think this was too bad. You can’t simultaneously court celebrity status and then rebuke others for exploiting your celebrity status in the form of jokes.

Aethelwine's avatar

@TaoSan You do mean Cheez Its, right? And it’s amoxicillin, not midol that he is on, (damn swine flu) ;)

shilolo's avatar

Hmmm, amoxicillin (anti-bacterial) as treatment for swine flu (virus). Love it.

TaoSan's avatar

@jonsblond

Oy! It all started with that little kid kissing that pig!!!! I knew it, that pic said it all!!!!! And Cheesus is the high-end higher priced imitation import cracker by Cheez It lol

Aethelwine's avatar

@shilolo Blondesjon was hoping that you would answer his question concerning medical care (or lack there of). He doesn’t know what he has or what to take. :) lurve

shilolo's avatar

@jonsblond Which question? I get >100 Qs for me every day, and I often can’t look through them all. Is that avatar meant to entice me? ;-)

kevbo's avatar

Since no one has linked to Letterman’s retraction of sorts (aside from the brief text above), please view it here.

@jonblondesjon, I see your points. I see how this is incident is pushing your buttons. I agree that demeaning women and children in so many ways is bad.

I also think that when people act like dicks (I mean Sarah Palin in this case), they should be treated as such, and hypocrites should be called on their bullshit. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s politics and another to suffer lies, fallacies, and cover ups being sold as truth and righteousness. That doesn’t make it right to demean someone’s daughter (and the more I think about this the more I see things your way), but there’s definitely room for balance when it comes to the oxygen the Palin’s have wasted in the public sphere and the hate they’ve fomented.

Regarding the mix up with the daughters, it really is an inexcusable mistake—one that should be responded to with abject apology (and perhaps Letterman meets that standard), but if you’re going to be on the cover of “People” then you should anticipate criticism of the worst kind.

Other than the fact that this is topical, I’m puzzled by the focus on Letterman. This kind of shit happens all over the internet (on the major sites, I mean) as well as plenty of other television shows and magazines. It doesn’t make it right, of course, but this is like a tour of one room in a giant glass house.

Aethelwine's avatar

@shilolo Yes it is. (avatar). :) Blondesjon asked a question recently concerning health care. He has been sick (no insurance) and felt that he didn’t get the proper care that he should have because he doesn’t have insurance. My daughter has the same symptoms that he did even though he was diagnosed as having a viral infection (not contagious right?) We are assuming that he was misdiagnosed.

@all As I stated, I love a good joke. I love Letterman. I really have no beef with him. I’m just trying to point out the hypocricy when it involves someone that has a political view other than yours.

shilolo's avatar

@jonsblond I think the issue is that there does not appear to be any hypocrisy. The joke may have been in poor taste, but as I showed above (with a limited amount of memory and research) is that famous children are targets of jokes, irrespective or their political leaning.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – I still have yet to see the hypocrisy you decry. This was not a political joke. It was not about a politician…it was about the famous daughter of a politician. The subject of the joke was not about a political statement or action, but about the perceived promiscuity of the people who were the subject of the joke. As @shilolo pointed out, late night comedians have made jokes at the expense of the children of politicians regardless of the politics of the parents.

What I suspect here, and forgive me for playing armchair psychiatrist here, but I suspect that either you didn’t even see that episode of Letterman when it aired, or you did, but that joke pretty much slid by, and it wasn’t until Palin reacted to it and the media made a federal case about it being in poor taste because it was about rape. You having been raped yourself twice by your own admission and your husband’s sensitivity to your feelings had your sensibilities offended when you realized how it could be taken in a way that would be deeply offensive to you personally. Ergo, you were more than willing to buy the outrage that was being sold to you by the media.

Now maybe I’m wrong…maybe you did see this yourself, and maybe you also just jumped to the conclusion that Dave was talking about rape and not consensual intercourse…same net result. But it wasn’t a rape joke, and had that connection not been made (incorrectly) in your mind, I doubt you or your husband would have any problem with this joke.

I’m willing to believe you and your husband are apolitical if you tell me that, but I really find it hard to believe that someone who holds apolitical views would see this joke as an attack by the liberal establishment on a conservative, which would not stand if the tables were turned. YOU KNOW BETTER, and frankly, I’m disappointed in you both for letting your emotions interfere with your common sense. Having said that, I have no way of feeling what you’ve been through and I can forgive you for being oversensitive. But make no mistake about it, you are being oversensitive in the same way that people who would censor the entertainment you enjoy.

You asked earlier why you and your husband’s avatars of the Zombie clan were important, and this is the heart of what I’m trying to say. I know you enjoy Rob Zombie films based on this and based on film discussions with you, and Rob Zombie films are a) the blackest of black comedy, and b) feature rape and torture prominently. Though your context of why a “rape joke” might be offensive to you is understandable, the problem is, there has to be a rape joke to make this a problematic situation for you. And I have a very hard time believing from the clip I saw that you would take what he said as a rape joke. And given that your husband has purported to not vote and you have stated in another thread that you did not vote for Obama, it leads me to think not that you voted for McCain, but that you too also are not a fan of politics as you two seem to be very kindred spirits and I’d have a hard time envisioning your husband as being someone who’d be happy with a lifemate who was partisan. If this is true, I would think that your disdain for all things political would make it crystal clear to you that the evil inherent in politics come to play in that partisans take statements made by their opponents (or in this case by someone who makes himself the enemy by taking on one of their own) and twist their original intended meaning into something that will offend the sensibilities of as many people as possible, to make it look like one’s opponents are not playing fair. This is what politicians DO, and this is EXACTLY what happened here.

Basically, Letterman made a joke that wasn’t a great joke, wasn’t a timely joke, and was based on the public perception that A-Rod is a pussyhound and Bristol Palin is a slut. Not a joke about her 14 year old daughter, not a joke about rape, not a joke about someone who hasn’t made themselves a matter of public interest. But rabid right wing partisans (and yes, I’m pretty left wing, but I’ll be the first to admit that liberal partisans would have done the same fucking thing if the tables were turned) basically told the media why they should be offended by this joke…they twisted it and offered up an interpretation that was clearly never intended to make it seem like the damn liberals were at it again, making cold hearted rape jokes about a has been politician’s 14 year old daughter, and I’m willing to bet that the SECOND you heard that, you bought the lie hook, line and sinker, and now you can’t unsee it in the way that it was presented to you.

And I wouldn’t even give a shit to keep beating this dead horse, but it’s just a shame that a couple seemingly so impervious to political bullshit, has been bullshitted by politicians into taking sides (and in my opinion, the WRONG side). So go ahead, tell me I’m wrong. Tell me that ain’t what happened. But unless and until you can convince me that there’s some reason either the subject matter or the subject should be off limits to late nigh comics whose jobs are to critique the behaviors of famous people, then I will fail to see your point. As far as I see it, the only unfortunate thing here is that Letterman even thought he HAD to issue an apology. It was a joke, it wasn’t a personal attack, it wasn’t worthy of the press it got, and it was only deemed noteworthy by people who wanted to make Palin’s opponents look like they were poor sports.

kevbo's avatar

@dalepetrie, my heart is with you and I GA’d you earlier, but on a fact level the younger daughter (what’s her name anyway?) was at the game the joke was about “consensual” sex between A-Rod and the daughter, which of course is impossible under U.S. law because the age of consent in NY (or however that works) probably isn’t 14, so it’s a de facto hypothetical statutory rape.

If it was clear cut, no mistake about Bristol, I’d be with you 100%.

TaoSan's avatar

@dalepetrie

Are you an organ donor? The powers that be forbid something happened to you, but if, I want your frontal lobe! GA!

sandystrachan's avatar

The best news channel in the world ever , was where i think the whole ” knocked up” means rape started .

SirBailey's avatar

The joke was in poor taste and should not have been said. But I don’t think it’s wise for Sarah Palin to publicly respond. It will only provide fodder for more Letterman “jokes”. And she definitely should NOT go on his show to respond.

When Clinton was president, I remember that Hillary went to NBC brass to make them stop telling “ugly” jokes about Chelsea on Saturday Night Live. THAT’S the way to handle it.

CMaz's avatar

Why make jokes of Palin at all? Because we can? I am sure I can make tasteless and crude jokes about anyone here, including myself. That 15 minutes of funny has been 15 minutes too long.
I find the whole Palin thing ridiculous.

kevbo's avatar

@jonblondesjon, you’ll love this.

dalepetrie's avatar

@kevbo – problem is, Letterman never mentioned the younger daughter’s name (or the older one’s for that matter). But the joke he made would have no context to have been made, none whatsoever had it been intended to be at the expense of the younger one. That’s grasping at straws, you’re smart enough to know that, especially in light of Palin’s continued reaction to it today. You really honestly think that after 30 years in the public eye, Letterman all of a sudden lets on to being some sort of sick pedophile? I mean, first of all, I’ll bet you just about anything that he didn’t even WRITE that joke….Letterman is a talented comic voice, and he is at his best in an interview situation…he knows how to ad lib, he knows funny. But his monologues are written by comedy writers, that’s how it works. And I’m sure some comedy writer heard that Sarah Palin took “her daughter” to a game, and the joke sprang from there. I mean, do you really, honestly believe that it’s more likely that Letterman is a sick pervert who makes sex jokes about 14 year old girls, or do you think that it’s FAR more likely that a writer made a simple fucking mistake? If you believe the former, I think you need to get a grip. Put it into context…the joke MAKES SENSE if it’s about the older daughter, it DOESN’T MAKE SENSE if it’s about the younger daughter….someone who has built the comedic empire that Letterman has would understand that. There is 0 question in my mind and should be 0 question in the mind of ANYONE with 2 fucking brain cells to rub together that Letterman was joking about the older daughter, not the younger one, and Palin’s ranting protests and her continued refusal to let it go in light of how she conducted her pit bull with lipstick campaign really ought to make it clear that this woman is 100% certifiably looney and talking out of her asshole. Honestly, if you believe Palin’s side over Letterman’s, all I can do is feel sorry for you, for you are another one I would not expect to buy political censorship wrapped up in emotional wordplay. But que sera sera I guess…if I, or sheer overwhelming logic haven’t convinced you by now, nothing will.

TaoSan's avatar

@kevbo

I mean just look at her face in that thing. She’s a lunatic, for real. Wonder how many people understand how close the world has come to its end in those last elections. This woman with launch codes, gawd. She’s dictator material of the worst kind.

And in her mind that audience she was attacking would now probably be the domestic enemy you swear to defend when you enlist in the armed forces. Just look at her being totally incapable to let it go. She prolly dreams about hunting Obama voters down by helicopter at night.

kevbo's avatar

I agree with you guys. She is looney tunes (and I don’t believe she’s really sincere in her outrage). But, his case isn’t airtight so it’s kind of his fuckup for which he issued a retraction.

I haven’t watched Letterman in a long time, but I still think he’s funny and don’t have anything against his show. I don’t have anything against your arguments, either. I just think he’s not infallible in this case.

TaoSan's avatar

I think it was an honest, innocent screw-up on the writing part.

<flamebait> Or, wait 4 years, and folks will say Letterman predicted it! </flamebait>

ubersiren's avatar

Very poor taste. Especially because you KNOW it was made because of her mother’s politics and not just to be “funny.” Just like you said, @jonsblond, it would not have been as warmly received if it was about the beloved Obama’s family.

Likeradar's avatar

@ubersiren Would you still say that about the Obama family if the girls were over 18 and made decisions that many people consider foolish and were possibly direct consequences of their parents’ platforms?

SuperMouse's avatar

Here is Sarah Palin continuing to use her daughter to keep her own face and name in the spotlight.

As far as I’m concerned this is a non-issue.

@jonsblond and @Blondesjon I can understand how, as parents of a young daughter, you would be offended by such humor. However, I also understand (or at least I believe with a reasonable certainty) that neither of you would parade any of your children around to increase your own exposure or exploit them for your own gain. That is exactly what Palin has done, and continues to do. One cannot have it both ways, one either puts one’s children first or puts their own interests above their children – Palin has done the latter.

But above all, this young woman is of age and continues to put herself in the spotlight. She cannot expect to do so and not face any feedback.

LexWordsmith's avatar

My recollection is that the Clintons never made Chelsea a public figure in the way that Sarah Palin made Bristol one, so the comparison is not apt. On the other hand, the “bars all over town” joke made fun of Bill, not of Chelsea, so i didn’t become heated about it. I thought that the Letterman joke was in very poor taste, because Bristol was not known to be promiscuous—she made a mistake; she took the consequences; there was never an implication that she was an easy lay for older, unsavory men. Full disclosure—i am a knee-jerk, bleeding-heart progressive and a fervent opposer of reactionary propaganda.

Bri_L's avatar

Part of what I teach my kids is when to ignore the stupidity of others. Not to give them power by letting what they say hurt me. Then others look to those people for there words instead of me for my actions and words.

Secondly, I will always until I or they die, be there for my kids, but part of that will always be tempered with allowing them to learn on their own. That being said. I will never put them in a position where what I do affects them as does a politician or a movie star.

Darwin's avatar

When you are a public figure it is difficult to keep your family out of the news. But it is not impossible. There are many actors and politicians that do just that. Perhaps Palin should take a lesson from people like Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor and JK Rowling, all of whom protect their children from the press to the extent in some cases of filing suit (and winning).

In other words, she should have left Bristol out of the publicity shots and let her stay at home in Alaska taking care of herself and her baby.

chyna's avatar

Attack Sarah if you must, with stupid jokes because she won’t stay out of the public eye, but I think kids and dogs should be left alone.

Aethelwine's avatar

@chyna Celebrity dogs have enough to deal with. I agree. :)

chyna's avatar

@jonsblond I like that.

filmfann's avatar

I love the far right outrage. I wonder why these were the same people who used to pick on Chelsea Clinton when she was 10 years old (did you hear there is a new dog in the White House? Her name is Chelsea!). Fucking hypocrates.

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . .Some of us don’t care if it was Chelsea or Bristol.

Some of us would get just as mad if it was the local paper giving a neighbor’s child shit based on who his/her parents are.

Some of us just get pissed when kids are fucked with.

