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On the Record wih Letterman

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 9:34 am
by York99
I'm going on the record: Letterman sold out by apologizing to Sarah Palin. The joke was fine and the entire audience laughed. When jokes toe the line, there are at least some groans, but there were none in this case. Nobody would have ever mentioned it had Palin not made a big stink about it.

In trying to take the high road for himself (perhaps because he's got a chance to win the Emmy for Variety Shows this year) and/or trying to beat Palin by "outclassing" her and/or just caving to pressure, he sold himself out; he sold out other comedians; and he set a disappointing precedent.

It's convenient that Palin didn't mention when Leno made a joke insinuating that John Edwards was responsible for knocking up her daughter... and that joke was made when the girl was still 17.

I'm all for taking the high road and avoiding conflict, but sometimes you gotta stick up for what you believe in.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 10:24 am
by DollarBill
I kinda felt this way too. Palin is obviously just trying to extend her 15 minutes. I guess it's just smart move for her career.

As far as Letterman. I was really happy at first when he wasn't backing down, and I was bummed to hear he apologized, but... When I saw the apology it was like one of those terrorist videos where the American hostage is like "I renounce America and all its people who are pure evil demons. My terrorist captors are the bomb-diggity." I got the feeling watching the show that the CBS brass were just off stage with guns or at least standing there threating to rip up his contract. It's still sad that he backed down, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and guessing that he had little choice in the matter.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 10:52 am
by Lants
yeah, TV is politics... I think Letterman gets a small stack of battles he's allowed to not back down from per year and he chose to go ahead and back off this one since it was so stupid.

I wish he hadn't, but at least he can chalk it up to "I didn't know which daughter was at the game"... if the older daughter had been there and all his facts were straight, then he probably wouldn't have apologized.

A month or two ago Doug Benson ran into a similar situation by offending almost an entire country and he just took the classy road and apologized to all of Canada and came out looking like the better man.

What's the point of continuing the fight? All it's going to do is make both parties look worse. Palin's "acceptance" of the apology made her seem like a smug dunce... let her be stupid and think she somehow won... pick a fight that matters... one with a grown up.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 2:51 pm
by apiaryist
I'm just sad that she's still getting press.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 2:52 pm
by mpbrockman
I'm not sure how Letterman's acknowledging he didn't know which daughter went to the baseball game constitutes an apology. Did I miss the bit where he said "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made that joke?".

Hell, If I'd been writing his monologue it would have been "Well, the Palin family is back in the news. Unfortunately, there's no hunting or snowmobiling accident involved."

For true insanity check here.

The Palins and their supporters playing the victim card - it's all they got left. Must be a slow news day.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 3:20 pm
by dirty baby
yeah, TV is politics...


Indeed.
Five dollars to the fella that pens the most authentic Bill Hicks response to this smear on our windshield.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 4:49 pm
by York99
Lants wrote:What's the point of continuing the fight?


I don't think he would need to continue the fight. A simple, "I tell jokes and if some people get offended by some of them, well that's just the name of the game. If I backed off of every joke that might be edgy, then this would be a very boring show. There's a reason I'm on at 11:30pm." would have been fine. Then he could have refused to mention it anymore or, better yet, outwit her.

Then again, continuing the fight would have given a lot of people what they want: fake drama with comedy. He's an entertainer, after all. That's what he did with McCain and eventually got McCain to come on his show, tail firmly between his legs.

Yes, it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the CBS brass and lawyers were behind it. But Letterman should have enough clout to stand behind his jokes and that courage to use that clout. I bet CBS was getting a lot of pressure from sponsors, but they also would if they fired Letterman.

Palin won.

It's just disappointing and my cynicism increases.

“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist”
--George Carlin

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 4:55 pm
by York99
mpbrockman wrote:I'm not sure how Letterman's acknowledging he didn't know which daughter went to the baseball game constitutes an apology. Did I miss the bit where he said "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made that joke?".

Hell, If I'd been writing his monologue it would have been "Well, the Palin family is back in the news. Unfortunately, there's no hunting or snowmobiling accident involved."

For true insanity check here.


Yeah, there was a 2nd (or 3rd) apology by Letterman where he did say that he shouldn't have made the joke... or at least that it was a bad joke and the fact that others perceived it differently than how he intended it was his fault.

You make a good point with your joke: Letterman's wasn't even close to over the edge. I'm sure there were worse ones that got turned down about Palin that very day from the same writing staff. And when you think about it, it wasn't even at the expense of her daughters. The joke was making fun of A-Rod or Jeter or whatever Yankee player.

And that link just shows the idiotic group mentality. Had Palin not mentioned it, nobody would have remembered the joke to start a protest in the first place.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 5:09 pm
by Justin D.
mpbrockman wrote:I'm not sure how Letterman's acknowledging he didn't know which daughter went to the baseball game constitutes an apology. Did I miss the bit where he said "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made that joke?"


