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cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 07:59 PM
...jokes about Sarah Palin's daughter getting raped, after calling Palin a "slut."

If a comedian said that about a democrat, he/she would be banished from the airwaves. But since it's a Republican, and Palin specifically, it's of course acceptable.

AemJeff
06-11-2009, 08:20 PM
...jokes about Sarah Palin's daughter getting raped, after calling Palin a "slut."

If a comedian said that about a democrat, he/she would be banished from the airwaves. But since it's a Republican, and Palin specifically, it's of course acceptable.

Play the tape back, cog. No "rape" was referred to. Nor was she called a "slut." (The phase was "slutty stewardess look," not quite the same thing.) Repeating what you hear on AM radio without actually checking it for accuracy is bound to cause you embarrassment. If it was a Democrat, btw, dipshits like Limmbaugh and Hannity wouldn't be whining, instead Althouse would be running a caption contest.

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 08:28 PM
...jokes about Sarah Palin's daughter getting raped, after calling Palin a "slut."

If a comedian said that about a democrat, he/she would be banished from the airwaves. But since it's a Republican, and Palin specifically, it's of course acceptable.

Breathe, cog.mad., breathe. While Letterman's jokes were off-color, you're exaggerating what he did say. To the first, he made an allusion to Palin's daughter getting knocked up, not raped (video here (http://wonkette.com/409097/letterman-sorry-for-saying-some-thing-about-sarah-palins-daughter)). It is clear that he was referring to Bristol, and not to the younger one who happened to be in NYC at that time. Also, he has since clarified what he meant in this regard (text summary (http://www.huliq.com/3257/82091/letterman-responds-palins-top-ten-criticisms) | video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRsUJABhGDw)). (Aside: You have to ask yourself how immune Bristol Palin should be from jokes being made about her when she's been happy to go on TV repeatedly to proselytize her views. And let's not forget how happy Sarah Palin and John McCain were to use her as a campaign prop.)

To the second, Letterman said "update her slutty flight attendant look." He did not call Sarah Palin a slut (video here (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/06/09/letterman_palin_updated_her_slutty_flight_attendan t_look_in_ny.html)). [link fix]

As for the supposed lack of condemnation, here are just a couple of examples among my regular reads on Teh Left that typified the reaction I've seen: Steve M. (http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2009/06/for-love-of-god-dont-make-her-martyr.html) and John Cole (http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=22359).

I won't bother to list the endless litany of similarly offensive remarks made by right-wing entertainers (and politicians, for that matter) about Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Amy Carter, Janet Reno, etc., not to mention the current First Lady of the United States, since I'm sure you've got a ready excuse for each of them.

Finally, I'll remind you that Sarah Palin's look has been approvingly commented upon by her supporters. Not quite "slutty flight attendant," but, for example, "naughty librarian (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Azj_ist-lct4&ie=UTF-8&q=naughty+librarian&sa=Search&num=100)."

Calm yourself. Comedians make a living on the edge. Sometimes they slip up and cross the line. No big deal.

I'm SO awesome!
06-11-2009, 09:09 PM
well, she is a slut....she's a slut for big business and christians;)

TwinSwords
06-11-2009, 10:25 PM
You poor thing. I'm so sorry you had to suffer like this.

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 10:43 PM
Play the tape back, cog. No "rape" was referred to.

Not directly, no, just inferred.


Nor was she called a "slut." (The phase was "slutty stewardess look," not quite the same thing.)

Haha, how absurd it is that you honestly try to differentiate the two. He made a sexist remark. Just imagine if Rush Limbaugh called Hillary Clinton a "whore." But again, it's different when it's a conservative.


If it was a Democrat, btw, dipshits like Limmbaugh and Hannity wouldn't be whining,

Ah yes, bolster your argument by an irrelevant reference to Sean Hannity. You would be whining, and don't pretend that you would not. You were whining about conservatives' criticism of Sotomayor's comments, but apparently for you it's ok for people like David Letterman to make crass jokes about Sarah Palin's children.


instead Althouse would be running a caption contest.

And the requisite Ann Althouse reference.



As for the supposed lack of condemnation, here are just a couple of examples among my regular reads on Teh Left that typified the reaction I've seen: Steve M. and John Cole.

As compared with the Olbermann crowd.




I won't bother to list the endless litany of similarly offensive remarks made by right-wing entertainers (and politicians, for that matter) about Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Amy Carter, Janet Reno, etc., not to mention the current First Lady of the United States, since I'm sure you've got a ready excuse for each of them.

I can think of one, a tasteless remark made by Rush Limbaugh about Chelsea Clinton, for which he was criticized mightily, including from many conservatives.

I'd say it's more comparable to what Don Imus said about the women's basketball team. Imus ended up losing his job over that, a drive which Obama supported. Letterman should get canned, too.

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 10:49 PM
I can think of one, a tasteless remark made by Rush Limbaugh about Chelsea Clinton, for which he was criticized mightily, including from many conservatives.

I'd say it's more comparable to what Don Imus said about the women's basketball team. Imus ended up losing his job over that, a drive which Obama supported. Letterman should get canned, too.

By this reasoning, you think Rush Limbaugh should be canned, too, amirite?

Relax. It's just a comedian, making a rude joke. Happens every day. You're gonna hurt your nuts, assuming you have any, if you don't untwist your panties.

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 10:52 PM
By this reasoning, you think Rush Limbaugh should be canned, too, amirite?

I wouldn't mind that, actually--it'd probably help the GOP.


Relax. It's just a comedian, making a rude joke. Happens every day. You're gonna hurt your nuts, assuming you have any, if you don't untwist your panties.

And that's what Imus was. Except that Barack Obama and co. felt that he needed canned.

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 10:55 PM
I wouldn't mind that, actually--it'd probably help the GOP.

Yeah, sure.

And that's what Imus was. Except that Barack Obama and co. felt that he needed canned.

Probably has something to do with the racism, as well as the sexism, as well as the fact that these young women had done nothing to deserve being the butt of a joke. Unlike Bristol and Sarah Palin.

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 10:57 PM
Probably has something to do with the racism, as well as the sexism, as well as the fact that these young women had done nothing to deserve being the butt of a joke. Unlike Bristol and Sarah Palin.

Bristol Palin did absolutely nothing to deserve being the target of crass jokes. If merely being the child of a politician and appearing in public qualifies, then surely it is acceptable to make crass jokes about Barack Obama's children. What an absurd standard you are attempting to argue.

And sexism is no more defensible than racism.

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 11:06 PM
Bristol Palin did absolutely nothing to deserve being the target of crass jokes.

Sure she did. Well, jokes, anyway -- I grant crassness is debatable. She's gone on teevee multiple times, portraying herself as a spokesperson for a particular political point of view. She also cooperated in being used as a campaign prop. She also seems to have enjoyed publicly dissing her ex-boyfriend and his family.

If merely being the child of a politician and appearing in public qualifies, then surely it is acceptable to make crass jokes about Barack Obama's children.

Go ahead, threat boy. I'm always happy to have wingnuts marginalize themselves further, especially while flavoring themselves with hypocrisy.

And sexism is no more defensible than racism.

I'm not defending sexist jokes. I'm merely observing that you're overreacting, and as to my previous response, pointing out why there was much more momentum for getting rid of Don Imus (who, by the way, had a long history of such behavior).

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 11:09 PM
Go ahead, threat boy. I'm always happy to have wingnuts marginalize themselves further, especially while flavoring themselves with hypocrisy.