Bri_L's avatar

I get just as pissed no matter who’s kid it is.

I did think it was in poor taste for Hillary to use Chelsea to campaign and then not allow anyone to talk to her though.

dannyc's avatar

After reading all the posts, no one has convinced me that Letterman wasn’t off base here:
1. Letterman himself believes he screwed up, which I accept. I take it as sincere.
2. He will check a bit more carefully next time, so those who think he was wrong will have changed his future behavior and we should give him the benefit of the doubt.
3. Regardless of attacking Bristol/Chelsea/the Bush kids/MacCain’s kids/Reagan’s kid/Obama’s kids..it is just not right. These kids are in the limelight, maybe hate it. maybe not. It serves no advancement except a sort of guttural humor that is really not serving a purpose except to juvenile types and the media to drive ratings. If you think it funny, I have no problem with it, it is not really that important. Just remember that all people have feelings, even the assholes of the world, if you think Palin and her family qualifies. When you take joy in someone else’s hurt feelings, you are doing the world a disservice, regardless of your political leanings. Jokes are jokes, I can deal with that. There is no need to gloat in someone’s sorrow or failings, I personally never think that is funny. Thus Bristol Palin is a human being who deserves respect. I could not care less if you hate her mother, that is simply a canard. That it is my tenet in dealing with all people. To joke about her tough time, regardless of her persona ,or you think she brought it on herself, or there is a tit for tat, is just not acceptable to me. Call me a dinosaur. I think there is something that may be missing today, called being tolerant and an old fashioned term called civility.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dannyc . . .I call you the way I would sound if I didn’t drink.

A very well thought out and articulated answer.

I’m glad you decided to give Fluther a chance.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i don’t know if i’m missing something here, but i didn’t think it was that big of a deal. maybe i just didn’t “get it”.

regardless, i think it’s completely tasteless to make jokes referring to a politician’s family members. it doesn’t matter who the politician is, and it doesn’t matter if they were “asking for it”. i don’t understand why the public can’t differentiate between the politician and those with the same last name as them.

Darwin's avatar

It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal except that Palin won’t let go. I think it is a very good thing that she has not gotten further than governor of Alaska because she seems to lack that sixth sense that most politicians have. She seems to have no idea of how to charm the public or supporters or to protect those private parts of her life from public scrutiny.

While I don’t make jokes about famous peoples’ children and don’t listen to them either since I consider them to be in poor taste, I know that people do both, especially when said children are paraded in public and interviewed in magazines. It is quite different when the children are never deliberately put on camera or allowed to be interviewed, unlike Bristol Palin, who spoke out here and here and here and here .

I do feel, though, that if you keep protesting even after a public apology, you are after something other than “justice.” Perhaps Mere Palin misses the limelight down in the lower 48?

dannyc's avatar

@Blondesjon. Many thanks for that. I was thinking to give it up at the very beginning, but many encouraged me to continue. I try to write what I feel…sometimes it makes sense, sometimes not. But the key is to dialogue and explore,,,I respect all here, it is a group who give it their all to learn. And I have learned a lot.

ubersiren's avatar

@Likeradar : You’re right… I guess it’s ok to make rape jokes about adults. wtf?

filmfann's avatar

The joke wasn’t a rape joke. It was a getting knocked up joke. Knocked up like Palin’s oldest daughter was, and like Palin herself was when she had to marry Todd.
The joke was NOT about rape! It was about uncontrolled loins.

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . .it involved a 14 year old

filmfann's avatar

It did not. That is bullshit. Letterman said the joke was directed at Palin’s oldest daughter, who is 18.

Blondesjon's avatar

After he was called on it.

filmfann's avatar

Well, ya! Why would he have to explain it before someone said they thought it was about the 14 year old? The joke is really only funny if it is about the 18 year old, so I believe him.

Blondesjon's avatar

He has an entire staff of joke writers and fact checkers and lawyers to make sure this doesn’t happen.

They went for the cheap shot thinking they wouldn’t get called on it.

They did.

filmfann's avatar

They went for the humor. Its a comedy show. The joke is only funny if it is about the 18 year old. Not in good taste, but funny.

Darwin's avatar

Palin is the one insisting it was about rape, she is the one who is insinuating that Letterman would attempt to rape a 14-yo girl, and she is the one refusing to accept Letterman’s apology. Did anybody see her with Matt Lauer on the Today Show?

Yes, Letterman’s staff should have checked up better, and maybe they thought they wouldn’t get called on it, but it has been pointed out, Letterman has apologized, and Palin is back to reminding us of the image of a pitbull with lipstick.

filmfann's avatar

What she is doing is trying to take the attention off of her plagiarizing Newt last week.

Blondesjon's avatar

If it is ok to make jokes about the children of people in the “spotlight” then they should have easily seen that it was a fourteen year old girl they were referring to.

They were at a MLB game after all. I believe there were a couple of cameras there.

filmfann's avatar

The 18 year old was well known to be in NY with Palin.
Perhaps they couldn’t use the images without the expressed permission of Major League Baseball…
See, thats a joke.

Blondesjon's avatar

There were cameras at the game. She is in the spotlight. They couldn’t tell the difference between daughters?

filmfann's avatar

I don’t think it was more than a simple error.
That is much easier to believe than Dave going child predator.

Blondesjon's avatar

I never said that Dave did. If you think that David Letterman writes his own show than you really are out of touch with the way things work.

filmfann's avatar

I actually know quite a bit about how these shows are written, and Dave has the final word.

filmfann's avatar

And it is Palin who is insinuating that Dave should be on To Catch A Predator.

Darwin's avatar

Letterman screwed up, Plain called him on it, he apologized, and she is refusing to accept his apology and casting insults at him.

Who is being the grown up here?

Blondesjon's avatar

If Dave checked everything himself why would he need such an enormous staff that includes, fact checkers?

I don’t think Dave is anything but a victim of circumstance. I am only upset about this because folks seem to think it is perfectly ok to go after a public figure’s child because they are a public figure.I don’t believe in giving children shit for any reason.

In fact, give me one good reason why it is ok to make jokes about someone else’s child.

I’m only arguing the rest with you because, as @Darwin is insinuating, I’m acting my age.

filmfann's avatar

No one is saying Dave checked everything, except you.
Dave was quite adult about giving his explaination, and an unnecessary apology, then Sarah Palin and Todd (not to be confused with Sarah, Plain and Tall) spat it back in his face. Once again, I believe she did this to take the heat off her plagiarizing Newt the prior week.

Blondesjon's avatar

I asked you to give me one good reason why it is ok to make jokes about someone else’s child.

filmfann's avatar

I am not saying he had a good reason. I said the joke was in bad taste.

Aethelwine's avatar

I think Sarah is tired of people joking about her daughters. I would be upset if I were her.

Blondesjon's avatar

I asked you the question @filmfann . You seem to feel strongly about this and seem to be in the pro joke camp. Tell me why it is ok to make a joke about someone else’s child.

You can’t stand up for Letterman and also say the joke is bullshit.

filmfann's avatar

No, I said your response was bullshit. The joke was not about a 14 year old.

