Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stop Saying That! Sarah Palin's Creepy Continuation of Disturbing Dialogue

So, by now we all know about David Letterman's joke about Sarah Palin's daughter getting knocked up at a Yankees game. Ironically, most of us heard about it only after the Palins released statements expressing their shocked outrage at the joke, which they interpreted to be about their 14-year-old daughter. David Letterman contends that the joke was about Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol Palin.

Both Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin released statements on Facebook in response:
"Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too."

- Todd Palin

"Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands - that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"

- Governor Sarah Palin
I would like to point out that of the small percentage of Americans who were actually watching the show that night (probably about 3 million viewers), I am sure just about all of them thought the joke was about Bristol, who has indeed been "knocked up" (an admittedly crude term). Coverage of Sarah Palin attending the Yankees game does not mention a daughter being there at all. As an example, see this article from the New York Daily News or this story and accompanying photo slide show on Huffington Post. (In fact, there are some who are wondering whether the 14-year-old was actually at the game itself or not. She definitely was the daughter who was in New York.)

So any initial connection between the joke and the 14-year-old was made by the Palins themselves -- and now to a much broader national population. And Sarah Palin continues to leverage the opportunity to garner media attention and continue her ongoing habit of using incendiary language to polarize people and rile up her base. She appeared on the Today Show and CNN, saying things like David Letterman made a joke “about statutory rape about my daughter, Willow." and "David Letterman's crude, sexist, perverted joke about a 14-year-old girl being 'knocked up' by Alex Rodriguez -- I think he's like 30-something years old -- I think that's pretty perverted."

What I find really creepy and disturbing is that Sarah Palin continues to use language like this in regards to her own daughter. No one would have ever connected the 14-year-old to words like "knocked up" and "rape" and "pervert" until she starting spewing her reactive nonsense. As a mother, I would never even want to utter words like that about my own child; to have that concept verbalized. Not to get spiritual or metaphysical or anything, since that is really not my thing, but I can't help but cringe to think that these concepts are now out there. I just wish Sarah Palin would stop saying things like that! If I were her, I would want the whole topic to quickly disappear and remain out of the national consciousness.

But I am not her, and I am not trying to remain in the limelight to shore up my political career.


Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I cannot agree with you more. Very well said and these facts need to be brought up to her in a public interview.

Mom101 said...


Meanwhile, I don't recall her using the term statutory rape regarding Bristol last year...Funny. I was sure she was under 18.

ElisaC said...

Thanks for providing links to the MSM coverage that didn't mention that Willow was in attendance. Come people have been acting like Letterman was stupid and should have known Willow was there.

ElisaC said...

@Mom101 Oh yes, definitely Bristol was under 18. But I'm not sure how old Levi was.

Kristine said...

I think you hit it spot on!

Susan Getgood said...

Bravo! That was my impression as well -- that the Palins made the connection to the younger daughter, lit the match and then fanned the flames.

Almost like they had an a ha moment -- aha now we can get that nasty talk show host who is always making fun of us.He made a BAD joke and now we can prove it.

Nevermind how it impacts the very kids they say they are defending.

ElisaC said...

Well, I mean, not caring about the impact on their kids was part of the wider introduction of the Palins to the country...sure, let's run for VP, even though we recently found out our underage, unmarried daughter is pregnant. We know this about the Palins, don't we?

toyfoto said...

It's hard to know what to do sometimes isn't it? I think really savvy parents would just ignore crude jokes directed their way. Normally folks call this "Taking the High Road."

The Clintons did it when Rush Limbaugh and John McCain sad mean things about Chelsea. I don't believe the Bush family reacted publically to snide remarks about the twins.

Honestly, I think these people took the low road thinking they were on the high one.

ElisaC said...

@toyfoto Thanks so much for pointing out both the Clintons' and the Bushes reaction to people inappropriately taking pot shots at their kids.

It shows that taking the high road can be non-partisan!

toyfoto said...

You're welcome. I think a lot of what we do as humans shouldn't have anything to do with partisan politics. Hell, I'm beginning to think politics and Democracy just don't mix.

Cristina said...

Thanks everyone. I agree that this is consistent with how Sarah Palin conducted herself during the campaign. For example revealing Bristol's pregnancy to dispel rumors that Trig was actually Bristol's. The rumor hadn't made it to the mainstream and should have been ignored or dispelled another way. Say a birth certificate?. Much simpler and more protective of family don'cha think?

Eve said...

I absolutely agree. Saying the word "rape" forced David Letterman to say it, too, by saying he'd never make a joke condoning it. I wish she'd shut the hell up--it's gross.

Mr. Classical Guy said...

In Alaska the age of consent is 16. So Bristol and Levi were not involved in statutory rape. But as an Alaskan I have sure had it with the Palin-bots who jump on any thing that Sarah says that she is against.
Recently she gave a speech in DC about how she wants lower oil prices and then back in Alaska she gave a speech on how we need higher oil prices to fund the sate's economy. Unlike where you live Alaskans pay no statewide taxes. And for every dollar sent to Washington Alaska got back $1.60. Talk about a welfare state!