Without defending Letterman, who has apologized for the joke, Media Matters points out that protesting sexist jokes from a comedian is hypocritical when right-wing spokespeople and pundits make offensive statements all the time that are not challenged.
How can Palin insist that Letterman be forced off the air, when your friends and allies are saying things like this:
- Rush Limbaugh saying about Obama that “We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles … because his father was black.”
- Radio host Jim Quinn repeatedly calling NOW the “National Organization of Whores.”
- Glenn Beck calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor an “Hispanic chick lady.”
- Sean Hannity having Andy Martin on his show, who had called a judge a “crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”
In addition, it seems to me that this latest dispute is more about Palin’s dislike of of Letterman than it is about that particular joke. Comedians have made far more offensive jokes about Sarah Palin’s family, which she just laughed off. During the campaign, Saturday Night Live did a skit where they joked about incest in the Palin family:
New York Times reporter: What about the husband? You know he’s doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It’s Alaska.
New York Times assignment editor: He very well could be. Admittedly, there is no evidence of that, but on the other hand, there is no convincing evidence to the contrary. And these are just some of the lingering questions about Governor Palin.
And yet Palin not only didn’t protest, she appeared on the show a few weeks later.
Ironically, the end result of all the conservative ire? Letterman’s ratings get a big boost. And a conservative protest outside Letterman’s studio in NYC calling for him to be fired manages to muster only three dozen protestors.