By Mark David Blum, Esq.
It has been a lot of years since I have watched a David Letterman monologue. If he is today as he has always been, Letterman is edgy, confrontational, and unafraid to mock all that is holy. From the news of late, Letterman took a hard shot at Alaska Governor Sarah Palin by likening her to a slutty flight attendant. He bemused the thought that being at a Yankee baseball game put Bristol Palin at risk of getting pregnant by Alex Rodriguez. Apparently these two thoughts have become a rallying point around which loudmouthed right wing militants have sought to bring about the end of Letterman’s show.
The entire pregnant slut issue is a straw man argument that in reality lacks any substance. Today’s Republicans are scattered and disjointed and without any cohesive message. Instead of finding their voice, the political right led by Palin scream out in alleged pain from Letterman’s words. They are now in brutal attack mode and just won’t let the issue rest. A quip from a monologue (that in reality was more insulting to Alex Rodriguez and flight attendants) has become a fake argument about morality.
I query where these same shrill cries were at when Bill O’Reilly rallies the troops to kill Dr. Tiller. Where are the demands for censorship when Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrahm, Glenn Beck, and even Lou Dobbs are constantly talking about doctors with “blood on their hands” and screaming for the heads of those with whom they politically disagree? Of course each proclaims to be against vigilante justice and argues they never encourage the use of violence. Then pray tell why is it whenever we see a right wingnut shoot up a church or kill a doctor that a search of their homes finds books written by O’Reilly, Hannity, and Michael Savage?
We live in a nation that has as its basic tenets the right to free expression. We tolerate the O’Reillys and Hannitys because we have to. This is the price we pay for freedom. Likening Governor Palin to a slutty fight attendant may be insulting to flight attendants but doing so is protected under the penumbra of what we consider to be free speech. Funny or not, it was a joke, told during a monologue, and preyed upon a vision of how many in America perceive the governor. Alex Rodriguez has garnered a reputation for his sexual proclivities and in doing so, referencing the risk of his impregnating anybody, including a Palin daughter is a en pointe mockery of that fact. It is obvious the Palin daughter was not the butt of the joke but to listen to right wing blabbermouths, one would think that Letterman offered her for sale to White slavers.
Words have meaning. They have impact. Words also have repercussions. When Don Imus referenced those ‘nappy headed ho’s’, he got bitchslapped and saw his career go up in flames. Today, the screaming meanies of the political right want Letterman fired and are demanding a lifetime of mea culpas from the late night funnyman. There is a world of difference between mocking someone based on racist stereotypes and mocking them based on their sexuality. Governor Palin has made a career in part by playing the part of sexy mom-governor-vice presidential candidate. Rodriguez is just a slut. The latter two are truisms and thus subject Palin and Rodriguez to late night put downs. Unlike Imus, Letterman was poking fun at people who put themselves in the public eye and who are just begging to be criticized and insulted.
I am the first to admit that Governor Palin is a sexy woman. She looks the part, dresses the part, and acts the part – all the way down to the stereotypical ‘dumb blonde’ rhetoric. Who can forget that memorable Katie Couric interview where then Vice Presidential candidate Palin couldn’t even name three magazines she likes to read. She understands Russia because she can see it out her back door. It was the party of morality that offered America a candidate for high office whose 18 year old unwed child was herself a new mother. This is fodder for high and low comedy. For Republicans to be incensed by Letterman’s commentaries is hypocrisy at its zenith.
What we are witnessing here is a political party and its Faux News hacks trying to find a voice around which to rally its racist, misogynist, anti semitic base. They don’t have a real issue and are impotent at stopping the Obama express from spending our nation’s wealth. Instead of working to find a way to stop the financial disaster in which we are mired, the right wing has latched onto the fake Palin issue as being a common factor for their raison d’etre. David Letterman is going to be their punching bag because they lack any punch to their political message. We as Americans are not only being dragged through the Republican muckraking but are at serious risk of seeing political correctness run amuck.
There is danger afoot should the right wing loudmouths win their shouting match with the American people. We are at risk being held to a moral standard where certain subjects are too taboo for discussion. The political right seeks to have certain people to be held above the fray. What I don’t understand is why nobody is rushing to Alex Rodriguez defense; only Bristol Palin’s. The risk we all face is a quashing of free expression and that speaking out and commenting about certain people or issues could result in a career ending tirade upchucked by neocons.
Sarah Palin does look like a slutty flight attendant. That is a good thing. She certainly does not look like nor have any presidential qualities about her. In fact, she should disappear from the national stage as she has nothing to offer the nation other than the ability to gawk at her tight ass. I know for a fact that I don’t want Bristol Palin held up as a moral barometer for my child as I hope my own has more brains and character than to get pregnant while in high school.
I am going to be first in line opposing the malodorous blatherings of the political right. David Letterman is to be protected from the mighty sword drawn to smite him. For every opinion I hear and read tormenting Letterman for his commentaries, I will repeat Letterman’s jokes. We cannot allow ourselves to be a censored society that only tolerates the viewpoints and happiness of the neoconservatives. Theirs is a world filled with hypocrisies and vile dangers. After all, is it not Congressional Republicans who molest pages? Are not conservative religious leaders caught engaging in adulterous affairs with both genders? Query just who do these conservatives think they are in trying to set a standard for moral behavior and commentary.
Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Michelle Malkin, and Glenn Beck are some of the most dangerous voices in our nation. From their mouths come volumes of vile hatred that does in fact rally people to take up arms and murder fellow Americans. But we do not gag them.
Nobody has ever died from a David Letterman joke.