62 year old man jokes about knocking up 14 year old girls
Now, back to the story. This story ran Sunday:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told a crowd of more than a thousand in St. James Sunday night that she will continue to advocate for children and adults who have developmental disabilities…..
Accompanying Palin on the trip is her husband, Todd, and the couple’s 14-year-old daughter, Willow, as well as Palin’s sister, Heather Bruce and Bruce’s son Karcher, also 14.
From that content, David Letterman found lots of humor:
“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
A lot of people immediately attacked Letterman for the rather tasteless joke under any circumstances, much less about a fourteen year old girl. Letterman immediately replied:
We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]… and now they’re upset with me…” Letterman says on tonight’s show. “These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl…. Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.” Saying he hopes he’s “cleared part of this up,” Letterman extended an invitation to Palin to come on the show as a guest.
The problem is Bristol was clearly not in the news, and Willow was. “Her daughter” at the game Letterman is referring to was Willow, not Bristol. She’s fourteen, not eighteen. Even the people writing Letterman’s reply had to stick in a note letting people know that he was referring to Bristol, and not Willow. David never mentioned any names during his joke, and he’s equally vague in his reply. Bottom line, this is a bad joke gone horribly wrong. It wasn’t funny in the first place, and it did leave a lot of room open for suggestion that he thinks Alex Rodriguez would knock up a fourteen year old.
Even if he wasn’t thinking about Alex Rodriguez knocking up fourteen year olds, that’s pretty much what he said due to sloppy writing, limited research, and an over-enthusiasm to once again take a shot at Sarah Palin. Some people call it Palin Derangement Syndrome. With the other personal comments Letterman made about Palin, he just looks like he’s eaten up with it. His offer for her to come on the show is shallow. He knows she won’t come anywhere near him right now. I wouldn’t either if someone kept attacking me and my family like he has.
Some suggestions I think would do David some good:
- Apologize. What he said was not what he meant ( I’m giving the benefit of the doubt. ) When in doubt, take the high road. Admit it was poorly worded and for that he should apologize. It would make a lot of people feel a lot better about this situation.
- Give it a rest. The election’s over. Attacking young children of politicians is never funny. And honestly, the constant vitriole is beyond tiresome, it’s becoming worrisome. If I want biased personal media attacks on politicians, I’ll watch Keith Olbermann. If Iwant witty dialogue, some humor, and skewed insights into current events, I don’t watch Keith Olbermann. Get it? Don’t try to be Keith Olbermann.
- Don’t make jokes that involve sex with teenage girls ( even if it wasn’t Willow, Bristol is only eighteen. ) Sixty-something year old men talking about teen girls having sex has a definite ick factor to it.
- If he hates something so much he can’t apply common sense to the dialogue, skip it.
- And, quite frankly, I think he should bend over backwards to undo the harm he’s done for the entire purpose of her visit here, raising awareness for children with Downs Syndrome. Her whole message has been lost thanks to his over-enthusiasm in trashing someone purely over partisan politics and using her children to do it.
- And, lose the beard. It makes him look like a creepy old man who thinks about having sex with fourteen year old girls. ( bah-bump-bump! Isn’t THAT funny! Yeah, thought so.)
I’d make the bold comment that I won’t watch Letterman any more unless he apologizes. But, I haven’t watched him in years. My guess is fewer and fewer people will be in the future. He used to be very funny, very witty, and very imaginative. I used to watch him every night religiously. The reason I quit watching him is he seems to be becoming a bitter old man. I just don’t think that’s funny any more.
If you wanna comment, don’t defend the joke here or feel compelled to trash Sarah Palin and her family. Letterman’s already done that. I will discuss whether he should apologize or not. But I’ll be up-front, I see no justification for him not to.
June 15, 2009 UPDATE:
Excellent move Dave.