David Letterman, who will do most anything to get a laugh, especially if he can do so at the expense of a public (and conservative) figure, spoke of Sarah Palin’s daughter, who attended a Yankees game with her mother, being “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez. He messed up his facts, thinking the daughter was the pre-married pregnant Bristol but who was in fact the 14-year old Willow, and then lamely fessed up to what he had said — but laced up his confession with cynical humor.
I’ve argued for a long time that a steady diet of cynicism destroys respect for humans, and David Letterman has now reached that level. What he said is inexcusable. Not just poor judgment, not just stupid, and not just crossing the line. It was inexcusable.
Jeremiah Wright, who has lived a life of living to craft words in preaching and who therefore knows the potency of words and the prophetic power of what he says, was asked by a reporter about whether or not he is in contact with President Obama. Wright, who says he was in a rush, said something about “Them Jews” who wouldn’t let him get to Wright. Then he came up with a lame claim that he meant “Zionists.” Since Wright is better with words than this, and since he is a man who has spent his life fighting stereotyped words that destroy the fabric of people groups, he needs to be particularly sensitive to other people groups.
Jeremiah Wright’s wrong on two accounts: neither the Jews nor the Zionists are blocking him from Obama. And what he said, since it stereotypes Jews with an age-old conspiracy about who is really in charge behind the scenes, is inexcusable. (See this for his confession.)