Outrage for the sake of outrage

LETTERMAN-775520I have a confession to make. I watched David Letterman last night. Actually, on most nights at about 11:35 p.m., you’ll find my TV tuned to CBS. If that means I have to relinquish my conservative credentials for committing apostasy, so be it. I’m not so self-absorbed, thin-skinned and uptight to allow a stupid joke to change my viewing habits.

For the past two weeks conservative media — radio, TV and on the Internets — has been screaming about the crack Letterman made about Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up” by Yankee third-baseman Alex Rodriguez during the seventh inning stretch at a baseball game. The late-night talk show host took another shot at Palin during his “Top Ten” list, comparing her wardrobe to that of a “slutty flight attendant” (why didn’t he just say “stewardess?”).

Mayhem ensued. Conservative media folk called for a boycott, demanded apologies, pressured Dave’s advertisers to drop their ads on Dave’s show, picketed outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre, and, of course, they called him a pervert.

When I heard the joke, I admit, I let out a little chuckle. I don’t buy the conservative line that Letterman was attacking Palin’s under-age daughter, Willow. It was clear he was talking about Bristol Palin, who in fact did get knocked up by an Alaskan douchebag during the lead up to the 2004 campaign.

In a classic “gotcha” moment, the right-wing bloggers and blowhards pointed out that Bristol wasn’t at the Yankee game, but Willow was. It’s just stupid to think Letterman was talking about Willow. The joke would be even less funny if he was.

The Letterman incident came on the heels of the now-infamous Playboy “hate f*ck” list of conservative hotties, which was treated with equal amounts of shock, outrage and disdain by conservative media.

The most surprising part of both incidents (other than that apparently some people actually do read Playboy), is that conservatives showed they seem to be just as thin-skinned as their liberal counterparts. Just as the left takes anyone to task for mocking race, the poor, gays or any other special interest, there’s a conservative thought police out there ready to pounce when idiotic comments are made.

I’m a big fan of Sarah Palin, but we really need to chill out. Letterman and Playboy aren’t worth getting your grannie panties in a bunch. Besides, isn’t this the game the left plays? Is it not ridiculous that comedians who make racial comments have to go groveling to Jesse Jackson to apologize? Was it not ludicrous that Trent Lott had to step down from his leadership position for complementing Strom Thurmond? Then how is it not just as absurd for conservatives to demand the same?

Yes, as many have pointed out, there’s a double standard. Liberal leaders and celebrities get a free pass when they say something stupid. But that’s nothing new, and frankly, we should be proud that conservatives are held to a higher standard — because, hopefully, we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

And aren’t there more important things to occupy two weeks worth of our time on radio, TV and online? During the same week that Letterman told his jokes, an abortion clinic in Philadelphia was giving out free abortions in “honor” of Dr. George Tiller, the gunned-down Kansas baby-killer. If you’re looking for something to channel your outrage — something that actually matters — get angry about that.

So I’ll continue to watch Letterman, at least until the thought police of the right forces me into rehab. And I’ll keep eating at The Olive Garden (I mean, c’mon, the never-ending pasta bowl promotion is awesome). I’ve got more important things to do than worry about what a comic says at midnight.

Let’s leave the feigned outrage for the sake of being outraged to the liberals.


Thank gawd we didn’t elect a dunce … oh, wait …

palinlaughElections have consequences, as they say, and Americans are reaping what they sowed back in November. Thank goodness we chose a smart, capable, charismatic leader in Barack Obama instead of John McCain and his dunce of a running mate — oh wait, maybe not.

Noemie Emery has a great piece in the DC Examiner today comparing the lipsticked-bulldog with the audacious one. Imagine if Sarah Palin where in office right now:

As president, she might have caused the stock market to plunge over 2,000 points in the six weeks after she assumed office, left important posts in the Treasury unfilled for two months, been described by insiders as ‘overwhelmed’ by the office, and then gone on to diss the British Prime Minister on his first state visit, giving him, as one head of state to another, a set of DVDs plucked from the aisles of Wal Mart, a tasteful gift, even if they can’t be played on a TV in Britain. (Note, the Prime Minister, who is losing his eyesight, may even be blind in one eye).

As vice president, she might have told Katie Couric that when the stock market crashed in 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went on TV to reassure a terrified nation. Or on her first trip abroad as Secretary of State, she might have, as the AP reported, “raised eyebrows on her first visit to Europe…when she mispronounced her “EU counterparts names and claimed U.S. democracy was older than Europe’s,” then gave the Russian minister a gag “reset” button, on which the word “reset” was translated incorrectly.

What a good thing that Palin, whom Christopher Buckley called “an embarrassment, and a dangerous one,” wasn’t in office to cause such debacles, and that we have Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton instead.

But hey, we get what we deserve. We elected a man with virtually no experience and with no legislative accomplishments to speak of. How could we expect anything else from The One?

And with all of the focus this week on the financial bailouts and the ensuing bonuses for the financiers that ran the institutions into the ground, we might note that banks in Alaska are doing just fine. Why? The bankers say it’s because they were “conservative” in their actions.

Emery concludes:

Obama may be there, but your 401k isn’t. Buckley and Brooks are now feeling queasy, while Noonan and friends are taking to Xanax. “The sale of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs is widespread,” she reported last Friday. “People feel ‘unled, overwhelmed.”’

But at least, we now have sophisticates running the country, not a moose-hunting ditz from Alaska. God knows what might happen then.

There is a certain amount of satisfaction watching the pick of the intelligentsia fumbling around.

Check out the whole article here.