Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Letterman vs. Palin

Alaska governor Sarah Palin has accepted David Letterman's apology for a joke he made on Late Show last week about the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez having sex with her 14-year-old daughter, Willow, during the seventh-inning stretch.

However, the joke was about Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, whose pregnancy was revealed last summer soon after her mother was announced as Senator John McCain's running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. And the joke was about unplanned pregnancy, not rape, as Todd Palin, the governor's husband, suggested. However, it was Willow, not Bristol, who was at the Yankees game Letterman was referring to. And the joke was funny, not "perverted," as Governor Palin said, though it's not difficult at all to understand her reaction or her husband's. (Letterman became a parent himself in 2003.)

Maybe that's why Palin still sounded angry when she accepted the apology "on behalf of all
young women, like my daughters, who hope men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve," according to the Associated Press. I'm pretty sure all of Letterman's monologue jokes are written by Late Show's writers and he just picks the ones he wants to use, but we'll probably never know who originated the offending zinger. As for Rodriguez, he issued the following statement: "She swore she was 19! But seriously, folks, whatever distracts you from my steroid use is fine by me."

Palin acknowledged that Letterman has the right to make jokes about whomever he chooses, but that it's a two-way street and "we have the right to express our reaction." She added, "This is all thanks to our U.S. military men and women putting their lives on the line for us to secure American's right to free speech. In this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

When told about the joke that started the controversy in the first place, the U.S. military responded, "Hey, that's funny! But we didn't know we were risking our lives for the right to make a mountain out of a molehill—unless there's oil in that mountain, of course."

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