Darwin's avatar

I don’t think anyone here really thinks it is a great thing to make fun of specific children. Nor am I insinuating that anyone on Fluther is behaving badly. My point is someone, specifically David Letterman, screwed up for whatever reason and was adult-enough to apologize when called on it. Someone else, specifically Sarah Palin, has refused to accept that apology and has cast insults of her own. She is the one who is being immature about it all.

It would die down if she would let it.

And yes, perhaps she is tired of people joking about her daughters, but she was supposedly suitable to be Vice President, so she should have been smart enough to have kept her children out of the news. And she should be smart enough to realize that the way to get things to blow over is to accept the apology and move on.

I am not a fan of David Letterman, but I know a lot of people like his somewhat over the line style. However, the fact that he apologized should count for something. Also, since Bristol Palin herself has given public interviews stating that it is unrealistic to expect teens to be chaste, his attempt at humor, while badly done, was not illogical.

Blondesjon's avatar

I asked you a question @filmfann . If you are too scared to answer it than I believe you should drop it.

@Darwin. . .So any parent that is in the public eye needs to resign their children to being the butt of jokes?

filmfann's avatar

Your question posits that I think the joke was appropriate. I have already said several times that it was in bad taste. Perhaps you should reread the posts, unless you are to scaredy cat chicken mammas boy to admit you’re wrong.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have read the posts. You are right there on the bandwagon, with everyone else, saying that they are getting what they deserve because they are in the public eye.

Tell me why this is appropriate when it involves making fun of someone else’s child.

filmfann's avatar

I said it wasn’t! I said it was in bad taste! Do you speak English?

Darwin's avatar

@Blondesjon – No, any parent that is in the public eye needs to be aware that such will happen if they also thrust their children into the public eye. Parents should protect their children, not push them into the spotlight.

Parents should also model mature behavior. On the play ground if little Davy calls little Sally a name, is called on it, and then apologizes, little Sally is required by the teacher to accept the apology. Why is Sarah Palin exempt from behaving as both a protective parent and a mature person?

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . . The joke wasn’t a rape joke. It was a getting knocked up joke. Knocked up like Palin’s oldest daughter was, and like Palin herself was when she had to marry Todd.
The joke was NOT about rape! It was about uncontrolled loins.

Your post above says quite clearly that it is ok to make a joke about someone else’s child. You even made sure to refer to her as Palin’s daughter.It wasn’t a rape joke but it was a joke. Tell me why this is ok.

filmfann's avatar

I am not saying it’s okay. I am saying it’s in bad taste. You are being quite dense here.

Darwin's avatar

@Blondesjon – The fact is it wasn’t a rape joke. It was a joke in bad taste, but it wasn’t about rape. And it was meant to be about Bristol Palin, who is legally an adult and who has given public interviews about her views on chastity, and hence is herself a public figure.

Aethelwine's avatar

If Bill O’Reilly had made the same joke about Obama’s daughter it would have been acceptable because Obama chose to put his daughter in the spotlight. sure ~

Blondesjon's avatar

@Darwin . . .Sarah Palin can be the worst parent in the world. I don’t care about that. My question has been why is it ok for someone to make jokes about someone else’s child just because the parent is in the public eye.

I think Palin is a glamour grabbing politico as well but it doesn’t change the fact that nobody wants to answer my question directly.

Are you telling me that once your children are eighteen they are fair game?

filmfann's avatar

Obama’s daughter is 10 years old. Bristol is 18.
Obama has kept his daughter out of the spotlight. Bristol does interviews on Chastity (Not Bono).
Bill O’Reilly is a well known sexual predator of women in his office.

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . . They went for the humor. Its a comedy show. The joke is only funny if it is about the 18 year old. Not in good taste, but funny.

You said in this post that is was funny. You said it in English.

Darwin's avatar

Once my children are eighteen and go on CNN and Fox to talk about their sex lives they will get whatever is coming to them for that. I would advise them against that move, but if they want to have their photo on the cover of People magazine, then they will have to do the time in the hot seat.

Besides, neither of Obama’s daughters are unwed mothers and neither has given public interviews on their feelings about having sex while underage. Besides, I doubt Obama would be such an immature person as to refuse to accept a public apology.

And a joke can still be funny even when it is in poor taste.

At this point, I am going to model mature behavior myself and go to bed.

filmfann's avatar

Yes. It is funny. It is also in bad taste. Sometimes something funny can also be quite inappropriate.
For example: What were Harvey Milk’s last words?
Answer: Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?
Completely inappropriate! Very bad taste. Also very funny. Keep in mind I am a Gay Rights supporter, and I am saying that.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon I believe filmfann is right. As soon as Bristol Palin began courting the limelight herself, she became a public figure. Being 18, that makes her an adult public figure. Everyone is someone’s child. Bush II was the son of Bush I, and that certainly didn’t make him off limits for jokes. If you agree that Letterman didn’t intend to make a joke about Palin’s 14 year old daughter, then there really is no reason why 18-year old, adult Bristol Palin cannot be lampooned, on her own merits.

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . . So as soon as a child is eighteen (a very wise, mistake free age) they are open season?

If any of my children made the mistake of being young and then suffered national ridicule for it I would have to stand up for them.

Again, I have to ask, if it was your eighteen year old would it still be ok?

Aethelwine's avatar

I think it’s really funny to joke about young girls that get pregnant.~

Bristol made a mistake but her family supported her and she is taking care of the child. This is something that we want to joke about?

filmfann's avatar

Are you now acknowledging that the joke was about Bristol, and not the 14 year old?

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . .No. You won’t answer my question and at one point resorted to name calling. Go find a thread that is more your speed.

filmfann's avatar

Name calling? When I echoed what you said?

Aethelwine's avatar

Even if it was about Bristol and not the 14 year old I still find it tasteless.

filmfann's avatar

And I agree. Tasteless. But then the entire premise for this question is shot down.

Aethelwine's avatar

If Obama’s daughter was an unwed 18 year old mother, and the joke was about her, Dave would be kissing Obama’s ass.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t believe that.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m going to bed laughing on that one. Night all!

Blondesjon's avatar

@filmfann . . . You are being quite dense here.

Perhaps you should reread the posts, unless you are to scaredy cat chicken mammas boy to admit you’re wrong.

Do you speak English?

What names did I call you?

filmfann's avatar

@Blondesjon If you are too scared to answer it than I believe you should drop it.
That was the comment directly before the scaredy cat remark. I was pointing out how immature your phrasing was. Guess it was too subtle.
And you were misrepresenting my remarks, even after I pointed it out repeatedly. That would call into question your understanding of the language.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon I don’t make the “rules” regarding adulthood, but since 18 is considered the consensus age, I have no reason to object. Lots of jokes are made about the contestants on American Idol, many of whom are just barely above 18. I ask, at what age would someone qualify for being “on their own”? In addition, I ask again, how can you simultaneously court the spotlight but then be aghast when the results include jokes at your expense. If you are going to be in the public eye (and actively seek out publicity), you have to live with the consequences of your actions (and here I am talking about Bristol Palin).

I think this joke “works” because a flag-bearer of the arch-conservative, right-wing abstinence-preaching, “family-values” oriented party has to face the fact that her own daughter is none of the above. People love the irony of the situation and the “comeuppance” of someone promoting the moral “high-ground” having to acknowledge that it isn’t always easy raising a family. This is analogous to the furor over Eliot Spitzer’s call girl addiction when he himself led several anti-prostitution campaigns as attorney general.

