Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David Letterman - Bully and Coward

David Letterman is able to slur Sarah Palin, an Evangelical Christian politician, in a way that is completely disgusting and over the top and get away with it. But it is "just a joke." Who else could he get away with saying someone looks like a "slutty flight attendant"? If it weren't Sarah Palin, he would even be censored for insulting flight attendants, let alone saying that about a politician. Remember, this isn't just some guy with a blog; this is David Letterman. The viseral hatred displayed against Sarah Palin last year was an indictment of contemporary culture. I will never forget hearing a liberal commentator during the Republican National Convention who made the off-handed comment that Sarah Palin's Down's Syndrome son was just a "prop." At that moment, I couldn't have cared less whether Sarah Palin was the worst politician with the worst policies in the history of the planet, because it was not about Sarah Palin - it was about pure, raw, hate - the hate of eugenicists who want to "eliminate" all the "defectives" and the hate of those who think that anyone who wouldn't pressure her daughter into an abortion to further her political career is stupid. At that moment I realized that it is not enough to sit above the fray and pronounce moral equivalence on all sides of the political debate. I realized that sometimes the mask slips and pure evil reveals itself for what it actually is.
David Letterman's behaviour is inexcusable and immoral. He ought to be ashamed of himself and he is far from the only one. The mainstream media has presumed to know better than the people what the people ought to think, but they are just bullies - and bullies, as everyone knows, are cowards.
Today Letterman issued a statement that contains no apology - just self-justification - obviously trying to milk the controversy for whatever cheap publicity he can get. You can read it here along with Sarah Palin's statement. In my post I didn't even get into the things Letterman said about Palin's daughter - they were too disgusting. Palin and her 14 year old daughter Willow's trip to New York including a Yankees game was the occasion for Letterman's remarks about her daughter getting knocked up at the ballpark etc. Now he denies he said it about Willow the 14 year old and says he was talking about Bristol the 18 year old and that is supposedly ok apparently because Bristol is a teen mother and deserves to be slammed on national TV because she didn't have sense enough to hide her pre-marital sex by having an abortion. So Letterman's defense boils down to: "I don't make jokes about 14 year old girls getting raped; why, I only make jokes about 18 year old girls - that is how upstanding I am." What a jerk.
I just want to direct your attention to an excellent post at "ProWomanProLife"by Rebecca Wallberg on "Palin Derangement Syndrome." She recommends a good post by Victor Davis Hanson at The Corner called "Letterman in His Dottage." Hanson calls out the so-called "Feminists" for blatant hypocrisy in not speaking out against a powerful man uttering sexual slurs against a woman. A very good point. What if George Bush had said it?


Rocky2 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nathan Smith said...

"The viseral hatred displayed against Sarah Palin last year was an indictment of contemporary culture."

It's a lot more than Sarah Palin. Have you ever listened to AM radio in the US?

Craig Carter said...

The point of the visceral hatred spewed out against Palin is that it is hatred directed against "the Good." I'm not talking about criticism of her political policies, which is fair game for critique and debate. I'm talking about the hatred against her pro-life stance, her pro-family stance and her Christian faith. These things clearly enraged the Left for some reason. If the Left wants to disagree with her policies - fine. They are all debatable. But being pro-life, pro-family and Christian are unambigiously good - regardless of her politics. This is a case of pure evil speaking its hatred for goodness. And that is chilling and infinitely more significant than the on-going cut and thrust of political debate.

I would never call someone evil for opposing drilling for oil in a national park whether I agreed with him or not. That is a political issue with many nuances and complexities. It is not simply black and white. But what we have with PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) is people openly and brazenly calling good evil. And that is not something you see every day.

Peter Dunn said...

I listen to AM radio which has brought up the point that had Letterman said the things about Michelle Obama and his daughters what he said about Palin and her daughters, he would have been condemned by the Left. I cannot imagine anyone in the media saying that Michelle Obama looks "slutty" or making sexual jokes about the President's children. It is inappopriate, and the Media should also respect the Palins and their children's privacy in this regard, but they do not.

Remember what happened to Imus? Letterman has "apologized" and said that the inappropriate humor about the raping of the 14 year-old girl, and the insinuation that the 14 year-old was a prostitute that Elliot Spitzer would have to be kept away from was really about the 18 year old who wasn't even on the trip. I don't know why Letterman still has a job. This is not lighthearted humor, but as you say, Craig, malice.

Nathan, A.M. Radio encompasses a lot of views. Exactly who are you referring to and what do you mean "it's a lot more than Sarah Palin."

Nathan Smith said...


I am saying that Palin is not the only recipient of harsh speech in the media in the US. Talk radio (which is of course a huge and unfair generalization - but I think you get my point) thrives very much on nastiness.


I guess you and I consume different media. I observed only one instance of such PDS during the campaign (someone saying here pro-life position was extreme). The vast majority of what I was exposed to was the moose-hunting, you betcha, I can see Russia from my state variety.

Peter Dunn said...

The "I can see Russia from my house" was an attempt to make Palin look stupid on the part of the Left. It largely succeed as most people thought she said it (which she did not). The media was completely unfair to Palin and with a few exceptions promoted BHO. For example, more Obama voters knew that Sarah Palin said that she can see Russia from her house than who Bill Ayers is.

Now as for talk radio, I've never heard anyone say that Michelle Obama was a slut, or that her daughters had to be protected from johns. As a consumer of talk radio, I find little that is vicious, as you suggest, but perhaps I'm listening to something different than you. So that's why I asked you to be specific. Given that I asked you to be specific, I wonder if you feel there is no need since it is just a general attack against talk radio that doesn't need any kind of evidence to back it up since everybody (who matters) believes it. I asked for names and examples. Is that so hard?

