David Letterman feels entitled.
Maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels, one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.
The hardest part of her visit [to New York] was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter
He’s entitled to use a class and gender based slur to demean the most popular sitting governor in the United States.
[Sarah Palin] bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look
And he’s entitled to smugly repeat his rank insults while delivering a non-apology to Sarah Palin in painstakingly choreographed deadpan, milking each sexist remark one more time to the delight of a fawning audience.
What gives Dave Letterman license to repeatedly troll the gutter without ever dirtying his Worldwide Pants?
Didn’t you realize? He can’t be sexist, he’s a liberal. He’s no misogynist – he votes Democrat. Like all liberals, Dave will tell you he loves women. He respects them. Isn’t he pro-choice? Isn’t he sufficiently appalled by breast cancer? Doesn’t he joke all the time about those brutish southerners who beat their wives with Confederate flags? Haven’t you heard? He’s a card carrying liberal. Liberal, I tell you. Liberal!
Among his liberal buddies, Letterman can get away with pretending that he intended to insult Sarah Palin’s 18-year-old daughter Bristol, not her younger child Willow. But Willow was at the ballgame, Bristol was thousands of miles away, and Letterman is the skeevy guy in dress shoes and a tan trench coat who bares it all to a 14-year-old girl on the subway, then swears to the cops, “But I thought she was 18,” as he’s being hauled off to jail.
“Look at my record,” Dave told his audience as he clarified his remarks about Willow. What he means is he’s on record as being liberal. He knows the secret handshake and everything! And as we all know, liberal men are inherently sensitive to sexism in our society.
You see, liberal identity is a bubble that protects those inside from accusations of sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry. It’s considered a nearly unassailable defense against the indefensible. It’s a free pass, a blind eye, and a Get Out of Jail Free card all rolled into one.
Racially and sexually charged jabs are still acceptable in liberal circles because it’s mutually acknowledged that they know better. It’s not like they’re conservatives – you know, the real sexists – so they can say and do as they please without inviting the same consequences a conservative would incur.
And if the target is a conservative woman, well, even better because there’s no chance those pesky feminists will get their panties in a collective bunch. Melissa Clouthier explains why:
Women on the Right, are not considered women. Period. They are considered gender traitors. There simply can be no honest disagreement. This is thought policing and fascistic thinking at it’s worst.
David Letterman is also no stranger to bigoted, elitist one-liners about the Palin family’s middle class roots, and by extension, all people of average means. In addition to the “slutty flight attendant” slur, Michelle Malkin dug up the following examples of Letterman’s oh so enlightened commentary about Sarah Palin:
“You know, she reminds me, she looks like the flight attendant who won’t give you a second can of Pepsi. No, you’ve had enough. We’re landing. Looks like the waitress at the coffee shop who draws a little smiley face on your check. Have a nice day.”
“She looks like the dip sample lady at Safeway. She looks like the nurse who weighs you and then makes you sit alone in your underwear for 20 minutes. She looks like the Olive Garden hostess who says, ‘I’m sorry, your table isn’t ready yet.” She looks like infomercial lady who says she made $64,000 a month flipping condos.”
“[S]he looks like the lady at the bakery who yells out ‘44! 45!’ She looks like a real estate agent whose picture you see on the bus stop bench. That’s who she looks like. She looks like the lady who has a chain of cupcake stores…”
But don’t forget, liberalism absolves Dave from responsibility for the classism he perpetuates when he derides Sarah Palin by comparing her to working class people. Everyone knows liberals are sensitive and open-minded, and that entitles him to say what he wants without ever expecting to be raked over the coals.
As many writers have observed, the feminist silence on Letterman’s sexually inappropriate remarks about Sarah and Willow Palin is predictably deafening. The unwritten rule is that feminism stands for liberal women – authentic women – not conservative women who are, by virtue of their conservatism, anti-woman.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) and Ms. Magazine both declined to send representatives to be interviewed for an On The Record segment about Letterman’s sexually derogatory treatment of the governor and her daughter. Instead, NOW opted to release a statement as critical of conservatives as it was of Dave Letterman.
NOW hopes that all the conservatives who are fired up about sexism in the media lately will join us in calling out sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives.”
NOW also managed to miss the real thrust of Letterman’s remarks about Sarah Palin:
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.
Yes, the media focus on Sarah Palin’s appearance often delves into sexist territory. But what about the use of the word “slutty,” NOW? Slutty doesn’t speak to “her sexual appeal to men.” It reinforces the belief that by being attractive and fertile, Sarah Palin invites attacks on her virtue as a woman. It says, you can’t be a beautiful woman, a good wife, a loving mother, and a career politician. Pick one.
The response that NOW should have given was instead delivered by a fledgling feminist organization called The New Agenda.
“Letterman’s apology talk last night was cheap,” said The New Agenda co-founder and President Amy Siskind. “True contrition would not invite the Palin’s on his show after publicly humiliating them and their 14-year old daughter. If Letterman’s apology is authentic, he should show it by devoting part of his show to address the national crisis of the sexualization of our teenage daughters.”
The New Agenda was also happy to publish my recent piece on Playboy’s conservative rape fantasy article.
Feminists, that is how it’s done.
Amy Siskind, founder of The New Agenda, took her message to The Huffington Post yesterday in a piece called, “Sexism Against Conservative Women Is Still Sexism.” Think it would be hard to argue with that simple concept? You’d be wrong. Here’s a tiny selection of what the HuffPo commenters had to say about Sarah Palin and sexism:
propitiousmoment: ” She wants to use her sexuality to advance her agenda … might I say, the classic definition of a bimbo.”
andyboy: “To defend a woman from a sexist attack simply because she is a woman is actually the essence of sexism.”
voltaireinexile: “She played the pretty-sexy-mama card all along, undermining what many women have fought so hard against –the objectification of women”
arnray: “Palin and the rest use their sexuality to numb the senses of the dullards and then cry foul when someone throws it back at them.”