Ultimately, as has been repeated ad nauseum, it was a joke in poor taste. Nothing more, nothing less.

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . .I agree but you didn’t answer my question.

If it was your eighteen year old would you still feel the same?

filmfann's avatar

@Blondesjon So now you agree?

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon First of all, I would hope that my child-rearing skills would be better than hers. Second of all, if she were in the spotlight for some reason, and made a mistake such as that, then while I would be unhappy about it, I would recognize that there would be little to do but let it blow over. Freedom of speech extends into this realm, and would protect bad humor as much as good humor.

While I think the joke was in poor taste, I think Sarah Palin is milking it for her own benefit, which seems to be a very cynical use of the press, the situation, and vis-a-vis her own daughter. Announcing her disgust, and then graciously accepting Letterman’s apology would make sense. Rattling her sabres for days and dragging the whole sordid mess out through the networks makes no sense if all she really wants is to protect her daughter’s dignity.

filmfann's avatar

@shilolo Lots of lurve going your way.

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . .I’m disappointed. I only wanted a straight answer from at least one person on this thread.

This has nothing to do with Palin and everything to do with standing up for your family.

Nobody ever once spoke out and said, “Yeah, if my kid fucked up I would still be right there by their side to lend them my support and advice.”

You all had to make it a left or right issue instead of a family issue and that is kinda sad. The only things in my life I would actually fight for are my kids.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon I’m very confused. I gave you a straight answer. Maybe I need to spell it out? Here goes: Yes, it would be OK if David Letterman (or more likely Rush Limbaugh) cracked a joke at my daughter’s expense if she made a mistake as a young adult while in the public eye.

As I said above (see my quip directly above) “if she were in the spotlight for some reason, and made a mistake such as that, then while I would be unhappy about it, I would recognize that there would be little to do but let it blow over. Freedom of speech extends into this realm, and would protect bad humor as much as good humor.”

Is that clear enough for you? I also would be man enough to accept his apology, especially if it seemed sincere.

filmfann's avatar

@Blondesjon didn’t want a straight answer. He wanted his answer coming from someone else.

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . .Clear enough. You didn’t really need the whole second paragraph. It was a bit self indulgent.

I’m still disappointed. I figured way more parents would come to the defense of their kids.

Sure, we have to let them learn from their mistakes but I just don’t believe they should be left swinging in the breeze.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon As you are probably aware, most kids neither want nor need their parents fighting their battles for them. It undercuts their development into independence. If they learn they will be bailed out of every mess they get themselves into, then, what lesson does that teach?

I’m sorry you felt the second paragraph was self-indulgent, but since you called me out on being vague, I felt the need to demonstrate what I felt was a very clear description of my attitude.

Finally, no one here said they wouldn’t defend their children (in fact, I think everyone would). I just can’t imagine going ape-shit for days on end like Sarah Palin when both she AND Bristol have courted celebrity status. As I’ve said, you can’t expect privacy and protection when you actively seek publicity and exposure.

I should add, my own opinion of her rationale for doing this is to gain exactly the kind of response you are displaying. She’s reaching out to her “roots” and hopefully attracting new “fans”. YES, that Sarah Palin is sticking it to the left-wing media elite epitomized by David Letterman. What gall he has for attacking her FAMILY and CHILDREN. She stands up for family values. I want her as my next President….

What a great opportunity for her…

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . . While I think the joke was in poor taste, I think Sarah Palin is milking it for her own benefit, which seems to be a very cynical use of the press, the situation, and vis-a-vis her own daughter. Announcing her disgust, and then graciously accepting Letterman’s apology would make sense. Rattling her sabres for days and dragging the whole sordid mess out through the networks makes no sense if all she really wants is to protect her daughter’s dignity.

^^I meant this second paragraph.We get it. You don’t like her. Hell, neither do I.

Kids do need to learn on their own and I don’t fight my children’s battles. With that said, I am not going to stand idly by and let anyone talk shit about them, whether they “have it coming” or not. The same goes for my wife. I won’t fight her battles for her but I also won’t tolerate any shit being slung her way.

Why can’t anyone realize anymore that family is all you have? When the polite barriers of society fall to pieces the only people who are going to give a fuck about you are the ones who raised you and the ones you raised.

dalepetrie's avatar

@blondesjon – you want a straight answer as to why it’s OK to go after someone’s child.

Because every last goddamn motherfucker on this planet is someone’s kid.

Stop being so fucking dense.

Everyone on this “so called” bandwagon thinks the joke was in poor taste. Every one of us would come to the aid of our own kids. Every one of us feels Palin had a right to feel insulted…Dave did insult her and her daughter.

But it’s very clear for a number of reasons that this was not directed at the 14 year old, regardless of whether Dave fact checks his own show or not…you’ve as much as said you think he’s a victim of circumstance. He made a joke that would ONLY have made sense if it had been directed at Bristol…it would NOT have made sense to ANYONE to have made that joke about a 14 year old. Furthermore, he made a joke about two people who are seen as promiscuous (whether that be the truth or not, it’s the idea on which the joke was based…there IS no other fertile ground for humor here), he did NOT make a joke about rape.

Fact is, Palin has every right to come to her daughter’s defense, be she 14, 18 or 40, what she does NOT have the right to do is to act like a childish CUNT about it.

I posed a question to you umpteen times that YOU chose not to answer as well, so how about it. What is the criteria that YOU think makes you off limits for the jabs of late night comedians? I could understand your point of view if you said that no humor at someone’s expense is EVER OK, but you’re not making that assertion. You are saying, because Bristol is someone’s kid, it’s not OK. But you are someone’s kid, I am someone’s kid, every one of the 20 people who were undoubtedly mocked on late night TV tonight are someone’s kid. And any of those peoples’ parents would have a right to be upset if they saw their kid being mocked, but the fact is, if you are a public figure, particularly if you’ve embraced the limelight, and you are an adult, NO ONE should be twisting your intentions to make them sound vile, and then demonizing you for the spin you YOURSELF put on the words, that was never intended.

Yes, I can see how in retrospect if you wanted to interpret it in a way that it was not meant, you could have, but in a case where it’s he said/she said, you HAVE to look at the credibility of the combatants. You have one person who is emotionally involved, deeply involved, saying “this is what the comedian meant.” And you have the comedian saying, “I’m sorry you took it that way, that was never my intention, THIS is what I meant.” And when you look at the two possible interpretations, one a) makes complete sense, b) is fair (though tasteless) and c) is fitting with the person’s 30 year career, while the other interpretation is a) extreme, b) supported more by emotion than fact, and c) lacks any sort of coherence…making it seem an EXTREMELY unlikely joke for anyone to make if for no other reason than it would be a joke without a premise…and humor ALWAYS has a premise.

