Here’s the bottom line in the David Letterman-Sarah Palin controversy: Letterman — who’s known for weak material by weak writers, along with unfounded self-amusement — told a badly written joke which backfired as a result.
Throughout his rambling EIGHT-MINUTE backtracking the other night, not once did Letterman mention the real problem here: His joke referenced Sarah Palin going to a Yankees game with her daughter, where the daughter was “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez, and the fact is, the only daughter Palin took to the game was her 14-year-old, not her 18-year-old, as was well known, though perhaps overlooked by Letterman’s lousy joke writing team.
As a result, it’s not unreasonble but intuitive to say the joke makes fun of a 14-year-old getting “knocked up,” even though the girl wasn’t mentioned by name (Willow) in the joke. She was there, at the game, and she was 14. No 18-year-old daughter Bristol in sight. THAT is the problem. While stressing that he didn’t intend to suggest statutory rape and is strongly opposed to it, Letterman could have owned up to the fact that the joke did, in fact, imply he was referencing the younger daughter, and this was a MISTAKE. Instead, he acts like Palin just has thin skin.
Letterman says: “Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.” Is this inaccurate? Yes.
Wonder how he’d feel if someone joked about his underage kid having sex. Independently of your like or dislike of Palin — and I am no fan — she’s right on this. The joke was in horribly poor taste and crossed the line of decency. Period. Letterman should apologize — and fire at least one of his joke writers — and be done with it.
THIS JUST IN: Now it seems that Palin was NOT accompanied by any daughter to the Yankees game. So Dave’s referencing a daughter at the game could have been Bristol, and Palin’s outrage by asserting he was referencing Willow (who was somewhere in the NY area, allegedly) is utterly misplaced — and why are we still talking about this?
Palin, would you really rather he mentioned your daughters by name when making off-color jokes? He didn’t, and now you crucify him for it, based on the wrong-headed assertion that he was clearly referencing younger Willow, when no such clarity exists.
I defended you as a man who believes in women’s issues and was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Now I say get a life and quit blaming the messengers for your poor public image and your political career’s decline.