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cognitive madisonian 06-11-2009 08:59 PM

David Letterman
 
...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 09:20 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116157)
...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 09:28 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116157)
...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). 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 | video). (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). [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. and John Cole.

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."

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 10:09 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
well, she is a slut....she's a slut for big business and christians;)

TwinSwords 06-11-2009 11:25 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
You poor thing. I'm so sorry you had to suffer like this.

cognitive madisonian 06-11-2009 11:43 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 116161)
Play the tape back, cog. No "rape" was referred to.

Not directly, no, just inferred.

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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.

Quote:

instead Althouse would be running a caption contest.
And the requisite Ann Althouse reference.

Quote:


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.

Quote:



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 11:49 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116177)
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 11:52 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116178)
By this reasoning, you think Rush Limbaugh should be canned, too, amirite?

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

Quote:

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 11:55 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116180)
I wouldn't mind that, actually--it'd probably help the GOP.

Yeah, sure.

Quote:

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 11:57 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116184)
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 06-12-2009 12:06 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116185)
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.

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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 06-12-2009 12:09 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

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!


Quote:

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 06-12-2009 12:12 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116157)
...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 06-12-2009 12:17 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonIrenicus (Post 116189)
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 06-12-2009 12:20 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116188)
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.,

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116163)
While Letterman's jokes were off-color ...

[...]

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116178)
... a rude joke

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116186)
I grant crassness is debatable. [...]

[...]


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

Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116188)
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 06-12-2009 12:23 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116192)
That's not even close to being true. Go back and read what I said in this same thread; e.g.,

Yes, like this:

Quote:

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.





Quote:


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 06-12-2009 12:36 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116195)
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.

Quote:

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 06-12-2009 12:39 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116198)
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?

Quote:

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 01:31 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116200)
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 07:24 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
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 10:07 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116210)
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'?

Quote:

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 10:19 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116255)
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 10:40 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116257)
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 12:30 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116255)
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 10:29 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116259)
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. 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?), while simultaneously refusing to make Sarah Palin available 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 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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116259)
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 06-13-2009 12:27 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
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 06-13-2009 12:52 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116356)
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 01:19 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116346)
\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 01:23 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 116356)
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 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, Comments from Left Field, and Alex Massie [added: I'm told this is a bad example]. Here's a bit of snark (how many lefties prefer to condemn) from Wonkette here, here, and here


Quote:

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 01:53 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
(Massie is a British conservative.)

AemJeff 06-13-2009 02:01 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rfrobison (Post 116364)
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 02:03 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rfrobison (Post 116364)
If I may throw my two cents in: ...

Always, and welcome.

Quote:

... 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.

Quote:

... 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.)

Quote:

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 02:08 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 116367)
(Massie is a British conservative.)

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

rfrobison 06-13-2009 02:18 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116372)
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 02:21 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 116371)
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 11:55 AM

Re: David Letterman
 
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take and quick follow-up, but many others might.

AemJeff 06-13-2009 12:08 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116403)
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take and quick follow-up, but many others might.

Hmph. Neither Wolcott not Margaret Carlson seems to agree with my trenchant analysis. 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 12:09 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 116403)
cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take and quick follow-up, but many others might.

And via Wolcott, Margaret Carlson:

Quote:

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, isnít making a federal case out of a tasteless joke exactly what the right wing loves to ridicule feminists for doing?

bjkeefe 06-13-2009 12:16 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 116404)
Hmph. Neither Wolcott not Margaret Carlson seems to agree with my trenchant analysis.

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

Quote:

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 12:22 PM

Re: David Letterman
 
Quote:

And by the way, isnít 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.


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