Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Letterman v. Conan v. Palin

leave a comment »

Letterman beat Conan’s Tonight Show in the ratings on Tuesday, but that’s been lost in the controversy over a pair of borderline Palin family jokes from Monday night. The “slutty flight attendant” line, though certainly uncalled for, seems to me equivalent to the sorts of things that are said about the Clintons and the Kennedys—uncool, that is to say, but roughly commensurate with the price of fame. The “knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” thing strikes me as significantly worse because celebrity children who are underage or don’t seek the spotlight should, I think, be left alone, even in the otherwise unrestrained pursuit of comedy. (I think I’d probably feel differently in Letterman had been in a comedy club or on a college campus somewhere; the Chelseas and Bristols of the world shouldn’t have to see themselves mocked on TV.)

The idea currently shooting around the right-wing blogs that this was a joke about raping a fourteen-year-old girl, though, strikes me as a completely hysterical overreaction. There’s no remotely charitable reading of the situation that suggests the phrase “her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” would ever be intended to trigger thoughts of Willow Palin. (To whit: Instapundit.) That it was Willow and not Bristol at the game is certainly bad luck for Dave, and I wouldn’t have blamed Sarah Palin for getting in a jibe or two about it, but that fact is not something either the audience or Dave himself can reasonably be believed to have been thinking of. You can call Letterman out for crossing the line without turning things all the way to 11.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 11, 2009 at 3:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: