Everyday Ethics

Yay! Sarah Palin is back, and just in time. Things were starting to get boring around here. I’m not ashamed to admit I was one of the few people sad to see the end of Palinisms.

This time it’s Palin vs. Letterman. The issue at stake? Whether or not Letterman was out of line when making these two jokes:

“There was one awkward moment during the seventh-inning stretch; her daughter was knocked up by [Yankee player] Alex Rodriguez” and “The hardest part of her trip was keeping [former New York Gov.] Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter.”

Yeah, have to be honest here; I’m more offended by Letterman’s halfhearted apologies than by the jokes. I can’t really see what he did that was so atrocious. If anything, this was a slam against Spitzer, creep that he is. Yet a lot of people, including Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Johnson, are taking Letterman to task.

I don’t consider it morally wrong or repugnant to joke that a man arrested for prostitution should be kept away from a young girl. And if the Palins assumed that the joke about their unnamed daughter and Alex Rodriguez was tantamount to calling her promiscous, well, seems to me they’re feeling a little bit defensive that their daughter made some choices they weren’t happy with.

I admit, the Alex Rodriguez joke wasn’t anything I laughed about, and isn’t the type of humor I find funny. But to act as if these jokes were a moral failing on Letterman’s part is indulgent. He’s a comedian. We pay him to say things we wouldn’t.

And David, I wish you hadn’t apologized. I have so much more respect for those who say what they have to say with no apologies, than an apologist.


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