The right blogosphere is all up in arms because David Letterman, a comedian, made a joke at Sarah Palin's expense. Seriously, they're freaking out.
It was when David did his Top Ten Highlights of Sarah Palin’s Trip to New York… and here they are. For your edification, I've provided an explanation of the underlying implication that each "Top Ten" joke embodies.
10. Visited New York landmarks she normally only sees from Alaska [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah can see far far away — like to Russia — from her vantage point in Alaska]
9. Laughed at all the crazy-looking foreigners entering the U.N. [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah is xenophobic]
8. Made moose jerky on Rachael Ray [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah shoots moose and eats it]
7. Keyed Tina Fey’s car [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah can't take it when she get made fun of]
6. After a wink and a nod, ended up with a kilo of crack [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: [Sarah does drugs]
5. Made coat out of New York City rat pelts [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah hates animals]
4. Sat in for Kelly Ripa. Regis couldn’t tell the difference. [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah is a good-looking personality]
3. Finally met one of those Jewish people Mel Gibson’s always talking about [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: Sarah lives in a state which isn't very diverse]
2. Bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: She looks and acts kinda slutty]
1. Especially enjoyed not appearing on Letterman [UNDERLYING IMPLICATION: She's no fan of Letterman]
Now, of all these, guess which one Sarah's supporters are all up in arms about?
Number two. Yes. How DARE Letterman imply that she's slutty looking.
Now, personally, I don't find any of these jokes particularly funny, but I don't find them out of the realm of decency, especially for a late-night comedian. Being the butt of jokes comes with being a politician. And many of the same people who are on the fainting couch about Sarah's "sluttiness" have had, in the past, making no problem of Obama's ears or Hillary Clinton's looks.
So I would suggest to these people that they read #7 on David's list. I.e., it's a joke!
Is Sarah Palin really slutty? Of course not. But with her pre-marriage pregnancies, her open blouses and, well, you know….
…she's not exactly Lady Diana either.
UPDATE: Leslie in the comments writes:
Calling a black man a nigger is not a joke. Nor should calling a woman a "slut" be. Both suffered through paternalism. Neither should suffer mainstream media's continued marginalization.
Leslie's point would have more force if Letterman actually called Sarah Palin a "slut". He didn't. Never used the word. He used the word "slutty", which means "as if she was a slut" (implicitly suggesting she is not one, in reality). Furthermore, it was a joke/observation about her fashion sense, not suggesting anything about her promiscuity.
There's a difference between a "joke" which calls Obama a fag, and a "joke" about Obama wearing "faggy" clothes.