You are the one marginalizing yourself with your absurd standards. According to you, it is ok to make crass remarks about politicians' children when they dare show themselves in public.

Well, so long as they're Republicans. Otherwise, wingnuttery!



I'm not defending sexist jokes. I'm merely observing that you're overreacting, and as to my previous response, pointing out why there was much more momentum for getting rid of Don Imus (who, by the way, had a long history of such behavior).

And David Letterman has a long history of sexism.

JonIrenicus
06-11-2009, 11:12 PM
...jokes about Sarah Palin's daughter getting raped, after calling Palin a "slut."

If a comedian said that about a democrat, he/she would be banished from the airwaves. But since it's a Republican, and Palin specifically, it's of course acceptable.

Yes, it is acceptable, because it is taking a pot shot at Palin. For what it is worth, Dave is ultra liberal, is rarely if ever kind to more conservative takes, and is generally pretty empty headed in his arguments and beliefs.

He will get support from fools who care only about him hating Palin, and so that is enough to sustain support, indifference from those who know better about some of his over the top rants and riffs but agree generally with a liberal view, and outrage from Palin lovers.


For myself, I am not outraged, because I have seen his nature, and I just do not put weight into what he says on conservative/liberal issues of any kind. It would be like weighing the opinion of a rabid dog spazzing on the ground, or listening to Sheehans take on war policy, when she makes clear she was even against fighting WWII.


His opinion is less than dirt to me. Not that he cares. But there it is.

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 11:17 PM
For myself, I am not outraged, because I have seen his nature, and I just do not put weight into what he says on conservative/liberal issues of any kind. It would be like weighing the opinion of a rabid dog spazzing on the ground, or listening to Sheehans take on war policy, when she makes clear she was even against fighting WWII.


Her antisemitism probably helped underpin that rationale ;)

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 11:20 PM
You are the one marginalizing yourself with your absurd standards. According to you, it is ok to make crass remarks about politicians' children when they dare show themselves in public.

That's not even close to being true. Go back and read what I said in this same thread; e.g.,

While Letterman's jokes were off-color ...

[...]

Comedians make a living on the edge. Sometimes they slip up and cross the line.

... a rude joke

I grant crassness is debatable. [...]

[...]


I'm not defending sexist jokes. I'm merely observing that you're overreacting ...

And David Letterman has a long history of sexism.

Even if that's true, which I doubt, but can't be bothered to argue about, all I can tell you is: If you don't like him, don't watch him.

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 11:23 PM
That's not even close to being true. Go back and read what I said in this same thread; e.g.,

Yes, like this:

And let's not forget how happy Sarah Palin and John McCain were to use her as a campaign prop.)

Thus, if a politicians' child dares appear in public, they are apparently 'fair game' for you.







Even if that's true, which I doubt, but can't be bothered to argue about, all I can tell you is: If you don't like him, don't watch him.

So did you support the crusade against Imus?

bjkeefe
06-11-2009, 11:36 PM
Thus, if a politicians' child dares appear in public, they are apparently 'fair game' for you.

For the third(?) fourth(?) time, yes, Bristol Palin deserves to be made the butt of jokes. She's been a publicity hound.

BUT: I am not saying she deserves to be made the butt of crass jokes.

And stop calling her a child, you sexist patronizing creep. She's 18 years old. She's a grown woman by most legal measures, and certainly, by the biological one.

So did you support the crusade against Imus?

No. I was meh on the whole matter. I didn't at all mind that he was getting heat, or that he ended up being canned, but I wouldn't have cared had the heat turned out to be a one-news cycle event, either. Left completely up to me, I might have said, sure, time to put him out to pasture, but I had no emotional investment. There are more important things to worry about than what some shock jock says on the radio (or some comedian says on TV).

cognitive madisonian
06-11-2009, 11:39 PM
For the third(?) fourth(?) time, yes, Bristol Palin deserves to be made the butt of jokes. She's been a publicity hound.

So unless a child of a politician avoids publicity, they deserve to be mocked?


And stop calling her a child, you sexist patronizing creep. She's 18 years old. She's a grown woman by most legal measures, and certainly, by the biological one.

Making fun of 18 year old children of politicians is unacceptable behavior, the same as making fun of 17 year old, 16 year old, 15 year old, 14 year old, 13 year old, etc.

bjkeefe
06-12-2009, 12:31 AM
So unless a child of a politician avoids publicity, they deserve to be mocked?

No. I said someone who actively seeks the spotlight becomes fair game for comedians. It's not accurate to flip my statement of my views around as you have.

pampl
06-12-2009, 06:24 AM
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton a dog. If we're going to be extrapolating to make things sound worse than it should be noted that female dogs are also called "bitches". Are you willing to apply your rule about kids being off limits even to the holy Rush calling Chelsea a bitch?

cognitive madisonian
06-12-2009, 09:07 AM
No. I said someone who actively seeks the spotlight becomes fair game for comedians. It's not accurate to flip my statement of my views around as you have.

So, if the Obama girls give interviews, they're 'fair game'?


Are you willing to apply your rule about kids being off limits even to the holy Rush calling Chelsea a bitch?

Absolutely.

bjkeefe
06-12-2009, 09:19 AM
So, if the Obama girls give interviews, they're 'fair game'?

Depends. There's a difference between giving an interview and actively seeking the spotlight, which Bristol Palin has been doing, and the Obama kids have not.

You're getting more than a little creepy about your obsession with them, by the way.

cognitive madisonian
06-12-2009, 09:40 AM
Depends. There's a difference between giving an interview and actively seeking the spotlight, which Bristol Palin has been doing, and the Obama kids have not.

Right because the media didn't seek to shine a spotlight on her.
It's pathetic that David Letterman has told more crass jokes about Sarah Palin's children than pretty much any jokes about Obama. Comedians are afraid to joke on Obama.

pampl
06-12-2009, 11:30 AM
Absolutely.
Fair enough, then. I didn't think either of them were that big of a deal but that's really more of a subjective matter so I can't really call you wrong.

bjkeefe
06-12-2009, 09:29 PM
Right because the media didn't seek to shine a spotlight on her.

Ah, the convenient wingnut memory, always ready, willing, and eager to revise history, and always zeroed in every opportunity to don the victim cloak.

Sane people agree that the media by and large (Sullivan is an exception) made note of the story of Bristol's pregnancy once Sarah Palin announced it and then did not initially continue to comment on it. As Josh Marshall and many others noted at the time, the MSM was concentrating on other things (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/09/wont-john-mccain-think-of-children.html). The Palins could have asked that the media respect Bristol's privacy after the initial announcement of her pregnancy (a political necessity, granted) and then, you know, let Bristol stay at home for the rest of the campaign and beyond.

It was only after Bristol and Levi started being trotted out onto stage at every opportunity and the campaign sought to make them part of their narrative (remember this, for example (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/09/return-of-revenge-of-stuntman-sequel.html)?), while simultaneously refusing to make Sarah Palin available (http://www.slate.com/id/2202642/) for any questions from the press, that attention started being paid.

Further, most of the attention on this topic came from the gossip rags, who, like the MSM, tended to cover the whole story sympathetically. Don't forget Tim Wise's incisive observations (http://www.opednews.com/articles/This-is-Your-Nation-on-Whi-by-Tim-Wise-080916-307.html) on this.

And really, there is no arguing about what Bristol Palin, and her mother, continued to do after the election. No one compelled them to do those gauzy interviews with Greta Van Susteren or go on The View or Tyra Banks or wherever else it was.

