(To prevent confusion later in this article, for anyone new to this blog, I am a liberal, as liberal as the day is long. I’m so liberal, I made my kids form a labor union before assigning them chores.)
There’s a whole lot of justified outrage going on about David Letterman’s recent attacks on Sarah Palin and her 14 year-old daughter. There really is no denunciation strong enough for these attacks, which are in many ways more egregious than the Guy Cimbalo “Hate F*** List” that Playboy and Politico took down.
Letterman’s attacks were made in an exponentially larger, broader forum, and included the statutory rape of a minor child. They cannot be taken down or redacted.
Sarah Palin appeared on my friend John Ziegler’s radio show yesterday, where John asked her about Letterman’s act. I’ll let her have the first word before I get to what Letterman actually said.
In case you missed it, here are Letterman’s “jokes”: (h/t Hot Air)
Hold on a second. Most people are zeroing in on the “slutty flight attendant” comment, which is definitely vile and sexist. I don’t want to get too sidetracked here, but I found the implication that Palin somehow has a problem with Jews very troubling. Unless I missed something, Palin has never evinced a whiff of anti-Semitism. While Dave’s defense might be that he was more referencing the Palin stereotype of a narrow worldview, this jab is far too loaded to hit that target.
Here’s the worst of it:
I pity Letterman if he ever ends up stuck in an elevator with Sarah or Todd Palin.
Now, I need you all to stay with me here while I make a small distinction. There are some who would try to hang Letterman’s attack on “the Left.” I’ll get to “the Left” in a minute, but Letterman is no more a liberal, in the political “team sports” sense of the word, than Guy Cimbalo is. They are not conservatives, but they are also basically apolitical. Their words are owned by a popular culture that is hostile to conservatism, but also to liberal ideals (of feminism as well as others). They are a third column.
Bill Maher is a guy who straddles the line between the Left and pop culture. As a liberal, I don’t claim ownership for what he says, but there is a clear argument to be made in favor of this. When he makes “retard” jokes about Sarah Palin, which I’ve heard him do frequently, he deserves nothing but scorn from all sides.
This is where the Left comes in. While they might not own what these entertainers say, they do have a duty to dis-own, a duty born of their desire to condemn Mel “Sugar-tits” Gibson et al, a duty that I’ve found them shirking for the most part. Instead, the tendency is to engage in “Yeahbut.” You know, “Yeah, but x conservative said y horrible thing…” (a curious exercise that essentially lets people you view as scumbags set your boundaries for you), to excuse it, or to ignore it altogether. It is here that the Left takes ownership.
When Keith Olbermann launched a sexist attack on Carrie Prejean, unless I missed it, there was silence from the Left, or agreement. On the Playboy article, with the exception of HuffPo, the Left’s reaction was to excuse Playboy and smear me. Even the National Organization for Women had to be prodded into a statement, but one which they didn’t feel compelled to put anywhere on their website.
The entire world is hostile toward women, but you don’t get to lay claim to being the good guys if you don’t believe in protecting all women, especially when it’s this obvious.