So, what I hear from you is back and forth. On one hand you keep coming back to it being about a 14 year old…but that just seems unlikely and you have yet to provide one shred of evidence that suggests it was his intention. Then in the next breath you discount your entire premise by saying you believe he was a victim of circumstance. So, what DO you believe. Do you believe David Letterman INTENDED to make THAT joke about Palin’s 14 year old daughter? If so, what makes you think that, what evidence do you have to support that assertion. No, let’s say you think OK, Dave MEANT it about the 18 year old daughter…then my question to you is, and has been for 24 hours, WHAT MAKES HER EXEMPT? You say it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 40, someone’s kid is exempt. But again, I pose that EVERYONE is SOMEONE’S kid. What makes HER exempt? If it’s because you think she’s only famous for being someone’s kid, then I feel we’ve shit all over that premise as well, many examples have been provided PROVING that she has WELCOMED the spotlight in her own right. So WHAT MAKES HER EXEMPT?

Please, put up or shut up.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .Did you even read the last few posts between @shilolo and I or were you too busy capitalizing and name calling?

dalepetrie's avatar

a) what “Name” did I call you, and
b) my post was about the back and forth between you and @filmfann and the questions of MINE you still haven’t answered.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon So, to summarize, it appears we agree:
1. The joke was tasteless.
2. Sarah Palin had every right to object and stand up for her daughter.
3. It was most likely directed at Bristol (who, as an adult in the public eye, can be the target of jokes).
4. Therefore, it was neither sexist (as the question suggests), nor about an underage girl, nor having to do with her politics (it was a vulgar sex joke about A-Rod the womanizer and Bristol the teenage mom).

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . .I agree with three quarters of that. Which three?

Well, I have to save something for tomorrow don’t I? :)

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie I am very offended by your choice of words: “childish cunt”. You are being childish by calling her names. One of the worst names that you can call a woman. imo

Now I’m really of to bed. not laughing

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .I didn’t say you called me any names.

I haven’t answered your questions because I don’t recognize anyone who is a bigger hypocrite and blowhard than I.

filmfann's avatar

Hey! Common ground!

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon Getting back to my “self-indulgent paragraph”, what do you think Sarah Palin’s purpose is in dragging out this fight? I mean, she quickly garnered a sincere apology from David Letterman. What more does she hope to gain from going on as many TV shows as she can to bash him after he’s apologized? Just curious what your thoughts are, since this seems to have swung from defense to offense.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – Sorry if I offend you with my words there, but that word is one I reserve for the absolute worst kind of self serving, shrill, ignorant behavior…basically exactly what Palin is doing now…I stand by my description. I’m not a woman hater, I don’t think women are cunts, but I think Palin’s actions by not accepting Letterman’s apology qualify as cuntish behavior. That is my opinion, you don’t have to agree with me, but I meant what I said and I said what I meant.

@Blondesjon – Well first of all, I don’t believe I’ve been a hypocrite in any way, I would like you to support that statement, as I have been consistent in my points which are:

1) The joke was not about rape, Letterman said getting knocked up, not “getting raped” and I have not in my 38 years on the planet found any usage of the phrase “knocked up” to mean “being raped”. Provide me one fucking example and maybe I’ll see your point.

2) The joke was not about Palin’s 14 year old daughter, it was about her 18 year old daughter. I will concede that because Palin’s 18 year old daughter was not in attendance at the game referenced in the joke, and her 14 year old daughter was, that it would be an honest mistake to assume that Letterman (or his writers) were referring to the daughter in attendance, however given the choice between this being an intentional reference to her 14 year old and an accidental/unintended one, there is no logical basis to suggest that it was anything but unintentional. His apology made sense, it was sincere, and the joke itself is proof positive in my mind that this was an unintentional misstep.

3) I never said the joke was not in bad taste, I’ve never disagreed with you there. But late night talk show hosts make jokes in bad taste all the time. Furthermore, this is FAR from the first time a late night talk show host has made fun of Bristol for becoming an unwed teenage mom. No, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair, I agree with your wife that we should be glad she’s owning up to the responsibility and so on. Still, no one cried foul about this back in September when every night everyone from Jay Leno to Jimmy Kimmel was cracking nightly jokes about Bristol Palin.

4) I never said that it’s “OK” to fuck with someone’s kid. I never said I wouldn’t come to the defense of my kid. What @shilolo said (and yes, I’ve gone back now and read the 70+ posts since last time I’d logged on now) is 100% accurate, were my kid 18, and in the public eye for WHATEVER reason, and he screwed up in some way, but someone made an unfair joke at his expense, yes, I’d be angry, yes I’d publicly defend him and yes I would do so even if I personally thought he fucked up, but I wouldn’t, as you have, decry him as off limits. Free speech is free speech. As I said last night, I suspect a great share of the things that entertain you and your wife would find thousands of people willing to censor it so you couldn’t enjoy it. You decry that more parents aren’t standing up and saying, “Yeah, if my kid fucked up I would still be right there by their side to lend them my support and advice.” I’m all about that statement, I agree with you in its entirety and I never said I did. But what I wouldn’t do is call for censorship, say he was “off limits”...I would hopefully to raise him to understand that sticks and stones may break his bones but words would never hurt him. I would offer him whatever advice and support he would need to win the PR war of words and make the joker look like the fool. But I believe strongly enough in the first amendment that even if someone made a joke at MY expense, I would defend to my dying breath his right to make that joke no matter how tasteless or unfair.

What I don’t get is your hypocrisy here. You said, “You all had to make it a left or right issue instead of a family issue and that is kinda sad.” Well, it was your WIFE’S question that stated that the joke was made, “just because you don’t agree with her mother’s political views…” I beg to differ. The joke was made because of the proximity to each other of two people publicly believed to be promiscuous, the joke was about promiscuity, NOT politics.

The problem is, I try to pin you down to one thing you say, you switch arguments, even if its an argument you previously disowned…you’ve done it several times. You try to baffle us with bullshit by saying it’s about parents not sticking up for their kids, we say we would and you say it’s about her being 14, we say it wasn’t at the expense of a 14 year old and you say, doesn’t matter if she was 40, you don’t go after someone’s kid, we say everyone is someone’s kid, you say it’s not fair because it’s her mother in the public eye, we say she made herSELF part of the public eye, you say it doesn’t matter because she’s someone’s kid and no one has the right to go after someone’s kid.

So again, I ask you, kindly…what makes HER exempt, when everyone is someone’s kid, when she has reached the age of legal consent, when she has personally courted the public spotlight, and when the behavior that is being ridiculed was 100% her own choice and had NOTHING to do with her mother? I triple dog DARE you to answer that question without reverting to the lie that it was about a 14 year old.

You accuse me of being a hypocrite when I’ve made a consistent argument repeatedly, and you’ve changed tactics 50 times….puhlease.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon and @jonsblond, I would also like to point out one subtle difference between what I said about Palin and what you accuse me of saying about Palin. @Blondesjon, you asked me, and I quote, “were you too busy capitalizing and name calling?” I replied, “what “Name” did I call you”. @jonsblond interjected with, “You are being childish by calling her [Palin] names.” Then @Blondesjon, you responded to my query of what name I called you with, “I didn’t say you called me any names.” In that exchange, BOTH of you have accused me of calling Palin “names”. First of all, I used one word, not multiple words, for what it was worth…that word was “cunt”. But, I did not say, ‘Palin is a CUNT’. I said, and I quote, “Fact is, Palin has every right to come to her daughter’s defense, be she 14, 18 or 40, what she does NOT have the right to do is to act like a childish CUNT about it.” I said she was acting LIKE a cunt, ABOUT this situation. That is not “calling her names”. It is criticizing her behavior. And I stand by that criticism. But I have NOT called anyone names.