It's pathetic that David Letterman has told more crass jokes about Sarah Palin's children than pretty much any jokes about Obama. Comedians are afraid to joke on Obama.

As I said before, if you don't like Letterman's humor, don't watch his show. I don't know what to tell you beyond that, except for this: while it may be that comedians haven't found many ways to riff on Obama, the list of offensive things that has been said about him -- and his wife -- by an endless litany of right-wingers swamps anything that's been said about the Palins. That the cogs in the right-wing noise machine prefer vitriol to jokes (judging by "Barack the Magic Negro," I guess we can see why) is hardly the fault of anybody but themselves.

cognitive madisonian
06-12-2009, 11:27 PM
Hmmm I beg your pardon but not only Andrew Sullivan but other left wing media sources were spinning their wheels on the absurd 'Bristol Palin was secretly the mother of Palin's baby' story. And I don't recall a condemnation of such sleaziness.

Btw BTMN was originated by a liberal comedian.

claymisher
06-12-2009, 11:52 PM
Hmmm I beg your pardon but not only Andrew Sullivan but other left wing media sources were spinning their wheels on the absurd 'Bristol Palin was secretly the mother of Palin's baby' story. And I don't recall a condemnation of such sleaziness.

Btw BTMN was originated by a liberal comedian.

Woah, Andrew Sullivan is NOT ON OUR TEAM. He's yours. Really. You have him. Good God, the man's a paultard.

rfrobison
06-13-2009, 12:19 AM
\As I said before, if you don't like Letterman's humor, don't watch his show. I don't know what to tell you beyond that, except for this: while it may be that comedians haven't found many ways to riff on Obama, the list of offensive things that has been said about him -- and his wife -- by an endless litany of right-wingers swamps anything that's been said about the Palins. That the cogs in the right-wing noise machine prefer vitriol to jokes (judging by "Barack the Magic Negro," I guess we can see why) is hardly the fault of anybody but themselves.

If I may throw my two cents in: I agree with you completely, BJ, on the "if you don't like Letterman don't watch him" point. (Personally, I like him, but I've not seen him in years, being in Japan. His humor was pretty apolitical, as I recall).

For whatever reason, the term "right-wing funnyman" is, by itself, almost cause for mirth. Maybe it's because so much of what people find funny involves skewering those in authority, and conservatives generally celebrate institutions rather than lampoon them. I think a lot of what P.J. O'Rourke writes is pretty funny, but he's not exactly stand-up comedy. Dennis Miller announced he was conservative...and was promptly declared "no longer funny" by the yuck-ocracy.

I've tried my hand at humor on this very site in a couple of places, but so far nobody from Comedy Central has called offering me a new career, so I guess I'm not hilarious.

On finding humor in Obama, it seems there are a couple of things at play (this is all just speculation on my part; I have no proof): first is the obvious racial issue. White comedians make fun of prominent Black figures at their peril. There are plenty of angles of attack, no doubt, for sending up Obama that have nothing to do with race, but somehow I've got to believe it's gonna make some people pull their punches a bit. And if most comedians are liberal Obama supporters, they're maybe a little less likely to go after him hard 'cause they just like him better than his predecessor.

On the other hand, it takes time for comedians to get a handle on new presidents' quirks and once they get zeroed in on Obama's, we'll see more humor. Also, Obama's a pretty smooth guy, to say the least, and is a tougher target to hit than say, Palin, who cries out for mockery. In a way, that means humor at Obama's expense will perhaps be a good deal funnier (or more cerebral) than cheap laughs at Palin's homespun personality.

Last point in this very unfunny analysis of humor: Sara, get yourself a decent political adviser, for Pete's sake! You make yourself look (even sillier) going on TV to denounce David Letterman. You were the Republican vice presidential nominee for cryin' out loud! Just say: "I think Mr. Letterman's a funny guy. He just went a bit too far in my daughter's case," and leave it at that. This is one battle in the culture wars you'll never win. Better not to fight at all.

Shades of Dan Quayle having an argument with the fictional Murphy Brown back in the '80s. Pathetic.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 12:23 AM
Hmmm I beg your pardon but not only Andrew Sullivan but other left wing media sources were spinning their wheels on the absurd 'Bristol Palin was secretly the mother of Palin's baby' story. And I don't recall a condemnation of such sleaziness.

I'd be interested to see some specific examples of "other left wing media sources" to support this claim.

Note: I'm not talking about single mentions of the existence of the rumor, like, say, media critic Howard Kurtz's musings (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/24/AR2008092400797.html) on Sullivan. I'm talking about anyone else of any significance who persisted with trying to drive this story.

As for condemnation of Sully on this, I'll say first that there was no end of it from everyone on the right, so you can hardly expect that left-bloggers would feel much need to weigh in. It is also true that given the non-stop stream of right-wing rumor-mongering for the previous months about Barack Obama, there was some sense of "Hah! Let's see how they like being on the receiving end of the crazy for once." Third, you have to admit that there were some questions raised by the way the news was first delivered by Palin, along with the way she had handled her pregnancy with her (actual) youngest. Finally, if you're going to ask everyone on the left to condemn everything anyone on the left says, boy, have a I got a list for you of offensive things said by righties that I've never heard condemned by anyone else on the right.

That said, here are some examples from fairly prominent lefty blogs/bloggers Lawyers. Guns and Money (http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2008/10/andrew-sullivans-womb-with-view.html), Comments from Left Field (http://commentsfromleftfield.com/2008/09/my-one-and-only-post-on-bristol-palin), and Alex Massie (http://www.debatableland.com/the_debatable_land/2008/09/let-me-make-something-very-clear-i-like-admire-and-respect-andrew--sullivan-and-his-writing-i-cant-remember-when-i-firs.html) [added: I'm told (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116373#post116373) this is a bad example]. Here's a bit of snark (how many lefties prefer to condemn) from Wonkette here (http://wonkette.com/404280/andrew-sullivan-teaching-sarah-palin-the-meaning-of-sisyphean), here (http://wonkette.com/403170/andrew-sullivan-demands-everybodys-medical-records), and here (http://wonkette.com/402637/a-childrens-treasury-of-paranoid-speculations-regarding-the-whereabouts-of-andrew-sullivan)


Btw BTMN was originated by a liberal comedian.

You're right. I'd forgotten that. So, I guess I truly have no examples of righties being able to use original humor.

claymisher
06-13-2009, 12:53 AM
(Massie is a British conservative.)

AemJeff
06-13-2009, 01:01 AM
If I may throw my two cents in: I agree with you completely, BJ, on the "if you don't like Letterman don't watch him" point. (Personally, I like him, but I've not seen him in years, being in Japan. His humor was pretty apolitical, as I recall).

For whatever reason, the term "right-wing funnyman" is, by itself, almost cause for mirth. Maybe it's because so much of what people find funny involves skewering those in authority, and conservatives generally celebrate institutions rather than lampoon them. I think a lot of what P.J. O'Rourke writes is pretty funny, but he's not exactly stand-up comedy. Dennis Miller announced he was conservative...and was promptly declared "no longer funny" by the yuck-ocracy.

I've tried my hand at humor on this very site in a couple of places, but so far nobody from Comedy Central has called offering me a new career, so I guess I'm not hilarious.

On finding humor in Obama, it seems there are a couple of things at play (this is all just speculation on my part; I have no proof): first is the obvious racial issue. White comedians make fun of prominent Black figures at their peril. There are plenty of angles of attack, no doubt, for sending up Obama that have nothing to do with race, but somehow I've got to believe it's gonna make some people pull their punches a bit. And if most comedians are liberal Obama supporters, they're maybe a little less likely to go after him hard 'cause they just like him better than his predecessor.

