Skip to comments.Still a Boor and a Coward [Victor Davis Hanson on Letterman, Wright + Thoughts on a Creepy Culture]
Posted on 06/12/2009 11:52:42 AM PDT by Tolik
A Letterman apologist named Jason Zengerle at the TNR blog claims logic is not my strong suit since I defended Sarah Palin's family and thought Letterman's apology was, well, like most of what he does these days, infantile and cowardly:
I know logic isn't VDH's strong suit, but is it really so hard to believe that the joke Letterman was making about a Palin daughter getting "knocked up" was about the Palin daughter who, you know, got knocked up?
Is that supposed to be funny in a Lettermanesque way? Zengerle apparently cannot follow basic logic, so here it goes: The girl at the game with Governor Palin was not 18-year-old Bristol, but 14-year-old Willow. So logically we are to assume that when Letterman refers to Palin and her daughter at a recent baseball game, he means the actual governor and the actual daughter who actually attended it.
The intent of Letterman's tripartite sexual reference was to suggest that the Palins were synonymous with female promiscuity. (cf. Letterman's further references to the governor's "slutty" look, and remarks about former governor Eliot Spitzer's interest in a Palin daughter, e.g., the "toughest part" of Palin's visit "was keeping former New York governor Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter.")
Cf. that logic:
(a) Palin is in N.Y. with her 14-year-old daughter;
(b) former N.Y. governor Spitzer was caught visiting a young prostitute. Ergo . . .
(c) Sarah Palin will naturally have to "keep" a randy Spitzer away from a likewise randy 14-year-old with dug-out propensities.
Zengerle then finishes with "P.S. VDH says Letterman would never make jokes about the offspring of the Obamas, Kerrys, Bidens, or Gores. Not true." (He then references a Letterman pun to a speeding ticket by the Gore son. Some moral equivalence that a pun on speeding versus a pun on the statutory rape of a 14-year-old.)
First, Zengerle cannot read. I did not write that Letterman does not generically attack others; rather that in this particular context he would not have used such grotesque references to the children of iconic liberals: "But the reason he picked the Palins, and not the Obamas, Gores, Bidens, or Kerrys, was precisely because he knew it would not equate to his "last show."
Letterman would never make a joke about an underage daughter of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, or Al Gore having sex with Alex Rodriguez or Eliot Spitzer. Sorry, he would not. Any idiot knows that.
Letterman offered no apology, but more of his usual postmodern, I'm goofy; feel sorry for me; "got the wrong daughter;" I'm Dave after all junk. The fact remains that in three separate references he slurred the female governor of Alaska and her 14-year-old daughter on a recent visit to his New York. And when he tried to contextualize it, all he did was make it worse by suggesting that he meant instead Governor Palin's 18-year-old daughter, who recently delivered an out-of-wedlock child.
So follow the additional sick logic there: Having one illegitimate son naturally implies inherent promiscuity of the sort that would send you down to the dugout to have sex with a baseball player or draw in a frequent patron of prostitutes?
Letterman has devolved into a mean-spirited, demented sort. Good luck to his apologists, like Zengerle, who try to explain what he said was not quite what he said. All they accomplish is to end up as foolish and creepy as Letterman himself.
The Demise of David Letterman
I had a number of exchanges on the Palin-Letterman controversy (see below). Where to start on David Lettermans attack on Palin on her visit to New York to do charitable work, accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter Willow?
The hypocrisy of the Left that used to monitor slurs about womens appearances, sick jokes about statutory rape, demonization of women with charges of promiscuity-all this rightly was taboo? But now silence? (But then no one seemed bothered either by the rather shameless instance of plagiarism on the part of Maureen Dowd, the NY Times columnist, who habitually accuses Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld of lying and other moral lapses.)
