I’ve been thinking a bit about the David Letterman/Sarah Palin kerfuffle that’s kept both of them in the news this week, and I had sort of come to the conclusion that, you know what, Letterman was wrong.
Believe me, I am the absolute last person to make judgments about what’s in good taste or which subjects you are not allowed to joke about, but on a personal level I found the whole thing a little distasteful. My bottom line-today- is, hey, people get pregnant. Accidents happen. Especially for teens. I understand that there are all sorts of side issues which you can use as a foundation for your comedic outrage, but, at its base, this is essentially Letterman making fun of a teenage girl who got pregnant. (Also, the joke itself was pretty lazy and obvious, but if you’ve read anything I’ve written over the last five years you can see how I’m more inclined to be sympathetic about that.) It’s a little uncomfortable. You could actually make a case that it represents the kind of prudery and disgust with the idea of sexuality of which liberals are always accusing conservatives of being afflicted. Unfortunately, Sarah Palin had to go on the “Today Show” this morning and discuss it, and now I’m like, you know what? Screw everybody. The idea that this woman-the logical conclusion of the forty years of anti-intellectual boob bait Republican strategists have been throwing at the public with phenomenally successful results-is somehow the defender of teen girls and their self-image is more insulting than any joke Letterman could have told. Unless it was about the Holocaust. You just don’t go there.