On the other hand, it takes time for comedians to get a handle on new presidents' quirks and once they get zeroed in on Obama's, we'll see more humor. Also, Obama's a pretty smooth guy, to say the least, and is a tougher target to hit than say, Palin, who cries out for mockery. In a way, that means humor at Obama's expense will perhaps be a good deal funnier (or more cerebral) than cheap laughs at Palin's homespun personality.

Last point in this very unfunny analysis of humor: Sara, get yourself a decent political adviser, for Pete's sake! You make yourself look (even sillier) going on TV to denounce David Letterman. You were the Republican vice presidential nominee for cryin' out loud! Just say: "I think Mr. Letterman's a funny guy. He just went a bit too far in my daughter's case," and leave it at that. This is one battle in the culture wars you'll never win. Better not to fight at all.

Shades of Dan Quayle having an argument with the fictional Murphy Brown back in the '80s. Pathetic.

I'm not so sure Palin is wrong on the politics of her approach here. While her apparent tantrum isn't going to play well with the majority of sane people around the country, she has a real need to fly her flag occasionally for the base, if she's going to keep hope alive for the next four years. (And who else is really paying attention?) Her best gambit is asserting her victimhood at the hands of some "liberal" icon periodically, and the effectiveness of her current gambit is evident in the fact that Letterman has backed down a bit.

Personally, I think folks like Cog ought to be embarrassed by the ease with which she manipulates them, but it really does seem like she does it pretty effectively.

Of course, ultimately I think she has very little chance of being an effective national candidate - but, she's been gifted with the kind of exposure that anybody with any ambition would kill for. If I was her, I'd be doing what I could, too.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 01:03 AM
If I may throw my two cents in: ...

Always, and welcome.

... I agree with you completely, BJ, on the "if you don't like Letterman don't watch him" point. (Personally, I like him, but I've not seen him in years, being in Japan. His humor was pretty apolitical, as I recall).

For whatever reason, the term "right-wing funnyman" is, by itself, almost cause for mirth. Maybe it's because so much of what people find funny involves skewering those in authority, and conservatives generally celebrate institutions rather than lampoon them. I think a lot of what P.J. O'Rourke writes is pretty funny, ...

Me, too. And I somewhat agree with your hypothesis regarding skewering/respecting authority, at least historically.

... but he's not exactly stand-up comedy. Dennis Miller announced he was conservative...and was promptly declared "no longer funny" by the yuck-ocracy.

I dunno if I agree with you about that. I don't remember him doing much after he left SNL that worked in any commercial sense (I vaguely remember a short-lived show or two of his own, but I never saw it/them). When I did become aware of him again, he'd become fairly stridently conservative, by which point everyone was sort of edging away from him or bemoaning what he'd once been before becoming overtly political, so who knows? Maybe it's a chicken-and-egg question. Lots of strident lefties are decidedly non-funny, too, as a quick listen to most of Air America will affirm. (From a couple of years ago, at least, which was the last I heard it.)

On finding humor in Obama it seems there are a couple of things at play (this is all just speculation on my part; I have no proof): first is the obvious racial issue. White comedians make fun of prominent Black figures at their peril.

Yep. I don't think there's any question about that, although I've seen Maher and Stewart and Colbert do it quite skillfully many times already. I have a vague memory of a funny clip from Craig Ferguson on this, too.

But while you're right overall, in the sense that touching on race as part of the joke is very risky, it's also true that the man as president can be made fun of for everything else, just like any other president. Part of the reason why he hasn't gotten so much of that is, as you go on to say, because he's just not an obvious bozo. He's well-spoken, graceful, and low-key; i.e., he's downright cool in his affect. Once you've made a couple of TelePrompTer jokes, and maybe said something about his ears, what's the hook? (Unless one is committed to hating him, in which case the humor is likely going to be missing.)

I also agree that it's early days yet.

I agree, a little bit, that there may be some punches being pulled, or just a blind spot, when it comes to liberal-leaning comedians making fun of Obama. But, mostly, not really. Professional comedians care first about getting laughs, despite what the conspiracy-obsessed would like to believe.

Finally, and just speculating here, I wonder if the reason some jokes haven't been made about various minor Obama gaffes is that the right-wing noise machine has been on such hair-trigger alert for every possible opportunity to howl about the dumbest little things that they kill the funny before the comedians get a chance to riff on the same (non-)events. I mean, how many humorless blog posts were hammered out and how many vein-popping rants were yelled on talk shows within two hours of, say, Obama asking for Dijon mustard on his burger? Or giving the Queen of England an iPod? Or hitting a sour note with his "Special Olympics" line on Jay Leno? After the instant tidal wave of OUTRAGE!!!1! sloshes across the Web and cable TV, what comedian would want to try to kid around about the same things?

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 01:08 AM
(Massie is a British conservative.)

Okay. I wonder if the Real Conservatives™ would agree with you, though.

rfrobison
06-13-2009, 01:18 AM
I wonder if the reason some jokes haven't been made about various minor Obama gaffes is that the right-wing noise machine has been on such hair-trigger alert for every possible opportunity to howl about the dumbest little things that they kill the funny before the comedians get a chance to riff on the same (non-)events. I mean, how many humorless blog posts were hammered out and how many vein-popping rants were yelled on talk shows within two hours of, say, Obama asking for Dijon mustard on his burger? Or giving the Queen of England an iPod? Or hitting a sour note with his "Special Olympics" line on Jay Leno? After the instant tidal wave of OUTRAGE!!!1! sloshes across the Web and cable TV, what comedian would want to try to kid around about the same things?

Interesting point. I hadn't considered that. Gotta run. Late for my comedy class.

rfrobison
06-13-2009, 01:21 AM
I'm not so sure Palin is wrong on the politics of her approach here. While her apparent tantrum isn't going to play well with the majority of sane people around the country, she has a real need to fly her flag occasionally for the base, if she's going to keep hope alive for the next four years. (And who else is really paying attention?) Her best gambit is asserting her victimhood at the hands of some "liberal" icon periodically, and the effectiveness of her current gambit is evident in the fact that Letterman has backed down a bit.

Personally, I think folks like Cog ought to be embarrassed by the ease with which she manipulates them, but it really does seem like she does it pretty effectively.

Of course, ultimately I think she has very little chance of being an effective national candidate - but, she's been gifted with the kind of exposure that anybody with any ambition would kill for. If I was her, I'd be doing what I could, too.

Maybe you're right. And maybe I'm just gunning for some campaign consulting gig...But not Palin's!

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 10:55 AM
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/here-it-is-friday-and.html) and quick follow-up (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/the-letterman-always-rings-thrice-ii.html), but many others might.

AemJeff
06-13-2009, 11:08 AM
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/here-it-is-friday-and.html) and quick follow-up (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/the-letterman-always-rings-thrice-ii.html), but many others might.

Hmph. Neither Wolcott not Margaret Carlson seems to agree with my trenchant analysis (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116371#poststop). Guess I'll keep my day job. I loved the back-handed takedown of VDH, whom Wolcott seems to love surgically skewering.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 11:09 AM
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/here-it-is-friday-and.html) and quick follow-up (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/wolcott/2009/06/the-letterman-always-rings-thrice-ii.html), but many others might.

And via Wolcott, Margaret Carlson (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-06-12/palin-cant-outsmart-letterman/):

So in the end, Palin spent a week when she could have given a substantive speech, laid out a political philosophy, or choosing the issues she wants to run on, deliberately misinterpreting a bad joke, in the process dragging yet another child into the celebrity scrum.

And by the way, isn’t making a federal case out of a tasteless joke exactly what the right wing loves to ridicule feminists for doing?

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 11:16 AM
Hmph. Neither Wolcott not Margaret Carlson seems to agree with my trenchant analysis (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116371#poststop).

Nor did I, at least not completely -- I'll respond to that one in a moment.

Guess I'll keep my day job. I loved the back-handed takedown of VDH, whom Wolcott seems to love surgically skewering.

Heh. Yeah.

Ocean
06-13-2009, 11:22 AM
And by the way, isn’t making a federal case out of a tasteless joke exactly what the right wing loves to ridicule feminists for doing?

Hmmm.... That sounds like someone is giving a lot of moral authority to the right wing ridiculing some other group. It's not the kind of argument I would like to use to support my case.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 11:38 AM
Quoting out of order here:

Personally, I think folks like Cog ought to be embarrassed by the ease with which she manipulates them, but it really does seem like she does it pretty effectively.

That's a good point, although it might as easily be said in many cases that she's not manipulating them, but playing on attitudes they already have.

I'm not so sure Palin is wrong on the politics of her approach here. While her apparent tantrum isn't going to play well with the majority of sane people around the country, she has a real need to fly her flag occasionally for the base, if she's going to keep hope alive for the next four years. (And who else is really paying attention?) Her best gambit is asserting her victimhood at the hands of some "liberal" icon periodically, and the effectiveness of her current gambit is evident in the fact that Letterman has backed down a bit.

Of course, ultimately I think she has very little chance of being an effective national candidate - but, she's been gifted with the kind of exposure that anybody with any ambition would kill for. If I was her, I'd be doing what I could, too.

I was just talking about this elsewhere (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/just-in-case-there-was-any-doubt-left.html?showComment=1244901062624#c7873335170977 933046), in response to the question, "At any rate, isn't Sarah Palin so five months ago?" Here's what I said (with typo fixes):

That's an interesting question about Palin being past her sell-by date, Kinohi. As you may have seen in another post (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/some-delightful-numbers.html), I was surprised by her lack of showing in a recent Gallup poll that asked people who they thought spoke for the Republican Party.

Those data contradicted my gut instinct, which was that she is still highly relevant at least to the base of the GOP. By all anecdotal accounts, she remains a mobilizing and admired figure to them, able to turn out and turn on a crowd like no one else in the GOP can do right now. (I'm leaving aside Rush Limbaugh here.) Still, though, that she couldn't even get 10 people, out of 1000 randomly selected, to name her as the party leader says a lot.

I've read some whispers that much of the rest of the GOP leadership doesn't know what to do about her -- they like that she can rally the base, but they don't much care to deal with her apart from that.

I also have the impression from hearing about her lately that she failed to take the most important lesson away from last fall, which is that she really needs to spend some serious time cracking briefing books and getting up to speed on policy. I have the sense that she's convinced herself that's not necessary, that she will be fine if only she can overcome the liberal media and other elites who are all biased against her and conspiring to keep her down. Kathleen Parker's recent column, "Half-Baked Alaska (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/09/AR2009060902596.html?hpid=opinionsbox1)," has reinforced this sense. (Consider the source and all, but still, pretty devastating.)

So, my considered opinion is, I dunno. I guess Palin is a niche market right now, for lack of a better term. I honestly can't see her ever appealing to voters outside her base the way she's going now.

So, to more directly address your comments in that light, I'd say that you're probably right about her feeling a need to wave the flag for her fans, although I am unsure whether she does this as part of a long-term plan or more out of short-term ego gratification. I just have very little sense that she's thinking long-term, unless her strategy is "change nothing, and depend on non-stop whining about being attacked to carry the day."

Since I don't think that has any hope of working, I don't see her going any place beyond where she is now. Possibly she could get elected to the Senate (or the House, if Don Young keels over), but it's hard for me to see (a) her giving up being in charge as she is now and (b) how she avoids being seen as another Michele Bachmann, once she gets in front of the DC press. So, I wonder how you think she's planning to channel her ambition. From reading Carlson piece that I mentioned in the other comment (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116405#post116405), I have an even harder time shaking the feeling that she's pretty content to play the ruler of her domain as it stands now, and maybe wait to see if anything else gets handed to her.

[Added] If you saw her widely-publicized "answer (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/another-one-of-those-gotcha-questions.html)" from a recent puff ball interview with Sean Hannity, you really get a sense of where I'm coming from when I say she isn't cracking the books.

Q: Is this even more than you thought was going to be in terms of where the president would take the economy?

A: A lot of this is wrapped in good rhetoric, but we're not seeing those actions, and this many months into the new administration, quite disappointed, quite frustrated with not seeing those actions to rein in spending, slow down the growth of government. Instead, China's the complete opposite. It's expanding at such a large degree that if Americans are paying attention, unfortunately, our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize, certainly that is so far from what the founders of our countries had in mind for us.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 11:47 AM
Hmmm.... That sounds like someone is giving a lot of moral authority to the right wing ridiculing some other group. It's not the kind of argument I would like to use to support my case.

You should read Carlson's article to judge the strength of her argument. I just grabbed that line -- which I view as a zinger -- because it made me laugh.

I don't, in any case, think it's "giving moral authority." It's basically busting on their hypocrisy. As I read it, anyway.

AemJeff
06-13-2009, 12:01 PM
Quoting out of order here:



That's a good point, although it might as easily be said in many cases that she's not manipulating them, but playing on attitudes they already have.





I was just talking about this elsewhere (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/just-in-case-there-was-any-doubt-left.html?showComment=1244901062624#c7873335170977 933046), in response to the question, "At any rate, isn't Sarah Palin so five months ago?" Here's what I said (with typo fixes):



So, to more directly address your comments in that light, I'd say that you're probably right about her feeling a need to wave the flag for her fans, although I am unsure whether she does this as part of a long-term plan or more out of short-term ego gratification. I just have very little sense that she's thinking long-term, unless her strategy is "change nothing, and depend on non-stop whining about being attacked to carry the day."

Since I don't think that has any hope of working, I don't see her going any place beyond where she is now. Possibly she could get elected to the Senate (or the House, if Don Young keels over), but it's hard for me to see (a) her giving up being in charge as she is now and (b) how she avoids being seen as another Michele Bachmann, once she gets in front of the DC press. So, I wonder how you think she's planning to channel her ambition. From reading Carlson piece that I mentioned in the other comment (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116405#post116405), I have an even harder time shaking the feeling that she's pretty content to play the ruler of her domain as it stands now, and maybe wait to see if anything else gets handed to her.

Yeah, like I said,I don't really think she's capable of playing the game all the way to the end. But, when you get the gift of the kind of exposure she's been granted, I think there are a couple of dynamics at work. One is that, however unlikely you are to really push through to the end, you still objectively have a far better numerical odds than most people ever will. Also, regardless how slim those odds really are, how easy is it not to be perfectly objective about your prospects? I think a majority of people would be willing to at least consider taking advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. Specific to Sarah, I frankly doubt she's a good judge of her own abilities - she seems to consistently over-estimate herself. I'm pretty sure that "short-term ego gratification" and a pretty unfocused sense of strategy are factors, too.

I don't blame her for tryng, but I don't have a high opinion of either her abilities or her judgment.

