So the right gets offended because David Letterman made a joke about Sarah Palin's knocked up daughter getting ... knocked up.
And let me see ... the intended reference of the joke is an 18 year old woman. According to the right, if you are 18 you are an adult, in the sense that you can be sentenced to death in a gas chamber, sent to war to die or, if you are a brown skinned furriner, you can be tortured to death in a U.S. gulag in Romania. The right believes all of this stuff is okey dokey for an 18 year old.
But if Letterman makes a joke about a knocked up 18 year old getting knocked up, she's just a child.
I have little patience for all of the panty-twisting about the sociopolitical implications of David Letterman making a toss-off joke about Palin's knocked up daughter getting knocked up by Alex Rodriguez. Not from a political party that sells t-shirts which humorously support human torture and wants to nuke entire brown people civilizations into a slag of radioactive glass.
And if Palin's daughter, Bristol, wants to be spared from the slings and arrows of being called a knocked up 18 year old by a late night comic, she probably should stop appearing on every talk show this side of Uzbekistan to discuss the wondrous benefits of being a knocked up 18 year old. Selling abstinence.
The right's pained stretch to Chelsea Clinton, like everything else they mumble, fails the fact test. Chelsea Clinton never sought out any attention and wanted none. She did not go on talk shows discussing the wonders of getting knocked up. The legal test of a public figure in libel is intent -- has the person intentionally sought the public spotlight? Bristol Palin has. Chelsea Clinton did not. You are not a public figure if you were thrust unwillingly into the public spotlight. That fits Chelsea Clinton. She only became a known person because of her parents' career decisions. Public fame was not something she sought, solicited or coveted. Nor does she today. Since her mother lost the election, Bristol Palin has aggressively and deliberately sought the public spotlight. And I haven't heard anyone on the right ever take back all the horrible stuff that was said about Chelsea Clinton, so the faux outrage and alleged parallelism here is a tad disingenuous.
And the right's attempted one-to-one correspondence with Don Imus' "nappy headed hos" comment, is for similar reasons, to no avail. Imus slagged on the black members of the Rutgers womens basketball team for genetically programmed physical features which they cannot control. Letterman slagged on Bristol Palin for behavior that she freely and willingly engaged in, despite the obvious consequences. If you make a stupid decision, but then use that same stupid decision as your ticket to public prominence and fawning attention, then it's only fair game for someone like David Letterman to point out your hypocrisy for the sake of a cheap laugh.
Don't bring a raisin to a pie fight.
Which seems a good time to revisit the words of my recently deceased artistic collaborator, Mark Kemezys: