Monday, June 15, 2009

I Don't Have to Apologize to Sarah Palin

It's no secret that I'm not exactly a fan of Sarah Palin. You can do a search for her on LMS and read some of what I had to say last fall.

That said, I have politely kept my mouth shut during the last week while she took offense at David Letterman's jokes about her and her family because I'm working on the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" philosophy. But I can't stay quiet anymore.

I'm not actually going to defend David Letterman here. You can decide for yourself whether or not he was out of line. I will say, however, that I don't think he should have given his "apology" last week and I truly can't believe he's giving a true one tonight (I just heard about it on the news). I hate that he was bullied into apologizing to her and her family.

No one ever apologized to President Clinton (the actual President, as opposed to the losing VP candidate who won't let go of her 15 minutes), Hillary Clinton or their daughter Chelsea when the Republicans were making fun of her looks. Every teenager goes through that awkward stage. Chelsea was younger than either Willow or Bristol Palin, the Clintons had taken careful steps to keep her out of the spotlight (unlike the way the Palins paraded their kids all over the country to every campaign stop), and Chelsea had not done anything that would warrant the "dog" or "Janet Reno is her father" comments by Rush Limbaugh and John McCain respectively (again, unlike Bristol who became pregnant as a teenager in spite of Sarah Palin's staunch pro-life anti-pre-marital sex stance). If kids should be off limits, then all children of politicians should be off-limits, not just select ones.

But that's not even my real beef. My real beef is that she should be consistent in her outrage. Where was Sarah Palin's rant about how jokes about sex with underage girls is what causes them to have low self-esteem last fall when the late night comedians were making fun of Bristol? To me, this "outrage" just comes off as Sarah Palin trying desperately to stay relevent and extend her 15 minutes of fame.

I could go on, but Shannyn Moore said it best in The Huffington Post today with her brilliant post "Top 10 Reasons Sarah Palin's 'Outrage' is Misplaced and A Little Late . . . "

10) Last September, a skit on Saturday Night Live suggested incest in the Palin family. "What about the husband?" asked a mock Times reporter. "You know he's doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It's Alaska!" No outrage. Sarah Palin appeared on the show one month later in late October.

9) Days after the announcement of Bristol's pregnancy, Conan O'Brien joked, "It's true, John McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Palin said, 'We should never have introduced her to John Edwards.'" Where was the outrage? Was Conan promoting infidelity with an underage girl?

8 ) From two different Tonight Shows: "Governor Palin announced over the weekend that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. Oh, boy, you thought John Edwards was in trouble before, now he's really done it!" AND..."All the Republicans are heaping praise on Governor Palin. Fred Thompson said, as an actor, he could see them making a movie about Sarah Palin and her family. Didn't they already make that movie? I think it was called 'Knocked Up!'"--Jay Leno

7) Craig Ferguson's skit of "Larry King vs Levi Johnston" asks about "kinky sex" with the drapes open. Craig Ferguson's honorary Alaska citizenship, granted by Governor Palin wasn't rescinded.

6) "According to expense reports, Sarah Palin charged the state of Alaska over $21,000 for her children to travel with her on official business. In fairness to Gov. Palin, when she leaves them home alone they get pregnant." --Seth Meyers (SNL). Sarah Palin was in a sketch with Meyers a week earlier.

5) On October 8, 2008, Sarah Palin walked out on the ice with six year old Piper and 13 year old Willow, before the game, Conan O'Brien said, "Saturday night, Sarah Palin is going to drop the first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' hockey game. Then Palin will spend the rest of the game trying to keep the hockey players out of her daughter's penalty box."
Oh, yes he did. You get the outrage...but not a peep then. According to the new "logic", O'Brien was advocating for some really sick stuff.

4) Rush Limbaugh: "Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is a White House dog?" Limbaugh put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton. At the time, Chelsea Clinton was 13 years old. Rush also said, "In last year's campaign, the most prominent, articulate voice for standard run-of-the-mill good old-fashioned American conservatism was Sarah Palin." Calling a young teenager a "dog" can't be helpful to her "self-esteem." Where is the apology from the leader of the GOP?

3) "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."--John McCain, Sarah Palin's running mate. Should McCain apologize to every young woman in America?

2) Palin's friend, political defender and informer of the David Letterman comments, John Ziegler, was fired from his radio show for using the "n-word" online and on air in 1997. In 2000, he was fired for spelling the "n-word" on the air. How much does that word affect the psychological health of America's youth, regardless of their race? Now he is pimping his film about how mean the "liberal media" was to Sarah Palin.

AND...The NUMBER 1 REASON Sarah Palin's Outrage is Misplaced and A Little Late...

1) The "candidate who must be obeyed" was talking about Palin's family when he said, "Kids are off limits." Jake Tapper of ABC News interviewed then Candidate Obama, and asked, "Governor Palin and her husband issued a statement today saying their 17-year-old daughter Bristol, who is unmarried, is five months pregnant. Do you have any reaction?"