Ocean
06-13-2009, 12:05 PM
You should read Carlson's article to judge the strength of her argument. I just grabbed that line -- which I view as a zinger -- because it made me laugh.

I don't, in any case, think it's "giving moral authority." It's basically busting on their hypocrisy. As I read it, anyway.

Yes, I figured that it was being used to show the hypocrisy or double standards. I guess I was trying to point out what seemed to me a more subtle, but perhaps unintended, validation of the ridiculing of a group. Something like this: Palin's protests about Letterman's comments is equivalent to feminist's protests about tasteless jokes. The latter is ridiculed by the right wing. Why not ridicule Palin then?

By making that connection you are endorsing the right to ridicule. And that is the concept I objected. I would have hoped for a higher standard in an argument. That's all.

bjkeefe
06-13-2009, 12:17 PM
Yes, I figured that it was being used to show the hypocrisy or double standards. I guess I was trying to point out what seemed to me a more subtle, but perhaps unintended, validation of the ridiculing of a group. Something like this: Palin's protests about Letterman's comments is equivalent to feminist's protests about tasteless jokes. The latter is ridiculed by the right wing. Why not ridicule Palin then?

By making that connection you are endorsing the right to ridicule. And that is the concept I objected. I would have hoped for a higher standard in an argument. That's all.

OIC. Sorry I missed the subtlety.

I guess I still don't agree with it as giving those who ridiculed "humorless feminists" any validity. I agree that if that were Carlson's only argument (which it's not), it would be a weak one.

Also, I fully endorse the right to ridicule, which probably comes as no surprise. (There are of course occasions when I would say ridicule of a legitimate complaint is inappropriate.)

Ocean
06-13-2009, 12:40 PM
Also, I fully endorse the right to ridicule, which probably comes as no surprise. (There are of course occasions when I would say ridicule of a legitimate complaint is inappropriate.)

There's many versions of ridiculing. Some are more appropriate/tolerable than others. I object to the indiscriminate use of ridiculing, which in my opinion has become too pervasive. The strength of an argument shouldn't require the use of ridiculing. The latter is often more an expression of an emotional response than of reason. But, again, I didn't read the original article you referenced and this is more of a tangential commentary.

thprop
06-13-2009, 01:02 PM
I am concerned about the Republican Party. As an independent of the classic liberal persuasion (I would say libertarian but too many kooks under that umbrella), I am big on the two party system. Gridlock is your friend. But the ongoing implosion of the GOP is disconcerting - particularly as we celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday (earlier this year along with Charles Darwin). People sometimes forget that Lincoln was a Republican and the black vote was monolithically Republican until the New Deal.

Palin's reaction to Letterman's bad jokes exemplifies the state of the GOP. The base of the GOP is angry so Palin has to be angry. A good politician would have gotten so much out of this. Prior to her rejection of Letterman's apology, Palin was getting all he sympathy and Letterman deemed the cad. She should have milked it. She should have accepted his invitation to appear on his show. Letterman would have groveled some more and she would have come out of the entire experience with her reputation enhanced.

I think Palin did OK on Saturday Night Live. I think she would have come across as likable on Letterman. She could have really nailed him for insulting flight attendants. Does she have any political advisors with any savvy?

In the US, we do not elect angry people. We have to like our president. But the Republican base is angry so Palin is angry. The GOP will anger itself into oblivion.

cognitive madisonian
06-13-2009, 06:55 PM
I'm not so sure Palin is wrong on the politics of her approach here. While her apparent tantrum isn't going to play well with the majority of sane people around the country, she has a real need to fly her flag occasionally for the base, if she's going to keep hope alive for the next four years. (And who else is really paying attention?) Her best gambit is asserting her victimhood at the hands of some "liberal" icon periodically, and the effectiveness of her current gambit is evident in the fact that Letterman has backed down a bit.

Personally, I think folks like Cog ought to be embarrassed by the ease with which she manipulates them, but it really does seem like she does it pretty effectively.

Of course, ultimately I think she has very little chance of being an effective national candidate - but, she's been gifted with the kind of exposure that anybody with any ambition would kill for. If I was her, I'd be doing what I could, too.

You make the mistake of assuming that I'm a fan of Palin, when in fact I'm not. My ideal candidates for '12 are Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty; I'd prefer it if she stayed far away from the election. That doesn't mean that I will not note the glaring double standard, as noted by principled liberals including Mark Shields.

cognitive madisonian
06-13-2009, 06:57 PM
I am concerned about the Republican Party. As an independent of the classic liberal persuasion (I would say libertarian but too many kooks under that umbrella), I am big on the two party system. Gridlock is your friend. But the ongoing implosion of the GOP is disconcerting - particularly as we celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday (earlier this year along with Charles Darwin). People sometimes forget that Lincoln was a Republican and the black vote was monolithically Republican until the New Deal.

Which people forget that?


In the US, we do not elect angry people. We have to like our president. But the Republican base is angry so Palin is angry. The GOP will anger itself into oblivion.

The left spent 6 years being angry and the angry, incredibly bitter nutroots gained enough momentum to get some seats and an angry, unqualified community activist elected president. I'd say anger goes a great way in politics.

AemJeff
06-13-2009, 07:09 PM
Which people forget that?



The left spent 6 years being angry and the angry, incredibly bitter nutroots gained enough momentum to get some seats and an angry, unqualified community activist elected president. I'd say anger goes a great way in politics.

Wow, is there a cartoonish right-wing meme that you don't fully subscribe to? Would you like to see Obama's birth certificate?

cognitive madisonian
06-13-2009, 07:11 PM
Wow, is there a cartoonish right-wing meme that you don't fully subscribe to? Would you like to see Obama's birth certificate?

Hardly but you can try another straw man any time you wish.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 02:14 AM
Hardly but you can try another straw man any time you wish.

Weak. Very weak.

If you're going to refer to Obama as "an angry, unqualified community activist," there's good reason to think you'd also believe any of the other howlers the right-wing disturbos like to propagate.

Glad to hear you explicitly deny membership in the Cult of the COLB, though.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 05:01 AM
Why hasn't cog.mad. denounced Republican operative Rusty DePass (http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/06/12/scgop-activist-posts-remark-disparaging-first-lady/) yet?

cragger
06-14-2009, 10:58 AM
Our story thus far:

Late night talk show host tells a couple lame jokes about a politician, about 25% of their stock-in trade.

Attention-desperate politician runs to nearest cameras to bluster, witlessly making one of the same "horribly offensive" wisecracks (keeping daughter away from Spitzer -> keeping daughter away from Letterman).

Partisan minion echoes bluster on BH forum, sparking a 50+ reply thread which runs from sarcasm to semi-serious discussion between some commenters about the political efficacy of twisted knickers, between the cuckoo popping out of the clock repeating Outrage!, Outrage!

For we easily amused, all funnier than Dave, Conan, or Craig.

cognitive madisonian
06-14-2009, 10:47 PM
Weak. Very weak.

If you're going to refer to Obama as "an angry, unqualified community activist," there's good reason to think you'd also believe any of the other howlers the right-wing disturbos like to propagate.

Glad to hear you explicitly deny membership in the Cult of the COLB, though.

What particular part of my statement are you disagreeing with? That Obama campaigned as being angry? Just look at his rhetoric toward George Bush. That he was unqualified? No candidate in modern history has had less experience. He had two years of actual senate experience, and before that was a tool of the Chicago political machine in the state senate. And before that, he was a community activist. Oh I'm sorry, community organizer. Big difference.

cognitive madisonian
06-14-2009, 10:49 PM
Why hasn't cog.mad. denounced Republican operative Rusty DePass (http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/06/12/scgop-activist-posts-remark-disparaging-first-lady/) yet?

