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Monday, June 15, 2009
Let It Go Already People...
...I know, long time no see, right? Well, this isn't necessarily going to be a return to the glory days of blogging 5 days a week. I'll at least attempt to not let the site go stagnant like it has.

But that's not what I'm here to discuss right now. I'm here to discuss the latest big thing that's been happening that everyone has assigned great importance to: the war between David Letterman and Sarah Palin.

I *know*. Tragic, isn't it, that this is what has occupied the airwaves and consciousness for the last week? It's not been the focus of my consciousness unless the media (including my local newspaper's breaking news Twitter feed) has thrust it upon me.

Couldn't the media come up with something more important to talk about? The budget deficit? War? Nuclear proliferation in a country run by an unstable crackpot (I'm talking North Korea here)?

I guess they thought that was too depressing and jumped on this to lighten things up. I really wish they hadn't.

For those who have been living under a rock, or simply haven't cared enough to pay attention, here's what's been happening:

* Letterman takes a poke at one of Sarah Palin's daughters going to a Yankees game and getting knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

* Letterman does not specify which daughter this is, but context implies that it's Bristol (the 18 year old single mommy who is now advocating abstinence).

* Palin bristles - because what else does she do well besides that - and it comes out that it was 14 year old Willow that was at that game.

* Letterman sort of explains the joke and sort of apologizes in a roundabout way (and makes offers for Palin to come on the show).

* Palin declines offers and takes pokes at Letterman.

* Letterman, on tonight's show apparently, will finally apologize for not being more clear and will try to do better.

OK. So you would think that this would make it all go away, right? Wrong. All sorts of things went wrong with this. First off, you had Sarah Palin taking more time in the limelight to scream about Letterman and all the bad things that he said about the 14 year old. He didn't say *anything* specific about the 14 year old, and he made a risque joke. Last time I checked that's what he does on his show with the monologue. He made his name by going to the edge, and public figures are fair game on the late night monologue circuit.

Palin knows this - she's already been through the wringer a few months ago from the late night circuit to the bloggers and Twitterati. She would also know from that experience, that she could definitely get people talking on those same mediums if she spoke up about what was going on and try to work it to her advantage. I'm paraphrasing, but she's actually said that the reason teen girls have low self-esteem is because society thinks jokes that men like Letterman make about statutory rape are funny.

Excuse me? There are lots of more significant reasons teen girls have low-self esteem, and I don't think that tasteless jokes from late night talk show hosts is high on that list. I think that that was one heck of a stretch for Palin to make. Don't take that as a poke on Palin either (because you know I'm not a fan) - if you look at the joke from her point of view, it's *not* funny and it doesn't matter which daughter it was about.

But I digress, slightly... it's not going to go away as easily as Letterman apologizing because we still have to have Palin accept the apology - which somehow I doubt will happen and frankly I don't think I care if she does. Whether she does or she doesn't is immaterial anyway because this isn't going away anytime soon. That's because we have someone else taking up the cause and keeping this in the limelight, although I'm not sure who they're trying to get attention for (except maybe themselves).

A New York Assemblyman named Brian Kolb has co-sponsored a website whose sole purpose is to get Letterman fired. Seriously. The website ( has a list of advertisers and executives at CBS (the network that Letterman appears on) so that interested individuals can go right ahead and start complaining about him. That perhaps the power of the people speaking their minds about how outraged they are will manage to make a dent and get this highly rated talk show host who just got an extension that will keep him on the air through 2012. Add to this that he's also beating the new Tonight Show host (Conan O'Brien) in the nightly ratings.

I really don't think that Letterman is going anywhere anytime soon. But that's bedside the point.

Let this go people. What's the point? He made a joke, perhaps it was a little too tasteless that it could have been perceived as a statutory rape joke. I thought it was funny from the standpoint that, well, it's Alex Rodriguez people... come *on* - we've seen enough in the news about him and his woman troubles... issues... whatever. But that's neither here nor there - it was a joke, it was taken badly, Letterman's apologizing for it.

Political figures have been taken to task on the nighttime shows for years. Letterman isn't the first to poke at a public figure and he won't be the last. Leno has done it, Carson did it too. Saturday Night Live, and Chevy Chase, made names for themselves skewering public figures on Weekend Update and their portrayal of Gerald Ford (the sitting President at the time the show started).

So give me a break. Give all of us a break. It's done and there really hasn't been a public outcry for someone making a tasteless joke or comment that has succeeded in that person losing their job or position. Carson, Leno, even Lorne Michaels came back to SNL (after creative issues made him go away for awhile). This one won't succeed either, and it will die after a fashion...

...I just wonder how much longer we're going to have to be subjected to all of this before it does.