Gainsbourg69: “When a woman wants to be considered more than just a sex object she should take steps necessary to avoid being labeled a sex object. Simple.”
Wilson201: “Palin marginalizes her own opinions by dressing the way she does just as Prejeans opinion is by posing barely clothed. If they wish to be taken seriously, then they should dress and behave properly.
Amy’s piece also attracted a host of comments insisting there’s nothing sexist about calling Palin a “slutty flight attendant” if the shoe fits. Right. Palin was practically begging for Dave’s insults just like Michelle Malkin invited the Playboy rape fantasy. Is it any wonder where conservative writers like Kathleen Parker, trying to curry favor with the media elite, pick up ideas like this:
I also think it’s out of line for a woman to sexualize her candidacy, which Palin did. Just ask Rich Lowry, who wrote that he had to sit up a little straighter when she winked during the vp debate. So, maybe when you play the flirt and invite males to see starbursts bouncing off the walls (Lowry again), then maybe you invite the sexual punchline.
It’s clear that sexually demeaning the women with whom we disagree is more mainstream than ever. It’s a cancer that’s metastasized throughout media, politics, and entertainment, rubber stamped by the liberal sentiment that calling oneself a feminist makes it so. And conservative women aren’t the only targets. Just ask Hillary Clinton, who discovered liberal-approved sexism firsthand during her campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Sexism, racism, and all the other -isms aren’t any more acceptable if you happen to dislike or disagree with the target. This shouldn’t need to be said. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a comedian or a liberal. Sexism always matters. And no political affiliation gives you license to hurl sexually inappropriate insults at women and girls without fear of consequences.
When the McCain campaign sequestered Sarah Palin from the mainstream media immediately after her stellar national debut, they received a well deserved skewering by conservative commentators who pleaded with her handlers to free Sarah Palin, to let her be authentic and unrestrained. After watching Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s performance at a Palin rally last weekend, I hope her agent will heed the same advice: Free Elisabeth!
And here’s some further proof that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a force to be reckoned with: feminists are blaming the speech for filling their minds with violent thoughts and driving them to hit the bottle. Seriously, read the comments at Jezebel.
Do I want more Elisabeth unleashed? Hell yeah, but let’s skip the usual side order of tiresome clucking hens doing their damnedest to drown out Elisabeth’s sharp and sassy wit.
Let Elisabeth be Elisabeth.
Hat tip: Weekly Standard Blog
Appearing on Saturday Night Live proves Sarah Palin is a brave woman with a terrific sense of humor. I have every faith that she’ll make a great Vice President, but I don’t know how the hell she’s going to get rid of the nasty case of the cooties she just got from Alec Baldwin when he hooked his arm into hers during the opening sketch.
“Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads,” according to Steve Branchflower’s report on his Troopergate probe.
Warning: don’t take a sip of your drink before reading this next part.
The Branchflower report also finds that Sarah Palin “abused her power” by not keeping a short enough leash on her husband, Todd Palin. “She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act,” Branchflower contends on page 66 of the 263 page behemoth. He also asserts that her inaction constituted “official action.”
Apparently Mr. Branchflower, who was paid $100,000 for his inquiry, thinks conversations in the Palin household should go more like this:
Sarah: Honey, I need you to stop trying to get Mike Wooten fired even though he tased our nephew, drove his official vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and threatened to put a bullet in my dad’s skull.
Todd: Screw that, I’m trying to protect my family and everyone else around here from a child abusing douchebag. Who cares if I make a few phone calls to express my opinion?
Sarah: I’m the freakin’ governor of the great state of Alaska and I demand that you show respect for my authority and power, so you shut your piehole and you keep it shut if you know what’s good for you.
Sarah: You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.
If you think that’s fiction, read the Branchflower report (PDF) and check out the AP smear that charges Sarah Palin “unlawfully abused her power.” How exactly does one “unlawfully” abuse power while exercising authority in “a proper and lawful” way?
Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican, is out of favor with some conservatives when it comes to Sarah Palin.
But Bill Kristol remembers the Sarah Palin that invigorated the Party not so long ago:
Some in the McCain camp are nervous about Gov. Palin, but they shouldn’t be. They’ve totally mishandled her for the last week or two. Free Sarah Palin! Free Sarah Palin, that’s what I say! They have surrounded her — look, McCain picked her because she is a good governor, a good politician, a good communicator. Let her be a politician! Let her communicate. Put her on TV, put her on radio. Let her relax. Let her go into the debate and try to win the debate!
Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and Mark Steyn agree that the McCain campaign needs to free Sarah Palin to be herself, particularly at the debate on Thursday. I don’t believe she’s done a bad job with her interviews, but there’s certainly something overly packaged about many of her responses, and we’ve had enough with the stump speech lines.
Sarah Palin isn’t just the latest interchangeable kid to be swapped into Menudo because the average age of band members was creeping up. She’s a bright and gifted politician who dazzles voters with the rarest of political assets: her authenticity.
Bring back Sarah, unleashed, unbound, and authentic.
How do you prefer your smears? Overt or covert? Team Obama is playing it both ways now, and in all likelihood has been for some time.
So which is worse, the Obama campaign smearing Sarah Palin via a clan of astroturfing sockpuppets or Obama’s latest radio smear campaign against John McCain? And will it matter to voters?