For a number of reasons, not least of which is that I've never heard of this guy before and he is utterly inconsequential.

pampl
06-14-2009, 11:16 PM
The word "angry" describes an unusual emotional state. The usual emotional state for most of America involves thinking Bush did a crappy job, so it's not really accurate to call that angry.

I honestly don't know how anyone can think it was an angry campaign, half of his PR was trying to avoid the "angry black man" image. When conservatives endorsed him (e.g. the Economist) they always mentioned how he projected an image of calm relative to McCain's image of being erratic and even angry and his followers' image of being a frothing psychotic mob. You can complain about unskilled community organizing or whatever but to call him angry just makes you look like you're living in a different reality.

rfrobison
06-15-2009, 12:29 AM
Cragger:

I think my (new) signature says it all...

bjkeefe
06-15-2009, 09:47 PM
Why hasn't cog.mad. denounced Sherri Goforth (http://wonkette.com/409193/latest-republican-racist-email-features-hilarious-summary-of-44-american-presidents) yet?

Why hasn't he called for her to apologize, which she so far refuses to do (http://www.nashvilleistalking.com/2009/06/sen-diane-blacks-r-gallatin-legislative-aid-circulates-racist-email/)?

[Added] Original report (http://newscoma.com/2009/06/15/racist-and-ridiculous/) has been updated.

TwinSwords
06-15-2009, 10:27 PM
Just heard on the teevee that Letterman's going to give another apology, apparently more far-reaching than his previous apology, on tonight's episode....

AemJeff
06-15-2009, 10:37 PM
Just heard on the teevee that Letterman's going to give another apology, apparently more far-reaching than his previous apology, on tonight's episode....

Wimp. There's no reason for an apology - somebody is twisting his arm.

TwinSwords
06-15-2009, 10:42 PM
Wimp. There's no reason for an apology - somebody is twisting his arm.

I completely agree. It's pure public relations at this point. It's rather disturbing to see him kiss up to Sarah Palin.

TwinSwords
06-15-2009, 10:49 PM
Wimp. There's no reason for an apology - somebody is twisting his arm.

Experts suggest this may be the final apology (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9b1EBGY3oQ). A "serious" apology, this time. http://www.spartantailgate.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 12:11 AM
Wimp. There's no reason for an apology - somebody is twisting his arm.

I completely agree. It's pure public relations at this point. It's rather disturbing to see him kiss up to Sarah Palin.

I share your emotions, but I disagree. It doesn't cost that much to apologize, even if you think the purportedly offended party is blowing things way out of proportion and trying to use it to get herself more attention.

Fundamentally, the jokes were mildly tasteless, but they were as much throwaway lines as every other entry on every other Top 10 list and monologue he has done over the past couple of decades. It's smart for him to just say he's sorry and move on.

Plus, from a political/PR point of view, any further fauxtrage on Palin's part is is now really only going to make her look worse.

TwinSwords
06-16-2009, 12:15 AM
Here's Letterman's latest apology (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVAgAJ9MD4o).

TwinSwords
06-16-2009, 12:21 AM
So, are you saying he should have apologized as a tactical maneuver (to contain the damage, or to deny Palin the ability to continue playing the victim), or because the joke was offensive and warrants an apology to Palin and both of her daughters?

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 12:25 AM
Here's Letterman's latest apology (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVAgAJ9MD4o).

Can't ask for more than that. Well done, Dave.

Thanks for the two links, Twin.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 12:34 AM
So, are you saying he should have apologized as a tactical maneuver (to contain the damage, or to deny Palin the ability to continue playing the victim), or because the joke was offensive and warrants an apology to Palin and both of her daughters?

I am saying he should have apologized once he realized the jokes offended.

I am also saying that, to anyone who thinks he backed down or wimped out by doing so, that there is more upside than downside when considering the political ramifications and PR aspects.

I am not making much of a call one way or the other about how much the apology is warranted. On one hand, I know he didn't mean anything to do with Willow, I think Bristol is a public figure and obviously so is Sarah, and therefore, they are as eligible for being joked about as anyone else in the public eye, according to our societal standards. On the other hand, be probably crossed the line of taste (probably a majority would say so, anyway), and even though it has been crossed many times before by other comedians joking about other public figures, that doesn't make it completely acceptable.

Ultimately, the jokes were not that big a deal -- a small transgression at worst -- but as Letterman said, the perception matters.

rcocean
06-16-2009, 12:52 AM
I think its sad that a man like Letterman, worth at least $100 million, has to apologize to some Woman from Alaska - whose never even won an Emmy.

That's Democracy for you.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 01:46 AM
I think its sad that a man like Letterman, worth at least $100 million, has to apologize to some Woman from Alaska - whose never even won an Emmy.

That's Democracy for you.

Not sure if I understand your point, but I'd say this shows a very good side to democracy indeed, that someone rich and powerful does have to apologize to one of the ordinary people. If I stipulate to your premise, that is.

However, I don't really buy your portrayal of Palin as just "some Woman from Alaska." Being a governor, a former VP nominee, and the darling of a particular political faction is a pretty rarefied position.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 03:35 AM
Why hasn't cog.mad. denounced Republican operative Mike Green (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/south-carolina-gop-operative-doesnt-deny-racist-tweet-against-obama.php) yet?

rfrobison
06-16-2009, 04:41 AM
I think its sad that a man like Letterman, worth at least $100 million, has to apologize to some Woman from Alaska - whose never even won an Emmy.

That's Democracy for you.

Not sure if I understand your point, but I'd say this shows a very good side to democracy indeed, that someone rich and powerful does have to apologize to one of the ordinary people. If I stipulate to your premise, that is.

However, I don't really buy your portrayal of Palin as just "some Woman from Alaska." Being a governor, a former VP nominee, and the darling of a particular political faction is a pretty rarefied position.

I keep telling myself not to interject in this conversation... But I think rcocean is pulling your leg.

rfrobison
06-16-2009, 04:49 AM
Not that this matters, but our conversation about humor the other day reminded me of the quote from the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam." I'd say it fits the most cherished part of my self image--a guy who takes himself way too seriously, but knows in his heart that he's funny.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 04:54 AM
I keep telling myself not to interject in this conversation... But I think rcocean is pulling your leg.

Well, I got some sense of a tone of sarcasm but it seemed like it doubled back on itself or something, so, as I said in my response, I wasn't sure I understood his point.

Why do you keep telling yourself not to jump in, btw?

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 04:56 AM
Not that this matters, but our conversation about humor the other day reminded me of the quote from the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam." I'd say it fits the most cherished part of my self image--I guy who takes himself way too seriously, but knows in his heart that he's funny.

Yeah, I noticed your sig change a day or two ago.

Unless I'm remembering the movie wrong, I'm hard-pressed to think of a character I'd less want to identify with, but ... each cat his own rat, I guess.

rfrobison
06-16-2009, 04:58 AM
Dunno, guess I don't really have a dog in the fight, so to speak. But I'm curious enough to see how the conversation goes that I keep checking back. Wouldn't want to get you guys off track. ;-)

rfrobison
06-16-2009, 05:01 AM
Didn't really mean to say I want to be like Lt. Houk, just that I maybe resemble him in that respect (a bit).

Also, I just think it's a funny quote.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 05:21 AM
Didn't really mean to say I want to be like Lt. Houk, just that I maybe resemble him in that respect (a bit).

