The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days — it is exploitative and has a negative effect on how all women and girls are perceived and how they view themselves. Letterman also joked about what he called Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” — yet another example of how the media love to focus on a woman politician’s appearance, especially as it relates to her sexual appeal to men. Someone of Letterman’s stature, who appears on what used to be known as “the Tiffany Network” (CBS), should be above wallowing in the juvenile, sexist mud that other comedians and broadcasters seem to prefer.
National Organization for Women “Hall of Shame”
David Letterman’s now notorious emission of what can only be accurately described as hate speech has generated quite a bit of comment — from everyone it seems but Todd Palin, Alaska’s “current First Gentleman (self-styled ‘First Dude’).”
At the risk of perpetuating Letterman’s crudity and further polluting the world, here is the gist of what has happened to date, from the venerable Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) — Sarah Palin says David Letterman owes an apology to young women across the country for his joke about her daughter.
The Alaska governor appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Friday, continuing a feud with the CBS “Late Show” funnyman over his joke earlier this week that Palin’s daughter got “knocked up” by New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez during their recent trip to New York.
I don’t agree with the Palin camp on a lot of things. But, as a father, there is nothing political or partisan about this shameful behavior on the part of Letterman, a true jerk.
Now, there was once long ago and far away a President of the United States who had what some of us might call “cojones.” He never rode on a snow mobile, but he sure as hell knew how to respond when his daughter Margaret was — in his judgment — unfairly maligned by the Washington Post‘s music critic. Here is the text of a note that Harry S Truman — the Last Great Democratic President — penned and sent to Paul Hume, the critic at the Post (quote from Wikipedia, chronicler of the 21st Century):
I have read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an eight ulcer man on a four ulcer job … Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below.
* Letter to critic Paul Hume, as quoted in TIME magazine (18 December 1950)
Now, that was an outraged father.