The metrosexual, hip David Letterman offered an apology I think that essentially was something along the following lines. Heres my paraphrase: Sorry, I confused the 14-year-old Willow Palin with the 18-year-old Bristol Plain, so I was wrong for suggesting the younger Palin girl would be knocked up during a baseball game with Alex Rodriguez, or draw in Eliot Spitzer for sex, when I really meant that Bristol certainly would. (Note the silence about calling Governor Palin slutty looking. So if some right-wing nut says that Michelle Obama is slutty looking, are we to expect no consequences?)
What it is about Sarah Palin that drives the Left insane? Her charisma? Her authentic blue-collar roots? The accent? Todd? The pregnancies? The ability to galvanize crowds. Joe Biden tried to fake his working class origins, but Palin seems to live, not romanticize, the life of the middle strata, so would not the Left appreciate someone from the non-elite?
I suggest two reasons for the fury of the aristocratic Left. One was Palins stance on abortion. In the elite feminist mind, the perfect storm would be for a 40ish career woman, on the upswing of her cursus honorum, getting pregnant and, then, heaven forbid, delivering the child with full fore-knowledge of chromosomal abnormality. Or having her 17-year old come to full term with a child, unmarried, and without money?
The Shadow of Abortion
For most upscale, educated liberals, a daughters future career is ruined by pregnancy, and abortion is often the answer. Second, Todd Palin, the Palin accent, the Wasilla connection, the whole notion of Alaska, all this conjured up the elite liberal notion of trailer trash-and we all know from Obamas clingers speech, that the white Christian working class is the last group in America that can be caricatured and slurred with impunity. To the liberal urban elite, poor whites are those responsible for racism and other sins associated with the dominant culture, and thus by association taint the white aristocracy unfairly.
Race, again, all the time
I received a lot of angry mail about a recent prediction that the Obama administration would acerbate not diminish racial tensions, by its addiction to identity politics and the constant invocation or racial difference. Nothing since his ascension has disabused me of that observation. Obama himself, in unusual fashion, has given a number of speeches abroad emphasizing his African heritage, his middle name Hussein, and his fathers Muslims connection.
We have heard the Attorney General call his countrymen cowards for not talking more about racial identity. We have heard our Supreme Court nominee state on repeated occasions that a Latina is intrinsically better at being a judge than a white male counterpart. Now Rev. Wright has reemerged to suggest that Obama will no longer meet with him because Them Jews aint going to let him talk to me . (a new book about Obama suggests he and Wright met in secret during the campaign after the Wright racist outbursts).
Note as well, that Wright, in his anti-Semitic diatribe, employs the now customary straw men they, which weve become well accustomed to. (I note here that what was most disturbing about the Letterman Palin jokes and his apology was the audience laughing at his crudity-reminiscent of the standing ovations in the Trinity congregation that met Wrights profanity, racist outburst, and damning of the United States. This country has a long way to go.)
This racialism will continue. Why? Because Obama discovered long ago than racial identification brings as many dividends as does the content of ones character or achievement. It is a force multiplier and foolishly left untapped. I fear more, not less, of this, as the tab for Obamas charge-it economy comes due at about the same time dubious players abroad conclude that serial apologies amount to a green light for adventurism. When his popularity dives, I think critics will be seen as biased and prejudicial.
What was ironic about all Wrights accusations of Obamas Jewish hypnosis, was that in just the first six months of his administration Obama has proven to be the most anti-Israeli President since the founding of the Jewish state. Wright should be delighted not disappointed; perhaps his unhappiness is the inability to bask publicly in White House visits, rather than ideological discord
(Remember that Obamas connection with Wright was premeditated: in the Chicago racialist atmosphere, his career was going to be stalled at the state level, since he lacked, as a half-white, half-African Harvard graduate, fides as an authentic African-American from the Chicago neighborhood. Wright gave Obama just that authenticity-the more Wright laced his sermons with racism and hatred, the better Obama might resonate with the community as a Trinity devotee.)
But there is nemesis in the world. And once one makes a pact with Mephistopheles, well, read Marlowe and Goethe. Wright is Obamas Fury, one of his Keres as it were.