Also, I just think it's a funny quote.

OIC.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 05:22 AM
Dunno, guess I don't really have a dog in the fight, so to speak. But I'm curious enough to see how the conversation goes that I keep checking back. Wouldn't want to get you guys off track. ;-)

Heh. In your day job, do you herd cats?

;^)

rfrobison
06-16-2009, 05:39 AM
Heh. In your day job, do you herd cats?

;^)

I've got three, I ought to be qualified...

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 09:47 AM
Why hasn't cog.mad. denounced Republican operative Mike Green (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/south-carolina-gop-operative-doesnt-deny-racist-tweet-against-obama.php) yet?

If your strategy is to unearth obscure and inconsequential figures on the right to somehow draw a parallel with the host of the number two national late-night talk show (who should be fired for being a lousy host, anyway) attacking a politician's children, then I think your silliness speaks for itself.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 05:18 PM
If your strategy is to unearth obscure and inconsequential figures on the right to somehow draw a parallel with the host of the number two national late-night talk show (who should be fired for being a lousy host, anyway) attacking a politician's children, then I think your silliness speaks for itself.

No. Your inability to ignore my teasing indicates that I've struck a nerve, that shows that you know, deep down, even if you'll never admit it here, that inappropriate jokes are made all the time by all manner of people about public figures, and that your attempt to make a federal case about Letterman is nothing more than the same old right-wing fauxtrage.

cognitive madisonian
06-16-2009, 06:13 PM
No. Your inability to ignore my teasing indicates that I've struck a nerve, that shows that you know, deep down, even if you'll never admit it here, that inappropriate jokes are made all the time by all manner of people about public figures, and that your attempt to make a federal case about Letterman is nothing more than the same old right-wing fauxtrage.

not really but you can keep telling yourself that :)

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 07:06 PM
not really but you can keep telling yourself that :)

Devastating riposte.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 08:29 PM
... Sarah Palin's tone-deaf attempts (http://wonkette.com/409216/a-few-vaguely-related-palin-letterman-thoughts-and-more) to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Cripes. I thought that despite her intellectual limitations, she was supposed to be a canny politician. Someone ought to tell her that no matter how hot and bothered she makes that sliver of the population who likes her, their votes don't count for anything more.

Yes, let us all genuflect to The Troops™. They have everything to do with this. Also.

bjkeefe
06-16-2009, 08:52 PM
... Sarah Palin's tone-deaf attempts (http://wonkette.com/409216/a-few-vaguely-related-palin-letterman-thoughts-and-more) to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Cripes. I thought that despite her intellectual limitations, she was supposed to be a canny politician. Someone ought to tell her that no matter how hot and bothered she makes that sliver of the population who likes her, their votes don't count for anything more.

Illustrative headline (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1614091/20090616/story.jhtml) #1:

Anti-David Letterman Protest In New York Draws Approximately Three Dozen People

(Edroso says (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2009/06/new_york_anti-l.php) the crowd was larger, if you count media and other lookie-loos.)

Illustrative headline (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/as-furor-over-palin-joke-rages-letterman-rises-in-the-ratings/?ref=television) #2:

As Furor Over Palin Joke Rages, Letterman Rises in the Ratings

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 01:05 AM
Previous reports may have overestimated the crowd, or at least, forgot to separate out the media. From CNN (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/16/letterman-protest-draws-more-media-than-activists/), via OW (http://www.oliverwillis.com/2009/06/16/letterman-protest-fail/):

Letterman protest draws more media than activists

NEW YORK (CNN) — A protest rally against David Letterman over a failed joke about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughter attracted more members of the media than protesters Tuesday afternoon.

A crowd of 15 protesters upset with the late night comic held signs and occasionally shouted as they stood across the street from Letterman's studio.

But they were often hidden from view by the more than 35 members of the media there to cover the protest, and out-shouted by a few very vocal counter-protesters.

Clearly, this last group hates America's freedoms. And all 8 million New York City residents, minus 15, are in the tank for Obama.

claymisher
06-17-2009, 01:33 AM
Illustrative headline (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/as-furor-over-palin-joke-rages-letterman-rises-in-the-ratings/?ref=television) #2:[/QUOTE]

While we're on the subject, what's up with Conan? That guy has been in a rut for 15 years. His "I'm a high school nerd!" schtick was old ten years ago and it's just weird now.

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 01:45 AM
Illustrative headline (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/as-furor-over-palin-joke-rages-letterman-rises-in-the-ratings/?ref=television) #2:

While we're on the subject, what's up with Conan? That guy has been in a rut for 15 years. His "I'm a high school nerd!" schtick was old ten years ago and it's just weird now.

Can't really say. I haven't watched him in years. I always did like him, though, especially the part he would often do after his opening stand-up, when he was at his desk. I also thought he was fast on his feet at give and take and I liked some of the sketch stuff he did.

But, eventually, you can only watch so many movie stars coming on to do promo, so I got out of the habit of watching him, not to mention pretty much all other teevee.

[Added] Here's a related lament (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/05/when-talk-shows-were-talk-shows.html).

graz
06-17-2009, 09:29 AM
[Added] Here's a related lament (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/05/when-talk-shows-were-talk-shows.html).

N-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-ice!

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 09:34 AM
N-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-ice!

Glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

claymisher
06-17-2009, 12:56 PM
Glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

I watched that one too when you put it up. Did you see he put up another one with Miller?

http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/miller-talks-again/

I remember seeing him on Letterman back in the 1980s. I'd love to see that again. I looked on google video but didn't see anything. Oh well, somebody will get it up there soon enough.

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 01:20 PM
I watched that one too when you put it up. Did you see he put up another one with Miller?

http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/miller-talks-again/


Yes (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-miller.html), but thanks.

I remember seeing him on Letterman back in the 1980s. I'd love to see that again. I looked on google video but didn't see anything. Oh well, somebody will get it up there soon enough.

I saw a clip of Cavett on Letterman on YouTube once, which was hilarious, but I can't find it now (with a quick search). I think this post (http://imustimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/dick-cavett-eddie-murphy-on-letterman/), for example, has (had) embedded what I'm thinking of, but I see it's been removed "for copyright violation."

Bastards.

claymisher
06-17-2009, 01:32 PM
Yes (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-miller.html), but thanks.



I saw a clip of Cavett on Letterman on YouTube once, which was hilarious, but I can't find it now (with a quick search). I think this post (http://imustimes.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/dick-cavett-eddie-murphy-on-letterman/), for example, has (had) embedded what I'm thinking of, but I see it's been removed "for copyright violation."

Bastards.

I meant I saw Jonathan Miller on Letterman. He was hilarious. If I remember correctly (it was 25 years ago!) he thought Letterman was an idiot.

bjkeefe
06-17-2009, 01:47 PM
I meant I saw Jonathan Miller on Letterman. He was hilarious. If I remember correctly (it was 25 years ago!) he thought Letterman was an idiot.

OIC. Well, I'll keep an eye out for it.

I'm SO awesome!
06-17-2009, 03:47 PM
http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=41402

did anyone already post this in this thread?

bjkeefe
06-18-2009, 05:36 AM
Memorable quotes (http://www.dependablerenegade.com/dependable_renegade/2009/06/letterman-poutrage-.html) from the "massive" anti-Letterman protest.

bjkeefe
06-19-2009, 12:14 AM
Why hasn't cog.mad. condemned the right-wing blogosphere's (latest) jokes (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2009/06/hillary_clinton_5.php) about Hillary Clinton?