Blondesjon's avatar

Ok, I’m back.

What were we talking about again?

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie You mentioned that Bristol had been the target of many comedians during the election and no one cried foul then. Maybe Palin is crying foul now because she is tired of hearing sexist jokes about her daughter, even when her daughter is taking responsibility for her “mistake”. You don’t know Palin personally, neither do I, but I’m a mother and I would be tired of hearing the bullshit too.

I really feel that if Obama had a daughter in a similar situation there would be an even bigger uproar over this. This is why I asked the question.

Darwin's avatar

@shilolo:

You said that we agree that:
“1. The joke was tasteless.
2. Sarah Palin had every right to object and stand up for her daughter.
3. It was most likely directed at Bristol (who, as an adult in the public eye, can be the target of jokes).
4. Therefore, it was neither sexist (as the question suggests), nor about an underage girl, nor having to do with her politics (it was a vulgar sex joke about A-Rod the womanizer and Bristol the teenage mom).”

I would amend number 2 to say that Palin has every right to stand up for her daughter, but she does not have the right to start calling names and keep the flames burning.

Bobbilynn's avatar

The joke was, and is funny!

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – I don’t deny Palin the right to be upset about the joke. I don’t criticize her for taking out of context in the first place…I think that hearing that joke, and knowing that she took the 14 year old to the game, and Dave’s joke was set at the game, I think it was very reasonable for her to think that a) he was referring to the daughter in attendance, and b) because of her age, that joke WOULD be a rape joke (statutory…still counts). She had every right to cry foul when she saw foul…I don’t dispute that. But if you think about the joke from the point of view how most people saw it, Dave’s exact words were, and I quote, “one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game…during the 7th inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” That is VERBATIM.

Now any American who watches Letterman or any late night talk show would, unless Dave SPECIFICALLY mentioned the 14 year old, assume, based on months of jokes about Bristol’s teen pregnancy, that Bristol was the target. They would assume (incorrectly…he got the facts wrong…he made an improper assumption about which daughter went to the game with Palin…for him it’s probably not exactly the first thing he thinks about when he gets up…hmmmm…I wonder which Palin daugther is accompanying mom today?) that Bristol, not Willow was in attendance at the game. This is logic, and imnsho, this logic is airtight. It would make no sense for him to be joking about anyone OTHER than Bristol. This joke would be the same joke if Kathy Hilton took her daughter Nikki to a Yankee’s game, and all Dave knew was that Kathy Hilton and her daughter went to a game. Dave on hearing this, namely “Kathy Hilton and her daughter attended a Yankees game today” (and the same goes for his writers) would almost undoubtedly assume Kathy went with her daughter Paris, being that Paris is the most famous of the two Hilton daughters…it’s bad to assume, but people do it, and THERE was where the problem rose…he or his writers, probably both in fact, made an assumption, that by “Palin’s daughter” the reference they’d heard was to the daughter who is herself in the spotlight (after all, why was it even newsworthy to mention her daughter was there if it wasn’t the “famous” daughter?) Point is, it’s a very logical assumption for a person to make. And I’m willing to bet that almost everyone who saw that show also assumed he was talking about Bristol….because that’s the assumption that made the joke work…any other assumption would have been an outright attack and not a joke.

So, what Palin believes is she and her daughter were attacked, and that is an emotional response, one ANY mother can be forgiven for having. But Dave came out and said, and again I quote verbatim, “We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter, the 18 year-old girl, who is – her name is Bristol, that’s right, and so, then, now they’re upset with me. These are NOT jokes made about her 14 year-old daughter. I would NEVER make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14 year-old girl. I mean, look at my record. It has never happened. I don’t think it’s funny. I would never think it was funny. I wouldn’t put it in a joke.” He then went on to say, “Governor Palin, if you’re watching, I would like you to consider coming to New York City – You and Todd as my guests, or leave Todd at home – I’d love to have you on the show…It’d be exciting.” Then a bit later, “All right, so there, I hope I’ve cleared part of this up. Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14 year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.”

Now, were I in Palin’s place, even if I were spitting mad that he made that joke about Bristol and her unfortunate situation I’d 1) recognize that it was nothing new, it was an old, tired joke that had been made thousands of times, and 2) most importantly that it was about Bristol and not Willow, because it just wouldn’t make sense otherwise….it’s logical…you make a “knocked up” joke about someone who got “knocked up”, otherwise it’s not a joke. And like Dave said, look at his record…he has NEVER made a joke about rape or sex with a minor…hasn’t done it, he doesn’t think it’s funny, and he apologized both for the misunderstanding AND for the joke he DID make (as being in poor taste). So even a person who was so viscerally angry that they personalized this joke and weren’t willing to meet half way would HAVE to recognize that Dave went FAR BEYOND half way on this one. I mean, he spent several minutes of time he could have spent on comedy on his show addressing this issue, clarifying his intentions, explaining the source of the misunderstanding and admitting to poor taste for having spoken the joke in the first place. C’mon, what does she want, blood?

Well no. And this is what pisses me right the fuck off to no end. She is USING this controversy, and as such USING her own DAUGHTER for political gain. I mean, you think this isn’t 100% politically motivated on Palin’s end? Look at her INITIAL reaction. “Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62 year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14 year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us that some Hollywood/N.Y. entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands…” and it goes on, but let me dissect that for you. First of all, she calls his comments “sexually perverted” and points out that he’s 62, and emphasizes as if it’s fact (when the logic dictates that it’s a complete misunderstanding) that it’s aimed at a 14 year old girl That was a deliberate attempt to paint him in the public eye as a dirty old man. If I were him, I’d be retracting my apology and suing her for libel. The next part however is so key…she says it “reminds us” and then she invokes the specter of the coastal elite…you know those Hollywood types, the latte liberals they were up against in the campaign…well daggumit, they’re at it AGAIN aren’t they…doing things that aren’t very American, like the rest of us “real Americans” who don’t think this kind of humor is funny. She’s basically trying to USE this as a way to incite anger among the people who identify with her, you know, the same kind of anger that led to calls at Palin rallies to lynch Obama? She is a monster, a horrible, detestable person who in my opinion doesn’t give two fucks about her daughter’s image…this was a political opportunity.

And then, even in the light of Letterman’s clarification which is I’m sorry, ironclad…there is no logical basis for a comedian or a comedy writer to make a knocked up joke about the sister who wasn’t knocked up…there is ZERO evidence to support this assertion and a 30 year record which pretty much says completely otherwise, she goes on the Today show and says, “I would like to see him to apologize to young women across the country for contributing to that thread throughout our culture that makes it seem OK to talk about… statutory rape.” Well, that’s slander in my opinion. That’s CLEARLY not what happened. But yet, in the face of overwhelming logic, and even a correction from Matt Lauer, she said, “I would say that you and anybody else are extremely naïve to believe David Letterman’s very extremely convenient excuse.” Right there, she has made a cold, calculated political decision to paint Letterman as a dirty old man and the liberals who would permit his kind of sexual perversion to be the enemy against good, God-fearing Americans like her.

