Beef: Palin v Letterman


Alan Colmes, who flagged an old Leno joke lampooning a 17 year old Bristol Palin seems to be worth more when he isn’t verbally slap fighting with Sean Hannity. He flags a joke Jay Leno told about then 17-year-old Bristol Palin:

“Gov. Palin announced over the weekend that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. And you thought John Edwards was in trouble before! Now he has really done it.” — “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Now compare that with this joke, David Letterman told about 18 year old Bristol Palin, who now is a public advocate on behalf of abstinence only training as the only birth control method:

“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game,” Letterman said, “during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” – David Letterman, Late Show with Dave Letterman

As Letterman asserted in his apology for being misunderstood or misconstrued it was about the 18 year old, teenage mother, Bristol Palin. Not the underage Willow Palin. Even though it was Willow Palin at the game with Sarah & Todd Palin, the joke would not make sense if it was about Willow: she wasn’t the pregnant one. If you are worried about sexism, yes its sexist. Many jokes are. There are some other comedians who don’t dabble in this. Wayne Brady? Ellen Degeneres? But this is Late Night television. Its for adults. Often I wish they could go back to smoking cigarettes and drinking hard liquor neat on these shows so that it would be painfully obvious to purity zealots.

Since the Presidential election of 1992 Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity was used as a tacit admission (in the press as well as the media) that his wife Hillary was a frigid, sexless, woman in a marriage of only political convenience. Jokes about the Clinton’s sex lives were and are late night television and stand up comedy standards. You could always tie something about sex to Bill Clinton and get some cheap laughs.

Now Palin has decided to reject Letterman’s comedic explanation and apology for being misunderstood and move on, or say agree to appear on Letterman as long as some sum of money would go to some kind of charity focused on woman’s issues. Palin turns around and said this in an interview on the today show with Matt Lauer:

Here’s the problem, Matt – the double standard that has been applied here. One, let’s talk politically, the double standard. First, remember in the campaign, Barack Obama said the family’s off-limits – you don’t talk about my family. And the candidate who must be obeyed – everybody adhered to that and left his family. They haven’t done that on the other side of the ticket, and it has continued to this day. So that’s a political double standard.

This is ridiculous on a variety of levels. Obama consistently chided his crowds for booing any other political figures. He publicly defended Palin’s family by firmly saying they were off limits. So yes, people didn’t obey Obama. Obama explained his position regarding personal matters, asked for fairness, demanded it from his own campaign and the press by and large adhered to that standard. Comedians aren’t bound by that rule. She apparently thinks Letterman is a White House spokesperson or Obama’s chief advisor before Axelrod. In addition, we are all guaranteed the right to say offensive jokes by the 1st amendment. Palinites want to boycott Letterman? Now the politician based in a state far removed from the rest of the country, who has to forcefully push herself into the national spot light wants make the guy who millions watch every night her adversary. Good luck with that.