The Plank

Letterman's Slut Jokes

By

God help me, I'm feeling a bit of solidarity with Sarah Palin. 

OK. Not exactly. I, for instance, do find it plausible that David Letterman was referring to 18-year-old Bristol with his knocked-up crack. And even if he didn't, all Palin's blather about statutory-rape jokes contributing to the cultural assault on young girls seems more than a little overwrought. Nor do I think Letterman owes anyone an apology: not young women in general, not Willow in particular, most definitely not Governor Exploit-My-Family-For-Political-Gain Palin, and not even Bristol.

That said, Dave's was a gross joke, even if it was about the daughter old enough to have sex legally. Bristol was a reckless high-school kid with too many hormones who did something hideously stupid with her equally reckless, hormone-addled high-school boyfriend. But that doesn't necessarily make the girl a tramp who runs around getting knocked up at the drop of a hat.

Yeah, I get it: The Palins have an image as slightly backwoods white-trashy, so it's all in good fun to snicker about Bristol being a bitch in perpetual heat. But we are still talking about a very young woman who made the very same mistake thousands (if not millions) of Americans teens make every year--and who will be raising the results of that mistake for at least the next 18 years with God only knows how much or little help from the baby's doofus father.

So while I don't believe Dave is paving the way toward more sexual abuse of minors, I do think he crossed a line in the service of a cruel, slightly sexist, and not particularly funny joke. 

That said, Dave's "slutty flight-attendant" remark was fricking hysterical. 

--Michelle Cottle

Loading Related Articles...
The Plank
Article Tools
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Show all 30 comments

You must be a subscriber to post comments. Subscribe today.