Department of Thin Skin

We feel a lot of love in our house for David Letterman, so perhaps I’m not the best judge of what some have construed as wildly inappropriate jokes about Sarah Palin and her family.

John Cole, for example, was angry that Letterman could have joked that Palin’s look is akin to “a slutty flight attendant” because that sort of sexist joke isn’t funny when it’s about Hillary Clinton, so it’s not funny when it’s about Sarah Palin.  But when I think about all of the off-color jokes Letterman, Conan, Colbert, Jon Stewart, and the like tell night in and night out, about all sorts of people in public life, I really can’t find the energy to get all that worked about it. If we are going to get angry about what people say on television, let’s direct it towards Fox News, you know?

Letterman has, in any case, given a lengthy apology/defense of his comments, which seems like a good thing to me, so I hope this can all get put behind us:

A quick word about Bristol Palin, however.  As far as I’m concerned, she’s fair game.  The girl has been on TV as much as anyone else these days, and is now serving as an ambassador of sorts for a teen pregnancy prevention group.  If she has decided to cast herself to the public, especially on a topic that “made” her famous, then I’m not really sure it’s up to any one, comedian or not, to bite his or her tongue.

I get Cole’s point (and believe me, I love Balloon Juice, and am generally in agreement with him and his other bloggers) about the comparisons to Chelsea Clinton, but it’s not like Chelsea was running around at 18 giving interviews to anyone that asked.  When Republicans were making the worst kind of jokes about her, she was much younger — and there is a tremendous difference between mocking an adolescent or young teenager and mocking one who has entered adult life.

But what do I know.  I’m just a young woman with a feminist streak.  I’m supposed to be horrified by off-color jokes like Letterman’s.


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