Make no mistake about it, to Palin, this is a fucking HOLY WAR, and she’d sacrifice ANY of her kids, even Trig if it came right down to it, because she believes she can “save us all”. And I suggest that rather than being offended for the slight to her daughter, you should be offended at how easily she’s able to pull the wool over your eyes by twisting the words, and using emotional issues to bring you over to a side you would NEVER fight for otherwise. I mean it’s clear and simple, either you believe that Letterman is a dirty old man who is a spokesperson for the cultural elite, out to destroy the moral fabric of America and that led him to make a statutory rape joke about her 14 year old girl, or you believe that he poked fun at the misfortune of an unwed teen mother who is herself a public figure, a person in the news, which was in poor taste but from unique for a person in his position to make, and due to lazy assumptions, the way in which the joke was set up made it possible for a person to misinterpret the target of the joke. He’s done all he could or should do…he’s even invited them to NYC on his dime. He owned up to what he did but made sure to clarify what he didn’t yet she’d be willing to destroy him in her quest for greater power. Because she’s on a mission from God. I would stake my LIFE on it.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, @dalepetrie, I agree with you 100%, but that was a really long way to say it. Lurve for the idea, though.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thanks all for the discussion. Hope you have a great weekend!

dalepetrie's avatar

You too….

dalepetrie's avatar

And despite my long windedness, I have one other beef here. I don’t buy the assumption made that it wouldn’t be acceptable if this were at the expense of Obama’s daughters. Based on decades of late night humor wherein the children of politicians have NEVER been off limits if they were over the age of 18, late night comics make fun of the missteps of people in the news. It doesn’t matter whose kid it is, if Obama’s daughter got pregnant by a redneck at 17, when she turned 18, I would fully expect jokes about her promiscuity. Wouldn’t make them any less tasteless or any more fair, but I dispute that this was OK because her mother is a political target. I think that’s what she WANTS you to think, I think SHE’S the one who made it political and will continue to do so. And all I can say is, for those of you who think that it wouldn’t be OK for a similar joke about Obama’s daughter, even if he daughter were the same age and in the same situation as Bristol, I say that’s you’re opinion, and I believe it to be a faulty one. You have the right to hold it, but when you make that assertion, I have to ask what is your basis for that assumption? Where is your proof? Where is the evidence that this would be the case? Logic and decades of late night comedy say otherwise. I just want some proof of what you are saying, that’s all.

chyna's avatar

@dalepetrie You are windy.

dalepetrie's avatar

…exhale…..

Darwin's avatar

And actually, if Palin thinks she is hurting Letterman, she seems to be quite wrong . As someone commented earlier, it appears that the Hugh Grant effect is at work.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well yes, Letterman if he has any sense will milk this for all its worth. What better present could he get than trouncing Conan in the ratings on Monday, at the beginning of Conan’s 3rd week as the host of the tonight show. He plays his cards right, he can easily get her to keep opening her trap for a week or two. He gets people who normally wouldn’t watch to watch for a week or two to see his next missive at Palin, he could get a permanent ratings boost when some of them like what they see and keep watching. Controversy is never a bad thing when you’re famous (unless it sends you to jail, and often not even then).

robmandu's avatar

Yup, just sloppy work.

“I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the governor, and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani,” Letterman said. “It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault”

dalepetrie's avatar

Thank the stars it’s over. If she had one modicum of class and weren’t trying to paint this as a political issue in the first place, she would have accepted his overly gracious and imnsho unnecessary apology then, but she went on to try to paint him as some sick old pervert speaking for the cultural elite (aka liberals). What he said last night would have made it look REALLY bad for her had she not accepted his 2nd, INCREDIBLY unnecessary apology. To be honest, Dave may have done what he had to do, but I’m disappointed he didn’t tear her to shreds like he did to McCain when McCain bailed on him last fall…I would have called no quarter. But that’s why he has a distinguished 30 year history in the public eye, and I sit here ranting on message boards.

jlm11f's avatar

I am curious. What did he say last night?

dalepetrie's avatar

Here’s a transcript of what Dave said last night (read the back and forth above for details on previous statements):

“All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it. But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium. And it was kind of a coarse joke. There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18. Yeah. But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended. The next day, people are outraged. They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the Governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani…And I really should have made the joke about Rudy…” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game. I had no idea she was there. So she’s now at the ball game and people think that I made the joke about her. And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that. And I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself.

“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) ”- thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.” (audience applause)

jlm11f's avatar

@dalepetrie – thanks for pasting that!

dalepetrie's avatar

no prob…

Blondesjon's avatar

I think we could all save a lot of time and space, if we just all joined hands and played a monster game of Red Rover to decide whose right.

I game. Straight through. Winner take all.

we need some team captains…

dalepetrie's avatar

Ahh, but this one has already been settled, let’s wait for the next big argument to erupt. Being 6’2”/380, I expect I’d be pretty good at this one. Or we could always play the South Park version of rochambeau (I go first).

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .A settlement is reached when everybody is in agreement. You simply worked your jaw.

Now let’s all head out to the playground and settle this like the children we are.

what? like the adult thing was working out.

shilolo's avatar

@Blondesjon I thought we were in agreement (you said 3/4, but were going to tell me later…) So….

Blondesjon's avatar

@shilolo . . .We as in you and I. We are copacetic @shilolo .

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, since Palin and Letterman reached an agreement, meaning she accepts that this wasn’t about her 14 year old and he accepts that the joke was in bad taste, everything worth arguing over is settled in the grand scheme of things. As far as you and I are concerned, I have nothing left to argue anyway because you never answered my questions, so I don’t really have any idea where you and I weren’t in agreement in teh first place.

Blondesjon's avatar

that didn’t exactly keep you from commenting on it…

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – boy, you really ARE trying to pick a schoolyard fight, aren’t ya? Like I said, imv it’s done, if you don’t agree with my basic assertions that I’ve made, specify what and why, otherwise stfu and move on, please.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .I stopped responding to you for a reason.

I will not say you are right and you know this. Quit thinking everything revolves around you and you will be a much happier person. It worked for me.

although at 6’2”/380 you probably do have a strong gravitational field

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes, I have small stones circling my midsection.

filmfann's avatar

see, I would have gone with the “My cock has satellites” approach

dalepetrie's avatar

@filmfann – I don’t want anyone to think I have crabs.

shilolo's avatar

Or giant hemorrhoids….

filmfann's avatar

Well I think that NOW!

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, I can assure you any crabs that come near me better have drawn butter….

As for the roids, well, I don’t want to gross anyone out, so I’ll just leave it at this…I DO weigh 380 after all.

Aethelwine's avatar

Someone mention crabs?
If you don’t like bloody cartoons I suggest you don’t watch.

robmandu's avatar

You’re not British speaking right?

<richardhenry voice>
I don’t bloody like bloody cartoons, guvna!
</richardhenry voice>

Aethelwine's avatar

I knew I’d find a way to shut up the room. ;)

Bri_L's avatar

@robmandu – lurve for the richard henry tag!

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