Dave Letterman has unfortunately (or conveniently, depending on how you look at it) found himself in a battle with she who shall not be reckoned with - Ms. Hockey Mom, Sarah Palin.
It all started when Dave said this on his show:
One awkward moment, though, during the game. Maybe you heard about it. Maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels, one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.
Dave or whoever wrote the joke apparently thought it was Bristol (the one with the baby) at the game with Sarah Palin, but it turns out is was her 14 year old daughter Willow.
The Palins, both Sarah and her husband Todd were understandably not happy with the remark. So Sarah Palin goes on the Today show accusing him of "joking" about statutory rape and contributing to a culture where people laugh at cheap, misogynistic jokes that lead to the acceptance of abuse of young women.
I agree that the joke was in bad taste, but I think Dave made an honest mistake by thinking he was talking about Bristol when it was really the younger, still a minor, child Willow who was with Sarah Palin. Not that it excuses it, but it does give it a little more context.
First, Dave was definitely not joking about rape and he said as much on his show the other night.
I can't really defend the joke, I agree, unpleasant, ugly, but I would never, never think that it was funny to use a 14-year-old girl as joke like this, for God's sake.
Letterman is a comedian. He makes fun of people in the news. He makes fun of public figures. Whether the Palins like it or not, Bristol is a public figure. She may have unwillingly been thrust into the limelight during the campaign season, but she has quite willingly made herself the new poster girl for abstinence (and also, ironically, teen motherhood). She is an Abstinence Ambassador for the Candies Foundation and made the rounds on morning talk shows and town hall meetings as an advocate for abstinence.
I consider myself a feminist, but I think some people are taking it too far with throwing Letterman under the bus. For crying out loud, lawmakers are calling for CBS to fire Letterman. Seriously, the guy is one of the most beloved talk show hosts of all time. He admitted the joke was in bad taste and said he regretted saying it. He stopped short of apologizing, and perhaps he should apologize. But it should end there.
It's not a liberal vs. conservative thing either. A lot of people are saying "the media would never put up with jokes about Obama's daughters." Probably true, but they are 8 and 10 years old. No one's bringing the Palins' 8 year old daughter, Piper, into it. And as stated before, I don't think he meant to make a tasteless joke about the 14 year old daughter, either.
Many liberal pubs called out the sexism towards Sarah Palin during the campaign (while still vehemently disagreeing with her politics). I even personally called it out . But while I do agree that the joke was inappropriate, I'm just not getting all up into arms about this. This whole back and forth that has gone on needs to end. I think Dave would like it to end, even though it's bringing him ratings. Honestly, this is how I think the "conversation" should've gone down.
Letterman: :::makes inappropriate joke:::
Palin: Hey, I don't appreciate you saying that about my 14 year old daughter.
Letterman: Oh, I was actually talking about your 18 year daughter.
Palin: It's still inappropriate.
Letterman: You're right. I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything by it. It was supposed to be a joke, but I realize it was inappropriate.
But I have a feeling this will continue to drag out, and Sarah Palin seems pretty intent on doing so. Honestly, I think she likes the attention. Gotta stay on the people's minds until 2012! Haha, I really hope she is their nominee. Obama wouldn't even have to say anything.