No, you didn't. In fact, I'm really surprised by anyone who's upset Letterman apologized because he actually didn't. He basically called Palin and "Todd" (loved Letterman doing the mock tone when he said Todd's name) idiots for thinking Letterman would ever make the jokes he did about their 14-year-old daughter. Hell, he even reread every joke they were supposedly offended by and paused for laughter each time. The only way in which he apologized is when he said he knows the jokes were "ugly" and "cheap" in "desperate attempts" to get laughs, and then followed it up with a bit of Letterman-styled self-degrading humor by saying he's spent 30 years making these kinds of jokes so it shouldn't come as a surprise.

For those that don't know what we're talking about, here's the clip from the show.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X6FUwBmclo[/youtube]

I've watched it a couple times now and I don't see him apologizing at all. I see him calling people stupid for finding offense where there is none and then giving them an extra middle-finger by doing the jokes again.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 5:36 pm
by scook
I have kind of been missing this whole thing because I watch Conan instead...do like Letterman, though, maybe I should catch up on some episodes.

After watching that clip, I don't see an apology in it either. There were people on Palin's side seriously suggesting that he was a pedophile, it's only fair that he clear that part up, which he did sincerely. As for the rest of it, I agree, it seemed like a middle finger at Palin disguised in what sounds like an apologetic tone. Reading the jokes again? Awesome.

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 6:11 pm
by nick
Justin D. wrote:No, you didn't. In fact, I'm really surprised by anyone who's upset Letterman apologized because he actually didn't. He basically called Palin and "Todd" (loved Letterman doing the mock tone when he said Todd's name) idiots for thinking Letterman would ever make the jokes he did about their 14-year-old daughter. Hell, he even reread every joke they were supposedly offended by and paused for laughter each time. The only way in which he apologized is when he said he knows the jokes were "ugly" and "cheap" in "desperate attempts" to get laughs, and then followed it up with a bit of Letterman-styled self-degrading humor by saying he's spent 30 years making these kinds of jokes so it shouldn't come as a surprise.

For those that don't know what we're talking about, here's the clip from the show.

I've watched it a couple times now and I don't see him apologizing at all. I see him calling people stupid for finding offense where there is none and then giving them an extra middle-finger by doing the jokes again.



That's just the first apology. He apologized again this Monday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/televisi ... E320090616

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 8:22 pm
by mpbrockman
York99 wrote:Palin won.

It's just disappointing and my cynicism increases.


Oh yeah? Well, you're a slutty flight attendant.

Not that there's anything wrong with that - everyone should have a chance at the mile high club.

I dunno, I seems that Palin didn't win anything but the extra 30 seconds. She also managed to take her rep of being a tough, stand-on-your-own-two-feet, stand-like-a-man/fight-like-a-man image and flush it down the toilet; managing to appear whiny and thin-skinned.

You know, if I was her writer, I would have had her fire back "Letterman... Letterman... oh, yeah! Is he still on TV?"

C'mon. Dave didn't really lose anything and Palin just looked more pathetic. She can gut a moose in 20 seconds but can't take a joke?!

PostPosted: June 17th, 2009, 11:45 pm
by dirty baby
Damn: what's A-Rod's stance on this important question ?
He's the one that nailed Willow afterall.

PostPosted: June 18th, 2009, 8:30 am
by Pdyx

PostPosted: June 18th, 2009, 8:45 am
by York99
mpbrockman wrote:
York99 wrote:Palin won.

It's just disappointing and my cynicism increases.


Oh yeah? Well, you're a slutty flight attendant.

Not that there's anything wrong with that - everyone should have a chance at the mile high club.

I dunno, I seems that Palin didn't win anything but the extra 30 seconds. She also managed to take her rep of being a tough, stand-on-your-own-two-feet, stand-like-a-man/fight-like-a-man image and flush it down the toilet; managing to appear whiny and thin-skinned.

You know, if I was her writer, I would have had her fire back "Letterman... Letterman... oh, yeah! Is he still on TV?"

C'mon. Dave didn't really lose anything and Palin just looked more pathetic. She can gut a moose in 20 seconds but can't take a joke?!


I love how people were offended by the flight attendant joke too.

Maybe Palin didn't win, but Letterman ultimately lost. He didn't lose the "battle" against Palin, he lost the battle against integrity... in my eyes anyway. Maybe he'll make up for it in another 18 years like he did with Bill Hicks.

Either way, he set the precedent that if politicians cry foul loudly enough then they can get comedians and other satirists to apologize. Or worse, some comedians and satirists might not make those jokes in the first place.

It's a kick in the balls to free expression.