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  #1  
Old 06-11-2009, 08:59 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2009, 09:20 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
...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.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:43 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:49 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:52 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:57 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:06 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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).
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:09 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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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.
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:20 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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 View Post
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 View Post
... a rude joke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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 View Post
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.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:23 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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?
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:36 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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).
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:39 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2009, 01:31 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2009, 07:24 AM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default 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?
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:07 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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'?

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Are you willing to apply your rule about kids being off limits even to the holy Rush calling Chelsea a bitch?
Absolutely.
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:19 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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  #18  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:40 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:29 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:27 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #21  
Old 06-13-2009, 12:52 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.
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  #22  
Old 06-13-2009, 01:23 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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


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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.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2009, 01:53 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

(Massie is a British conservative.)
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2009, 02:08 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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(Massie is a British conservative.)
Okay. I wonder if the Real Conservatives would agree with you, though.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2009, 01:19 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
\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.

Last edited by rfrobison; 06-13-2009 at 01:29 AM.. Reason: inserted comma
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2009, 02:01 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
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.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2009, 02:21 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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!
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:38 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

Quoting out of order here:

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.
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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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, in response to the question, "At any rate, isn't Sarah Palin so five months ago?" Here's what I said (with typo fixes):

Quote:
That's an interesting question about Palin being past her sell-by date, Kinohi. As you may have seen in another post, 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," 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, 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" 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.

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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.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:01 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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, 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, 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.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:55 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:03 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
If I may throw my two cents in: ...
Always, and welcome.

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... 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.

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... 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.)

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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?
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:18 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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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.
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  #33  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:30 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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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.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:28 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
...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.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:09 PM
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well, she is a slut....she's a slut for big business and christians
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  #36  
Old 06-11-2009, 11:25 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

You poor thing. I'm so sorry you had to suffer like this.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:12 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: David Letterman

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
...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.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:17 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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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
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:55 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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cog.mad. will not like Wolcott's take and quick follow-up, but many others might.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:08 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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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.
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