The Plank

A Defense Of David Letterman

Sarah Palin and Victor Davis Hanson (together at last!) refuse to accept David Letterman's apology for crossing the line with a joke that Palin's "daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" while attending a Yankees game with her mom. Although the daughter who actually attended the Yankees game with Palin was 14-year-old Willow, Letterman explained that he meant the joke to refer to 18-year-old Bristol. VDH writes:

First, Letterman makes a gutter joke about Palin and her unnamed
14-year-old daughter attending a NY Yankees game. Then when a bit of
outrage follows, he apparently claims he really meant to slur the other
18-year-old daughter who, back in Alaska, of course did not attend the
game but was not named by Letterman. That would be okay, you see.

I know logic isn't VDH's strong suit, but is it really so hard to believe that the joke Letterman was making about a Palin daughter getting "knocked up" was about the Palin daughter who, you know, got knocked up? And when you consider that said daughter has decided to make herself a poster- (and cover-) girl for teen abstinence, then, by stepping into the media spotlight, she's exposed herself to the jokes (funny or not) of late night comics. 

As for Palin, her response is just gross. Responding to Letterman's invitation to appear on his show, this is what a Palin spokesman said:

The Palins have no intention of providing a rating's boost for David
Letterman by appearing on his show. Plus, it would be wise to keep
Willow away from David Letterman.

The first part about not wanting to boost Letterman's ratings is fair and I can't blame her. But isn't the second part just adding insult to the original injury Palin claims Willow suffered at Letterman's hands? It's hard to complain about someone making jokes about having sex or raping your 14-year-old daughter when you then go on to make the same joke yourself.

P.S.  VDH says Letterman would never make jokes about the offspring of the Obamas, Kerrys, Bidens, or Gores. Not true.

--Jason Zengerle

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