Peter Dunn said...

By the way, I am a hunter and fisherman. I grew up in Alaska.

Nathan Smith said...

Peter, it is so hard because I avoid talk radio for the sake of my health. :-) But let's just pick on a big target: Rush.

As for Palin, complaining that Tina Fey exaggerated is missing the point. Palin did say that Alaska's proximity to Russia counted as foreign policy experience, and in illustration of that point she did say that Russia can be seen from Alaska. For me, it had nothing to do with Palin being dumb. Rather it had to do with the GOP assuming I and every one else in America was dumb.

Peter Dunn said...

If you avoid talk radio, how do you know how vicious it is? It's like the Romans who claimed the Jesus' disciples stole his body while they were sleeping. Now that we at least have a name, I'd be curious to see what you think that Rush Limbaugh has ever said over the years that merits comparison with Letterman's jokes about Gov. Palin and her family.

The non sequitur in the election was that Palin had no foreign policy experience so vote Obama! She had more than he did and she was only the vice presidential candidate. But above all, she had more executive experience than all of the other candidates. Obama, of course, was the least experienced candidate that these 57 states had ever seen, at least in my lifetime. The media, however, was clearly in the tank for him but ridiculed and hated Palin. I saw the Charlie Gibson interview in which he was clearly hostile the entire time, and they haven't stopped kissing Obama's feet to this day--Evan Thomas even called him a "sort of a god".

Peter Dunn said...

"For me, it had nothing to do with Palin being dumb. Rather it had to do with the GOP assuming I and every one else in America was dumb." Sarah Palin wasn't doing that. As governor of a vast state that borders on two foreign countries, she has foreign policy experience. Consider the trans-Canada gas pipeline that she has been negotiating, and her foreign policy experience vastly exceeded that of Obama before the election. The media chose to ridicule rather than study the responsibilities of being the governor of Alaska. It's like your comment about Talk Radio being hate-filled. It's an assumption that Palin's comment was an attempt to pull the wool over your eyes. But there is actually substance to the view that the Alaska governor has to deal with two important foreign neighbors, just as the governor of Texas deals with Mexican affairs. For example, did you know that for centuries, Yupik from Alaska have intermarried with Yupik from Siberia? Did you even know that the Yupik live in both Russia and Alaska, and that during the Cold War, sometimes some Yupik would attempt to seek asylum? Do you think that the governor would not be informed of such events? Did you know that the Korean airliner that was shot down by the Soviets left from Anchorage International Airport, or that Alaska is home to many US military bases because of the proximity to the former USSR? But the point is that the media did not explore the responsibilities of the governor of Alaska, but chose instead to ridicule, debase, and destroy Palin's candidacy. But to this day, I maintain that she would make a better president than BHO, who is their god and messiah.

Besides, I wasn't talking about you being dumb. I was saying that a number of Obama voters believed that Sarah Palin made the comment about being able to see Russia from her house, but these same voters had no clue who Bill Ayers was. John Ziegler made the following video showing the same results as a Zogby poll of Obama voters that he commissioned.

Craig Carter said...

This thread is going off topic as far as I'm concerned. I'm not talking about the mocking on Sat. Night Live. That was normal. And I'm not talking about criticism of policies or debates over how much expience she had or how well read she was - all that is fine and to be expected.

What I'm talking about is the way Andrew Sullivan obsessed over the utterly unsubstianted rumours that she faked her pregnancy. The feminist theology professor from Chicago who said Palin was not a woman(!) The sneers that she was only 5 abortions away from the White House. That Trigg (her Downs baby) was just a "prop." That she wasn't smart enough to put her daughter on the pill etc. etc. The Left was vicious and showed a real hatred of successful women and much of it came from women - like Maureen Dowd at the NYT, for example. The snide, hateful, sneers reminded me of nothing so much as Junior High School. It made the Left look like a bunch of woman-hating hypocrites who were so paniced by a conservative woman with a happy family who was also Governor of a state and a candidate for VP that they couldn't even focus on the issues.

I've never seen anything like that in American politics - slimy as it is - ever. Now, lot's of people just shrug and say "Oh, well you have to expect to get criticized if you run for office." That response is very revealing. It shows a passive agreement with the smears. It is itself offensive.

What amazes me about Sarah Palin, quite frankly, is that she is such a happy person and so comfortable in her own skin. After what she was put through, it is amazing she isn't curled up in the fetal position somewhere hiding from the world. You don't have to think she is presidential material to admire her for aborbing so much hate without becoming hateful.

Nathan Smith said...

Well, once again Craig, I had very little exposure to the nasty stuff. It's pretty awful, though I am still not sure it was qualitatively different than what other public figures have had to endure in the US.

Peter, I better take my leave, because I don't see anything productive coming out of this discussion. Suffice it to say, I think that if Palin would have expressed her own foreign policy credentials as well as you have (instead of talking about Putin rearing his head), she would have come out better in terms of my esteem.

Peter Dunn said...

Nathan: So take your leave but you are as speechless as a couple of the callers to Rush's show who when he asked them to give examples of how he says things as bad as Letterman's they could not. But as for the responsibilities of the governor of Alaska as I described them, these things were well known all along to those who were curious. But the interviews with Palin were extraordinarily hostile (esp. Gibson and Couric), and designed to make her look bad.

Craig: Sorry to take it off topic (actually it wasn't that far off for a blog). However, I'll just say that the media took a scorched earth approach to Palin, precisely because she is a conservative woman with an pro-Life stance. The attack on her experience was all part of the same media package--as though some backroom person organized the whole campaign against her.