Is there anything that explains all these strange developments? Yes, a postmodern view that the tawdry means justify the utopian ends, that a Letterman is cool and progressive, that a Wright means well in the end, that a Dowd is on the right side of the political attack on the Bush administration-and therefore sexism, racism, and plagiarism are, well, simply alternate narratives rather than violations of absolute norms and protocols.
Just a partial list. More at the link: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index
Just Make Stuff Up. President Obamas war on the truth A Boor and a Coward [Victor Davis Hanson tears apart the creep, a.k.a David Letterman] Our Historically Challenged President. A list of distortions I No Longer Quite Believe ... [Victor Davis Hanson on Orwellian media & science, race relations] It's Better When You Wake Up Body-Snatched . . . The Reckoning. Obama Versus the Way of the Universe The Age of Middle East Atonement. Therapeutic efforts to disguise the truth never really work Is It Going to Be Race and Resentment All the Time? Multiculturalism Trumps Freedom? Sotomayors Mistake. The diversity mess The Affirmative-Action Aristocracy? Lost in the Labyrinth of Race Israels Cuban Missile Crisis - All the Time ... if Iran gets the bomb Ministers of Truth Euroamericans? Is America Premodern or Postmodern? President Palins First 100 Days. Imagine if Sarah Palin had Obamas record Cracks in the Facade. Fissures in the Obama Totem Why Did Republicans Lose Their Appeal? And how can they get it back? Americans Want It Both Ways Our Have-It-Both-Ways Generation Our Jekyll and Hyde President. More radical than Jimmy Carter v smoother centrist than Bill Clinton? Crazy Times Crazier Times to Follow - when nonsense is passed off as wisdom Confessions of a Contrarian [deconstructing Obama, the Left and more] President Obamas First 70 Days. It really does all make sense Thoughts About Depressed Americans Bush Did It. What a difference an election makes [Brilliant Parody] Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]
Let me know if you want in or out.
Links: FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson
His website: http://victorhanson.com/
NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp
Even making a reference to the older daughter’s pregnancy is in really poor taste. Letterman needs to be fired.
Maybe Letterman’s kidneys will fail. (referencing another instance of liberal “humor”)
It’s more that they think trashing Palin is good and deserves approval. It’s WHO he was trashing because if the same exact words were said against a lib that wouldn’t think it was funny. They are hypocrites, as we know, and letterman is a perverted highy paid pawn.
The Hate Show
Well, he should be fired, or at least apologize, but instead CBS extended his contract through 2012.
not punished or reprimanded in any way.
This entire world is upside down.
What I find equally disturbing is the termed “knocked up.” You would never find a liberal using that term in any other situation than against a Republican woman. Women traveling to Kansas to get a late term abortion are exercising their choice after an unwanted pregnancy. Governor Palin’s daughter on the other hand got “knocked up.”
Nah, knowing he has a weak ticker I’d go with a heart attack.
C’mon, lefties, it’s just a joke! Unwad your panties.
Letterman deserves a fat lip, a bloody nose and a few loose teeth.
He’s a sissy boy coward.
Letterman has become a stupid pet trick. I’ll get my comedy from the free media.
Hell, Imus had to do it, and his joke--as disgusting as it was--was not written and approved of ahead of time.
But a liberal, apparently, does not.
I think Letterman is using his barnyard "humor" to feed into the polarized society. The comments on the yahoo website regarding this issue are close to 50/50 with many people saying that it is Palin who is trying to advance her celebrity by overreacting to Letterman's "edgy" jokes.
These same people would be outraged if the situation was reversed. Letterman is not a fool, he is just burnishing his naughty boy image and the left loves it.
We are the foolish ones for thinking that appealing to decency and fair play means anything to the "progressives". They think abortion on demand is a right for God sake. Why are we trying to appeal to their sense of decency?
And what is doubly amazing is that Lettermen "knocked up" the mother of his son and didn't feel the need to marry her until last year (I believe) when the child was already 4 or 5 years old.
The level of hypocrisy is astounding.
Letterman, the father of an illegitimate son himself, may well partake of the prostitutes, I mean, have you seen his wife?