OBAMA: "I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off-limits. And people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know, my mother had me when she was 18. And, you know, how family deals with issues and -- and, you know, teenaged children, that shouldn't be the topic of -- of our politics."

The Palin children have been fodder for comedians since they were brought to the national stage. Incest isn't funny. Ugly kid jokes aren't funny. Many of the things said about public figures are just flat wrong. Being "knocked up" isn't much fun. Racist comments hurt all of us. I exhausted the top 10 list before I ran out of outrageous instances ignored by the Palins.

The National Organization for Women named David Letterman to their Hall of Shame. Will Letterman be joining Jay Leno? Conan O'Brien? Craig Ferguson? Seth Myers? Rush Limbaugh? Or John McCain? Of course not! I guess N.O.W. didn't bother checking Sarah Palin's "feminist" credentials. All across America, right wing radio and television talk show hosts feigned outrage in perfect synchronicity. The same people who back up Palin's high drama assertions against Letterman ignored the connections between Bill O'Reilly's irresponsible incitement and the murder of Dr. George Tiller. David Letterman, a late night entertainer, apologized. Fox New's Bill O'Reilly has not.

As a parent, I understand being defensive. I just wonder what took so long. Why now?


  1. I agree with you, you do not owe an apology to Palin, or anyone for that fact, for your views. But I do think that as a feminist you cannot choose who you do or do not defend. As a feminist you have to be willing to call out anyone, anywhere when they are misogynistic or disparaging toward women. And rape is never funny even when it is supposedly a joke toward a conservative. Whether Palin chooses to defend her family against any of the attacks against her by the "comedians", as a feminist, I think that we still have to call out individuals when they are wrong.

  2. Well said, Little Merry Sunshine.

    And may I just say, Letterman's original joke never mentioned one word about rape. It was Sarah Palin who threw that turd onto the fire. If she is so concerned with rape, statutory or otherwise, why didn't she bring Levi Johnston up on statutory rape charges for knocking up her underage daughter, instead of putting him front and center as part of her campaign for the Vice Presidency?

  3. This feminist is more concerned with people crafting policy that injures women (e.g. pay-as-you're-raped evidence kits in Wasilla)than jokes. Gallows humor gets people through a lot of tough moments. Satire calls out people in power in a way that lecturing about their crimes may not. It was a bad joke for many, many reasons but mainly because it wasn't funny and it put this incompetent politician back in the spotlight.

  4. You all make excellent points.

    Kirby, you are 100% correct, Letterman NEVER mentioned rape.

    American Girl, I agree with you as well about the Wasilla rape kits.

    Boxer, I agree that I have to be willing to call someone out when they are disparaging towards women and I do, although I don't post it on LMS as often as maybe I should. I was outraged in the fall about the SNL incest skit. Incest isn't funny at all. But where was Sarah Palin then? As a survivor of rape, myself, I also do not find rape humorous and I'm often the first person to stand up and say that something that even sniffs of a rape joke is beyond the pale. That said, I didn't take Letterman's comment as being about Willow (the underage daughter). I thought it was about Bristol who is of legal age and it didn't occur to me that the joke was a rape joke.

    Sarah Palin made this an issue. I didn't see Letterman the night it originally aired and wouldn't have, but for the fact that Sarah Palin made such a stink about it. I still find it bizarre that she couldn't be bothered to be outraged at all the other comedians who made fun of her pregnant underage daughter last fall, but now as her 15 minutes is fading, she gets all high and mighty about David Letterman.

    As for Letterman's apology tonight, I hate that he was forced to give it by the Puritanical Right, who seem to really only be puritanical when it suits them. Calling Chelsea Clinton names in the early 1990s was okay? G. Gordon Liddy saying that people better hope Judge Sotomayor isn't menstruating when she's going thru "key conferences" (confirmation hearings?) (she's well past menopause) is okay?

    I just wish the party of family values lived them more often and didn't just speak them . . . sometimes.

  5. Okay, let's all agree that Sarah Palin's 15 minutes are over... Why is she still fodder for late night comedians? Because she is irrelevant, why don't we all just move on and leave her - and her family - alone? If we can ignore her long enough, she might just go away for good. So... why don't we try that?

  6. Anonymous . . .

    Good Lord, I HOPE they are over! The problem is that Sarah herself has NOT gone away. She has a new Twitter account, she regularly tells us what she's thinking on Facebook, AND she most recently told us all how Barack Obama's health care plan would put her son and her grandmother to death with the "death panels" because they wouldn't contribute to society, which is a complete and utter lie. There are no "death panels" in any sort of version of any House bills or Senate drafts.

    The ONLY person not contributing to society so far as I can tell is Sarah herself. She carries on about how people pick on her and quits her job in a snit. Um, okay.

    I'm happy to leave her alone. I just wish she'd go away long enough for us to miss her.

    All of that said, I wrote the above post before she quit her job and think I've only made one post about her since, although I'm not going to look it up because it's late.

    Thanks for commenting! I hope you'll come back.


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